Gunung Raya Golf Club
The Gunung Raya Golf Club is located at the foot of the majestic Celebration Mountain (Gunung Raya) on the island of Langkawi on land that was previously a rubber plantation.
When you stand on the first tee you are looking out over what appears to be an endless jungle, only interrupted by the occasional fairway. The mountainous landscape offers some truly stunning panoramas, and architect Max Wexler has made perfect use of the natural landscape, with plenty of elevated tees and greens.
The first nine offers the more stunning views, starting right on the first tee. The fairways often appears to be quite narrow, but they usually open up in the areas where you drive will (should) land, so the course is not overly difficult. The rough is covered in dense Bermuda grass though, so it is wise to stay “in the pretty”. The same goes for the foregreens. Any approach shot short of the green tends to just stop dead, so you need to play a high game. The greens are fairly hard, but not mowed too short, so it is quite possible to stop your ball.
The second nine are on lower, more level land. The 10th hole, a par five, is the signature hole. Starting high at the club house, it doglegs right, running next to a lake. Any straight drive tends to end up in the lake, so unless you can hit a power fade, avoid the driver. The green is nicely protected by bunkers, one of which has a palm tree right in the middle. A demanding but beautiful hole.
The eleventh, a par three, is the best of all the par three holes. Also running along the lake, it demands some precision to hit the green surrounded by water on one side and bunkers on the other. Holes 12, 13, and 14 are also quite nice.
Overall, the course is a bit underrated. We found the design both interesting and challenging, well worth visiting more than once. The quality was average, except for the greens that could use some works, and some of the bunkers that has some water damage from the monsoon rains. Nothing that couldn’t be easily fixed, but to get top rating it would have to be worked on.
The club house has all you need. A small but well stocked pro shop, a nice locker room, and an excellent small restaurant with a terrace overlooking the course. The food was very good and prepared with some tender loving care.
If you are in Langkawi, we recommend that you give this course a try.