Ria Bintan GC was designed by Gary Player, and is located on the Indonesian Bintan Island.
An hour long ferry ride from Singapore is the common mode of arrival to Bintan Island so if you plan to stay in Singapore it is quite plausible with a little planning to travel to and from the course in a day, playing golf, and having a leisurely lunch...
However from our experience I would recommend you pre book your taxis on return to avoid a very lengthy wait!
The club is however very accommodating to visitors, and the arrival/ departure process, transfers to and from the ferry etc, are handled with grace and efficiency, making a long day a little easier.
Ria Bintan has 27 holes in 3 loops of nine called Ocean Blue, Ocean Green, and Forest.
We played the Ocean nines, and we're glad we made the effort.
Gary Player has carved the golf course out of dense jungle with quite a bit of elevation change adding to the drama, and has used water as a major focus for the majority of the holes. Play is routed around, beside, and over a number of lakes, creeks and ponds on 15 different holes.
Holes 7, 8, 9 & 10 are on the oceanfront and are the postcard holes that everyone remembers, but the strategic and visual impact of the inland water cannot be discarded. Holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 16, 17, & 18 all benefit....
I thought the bunkering unusual, but very effective, with heavily grassed and steep faces framing the greens and fairways. Somehow those lush green bunker faces enhanced the jungle feel and look of Ria Bintan.
And with cheeky monkeys trying to snatch your lunch you are not liable to forget where you are.
I thought the course to be a good test of golf, and strategically sound. It was a pleasure to play, but I could understand that the weather could be a significant factor in how the course is presented.
I particularly enjoyed the Ocean Blue nine and the transition from the opening holes around a lake to a couple of well crafted jungle holes and then to the famous ocean holes...
The Ocean Green nine is a little less memorable and holes 13 to 15 are not quite to the standard of the other holes- nevertheless there are some grand holes and I would play 10, 16, 17, 18 anytime!
If you get the opportunity, don't miss Ria Bintan!
Other Courses in the Area:
On Bintan Island there are 2 decent courses at Bintan Lagoons.
There are a number of resorts on the island, and you can stay at both Ria Bintan and Bintan Lagoons
The Travelling Golfer