Located over the northern coast of Bintan Island, next to the Club Med Bintan Island resort, the Ria Bintan Island Golf Club is a tropical golf wonderland. Team CN&CO took on the course’s 18-holes with Chef du Village of Club Med Bintan Island, Jonathan Hegarty. As you play the course, you have beautiful ocean views all the way through. Here’s a recap of our experience…
It’s no wonder Ria Bintan is rated as the second-best course in Asia. The moment you arrive on the property what you see will give a great sense of wonder. Your eyes are treated to tropical jungle surroundings complimented by nature’s sounds and the promise of much more to come.
The Club Med golf team, lead by South African golf pro, Jastice Mashego, organises all your requirements for the day including tee time booking, excellent TaylorMade equipment hire, golf carts, brilliant caddies and your shuttle to the course (which is less than 5 minutes’ drive).
As for the golf, the course has two versions: the “Forest view” course and the “Ocean view” course. We decided to play the Ocean view course as the feedback we heard about its famous 8th and 9th holes was too much to ignore.
The course lived up to its expectations. Fellow South African sporting legend, Gary Player did an unbelievable job in designing it.
An array of green colours compliment the fine work the staff do to maintain this majestic setting. Each hole with its own identity and presents numerous obstacles and set ups. The fairways are wide however, the surrounding jungle isn’t as forgiving which adds that challenging element to the golf and your experience.
The standout holes (if that’s even possible to say with every hole being a spectacle for the eyes) are…
Par 4/3/4 opening holes – a tricky start doesn’t get much harder than this with an index 1 and 3 up front. They are humbling holes and great jump starters if you get the birdies in early.
Par 4 8th – a tricky par 4 with a dog leg left after a 200m lay up and then 110m drop onto the green surrounded by a rock fade and the South China sea.
Par 3 9th – a signature hole with about 150m to the green which is divided by over 100m of sea from the tee and has the ocean on one side and the jungle on the other, even if your approach isn’t good your eyes are still in wonder.
Par 3 17th (pictured at the top of the blog) –My personal favourite and, a 155m par 3 surrounded by a dense jungle stadium that erupts as you approach it. There’s water, bunkers and sounds of tropical nature to get you motivated to land your shot into the green.
If you’re a golf and beach fan, Club Med Bintan Island and the Ria Bintan golf course need to be on your bucket list. It doesn’t get more awesome than this for a mix of chill and sport!
P.s. Be sure to pack light-coloured golf clothes and sun cream for the humidity and heat of the course.