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Ernie Els made a visit to Malaysia earlier this week to check on the progress of his first Els Club development in Asia.

The four-time major winner made to the trip to Teluk Datai, in Langkawi, with representatives from DRH and Troon to inspect the work that has been carried out so far and make any final adjustments before the highly anticipated opening.

The Els Club Teluk Datai is already being touted as south east Asia’s most exotic golf experience and is due to open to the public early next year.

Located amongst some of Malaysia’s most spectacular landscape, the course is nestled within a centuries-old rainforest, with towering lush tropical foliage, offering the finest golfing experience to avid golfers.

Coupled with the renowned service standards and course conditions provided by global golf management leaders Troon Golf, The Els Club Teluk Datai has set its sights high, with a clear aim to redefine south east Asian Golf.

“It is great to be able to visit Teluk Datai and see first-hand how the project is progressing,” commented Ernie Els. “The site here is one of the most unique I have come across anywhere in the world and the end product is going to be breath taking.”

He added: “We thought long and hard about the location of our first Els Club in Asia and in DRH have found great partners to help create a course that will have worldwide appeal. I am thrilled with the progress and am excited to come back and play when it is officially opened to the general public.”

There are many striking features to the course that makes it unique, from the proximity to both a million-year-old rainforest, to the indigenous plants and Macaque and Dusky Leaf Monkeys that roam the flanks of the golf course, as well as the picturesque shores of the Andaman Sea.

“It is great to be able to visit Teluk Datai and see first-hand how the project is progressing,” – Ernie Els

One unusual feature of the golf course, however, is the absence of any bunkers. Ernie Els and his design team took the bold decision to shape a golf course that works around the natural rainforest fauna and the dramatic topography, without bunkering.

“The layout is very unique,” commented Greg Letsche of Els Design, the lead designer on the project. “The lack of any bunkering adds yet more intrigue to the course and has meant the design process has had to be more innovative and creative than usual to add visual impact via clever design, rather than strategic bunkering.”

Ernie Els has a strong following in the Asian market, leading the experts from Destinations Resorts & Hotels to appoint him as master designer. DRH has been entrusted by the investment arm of the Malaysian government to enrich Malaysia’s tourism landscape by developing sustainable resort destinations that will attract international travellers from around the world.

DRH’s current portfolio includes the award winning luxury resort The Datai Langkawi, internationally recognized for its unsurpassed service excellence and Desaru Coast, the region’s first luxury integrated destination in Johor, Malaysia, that will also be home to The Els Club, Desaru Coast, due to opening late 2014, completing The Els Club Malaysia brand.

“We are determined to ensure golfers will enjoy premier service and world-class playing conditions here at The Els Club Malaysia,” said Darrell Metzger, Director of DRH. “It is more than just golf; The Els Club is an ideal place for the whole family to relax and unwind while enjoying world-class golf club facilities and impeccable personalised service.”


Ernie Els: Course Designer

As well as being a prolific winner – and the European Tour’s all-time career money leader – Ernie Els has also cultivated a successful course design business. As well as the Els Club in Malaysia, he also courses currently under development in New York, China, Bahrain, and Namibia.


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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