If you are the type that is stimulated by the challenge that the layout of a golf course offers, then the Riverside Golf Course in Bogor, about an hour’s drive from central Jakarta is one that must make it to your list. The Greg Norman designed golf course, carved out alongside the Cikeas river and set amidst tropical forest with ravines, streams and dense vegetation, all being in play, is a thrill-seekers delight and a great test of golf. So, if you do fall in that particular bracket of golfers, it is to be expected that you will rate it as amongst the best golf courses in the Bogor area.
The Great White Shark seems to have used all his imagination to make this into one of the most challenging golf courses in Jakarta area, taking great advantage of the site he had to work with. The ride starts gently with one of the most forgiving par 5s to get the round going with, but it is not too long before you are required to make committed golf swings to stay in play as hazards lurk everywhere. The 3rd hole which is dogleg to the right is a case in point – there is very little margin for error – whether it’s the drive of the tee or the approach to the green which requires an uphill shot carrying a ravine and avoiding sand traps to the left of the green and dense forest to the right. Other stunners include the double dog-leg par 5, which requires two long and accurate shots before being in a position to attack the pin. The piece-de-resistance though, has to be the signature 14th hole, a par 3 which plays over a deep ravine with the river flowing under. As beautiful as the setting of the hole is, it requires you to not be distracted and execute your swing almost flawlessly to give yourself a chance to make birdie or par. Other challenging holes include the par 4, 5th, the double dogleg par 5, 9th, the par 4, 10th and the par 4, 12th. The 15th, although a relatively short par 4, requires a measured strike of the tee, from which the views of the hole are stunning, if not intimidating for the lack of space that appears in front of you. The incredible roller-coaster ride made of sharp elevation changes, severe dog-legs and several blind holes, both from the tee and the fairways ends with a long par 5 18th, where staying right is right, to end your round on a high note with the prospect of a relatively good chance of birdie.
Long hitters & low handicappers will love this Bogor golf course. It is wise to choose the tees carefully – white tees are definitely recommended for golfers not in the single digit handicap range to make it an enjoyable ride. The downside of the golf course may be its maintenance standards, when you compare to the some of the best golf courses in Jakarta. One could argue that the greens are not at the same level as some of the other top golf courses in Jakarta, which could be a spoiler for some.
The weather is also a consideration for golfers planning their tee times in the golf courses in Bogor area, although there are good deals to be had for weekday afternoons. If you play relatively quickly and are staying in the Bogor area, then teeing off in the afternoon can prove to be great value.