Changes planned for Bali Nirwana


Changes planned for Bali Nirwana
Sean Dudley

New management at the acclaimed Bali Nirwana golf course in Indonesia plans to spend 2011 upgrading the course in both design and agronomic terms.

Hotel group Pan Pacific took control of the course, and the associated 278 room resort this June, and has already brought in a new director of golf and head of agronomy. New membership packages have also been made available, for the first time in 10 years.

At the same time, ownership has made no secret of its desire to host a professional tournament and made-for-TV events at Bali Nirwana GC in the future – which explains why strategic course renovations and agronomic improvements have been planned for the duration of 2011.

Bali Nirwana, designed by Greg Norman’s firm in 1998, starts by looping inland from the clubhouse. The opening drive is played across rows of staggered rice paddies to set up a downhill approach to the putting surface, where the sound of water reveals a jungle stream surrounding the green's edge.

“We aim to cut back a bit of the vegetation there, so golfers can see the stream and not merely hear it,” said Paul Lightbody, the resort’s new director of golf. “The same applies to several of the temples out there on the course. Several have been somewhat overtaken by the rapacious vegetation here. We want to show them off to golfers and show them the proper respect by giving them a little breathing room.”