Stern test awaits at Royal Perak

Royal Perak Golf Club
The closing hole at Royal Perak Golf Club

As the state golf contingents enter the final lap of preparation ahead of the 19th Malaysian Games (SUKMA) golf competition, the host venue is tying up the loose ends as it seeks to provide a memorable yet challenging experience for the nation’s best amateur golfers.

Royal Perak Golf Club is an old and trusted hand at hosting major tournaments, having successfully staged countless Perak Amateur and Northern Malaysian Amateur Opens and more recently, the Malaysian Amateur Open in 2014.

Hence, it came as no surprise that the storied golf club – a two-time Malaysian Open venue – was hand-picked by the Perak state government for this tough assignment.

“Royal Perak Golf Club is truly honoured to host Malaysia’s finest men and women junior amateurs at the Malaysian Games this September 15-17,” said Hanizah Abdullah, the club’s chief executive officer.

“The recently concluded Perak Amateur Open, which attracted a bumper turnout of 160 players, was an invaluable trial run for the club and generally, I am pleased to say that we are all system go for the championship – be it our golf course, the facilities or even the service and hospitality aspect,” she added.

RPGC chief executive officer Hanizah Abdullah

A few cosmetic touches later, the Nigel Douglas-crafted undulating 6,376-metre, par-72 parkland tract is ready to be under the spotlight once again.

“We actually redid all 18 championship tee boxes and three of the main bunkers received some much-needed TLC. In the last few months, we have done some profiling work on the fairways, giving it a tighter appearance and our main focus now is the putting surfaces. The general feedback from players has been that the greens are rolling true but we would like to have them running at close to 10 feet on the Stimpmeter on the opening day of the championship,” added the seasoned Hanizah.

Her confident tone is not misplaced – as RPGC can rely on one of its very own – in club captain Teoh Piek Kee, who will assume the role as tournament director. The experienced tournament and rules administrator is a highly-respected and likeable figure in the local game and is quietly working behind the scenes to ensure that the everything is running like a Swiss clock.

“The SUKMA secretariat made a surprise site visit to Royal Perak during the Perak Amateur Open and they were pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the event was conducted and the club’s high-level of preparedness,” said Teoh. “However, we will always be on our toes and make sure that the final touches are in place before the first ball is teed,” he noted.

The SUKMA golf competition will offer four gold medals in the men’s and women’s individual as well as the men’s and women’s team events.