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Bukit Darmo Golf
Golfing is indeed unique. It can not be compared to tennis, badminton, or for instance, soccer. It is unique because the golf courses, where the game is played, are always of a different design. Although the basics stay the same, 72 strokes for eighteen holes. But the nuances, the contour of the land, the natural environment, even the equipment, can be different. For instance, next to modified club lengths, there is also a jumbo club head name Big Bertha.

Another clear example, hole 1 on a course in Bali could be 475 yards, and a par 5, while on a golf course in East Kalimantan, hole 1 has been designed with the distance of 400 yards, and a par 4. But, at the 18th hole the game should contain 72 strokes. A golfer who finishes the game according to the standard of 18 holes in 72 strokes, is playing at par. But masters like Nick Faldo, and Greg Norman could just be playing under par. If he finishes 18 holes with 52 strokes, he is a master playing 20 under par. While the high handicap and novice golfer might even need 100 strokes to finish the 18 holes, and is then actually playing 28 over.

Nowadays, the golf course of varying design, and style are sprouting up. The challenges also become more complicated, but here lies the infatuation, and the art of playing golf. From tee off at the tee box to the green, the hazards that are encountered along the fairway vary widely. There are bunkers, water hazards, roughs, red and yellow marks, up to dry branches in a bunker that may not be removed. If the ball lands in a ground under repair area, that's still okay, and a relief is provided. Careless play over markers can be penalized with double club lengths, or even a return to the tee box.

Such challenges, and infatuations to play can be experienced at the Darmo Golf Hill and Country Club. This golf course is located strategically, only 30 minutes from the Juanda Airport, Surabaya. Exactly on the Mayjen Sungkono, and Toll Road intersection. If you use a taxi from the airport the fare won' t exceed Rp. 10,000 (approx. 4.25 USD). While 4 and 5 star hotels are scattered within 30 minutes from the Club House.

Let' s scrutinize the uniqueness of this golf course. The Darmo Golf Hill and Country Club has been designed for the world class competitions. It occupies quite a vast area of about 126 hectares. The golf course is for members, but if you happen to be in Surabaya, and would like to get a feel of the course, there shouldn' t be a problem.

The Darmo Hill and Country Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus' very son, known as Jack Nicklaus II Junior. It is smoothly arranged, to be enjoyable for the novice or expert golfer. Every hole has 4 tee boxes, marked black, blue, white, and red. Including hazards, and tips for the best play at the Darmo Golf Hill.

Hole 1,367 yards
To conquer this hole the course instruction advises to aim the first shot to the left side of the fairway. The second shot then can be made from a slightly higher lay. From there, one should aim to the right, in order to avoid the bunker on the left. From there, the green with its pole will already be visible. The expert golfer can take advantage of the situation around. But be careful, there are a few spots on the fairways that, approaching the greens, narrow down like a bottle neck. Don' t be suprised too if there are some oval, not round shaped greens.

Hole 16, 500 yards, par 5
Aim the first tee shot so that the ball lands slightly on the right side of the fairway. This will ease on the second shot. There's a water hazard on the left, that also cuts across the fairway. To tackle this, hit a long drive. But, there' s still a hazard, to the right of the green.

Hole 17, 161 yards, par 4
This place is rich with natural sceneries, trees, and lakes. Watch for the yellow and red marks. A steady drive is required to shoot the ball upwards, over the lake. While this is a short hole it is still risky. The green is still blocked off by bunkers in front, and at the back. Since the green itself is quite spacious, try an iron.

Hole 18, 368 yards, par 4
This last hole can be called a par 4 signature hole, that' s difficult to master. The playing conditions are teeing off from a lower lay. The fairway slopes slowly up. A thrilling opening. To play safe, land the ball in the center right part of the fairway. If this is accomplished, the second shot will be easier. A long iron for a long drive will be needed for a smooth entry on the green that' s full of traps. To play this, try to maintain on the right side. A smooth play will reach the pin. Avoid the big bunker that' s deliberately made into a deep concave. If the ball lands in there, it sure is going to be hard to get out, and on the green. Even if you do use a sand wedge.

The available facilities
Golf carts are available. The golfer who wants to try out the infatuation of the course, will be driven by a golf cart upon arrival at the Club House. Green fees range from Rp. 100,000 (approx. 43 USD) to Rp. 150,000. Fees are of course higher on holidays, Saturday, and Sundays.

This golf course, which is located right along the Mayjen Sungkono main road is very easy to reach. And, even if it is a members' club, the receptionist receives non-members politely. Those of you travelling to Surabaya will certainly encounter pleasant service, and be allowed to play if the course is not being used for a special event.

If there' s an event starting, for example, at 07.00 in the morning, you' ll be allowed to play by 12.00, because the last group will have started, and would be around hole 5 or 6 by then. For further information please contact (031) 732 8177 or fax to (031) 752220.

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