J P McManus, Dermot Desmond and John Magnier, the Irish billionaire owners of Sandy Lane, decided to completely renovate the property and its grounds when they acquired the resort in 1997 and so it closed for three years to allow the old buildings to be demolished then rebuilt. During this time, the original 18-hole golf course that was laid out in 1961 was reduced to a new 9-hole layout called the Old nine and Tom Fazio created two new 18-hole courses.
The Country Club was first to open in 2001 and it’s accessible to all golfers. The Green Monkey opened three years later but its tee times are only available to residents of Sandy Lane. Country Club fairways have a resort feel to them and they undergo a number of subtle changes in elevation over the course of a round.
The layout offers solid, if unspectacular golf, though there are a number of memorable holes such as the 195-yard par three 9th, where tee shots are played from an elevated position across a pond to a rather uninviting green, all under the watchful gaze of other golfers in the clubhouse.
The German team of Bernhard Langer and Marcel Siem won the World Cup on the Country Club course in 2006, overcoming the Scottish two-man team in a play-off. This was the second time the Germans had triumphed in this competition since its inception in 1952 and, funnily enough, Bernhard Langer was a member of the other winning team, partnering Torsten Giedeon to victory in Orlando in 1990.Visitors should note that the hire of carts and caddies is mandatory when playing the Country Club course.
A very exclusive club with welcoming and helpful staff. We enjoyed a lovely round here. The course is not particularly challenging, but is in pristine condition. Caddies are mandatory, and we enjoyed Apple and Levi who inspired us to great golf and provided excellent banter along the way. It is a pricey place to play, but worth every cent. Highly recommended.