Ron Fream, Gene Bates
Sentosa Island offers splendid panoramas of both Singapore Harbour and the South China Sea, and is home to two golf courses. The most important is Serapong where the Barclays Singapore Open has been played during October or November in recent times. As a tournament, the Singapore Open has made a comeback thanks to Barclays’ sponsorship, and has now become a high-status stop on European and Asian professional tours. Serapong is quite large (6676 meters) and has plenty of water hazards and bunkers, as well as the kind of narrow landing points that expert players should target with long shots. It also has rolling fairways and sheltered greens, and the designers did excellent work to anticipate the key questions of potential prize-winning golfers. But the possibility to score well also depends on the good condition of greens during tournaments. Nonetheless, Serapong offers you an enjoyable game from the very first tee.
Alongside the prestigious Serapong course, Tanjong is a valid alternative on Sentosa, although older and not as large. It was designed by Frank Pennink, a golf columnist for London's Daily Mail, but also a partner in Cotton, Pennink & Lawrie golf architects. Pennink’s work dates back to 1972, before golfing took off in south-east Asia. Twenty years later when fashions shifted, Tanjong underwent a $40m renovation to become a top golf attraction in both Singapore and Asia. Among the numerous natural obstacles are fresh-water lakes, bunkers, tall trees, hills and rolling fairways. A compact course with tight landing points, several holes make strategic use of water. The green of the short par 3 second hole is on an island, and water surrounds the fairway of the sixth. The fairway is relatively wide, but seems to get narrower when you lose a ball! Keep on playing and you will have a great time.