San Roque New Course – playing tips from a Pro

These playing tips are kindly provided by Garry Corkish, resident APGA teaching professional at San Roque Club, and are based on you playing from the yellow plates.

Data permitting, why don’t you have this page open on your smartphone and refer to it as you play your way around the New Course.

A traffic light system is used to help to simplify the tips:

RED – ‘Danger’ – play safe always
AMBER – ‘Caution’ – play a defensive shot
GREEN – ‘Attack’ – go for the pin or a big drive

Front 9


Hole 1

A good drive at the right side of the left fairway bunker is important here as a missed fairway right is dead. Also, the ground kicks the ball to the right, a good drive should leave you about 120 yards to the green.

If flag is left, it’s a definite attack but if tucked behind the bunker on the right unless you have a wedge in your hand you should always run the ball onto green on left and take a two putt for par.

If you make an error on the distance on this approach always make it short as over the back of this green is dead and you will never see your ball again!!

Hole 2

First par five. Distance is not crucial here as the further you drive the closer to the trees you end up and on this hole to set up a birdie your second shot is the most important.

Another drive down the left keeps the long bunker out of play.

Hole 3

The first of 3 tight tee shots on the front nine. A baby fade or 3 wood down the right side gives you the best chance of birdie or safe par on this hole but a driver going left is likely to end up OOB.

The green is very long front to back but also very narrow so accuracy is key for second shot. I normally go with two clubs too much and hit a gentle 9 o’clock shot to ensure accuracy.

Hole 4

A fantastic par three with no bail out area so club selection is crucial!

Downhill and when wind is up, a par is a good score any day!

Bunkers left and right but steep banks make them very tricky so high soft bunker shot with spin is only way to avoid a bogey.

This hole can ruin your score if not played with extreme caution.

Hole 5

Second tight tee shot on front nine. You need to defend with tee shot by a gentle fade or down the right to take advantage of the slope which kicks the ball into centre of fairway.

Then attack with second shot but green runs away from you so unless a clean strike is achieved the ball tends to run through.

Hole 6

Last of the tight tee shots on front nine. A typical risk v reward par four.

A fairway wood or driving iron/hybrid is a good choice from the tee which should leave you a mid to high iron into another green that slopes away from you.

Hole 7

Good par five and the fairway is a lot wider than it looks from the tee, so an attacking tee shot gets you a good distance for your second shot.

Your second shot from the fairway needs to favour the right side of a generous fairway sloping from right to left which kicks ball back towards the water.

This should set you up with a scoring iron for your third to set up a good birdie chance.

Hole 8

Typical Perry Dye par three design, with railway sleepers forming the banks of a long, large bunker.

A large green which invites an aggressive shot to set up, hopefully a second birdie in a row! Nice bail out area to the right but from here the chip is very tricky.

Hole 9

Magnificent par four to complete the front nine.

A good drive favouring the left side gives you a better chance of hitting the green with a mid to long iron into a green protected both sides with pot bunkers and water!

Hole 1 | Hole 2 |Hole 3 |Hole 4 |Hole 5 |Hole 6 |Hole 7 |Hole 8 |Hole 9 |

Back 9


Hole 10

Typical risk v reward hole to start the back nine so a fairway wood or hybrid down the left side avoids the large bunker protecting the green. Short and right into fairway bunker is dead and double bogey or more is expected from here.

A good shot down the left rewards the accurate golfer with a short iron into a sloping green back to front.

Secret here is to attack with second shot to set up a good birdie chance.

Hole 11

Long par 5 with quite an elevation change so club selection is important for 2nd and 3rd shots.

A high aggressive drive is needed if you want to have a short scoring iron into the green.

Also, you rarely get a flat lie on this hole so adjustments are needed to secure accuracy.

Hole 12

Short par 4, birdie chance with accurate tee shot down the left always to avoid long bunker and OOB on right.

If wind behind only a 3 wood to avoid pot bunker in centre of fairway plus if you get too close to the green with tee shot it’s harder to stop the ball on a tricky green that slopes away from you.

Hole 13

Long par 3. Wind strength and direction will determine how you play this hole.

No wind? It’s a positive green-attacking shot off the tee with a mid to long iron or hybrid.

Wind strong off right or left or in face? It’s play as par 4 and be happy!

One of the largest bunkers on this course!

Hole 14

One of the hardest holes on the New Course so although caution is needed you still need to be aggressive with tee shot to ensure 2nd shot is not too long as green is very well protected with water on right and dead grass hollows in bail out area.

This hole separates the men from the boys as to secure par you either need a great chip from left of green or a brave shot just left of the water with a long iron. Wind is normally into your face for this hole so a 5 can be a good score.

Hole 15

Uphill par 4. Another difficult hole, the drive needs to favour the left side to get the kick back onto the fairway as bunkers are left and right. But an aggressive drive will set up a good chance to have just a 5/6 iron into another well protected green.

Too far left with iron shot brings a tall tree into play; and 5 yards to the right the ball rolls down into a grassy area where a tricky up and down is needed to save par.

The perfect iron into this green is a high fade over the tree to get a soft landing as green is also sloping away from you.

Hole 16

Last par 5 on the New Course and a reasonable chance for birdie as it is downhill.

A good high drive favouring the left side will reward the player with a good chance of getting to green with a fairway wood on 2nd shot.

Small pot bunker in front of green needs to be avoided to set up your eagle chance.

If not, only a short pitch is required to set up your birdie chance.

Hole 17

Nice par 3 from elevated tee and aggressive tee shot rewards you with a good birdie chance.

Club selection is the key on this tricky hole.

Avoiding bunkers left and right is crucial on this hole as accuracy is the key.

Hole 18

Magnificent finishing hole on the New Course with every area of your game questioned for you to make a solid par. A pro would take par on this hole any day of the week!!

A long drive down the left gets you at the right angle to attack the green as its very close to water on the right and a nasty bail out area on the left leaves you a tight lie into an elevated green with no chance of putting or chipping!

If you are protecting a good score, then an iron short and straight should get you a 5 possible 4 with a good chip. If you are having a bad day you may as well have a go and try to make birdie or par and accept a wet ball!!

Hole 10 |Hole 11 |Hole 12 |Hole 13 |Hole 14 |Hole 15 |Hole 16 |Hole 17 |Hole 18 |

Want to improve your game? For details of a 9-hole playing lesson on the New Course with Garry Corkish or a fastrack tuition week please take a look here