Saurines Golf

Gallery
Saurines Golf
Saurines Golf
1st
1st
Protruding Pimples
Protruding Pimples
Cunningly Contoured Greens
Cunningly Contoured Greens
10th
10th
18th
18th
3rd
3rd
4th
4th
4th Green
4th Green

 

A TYPE OF COURSE WITH WHICH WE’RE NOT FAMILIAR!

Legendary golfer, Bobby Jones, was once asked for his opinion of the emerging talent of Jack Nicklaus. Jones replied “He plays a game with which I’m not familiar”. In designing Saurines Jack Nicklaus, has crafted a course the type of which, most will not be familiar!

Slivers of emerald green fairway snake between banks of ochre sand. Protruding pimples of sand waste peppered with pampas grass, strategically positioned, often in the middle of a fairway, require players to plot their preferred route to reach the putting surface.

Although labeled a desert course, the undulating fairways combined with the dunes of sand lend a distinct links flavour, somewhat reminiscent of Royal Birkdale. The dunes enclose and isolate the holes individually and to such an extent that often you will be unaware of golfers playing an adjacent hole. Exuding an eerie sense of solitude. To fully appreciate the vision of the architect when designing and contouring his creation you need only to cast a glance at the flat, barren terrain that surrounds this verdant oasis.

Such is the profusion of sand that further bunkering is minimal, mainly protective pot bunkers guarding the greens. Unusually for a Nicklaus course, there are only two lakes, albeit the main lake covers an area of 6 hectacres! This vast expanse of water is the prominent feature on three of the best holes on the course.

Only keen students of Nicklaus’ designs will notice that the course is presently not played in the sequence that it was designed, hence the reason that the 9th hole falls in the middle of the course. However, this in no way detracts from the enjoyment of the course.

Nicklaus asks questions of the players strategy and perhaps more importantly, their nerve, right from the first shot. Sandy mounds in the middle of the first fairway provide the potential of playing two different routes. The tiger line to the right requires a long and accurate drive into a narrow neck of fairway between the mounds and the towering dunes. The reward will be a straight forward short iron shot to the green. Far more fairway is available if your line left, but this turns the hole into a slight dogleg thus demanding a superlative second shot with a longer iron, which will need to be flown over bunkers to reach the raised green.

The par 5, 5th hole heralds the introduction of water. A gargantuan, glittering lake comes into play on the right 150 yards from the green and continues beyond the relatively small putting surface. Birdies will be few and far between here.

Should you have managed to keep your ball on dry land you will probably be breathing a huge sigh of relief. Don’t! Your aquaphobia isn’t allowed to abate on the long par 3, 6th hole where your tee shot, played with a wood or long iron, needs to carry the corner of the lake to land on the severely sloping green which is also fronted by an enormous expanse of sand. A devilish duo of dramatic holes indeed!

A modicum of respite is now afforded before Saurines second lake makes its appearance at the 9th. The 10th hole is a delightful picture postcard par 3, where the tee shot needs to traverse the same lake to land on a cunningly contoured green boasting borrows to bamboozle the best. Refreshingly, only a medium or even a short iron needs to plucked from your bag, but it will have to be precisely played particularly if the pin position is on the left of the putting surface. Oh, what joy it is to play a short hole which is exactly what it says...short!!

The 15th hole returns back to Saurines’ ubiquitous lake. The tee is tight against the water, which remains a conspicuous, constant companion completely along the left side of the hole alongside which the target is tightly tucked. As if the water is not threat enough, Nicklaus throws in a massive sand waste bunker to be negotiated before your drive finds the safe sanctuary of the fairway. Originally designed as the 18th, not only is this Saurines “Signature Hole”, but if the course ever returns to its correct sequence, this would prove to be a ferocious finale!

The course currently climaxes, somewhat unusually, with a peculiar par 3. Peculiar because the green is separated into two distinct plateaus by a deep gully. Nicklaus clearly had the 16th green at North Berwick in mind when he developed this dastardly design. Club selection is of paramount importance as there can be up to four clubs difference dependant on where the pin is positioned. Put your tee shot on the wrong portion of the putting surface and you will be faced with a perilous putt of prodigious proportions. God only knows what would transpire if the hole cut in the gully...Saurines Valley of Sin!!

Saurines...with its protruding pimples, towering sand dunes, green designs that would make Picasso proud, is demanding, damned good fun to play, but above all...

A TYPE OF COURSE WITH WHICH WE’RE NOT FAMILIAR!

Course Facts- 

 

  • Opened November 2010
  • Architect- Jack Nicklaus Design
  • Length- Championship Tees 7120 Yards
  •               Medal              Tees 6548 Yards
  •               Ladies             Tees 5406 Yards
  • Par 72
  • Buggies, Powered Carts, Club Hire (not pre-bookable)
  • Soft-Spikes Required

 

 

 

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