Friday, 3 April 2015

LIGC: Playing in the Jungle

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In my article about Sabah Golf and Country Club (SGCC), I mentioned how hard the course is. BUT wait till you play at Labuan International Golf Club or LIGC! Without many ponds to boast, yet this course is one of the toughest I had encountered. On a hill overlooking the South China Sea, it is both challenging and beautiful located in the middle of the secondary jungle. LIGC covers about 200 acres and she has a motto, "Tee-Off with Mother Nature"! It is located 15 minutes drive from Labuan town, Victoria. I had the greatest opportunity to talk to one of their architect while the course was still under construction. I was appalled by the way the developer bulldozed the pristine midget forest and asked him how he feels. He sigh and said, "we have to develop in order to protect"!  He told me that the remaining real jungle is better than concrete jungle. It is unfortunate, but I have to agree with him.

The club is owned by the Labuan Corporation and it is the only 18 hole golf course in Labuan. What makes this course tough is the jungle and ravine covering the left and right side of the fairways, ready to consume your balls. If you are a player using new Pro-V balls, I advise you: keep it for other courses. Otherwise you will have heartache losing 10 balls or more in this lovely place. This is a ball picker's paradise because lost balls are so common.

The course is actually not that difficult. The problem is players tend to be carried away with the apparent easiness. That is the deception created by the course. Actually, many of the fairways are relatively short. With a good drive, even a high handicappers could reach the green in two. But players tend to have problem if the green is too close, but not close enough to chip. Here  is where we test our pitching skill, unsure with which iron to use. That is where the frustration burst when we fail to land it in two after a beautiful drive! And to make matter worst, the chances of landing in a nearby ravine close to the green is always there. But indeed I cannot deny, LIGC, which commenced in 2013 is one of the best course in Borneo.

The above picture is the clubhouse overlooking the South China Sea. The view is awesome. 

The above picture is the pond close to the first hole. Two oriental darter birds basking in the sun. 

All the pictures above showing the fairways in the midget secondary forest of Labuan. 

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