The Sultan of Johor, His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar Al-Haj (pictured above right), graced the inaugural Laksamana Trophy Charity Golf Tournament 2016 and marked the historic occasion by officially launching the Ernie Els-designed, new Els Club Desaru Coast, Ocean Course.
The Troon-managed Ocean Course, located in the south-eastern region of the country, features three distinct nine-hole courses; the Coast, Ridge and Lakes. In addition, it will be home to The Els Performance Golf Academy, the first of its kind in the region, and two casual dining restaurants including an all-day café and bar named ‘261’ as an ode to Ernie’s PGA TOUR record-breaking 72-hole, 31-under par aggregate in the 2003 Mercedes Championship. The Els Club Desaru Coast, Valley Course, is also scheduled to open soon. Designed by Ernie Els in collaboration with Vijay Singh, the Valley Course will be a world’s first bringing together two of golf’s most recognised personalities, uniting on this exceptional project.
The Laksamana Trophy Charity Golf Tournament (pictured below) is dedicated to raising funds for the Tunku Laksamana Johor Cancer Foundation, founded in memory of the late Tunku Laksamana of Johor, HH Almarhum Tunku Abdul Jalil lskandar Sultan Ibrahim.
The official launch of Johor’s latest golfing attraction, which took place on Saturday 26 November, was presided over by; Dato’ Ahmad Pardas Senin, Chairman of Desaru Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (DDC); Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar. Haji Esa Haji Mohamed, Chairman of the Laksamana Trophy Organising Committee and Board of Director, DDC; and Datuk Hisham Hamdan, Executive Director, Investments and Head of Khazanah Research & Investment Strategy, Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
“We are honoured His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim blessed us with his presence and launched our 27-hole championship golf course signalling an exciting new era for the region’s tourism sector,” commented Muhammad Zainal Ashikin, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of DDC. “We are inspired by His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim’s vision to welcome visitors from all over the world that will spur positive regional impact for Johor. The Els Club Desaru Coast – Ocean Course (pictured below) is one of the many experiences we are offering in Desaru Coast, which will also include resorts and hotels, a water park and retail outlets.”
In addition to the official launch, The Little Easy Young Athlete Scholarship Program was announced, designed to encourage local children to take up the game and benefit from the expertise at The Els Performance Golf Academy. The scholarship program aims to increase the uptake of golf amongst youth in Johor. Keen junior beginners will benefit from eight golf tuition clinics, consisting of eight 90-minute lessons and two months EPGA Practice Access, which will be run by the EPGA golf teaching professional. Targeted at primary schools, there will be 100 spaces given to primary school students in Johor throughout 2017. The scholarship program is endorsed by the Johor Golf Tourism Association, who are committed to promoting golf in Johor and growing interest and participation in the game of golf amongst primary-aged school children in Johor.
Speaking from his base in Florida, Ernie Els commented, “The Royal Seal of approval is an honour for all of us at Ernie Els Design Group. A big thank you to His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim and congratulations to all the team at The Els Club Desaru Coast. Sorry, I couldn’t be there with you this time, but look forward to seeing the progress the juniors will make on the scholarship program and how the course attracts guests from across the region.”
The destination of Desaru Coast spans over 3,900 acres along a pristine 17km beachfront facing the South China Sea, and is easily accessible via road, air and sea. The destination will also be home to globally renowned hotel chains and resorts; Aman Resorts & Villas, The Westin Desaru Resort, Anantara Desaru Resort, and Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast; a state-of-the-art conference centre, a 27-hole and 18-hole golf course, a water park and a retail village.
Guests now have the opportunity to book tee times online and be among the first to experience South East Asia’s spectacular new golf course offering. The Els Club Desaru Coast was developed and is owned by Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn Bhd (DH1), a subsidiary of Desaru Development Corporation Sdn Bhd (DDC) mandated with the development and operation of Desaru Coast destination resort. The State Government of Johor, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Ar. Haji Esa Haji Mohamed and Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd (TAR&H) are joint venture partners in DDC. TAR&H is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.