As I’m spending the next couple of weeks visiting friends down near Sydney, Australia, I took the opportunity last week to play an early practice round at Clearwater Sanctuary Resort, the venue for the second Asian Development Tour event of 2011. The name of the course only hints at the amount of huge water hazards that surround this interesting 7000+ yard course situated two and a half hours North of Kuala Lumpur. This being the only ADT event where I won’t need to pack my passport, it was nice to get an early look at the layout which I’m sure many of the Malaysian players in the field will have played many times before.
My initial impression of the course was that it is a cleverly designed, fair test of golf with a premium placed on being able to drive the ball well and then finding the correct areas on the large, subtly undulating greens. My playing partner for the day was Mr. Steve Campbell, my English friend cum part time caddy who lives at the same resort as my wife and I in Putrajaya, Malaysia.
As is often the case when playing a course for the first time, in hindsight a couple of tee shots could be hit either using different clubs or on slightly more aggressive / conservative lines. Having said that, now that we know our way around the course a bit better, picking lines off tees etc will be a lot easier once preparation for the tournament starts. I managed to make a few birdies but unfortunately not enough to avoid having to buy lunch for my 18 handicap opponent (I knew I should never have helped him with his short game!) The swing changes I have been making over the last few weeks are starting to feel much better. The good shots are now becoming really good with as importantly, less severe misses. It’s now just a case of trusting the new swing, getting out there and getting the job done.
I’m looking forward to playing a bit of golf ‘down under’ whilst staying with our good friends Jim, Erin and their new addition to the Rolfe family, 11 month old Sunny. I doubt I’ll find any courses there with more water surrounding the fairways than my latest Malaysian discovery but whatever I find I’ll be sure to take the camera with me 😉