Horizon Hills targets more Klang Valley golfers to offset loss of Singapore business

Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club is hoping to attract more golfers from the Klang Valley to offset the loss of business due to the ongoing closure of the Singapore border.

Golf clubs in Johor have been hard hit by the absence of golfers from across the Causeway, who account for a significant proportion of their golfing traffic. This is especially true for facilities like Horizon Hills in the Johor administrative capital of Iskandar Puteri, close to the Tuas second link.

“We had about 1,600 rounds in June, our first full month since reopening in early May, which is only around 40% of our usual traffic,” said Horizon Hills assistant general manager Ong Seng Kiat. “Hopefully the border will reopen soon for leisure travel as golfers from Singapore make up a large part of our business.

Ong Seng Kiat

“The good news is that we are getting more golfers from the Klang Valley and even from as far away from Penang, who come here for a few days as there are many other excellent courses in Johor to play.

“Close to us we have Forest City Golf Resort which has 36 holes and also Senibong Golf Club, formerly known as Poresia Country Club, which recently renovated its golf course and has nine holes in play now with the full 18 due for completion later this year,” he added.

Hole 17, Par 3

Ong noted that Iskandar Puteri is also a great place for a family vacation. “You have Leogland, the Puteri Harbour waterfront, shopping malls and more, so golfers can bring their families along for a holiday. Hotels are plentiful and there is also a lot of great food to be enjoyed, especially in nearby towns such as Bukit Indah and Gelang Patah.

“If you want to do some serious shopping, we’re only 20 minutes away from the Johor Premium Outlets . Johor Bahru city, which is a food and entertainment haven, is also a short drive away.

“We hope more golfers from other states head south to experience the superb golfing and other activities here. We’ve tied up with Forest City for a play-and-stay package and will be looking at expanding that to include Senibong once their full 18 is ready.”

Hole 18 with the clubhouse beyond

Ong voiced his hope that the current downtrend in Covid-19 cases continues and that selected international travel is permitted to resume soon. “Senai Airport has direct flights from Guangzhou and Seoul and we used to get a significant number of golfers from China and Korea. Hopefully that can resume by the end of this year.”

Established in 2008, Horizon Hills offers one of the best golfing experiences in the country in its award-winning course, renowned for its challenging design and superb condition. The Ross Watson-designed tract features sculptured fairways lined by scenic waterways and no less than 88 bunkers, while the slick, undulating greens are capable of reaching speeds of 11-plus on the Stimpmeter.

The club was the venue for the Iskandar Johor Open for three consecutive years from 2010, featuring some of the world’s best golfers including Spanish superstar Sergio Garcia who won the final edition in 2012.

Perched on a ridge overlooking the golf course, the stylish clubhouse offers the full range of sports, recreation and banquet facilities and is a popular venue for weddings, functions and seminars.

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By Jonathan Ponniah

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