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The 35-minute route down the Cheras Highway was direct and unimpaired with cumbersome traffic. As we made our entry into the road connecting us to the clubhouse, the shade of lush overhanging trees provided us with a sense of serenity and we knew that we were destined for a delightful afternoon.
I arrived at Impian Golf & Country Club with some anticipation as I had grapevine knowledge that the greens were touted as among the top five in Malaysia. Apart from that, I honestly had scant knowledge of everything else and was looking forward to be pleasantly surprised.
Formerly known as Saujana Impian, the club has played host to numerous professional events and, according to one of my peers, was a favourite weekend destination for seasoned golfers within a 50km radius. Now, equipped with a new management team and with the might of the Sime Darby Group behind, much can be expected of Impian GCC.
Unstrapped by over-lavish fixtures, the modern glass canopy in front of the clubhouse was a stark contrast to the near Spartan changing rooms. This no-frills impression was a welcoming feature for hard-core golfers like me, whose sole purpose for being there is for an afternoon’s battle with the course and the elements.
Playing at 6,150m, the par 72 Ross Watson course is not long but those who take it lightly will be given a rude awakening. The course only plays short as long as you stay on the fairways. Apart from that, if you have not brought your game, you might as well bring your trekking boots.
Malaysian treescape designer Tze To Kok Yin was roped in to provide golfers with more than 5,000 trees to compliment the landscape and bring added flavour to the layout. Because the course is designed to border a plateau, you get the impression that it is reasonably flat. However, it would be prudent to bear in mind that the layout features numerous climbs and drops. So in short, spray and you’ll pay.
Word has it that the mirror smooth greens were packed with a foundation of coconut husks. Sort of like our local makeshift version of the sub-air system, resulting in better drainage, lending them legendary speeds. If you are a sucker for treachery on the greens, then you’ve supposedly come to the right place.
We started our round from the back nine (Negara) for a change to see if playing the course backwards would alter our fate. I figured that giving a hole-by-hole account of the course would be like spoiling a perfect night out by revealing the closing plot to a brilliant movie, so I choose instead to highlight my experience on a couple of signature holes which I found most interesting. This should make you look forward to your encounter when you get the chance to tee it up here.
The tee box feels like a pitcher’s mound and presents you with a commanding view. The most efficient approach to this attractive hole demands a slight carry over the edge of a lake it shares with an adjacent green. The green is protected by two bunkers, one in the front and the other to the back. The safe passage instigates you to favour a draw or play it ‘safe’ to the right. If you follow your instincts, my only comment is that you’d better be instinctively accurate because a shade too much to the right will land you in the runoff area and demand a good up-and-down onto a two-tier green. And if the pin was placed on the edge of that tier as it had been on this particular day, well good luck … and the slick greens are not going to help you!
I managed to plug my ball in the front bunker’s edge, wedge it out and saved a sandy par. I was lucky because the greens were in the process of being reconditioned and weren’t running as quick. Otherwise, it probably would have wound up by the edge of the lake!
359 metres is a relatively short par four, assuming you are playing off flat terrain. In this instance, you are playing off an undulating fairway to a mounted green with a bunker deliberately placed to the left, welcoming the easy routers who favour the right side. The perfect landing area, however, is a dangerous flirt with the water’s edge, rewarding you with a great attack angle and scenic approach as you round up your home stretch.
I knocked a sensible drive down the middle and tried to favour the left but overclubbed and sent my shot to the rear of the green. Couldn’t manage a solid scramble and had to settle for a bogey.
Coincidentally, impian in Malay means ‘dream’. If I can recollect my fondest ones it would be spending time with my best buddies, having the time of our lives golfing and mucking around. That is easy to imagine that on a course like Impian. She does not play too long as to tire and bum you out completely, but compensates for her lack of length by posing a trickier challenge on her strategically elevated dance floors.
Today I was joined by a motley crew of some of my usual golfing buddies. We sang, we drank and we even tried to play acceptable golf. The course was sparsely populated and we had the time and opportunity to savour the well-intended botanical features along with the runoffs, climbs and drops that came with it. Quite a pretty package for a day out with the guys.
If you are ever in need of an inexpensive golf fix and would like a bit of a fight, give Impian a go. It’s within easy reach and could be worth the effort. Like I said, be extra careful on the tour fast greens – you can certainly try and imagine yourself making that critical putt to win the Masters! After all, sweet dreams are made of this.
14th Mile, Jalan Cheras
43000 Kajang, Selangor
Tel: +603-8734 4195 /96 /97
Fax: +603-8734 8133
Rates stated inclusive of green fees, buggy,
insurance and RM10 F&B voucher
Weekends: Saturday am – RM251.25 /
Saturday pm – RM231.05 / Sunday am –
RM251.25 / Sunday pm promotion – RM100.80