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The Els Club Desaru Coast Welcomes Steven A. Thielke
New Changes Coming to The Els Club Desaru Coast

Desaru Coast, Johor - 30th April 2021
The Els Club Desaru Coast is delighted to introduce its new General Manager, Steven A. Thielke. Thielke assumes responsibility for The Els Club Desaru Coast which consist of the award-winning Ocean and Valley Courses.

In his most recent role, he served as Chief Executive Officer of TPC Kuala Lumpur. In this role he led the transformation process from KLGCC to TPC Kuala Lumpur in partnership with PGA Tour and hosted the nation’s three largest golf tournaments, Maybank Malaysian Open, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and the PGA TOUR-sanctioned CIMB Classic.

Thielke was also previously General Manager of The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula in Hainan, China, Fancourt Hotel and Country Club Estate, Glendower Golf Club and Wanderers Golf Club in South Africa, including Gary Player Country Club and the Lost City Golf Course in South Africa. Thielke’s first brush with golf was when he caddied for pocket money while in boarding school. He was originally in the hotel business, then moved across to the golf business.

With decades of hospitality expertise in delivering operational transformation, and developing teams he will be dedicated to improving upon the already impressive quality and reputation of The Els Club Desaru Coast.

Of his appointment, Thielke said; “I am committed to continue to grow The Els Club Desaru Coast into one of the finest golfing facilities in Malaysia and South East Asia. It is a blessing to be part of the beautiful destination of Desaru Coast that includes such world-class golfing facilities, top quality accommodation providers and non-golfing leisure attractions.”

Managed by Troon Golf, the world’s leading golf management group, and created by four-time Major Champion and World Golf Hall of Famer, Ernie Els, the three golf courses across both properties at The Els Club Malaysia are all of the highest possible standard. Collectively, this has enabled the club to quickly assert itself as one of the most talked about experiences in the golf market.

The 45-hole property in Desaru Coast, Johor boasts two Championship courses, each designed by a world golf hall of famer. The Ocean Course, designed by the club’s namesake and four-time major champion, Ernie Els is set on one of the most spectacular plots of land anywhere in the world.

Overlooking the South China Sea, the course can comprise of any two of the three 9-hole courses on-site, offering unique variability. Each layout has their own character and personal touches from Els, but they all take inspiration from the famous links courses spread across the UK, with large rolling greens and firm run off areas designed to place a premium on a sharp short game.

Besides two fantastic golf venues, each course boasts a fully-spec’d clubhouse. The Ocean Course clubhouse is a decadent masterpiece, at 45,000 square feet, views for miles over the golf course and into the South China Sea and the 261 Bar and Restaurant, it’s the ultimate 19th hole. The Valley Course clubhouse is a slightly different design, with an open plaza design and casual dining area it’s more of a traditional golf club atmosphere. Each course at The Els Club Desaru Coast has a pristine short game area and full grass driving range, meaning both as perfect to warm up before a game, or even to get in some extra practice.

For more information, visit 

The Els Club Desaru Coast - The Ocean Tees Off in Style
Highly anticipated 27-hole golf course opens for official play

Johor Bahru, Malaysia - 27th September 2016
The introduction of South East Asia's newest golf destination was met with high praise from the privileged guests, who experienced the first rounds of official play at The Els Club Desaru Coast - The Ocean, the first of two-major golf developments to open in Desaru Coast.

To mark the occasion, Themed Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd (TAR&H), the owner of The Els Club Desaru Coast, hosted a group of influential media to unveil what is set to become one of the nations' flagship golf and tourism projects and announce The Ocean course is open for general play. Guests lucky enough to experience the first official weekend were unanimous in their praise for the new course, pointing to the service, quality and layout of the property as being of the highest standard. Course designer and four-time Major Champion Ernie Els commented; "It certainly has the makings of one of South-East Asia's top destinations. You have a great location, in close proximity to so many major Asian hubs. You have a corner of coastline that simply takes your breath away and an ownership group dedicated to creating some of the finest tourism attractions in the world. When you add these ingredients together, you have the makings of something very special."

The Troon-managed Ocean Course, located on the south-eastern region of the country, in the state of Johor, features 3 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 cafe and bar created as an ode Ernie's PGA Tour record-breaking 72-hole aggregate in the 2003 Mercedes Championship. The Els Club Desaru Coast - The Valley is also scheduled to open soon after its neighbouring sister course - The Ocean. Designed in collaboration between fellow Major-Champions and golfing icons; Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, The Valley will be a world's first bringing together two of golf's most recognised personalities, uniting on this exceptional project.

Muhammad Zainal Ashikin, Chief Executive Officer Destinations Resorts & Hotel Portfolio of TAR&H commented, "Today marks a major first step in the development of Desaru Coast. We have made considerable strides in bringing the very best partners to Johor, and have set in motion a tourism legacy that will deliver jobs and a world class experience for all who visit. Today we have opened The Els Club Desaru Coast - The Ocean, which will fly the flag for the development and pave the way for a succession of top-class amenity introductions."

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 themed water park and a retail village.

"The Els Club brand resonates with excellence and quality," continued Muhammad Zainal Ashikin. "We are committed to embedding a new standard for hospitality, service and quality that will set Desaru on course to become one of the top tourism and golf destinations regionally and internationally."

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.

For more information, visit or contact Jed Moore at Performance54 —

The Els Club - Grand Opening By Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajjah Haminah

28th October 2014
In the company of Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajjah Haminah, The Queen of Malaysia, World Golf Hall-of-Famer, Els, struck the opening tee shot on the world's most hotly-anticipated new course. Key dignitaries, media and VIP guests were also invited to witness the historic unveiling and enjoy a unique insight from fans' favourite Els, the winner of more than 60 professional tournaments worldwide.

Upon unveiling the latest layout in the Ernie Els Design portfolio, which also includes courses in his native South Africa, Dubai and the USA, The Big Easy said: "This is, without doubt, the most spectacular golf course setting I have had the pleasure of working on and I am incredibly excited about the prospect of inviting the first visitors to come and enjoy The Els Club Teluk Datai."

"The course is truly breath-taking and I am delighted with what we have achieved here. I endeavoured to make the most of this unique location and I believe that we have done just that.

"It was an honour to hit the opening tee shot alongside Her Majesty and I would personally like to thank all of those in attendance for their support in what we are confident is set to become one of the world's most revered golf course designs."

Having already been voted the region's 'Best Golf Course' at the 2014 Asia-Pacific Property Awards, The Els Club Teluk Datai has gained unprecedented interest among the world's golfing media and industry officials.

Nestled between ancient rainforest and the Andaman Sea on the iconic island location of Langkawi, the 18-holes championship course will serve as a focal point for the award-winning Datai Langkawi resort, which is a favourite amongst international travellers.

The Els Club Teluk Datai will now play an integral role in realising the vision of resort owners Destination Resorts and Hotels Sdn Bhd (DRH) in developing golf and bespoke tourism experiences in Malaysia.

Charged with developing strategic tourism, DRH selected The Els Club Brand for three Malaysian golf developments, two of which are currently under construction in the southernmost state of Johor and will transform the nation's golf offering over the coming years.

"Today marks the start of a new era for Langkawi, Destination Resorts & Hotels as well as Malaysia. Our business strategy by design seeks to create sustainable and economically viable tourism propositions. Given golf's positioning on a global stage and the demographic it attracts we have sought to redefine standards in the regions golf offering. Ernie is an exemplary partner, whose Els Club brand stands for the kind of excellence we strive towards, which will add impetus in our efforts to attract tourist to the island of Langkawi. The Els Club Teluk Datai will certainly become a flagship asset for our business and give enjoyment for many more generations to come. " commented Tunku Dato' Ahmad Burhanuddin, Managing Director of DRH.

Senior Vice President of The Els Club Malaysia, David Townend, spoke of his excitement at officially opening to the public. He said: "This is one of the world's most visually stunning golf courses, so the early feedback we have achieved and the tremendous reaction we have experienced here today is really no surprise.

"Over the coming months we expect to welcome golfers from all over the world, who are eager to test themselves against Ernie's masterpiece and take advantage of the incredible experience that can be had as a tourist in Langkawi."

The course is managed and operated by Troon Golf, the global leader in upscale golf management, who oversee operations at some of world's pre-eminent golf resorts.

For more information visit, follow @ErnieElsDesign and @TheBig_Easy.