The opening hole on the Serapong Course is a relatively short par-four dog-leg right, where a good tee shot is crucial. Push your tee shot too far right and your approach will be blocked by trees or find a fairway trap. Go left and your ball might kick off the right to left slanting fairway and finish on a road or out of bounds. Find the landing area on the fairway and you face a fairly straight forward approach.
The skyscrapers of Singapore’s Central Business District first come into view on the tee of the short par-three second. The green drops down well below the tee requiring a delicate shot which will hopefully see your ball drift down onto the target. It is one of the easiest holes on the course although be careful on the tricky green.
The cavalier golfer who has plenty of length to his game will relish playing the par-four dogleg third hole which turns almost 90 degrees left halfway down the fairway. Clear the trees on the left and your ball will kick off the down slope and run towards the green. The landing area on the right is the safer option. A large green awaits although green side bunkers await errant shots.
This dogleg left par-five sweeps around a huge lake and despite the fact that it looks daunting from the tee competitors in the SMBC Singapore Open will view it as a birdie opportunity. A mighty blow off the tee that clears a large part of the lake leaves professionals an excellent opportunity to reach the green in two.
The Signature Hole on the Serapong Course is also ranked as one of the toughest. This beautiful hole boasts wonderful views of the Singapore skyline, and when you reach the green you are able to look out onto one of the busiest ports in the world. The landing area off the tee is fairly wide although large bunkers guard either side of the fairway. Two strong hits are required to reach the large tricky green.
Turning back into the island of Sentosa, this hole requires an accurate drive into a well bunkered fairway. The landing area is nestled next to water (the South China Sea) which runs parallel to the entire right side of the hole. From there pros will hit a short iron in that needs to carry sand and rock formation known as the “Dragon's Tooth” that juts out to partially obscure the green.
The picturesque seventh features jungle on the left and the sea channel all the way down the right side - where Coastguard boats are moored on the other side. It certainly is a hole where you might need to be rescued as bunkers also lie in wait near the landing area. A good drive is vital and sets you up nicely to find the green safely in three or for the big hitters in two. There is one additional large bunker in the second landing area, located just below a rubber tree to make the second shot more strategic.
After a stretch of difficult holes the par-three eighth is something of a breather. However, three deep bunkers on the left and one on the right will catch errant tee shots and could easily spoil your scorecard.
The first nine is brought to conclusion by a long and strong par-four. Sentosa Golf Club’s splendid Sentosa Pavillion can be seen in the distance while during the week of the SMBC Singapore Open the view is awash with hospitality marquees and crowds. The lake on the right is a threat off the tee as are several fairway bunkers. Again, a large treacherous green can mess with your card.
This short tree lined par-four is pleasant on the eye and a definite birdie opportunity. A slight dogleg to the right it has a fairly wide landing area from the tee, although the key thing here is not to drive too far as you will find sand. Find the fairway and you will have a short iron into the green.
The dogleg right 11th is another chance for birdie, particularly for players in the SMBC Singapore Open. The fairway slopes from left to right feeding your ball into the hole, particularly if you hit your tee shot just right of the left fairway trap. Professionals normally play this hole by hitting a booming drive over the crest of the hill followed by a wedge.
The relatively easy start to the back nine comes to an abrupt end with the tough 12th. The long par-four is quite narrow and has plenty of bunkers either side of the hole that can catch your drive or second shot. The green is also a fine test of your putting skills as it is large and undulating. The members play this as a par-five.
This hole is a monster. Club selection from the tee is crucial as with water on the right and bunkers left the landing area gets narrower and narrower. If you chose a driver it will have to be hit extremely straight. The safe option is to hit a fairway wood off the tee or long iron – this of course leaves you an even longer second shot; which makes things difficult as it is a long par four.
Flanked by waters of the Singapore port on the left and a large lake wide to the right, this par-three plays long and into a testing green. Par is a good score on this hole especially if the wind is up.
An intimidating par-four and one that enhances Serapong's reputation as a championship layout. The fairway is very narrow with the sea channel running all the way down the left side. It is a long par-four that requires full concentration.
While the par-four 16th is less demanding than the previous hole it is one that can catch you out if you are not concentrating. The hole turns sharply to the left and runs down into the green and so it is imperative that your tee shot finds the landing area, leaving you a clear shot with a mid-iron to the green. A picturesque stream about 30 yards short of the green should not come into play and simply helps you enjoy the Serapong experience.
The final hole provides a fitting finish to the Serapong Course and will always lend itself to a dramatic finish in the SMBC Singapore Open. A dogleg left par-five with a lake dominating the entire left side, it is reachable in two for professionals. The hole was made famous by Argentinean Angel Cabrera in 2007 when he won Singapore’s national Open by impressively reaching the green with a driver and a massive six-iron.