36-hole resort underwent a major redevelopment and is ready for the world stage
2017 is shaping up to be a big year for Sentosa Golf Club. Two major professional tournaments will dot the event calendar in the first three months and the much anticipated Tanjong Course is slated to reopen its doors in March. The finished product will wow members, professionals, and visiting guests alike that should translate into both courses entering the World’s 100 Greatest as ranked by Golf Digest (the Serapong Course is currently 58th).
A staggering $32 million redevelopment to the Tanjong Course has spared no expense to ensure the facility is ready to welcome the next two decades of world-class events and millions of visitors to the exclusive island. The 36-hole resort will remain a semi-private facility with access to both courses, but restricted windows to play on the new Tanjong course. More flexibility to the visitor will be granted on the equally strong Serapong course.
The signature hole on the new Tanjong course is without doubt the 6th hole featuring a stunning 20m-high waterfall. Located adjacent to the tee area and visible from almost every part of the golf course, the stunning hole provides picture perfect views overlooking the South China Sea. The par-72 Tanjong course will feature six tee box options to challenge golfers of all abilities, 30 large bunkers, and new fairways with Zorro Zoysia grass that is known for its resilient root structure to handle saltwater tropical conditions.
The Serapong course will host the SMBC Singapore Open from 19-22 January 2017 and the HSBC Women’s Champions will follow from 2-5 March 2017 on the new Tanjong course at Sentosa Golf CLub. Last year’s Women’s Champions attracted the biggest crowds in the competition’s history, with more than 29,000 spectators over the four tournament days. Golf fans were treated to a fantastic viewing experience to see the golf action from numerous vantage points that the Sentosa Golf Club provides.
The Serapong course is all about strategy with bunkering that frames the landing areas on most holes challenging the professionals completing in the SMBC Singapore Open to think their way around the layout like a meticulous surgeon. The greens are also well guarded making for a number of tucked pin locations on the undulated green complexes.
The Serapong course’s 3rd hole will provide the first key test to professionals at the SMBC Singapore Open. At 439 meters, it is the first hole that takes you around the loop of the front nine with memorable views of the Singapore harbor. The hole will sneak up and bite players if they are not careful. A downhill tee shot to a narrow landing area opens up an approach shot to an ominous green site putting a priority on placement off the tee. The fairway also features a tree in the middle of the landing area that can play havoc with the angle a player will take with their approach shot into the green. Most professionals will be prudent to select a fairway metal off the tee that puts a premium on accuracy rather than distance.
The very next hole is a risk reward Par 5 that measures 529 meters and provides multiple options off the tee. On the 5th hole many professionals will choose the first landing area on the right and play it safe with a lay up shot that sets the stage for a flip wedge into the green. The longer pros will take on the left side clearing all the bunkering and landing areas that opens up a long iron second to set up an eagle opportunity. The green is a challenging two-tier complex with undulations in the center and a Sunday pin position in the back of the green that falls away to the water.
The 6th hole provides a lesson in World War 2 history with the hole played over a headland that was the site of an epic battle in the early 1940’s between the Japanese and British troops that eventually led to over 300 British soldiers being killed. The area is memorialized carrying the name of “The Rock” to remember the fallen heroes.
The ultimate game breaker for professionals that will provide a significant test to the eventual winner is the Par 4 15th hole. It’s the number 1 handicap hole and at 393 meters challenges players with a narrow fairway and straightaway drive skirting the Singapore harbor. The difficulty of the hole is the grade work that leans left requiring a drive down the right side of the fairway. Golfers that take it down the left can risk their drive running hard and fast during tournament week through the fairway and into the harbor that runs the entire left side of the hole.
The 9th and 18th holes run parallel to one another and provide a natural amphitheater effect around the green. The 18th hole is a favorite of many pros and will likely decide the SMBC Singapore Open in the same way it did for the Argentinian Angel Cabrera when he capture the Singapore Open in 2007.
The hole provides a classic risk / reward opportunity allowing the professional to take on as much water as they wish to challenge. It has more bunkers than any other hole on the course and the water has been brought into play fronting the green that frames the horseshoe effect of the hole. The putting surface has many personalities. A pin up front near the water’s edge challenges the golfer to stay dry and avoid putting into the front water. A traditional back pin placement on Sunday has seen many pros throw their shot over the green and then struggle to get up and down for the Championship.
Now you’re in the know of the holes that will decide the Championship. Sit back, relax and enjoy the viewing experience!