Golfing around... Shanghai

30 Apr 2006 by intern11

This hub has it all, including a spectacular range of golf courses, many within a one-hour car drive, report Zhang Lie Bing & Catherine Lim.

Where business thrives, can golf be far behind? Obviously it does, in and around Shanghai, the best hub in China known to business travellers. Within a one-hour (car-ride) radius of the city centre, there are 20 golf courses to choose from, many of them amongst the most exclusive to be found in the country. Fortunately, prices remain quite attractive – for over US$100 and one can tee off in a rarefied environment that boasts sculptures and works of art. We have short-listed some of the best courses around the city for your selection.


Where is it? Twenty minutes from either of the city two terminals: Pudong International Airport and Hongqiao Airport. It is located at the exit of the Outer Ring Road and Inner Ring Road, only 4km from Nanpu Bridge and Yangpu Bridge, and 1km from the eastern terminus (Zhangjiang Hi-Tech) of Line 2 of the Shanghai Metro.

What’s it like? The club is the only golf resort in Shanghai’s urban centre. About US$100 million has reportedly been invested the course, which is surrounded by luxurious villas. With wonderful facilities and services, this landscaped leisure complex is a true landmark in the Pudong district. Designed by Shunsuke Kato, the course exudes a typically Japanese feel with attention to detail. The fairways and its surroundings blend harmoniously, although those lovely residences could exert undue pressure as you wouldn’t want to lose your golf balls in someone’s backyard!    

Address: 1 Longdong Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai, China.

Contact: tel 86 21 5833 8888, fax 86 21 5833 9700, email [email protected], www.tomson-golf.com

Price: For guests playing the 18-hole course on weekdays, it’s CNY680 (US$84), and on weekend and holidays, it’s CNY980 (USD121) for weekends and holidays. Green and caddy fees are included.

Can I hire clubs? CNY120 (US$15) for clubs and CNY40 (US$5) for shoes.

Club hours?  Sunrise till sunset.  Open daily except Monday.

Handicap requirements: Under 36 and no group should have more than three people who have a handicap of more than 30.

Facilities: A par-72 18 holes at length 7,337 yards. Facilities include a clubhouse, restaurants, cafés, driving lanes, golf shop, tennis courts, fitness centre, sauna rooms, swimming pools, VIP lounge, and conference room.

After the golf? Don’t miss the Century Park and Riverside Avenue, both outstanding landmarks of Pudong. 

Shanghai Silport Golf Club

Where is it? It’s a mere 30 minutes from the downtown, via the newly-opened Huqingping Expressway, and it’s roughly the same time frame from Gubei district, via the A9 Highway to A30 Highway (Jiading direction), out of Daying toll gate.

What’s it like? Opened in 1997, this is the only 27-hole course in Shanghai. Next to Dianshan Lake, SSGC is nestled in the intersection of Shanghai, Kunshan and Suzhou. Members include high-ranking executive officers of a host of international corporations such as BMW, Toyota, Citibank, HSBC, and Standard Chartered. It’s the only course to have hosted six consecutive Volvo China Open events in China, cementing its reputation overseas and ensuring a slot on the list of Asia’s top golf courses.

Designed by Bobby Martin, the attraction is crisscrossed by lakes and brooks and also features a desert-type area. Cold-resistant grass has been planted to maintain the lushness of the course even in winter. Its Center Course Hole 8 is one of the top 10 holes in China with 36 (count ‘em) Ming and Qing dynasty sculptures, belonging to the amazing collection of SSGC chairman Beta Soong, dotting parts of the course.

Address: 1 Xubao Road, Dianshanhu Town, Kunshan, Jiangsu, China.

Contact: tel 86 512 5748 1111, fax 86 512 5748 0067, email [email protected], www.silport.com.cn  

Price: Guests have to be introduced by members, and to play on the 18-hole course, they must pay CNY900 (US$111) on weekdays, CNY1,200 (US$148) on weekends and holidays and CNY560 (US$69) on Wednesday and Thursday (Golf Day and Ladies’ Day respectively).

Can I hire clubs? CNY150 (US$18) for clubs and CNY50 (US$6) for shoes.

Club hours: Sunrise till sunset. It is open daily.

Handicap requirements:  36 or better.

Facilities: A 27 hole at lengths 3,383, 3,594, and 3,283, yards. Other facilities include driving lanes, restaurants, golf shop, steam sauna rooms and car park.

After the golf? The Spanish-style club house has a large banquet area, accommodating more than 200 guests. Chinese, Japanese and western food is available. There are also three smaller meeting rooms – choose the third one for its great view.


Where is it? A 20-minute drive from the downtown, via Huqingping Expressway.

What’s it like? Designed by Nelson & Haworth, the course is anything but dull. It features thousand-year old gingko trees, an ancient canal and quarry, undulating fairways and a clubhouse styled like a Tuscany villa.

Dog legs can be found easily on this 7,140-yard 18-hole. Forests, formed by many different species of trees, are also everywhere. The grass is of the highest quality, and the ball rolls quickly on the greens. Three of the holes are particularly memorable. On the left of the par-3 No 4 is the ancient canal, where old sampans drift slowly towards the villages located at the foot of the mountain.

The two gingko trees next to the greens make you feel that you can actually touch history. The par-4 No 16 and the par-3 No 17 are the signature holes, which play around and over the quarry, giving the golfer an awe-inspiring view while requiring great golf shots.       

Address: Lane 288, Linyin New Avenue, Sheshan National Tourism Resort, Shanghai, China.

Contact: tel 86 21 57798088, fax 86 21 57798006; email: [email protected], www.sheshangolf.com

Price: For guests, it costs CNY780 (US$96) to play the 18-hole course on weekdays and CNY980 (USD121) on weekends and holidays with green and caddy fees included.

Can I hire clubs? CNY150 to CNY300 (US$18 to US$36) for clubs and CNY60 (US$7) for shoes.

Club hours?  Sunrise till sunset.  

Handicap requirements:  26 or better.

Facilities: A par-72 18 hole at length 7,140 yards. Other facilities include golf academy, driving lanes, restaurants, pro shop, cigar bars, sauna room, tennis courts and indoor swimming pools.

After the golf? Having a barbeque and beer in the open is wonderful. The course is located within the Sheshan National Tourism Resort. Nearby are the Sheshan Catholic Church and Moon Lake.


Where is it? Located in the southeastern side of Pudong, a 20-minute drive from the Pudong International Airport and a 50-minute drive from downtown. It’s well linked by highway and the Maglev train. Members and their guests without transportation have the option to hop on daily shuttle buses departing from the Lujiazui driving range or take the other shuttle service from the city centre which leave four times throughout the day for the golf club.

What’s it like? Slated for a total of 54 holes when fully completed next year, Binhai aims to be the largest golf course in Shanghai. It opened in 2000, starting with the 18-hole “Fairy Lake Course”, with all the features expected of typical links, followed  last year by a second 18-hole “Forest Course”. The last phase is the 9-hole “Marsh Course”.

The “Fairy Lake Course” is built on a 3.7km stretch of flat land by the sea. A top view from the clubhouse presents a flat unthreatening course.  You feel the menace of the 147 bunkers only when you are out there. Take a tip from your caddy whose first and last warning will most certainly be: “beware of bunkers”.

Most of these are set at between 220 to 250 yards from the tees where most amateurs’ balls would land. They are clearly visible from the tee but become “invisible” when you look back from the green.  

This is because these bunkers are half-standing at over one metre deep leaning towards the green. Imagine how difficult it will be to get your balls out, not to mention the strong wind! Nonetheless, the club is one of the most popular among expatriates, who make up half of its current membership.

Address: Binhai Tourism Resort, Pudong, Shanghai, China.

Contact: tel 86 21 5805 8888, fax 86 21 58058588, www.binhaigolf.com.

Price: For visitors, it’s CNY400 (US$50) on weekdays, CNY400 from 0615 to 0715a (“early bird” period) and CNY800 (US$100) from 0716 to 1415 for weekends and holidays. The caddie fees are CNY100/120/140 (US$12/15/17) depending on the “grade” of the individual, while an additional CNY30 (US$4) will be charged to reserve one. Cart rental is CNY120 (US$15) for one golfer’s use and CNY80 (US$10) for two.

Can I rent clubs? CNY200 to CNY500 (US$25 to US$62) for clubs and CNY50 (US$6) for shoes.

Club hours? Sunrise till sunset. It’s open daily.

Handicap requirements: Not required but golfers are asked to finish 18 holes within four hours and 20 minutes.

Facilities: A par-72 18 hole “Fairy Lake Course” and a par-72 18 holes “Forest Course” designed by Peter Thomson. Other facilities include driving range, members’ restaurant, members' lounge, VIP rooms, multi-purposes function room, golf shop, and the Binhai Golf Hotel.

After the golf? A galaxy of Chinese and western dishes, gourmet cuisine and selected vintage wines are available, including the “East and West Banquets” and “Exotic and Asian Style Buffet”. An outdoor barbecue terrace and a cocktail lounge are other hangout options.


Where is it? Located in the new Luodian North European Town. A 30-minute drive from the People’s Square. The A 30 Outer Ring Road is situated 1km from the club and connects to all major destinations such as Pudong International Airport. The A 20 Inner Ring Road is approximately 6km from the club along the Hutai Road, which connects to Huijia, Huning and Huhang Highways.

What’s it like? Designed by Peter Thompson, the course is the only USGA -standard 36 holes in Shanghai, and places strong emphasis on ecology and landscape conservation. The area is divided into the “North Forest” 18 holes and the “South Lakes” 18 holes. With expansive lakes and great undulations, the South Course is reminiscent of Scotland, the birthplace of golf. It features lakes, flower bed areas, subtly rolling greens and bridges, as well as the breathtaking waterfalls beside the 16th green. Be aware that the greens are rather unpredictable: you never how your ball rolls on them. Amateurs like us found it difficult to finish a hole in regulation.

The North “Forest” course is still under construction, and when finished is intended to complement the South Course. In the interest of safe and ecology, the course boasts its own thunder detection mechanism, sewage disposal factory, and a “siphonal drainage system”. Due to these nature sustaining efforts, it’s the lone Asian course recognised by the National Audubon Society of the US.

Address: 6655, Hutai Road (9, Inner Meilan Lake Road), Baoshan District, Shanghai, China.

Contact: tel 86 21 5659 0008, fax 86 21 5659 0001, www.lakemalarengolf.com

Price: For visitors playing the 18 hole course, it costs CNY780 (US$96) on weekdays (Tuesday is Ladies’ Day, when female golfers only pay RM$480/US$59) and CNY1,100 (US$136) on weekends and holidays. Prices include green and caddy fees.

Can I hire clubs? CNY200 (US$25) for clubs and CNY50 (US$6) for shoes.  

Club hours? Sunrise till sunset. It’s open daily.

Handicap requirements: 40 or better.

Facilities: The South Course is a par-72 18 hole at length 7,248 yards. Other facilities include a five-star hotel, driving lanes, restaurants, cafés, cigar bars, sauna rooms, tennis courts and VIP lounge.

After the golf? Tuck in at the coffee bar with a or dine at the Chinese restaurant furnished in the antique style. Nearby are the Nobel Science and Technology Garden, “North Europe Street” and Meilan Lake.

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