Situated on a spectacular stretch of Saipan’s eastern shoreline, Kingfisher Golf Links is a glorious Graham Marsh design that caresses the outline of the coast, with fairways set out across a cliff top property which overlooks the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.
Measuring 6,651 yards from the back markers and playing to a par of 72, Kingfisher (named after the dazzling electric blue-winged bird) is fashioned as a links-like layout, albeit with a tropical twist, incorporating natural rock formations into the routing.
The 100-yard par 6th is a fabulous little drop shot par three, followed immediately by a tricky left doglegged short par four at the 7th. On the back nine, holes 14 to 16 fall down a level onto a wide coastal ledge that runs between Suan Juan Beach and Jeffrey’s Beach before a couple of strong par four finishing holes complete the round further inland.
Tom Doak was impressed with his visit here, saying: “Although other courses in the islands are more widely celebrated – perhaps because they advertise more – I was most smitten by Kingfisher. Obviously built on a budget, it has a bit of a minimalist appeal with relatively few bunkers or frills, but it’s tight enough to make players think twice about aggressive play… Kingfisher has a lot to like.”