Avery undulating and hugely enjoyable parkland course that has benefitted hugely from a major overhaul.
Known locally as the 'Commando course' thanks to being founded and designed by British Royal Marines back in 1967, the Sembawang Country Club is a hugely enjoyable up and down affair with narrow fairways, blind tee shots and clever bunkering. A extensive refurbishment has allowed the course to keep pace with some of its more illustrious competitors, and the improved drainage means that the days of playing on muddy cowgrass are hopefully long gone. In place, you get Bermuda grass fairways that cope well with the rain; at the time of writing (June 2012), the renovations are ongoing and so far only the opening nine is open for play.
The opening hole gives a flavour of what's to come, a medium length uphill par-4 whose narrow, sloping fairway sits on the side of a hill. You'll immediately be wishing you took advantage of the onsite driving range. Your approach from a side-lie is largely blind to the dangers lurking around the green which sits at the top of the hill. While the fairway at the par-5 3rd has a more open feel, the lake around which it dog-legs means that you can't just hit the big dog with impunity, although there are rewards for being brave and cutting off as much as the water as you can from the tee. It's followed by another par-5 where you have to carry a stream that crosses the fairway, and a large fairway bunker lurks in the distance. The 6th is an enjoyable downhill par-3 where the kidney shaped green is protected by some stylish bunkers; the hole falls away sharply behind the putting surface so going too long can make for a very tough chip back. That's also the case at the easier par-3 8th, where you can avoid the bunkers as long as you are reasonably straight and hopefully pick up a shot ahead of the closing hole, another heavily undulating par-4 where a downhill tee shot towards the clubhouse needs to be followed by an uphill approach to a well-protected green.
This new version of the course is certainly an improvement on its predecessor, and although it is too early to tell how well the new turf will cope over time the course is currently in excellent condition and the greens much faster than they used to be. The two storey clubhouse features a Golfer's Terrace serving local and international food, a sports bar equipped with Karaoke, as well as gym, jacuzzi, swimming pool, slot machines and a playroom for kids. Although there are currently only 9 holes open at Sembawang Country Club, they are a hugely enjoyable challenge and playing them twice to make up a full round doesn't feel disappointing. If anything, you're grateful for the chance to learn from your mistakes.
Like the sound of this course? Secure a tee time and take advantage of the discounted green fees on offer by adding Sembawang Country Club Course to your Singapore golf holiday package.