Review and Rating of Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe in Santa Fe New Mexico
Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe was a pleasant surprise – reasonable rates, some great holes, fun and fair, excellent condition, friendly service, and panoramic views of the Sangre de Cristos, Jemex, Ortiz, and Sandia mountains – hard to beat all of that. And it's not surprising that Travel & Leisure named the course as "top three big little courses in the United States."
Marty Sanchez was designed by Baxter Spann and opened for play in 1988. Located about 8 miles from downtown Santa Fe, the course is owned and operated by the City of Santa Fe. Baxter built Marty Sanchez in the middle of the desert and as such the fairways meander through gently rolling desert terrain with native cottonwood, juniper and piñon trees and if you miss the fairway and rough you'll be among desert flora such as yucca, chamiso and cholla. And if you're lucky you'll spot jackrabbits, owls, squirrels, and more native wildlife. A round of golf here is scenic, peaceful and quiet – no homes, no barking dogs, no sirens – it's just you and nature and your fellow golfers.
When we played the bent grass greens were near perfect and a real joy to putt – except for the subtle breaks and challenging pin placement on the side of a ridge, cut into the slope, or near the edge of the green. Three putts were common for me. The greens are about average size, a variety of shapes, hold the ball well, and were running true and at a great speed of around 9 to 10. Some of the greens are raised and the majority are guarded by one or two bunkers.
The fairways at Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe were also in excellent condition and range from somewhat tight to wide open. The rough was cut a little thick but playable – miss that and your in the natural area. The fairways are gently rolling and contoured.
The bunkers need some TLC – along the edges they had weeds and growth. The sand is firm and gritty and compact, which was probably due to all the recent rain. The bunkers range from small to some big bad monsters.
In addition to the scenery, peace and quiet, and great conditions, Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe is home to some very fun holes, some of which include:
#1 sets the stage for your round and gives you a sample of what you're up against – it's a 565 yard par 5 with a slight dog leg right along a somewhat tight fairway leading to a green with a big left side bunker
#8 is a 425 yard par 4 that is downhill to a green with 2 bunkers on the left side
#13 is a fun 550 yard par 5 with an elevated tee box, a downhill drive, then left and up to a green with a big long bunker on the left side of the green plus a small pot bunker
#18 is a fantastic finishing hole – another elevated tee box, a cluster of three bunkers in your landing zone, and a tough approach to a green with a pond and a long bunker on the right and other bunker on the left
Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe is also home to a nine hole par 3 course which also doubles as a nine holeFootGolf course – you use a soccer ball and try to sink in an oversized cup!
Bottom line – Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe is a must play – fun, fair but challenging, great greens, very good conditions, and reasonable rates.