Golf: Sentosa's Serapong gets highest ranking of No. 55 on world's greatest courses

The par-71 Serapong is the highest ranked course in South-east Asia and seventh-best in Asia. PHOTO: SENTOSA GOLF CLUB

SINGAPORE - Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course has achieved its highest position in the Golf Digest World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses rankings, when it came in 55th in the latest list released on June 28.

This is an improvement of four positions from the last edition of the rankings, which are compiled biennially since 2014. The courses are graded on categories such as shot options, challenge, layout variety, memorability, aesthetics, conditioning, character and fun.

Golf Digest has a separate list for courses in the United States.

Royal County Down's championship course in Newcastle, Northern Ireland retained its No. 1, followed by Tara Iti in Mangawhai, New Zealand.

The par-71 Serapong, which hosts the annual men's Singapore Open tournament, is the highest ranked course in South-east Asia and seventh-best in Asia.

It also currently holds the title of Singapore's Best Golf Course by the World Golf Awards.

Serapong's rise in rankings comes up it underwent major renovation in 2020, which was led by Andrew Johnston, the club's general manager, director of agronomy and resident golf course designer.

He said: "Key updates to Serapong have improved playability across the course with the real game changer coming in the form of a new style of bunkering, showcasing high faces and rugged serrated edges, strengthening the routing with a stronger more intimidating look, helping to elevate the overall playing strategy.

"Further enhancements included new storm drainage and fairway recontouring, as well as the tee boxes reinstated with a tabletop flat finish and new layer of fresh Passpalum and Zoysia grasses to introduce consistency and create an elevated experience."

The 7,420 yard layout, with its fast, challenging greens with trademark contours and picturesque holes such as the par-four No. 6, received praised from players at January's Singapore Open.

Johnston felt the rankings recognition reaffirms SGC's role in maintaining Singapore's reputation as a key global tourism and business hub, as he referred to it as "probably the most significant sporting feature of the city" other than the Singapore Grand Prix.

Looking forward to climbing higher up the rankings, he added: "Our wonderful team are committed to excellence... Being a Top 100 course means there is a never ending pursuit of improvement."

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