Golfing around... Shenzhen

1 Jan 2006 by intern11

Shenzhen, an unknown fishing village on China’s southern border only 25 years ago, is now one of the leading economic powerhouses drive in the Pearl River Delta, home to a population of 12 million and producing one-seventh of the nation's total export.

Golf mania grew quickly here since China’s second gold course - Shenzhen Golf Club - was built in Shenzhen in 1985. Within one-hour's drive from Shenzhen busting city centre, there are now 12 world class golf courses to choose 12 million and producing one-seventh of the from, including the world’s biggest golf club, nations total export. Mission Hills.

It is believed that love of the sport will grow to its next level here in Shenzhen too because China’s first public golf course is located here. It has brought the cost of playing golf significantly down, turning golf from a hobby of the elite to the pastime of the people.  

Heres a shortlist of some of the best venues around the city.

Shenzhen Golf Club

Where is it? South of Xiangmihu Lake on Shennandadao Road. Approximately a 75-minute ride on the club’s shuttle bus from Hongkong; five minutes from the Huanggang or Lohu borders with Hongkong; and 20 minutes from Shekou Port. It’s right in the heart of cosmopolitan Shenzhen and a valuable piece of real estate.

What’s it like? Designed by Nelson & Haworth and built in 1985, this is China’s second golf course, but excellently preserved and managed though. It’s a Japanese-style course with venerable trees skimming the fairways and skyscrapers surrounding it. It’s known for its undulating greens. Here, speed is the major challenge.

Address: Shennandadao Road, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China.

Contact: tel 86 755 83308888, fax 86 755 83304992.

Price: For visitors, playing 18 holes costs CNY1,155 (US$143) on weekdays and CNY1,955 (US$241) on weekends and holidays. Rates are inclusive of green fees and caddy fees.

Can I hire clubs? Yes, at CNY200 (US$25) for clubs and CNY80 (US$10) for shoes.

Club hours: 0600 until dark daily.

Handicap requirements: Not required except during tournaments

Facilities: Course A, designer Nelson & Haworth, 9-hole par 36, length 3,532 yards;

Course B, designer Nelson & Haworth, 9-hole par 36, length 3,637 yards; Course C, designer Nelson & Haworth, 9-hole par 36, length 3,542 yards Other facilities include guest rooms, tennis courts, swimming pool, karaoke room, mahjong room and  billiards.

After the golf? Shenzhen is a haven for food, entertainment and shopping which can easily accessed by simply taking a cab. Head for Shennanlu or Dongmen for the action where the leisure options are vast.

Mission Hills Golf Club

Where is it? Approximately two hours by bus from Hongkong’s Central District or 20 minutes by car from the Hongkong/China border at Lowu. A return shuttle bus service is available at Kowloon Tong and Central.

What’s it like? The world’s largest, it boasts 10 18-hole par 72 courses designed by 10 world- famous golfers, including the World Cup Course designed by Jack Nicklaus which was the venue of the World Cup Final; and the Norman Course, dubbed as Asia’s most challenging course due to its omnipresent deep bunkers. This facility is part of an impressive real estate project featuring luxurious and flashy) mansions and private gardens. Your China golf itinerary isn’t complete if you haven’t teed off here.

Address: No1, Guanlan Gaoerfudadao, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China

Contact: tel 86 755 28020888, fax 86 755 28015458, email info@missionhillsgroup, www.missionhillsgroup.com

Price: For hotel guests, playing 18 holes costs CNY1,210 (US$149) on weekdays and CNY1,760 (US$217) for weekends and holidays. The nine-hole course’s playing costs is CNY825 (US$102) on weekdays and CNY1,100 (US$136) for weekends and holidays. Rates cover green fees and caddy fees. There’s also a lighting surcharge for CNY260 (US$32) for 18 holes and CNY130 (US$16) for nine holes.

Can I hire clubs? Yes, CNY220 (US$ 27) for clubs and CNY55 (US$7) for shoes.

Club hours? 0606-2356.

Handicap requirements: 27 or better for male members; 36 or better for female members

Facilities: World Cup Course by designer Jack Nicklaus, 18-hole par 72, length 7,104 yards;

Vijay Course, designed by Vijay Singh, 18-hole par 72, length 7,006 yards; Faldo Course, designed by Nick Faldo, 18-hole par 72, length 7,031 yards;

Ozaki Course, designed by Jumbo Ozaki, 18-hole par 72, length 7,014 yards; Els Course, designed by Ernie Els, 18-hole par 72, length 7,049 yards;

Annika Course, designed by Annika Sorenstam,18-hole par 72, length 6,073 yards; Duval Course, designed by David Duval, 18-hole par 72, length 7,000 yards; Olazabal Course, designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, 18-hole par 72, length 7,356 yards;

Leadbetter Course, designed by David Leadbetter, 18-hole par 72, length 6,962 yards; and Norman Course, designed by Greg Norman, 18-hole par 72, length 7,172 yards. Other facilities include a five-star hotel, serviced apartments, seven restaurants, badminton courts, tennis courts, a golf academy, archery court, outdoor and indoor swimming pools, foot massage salon, spa and conference and banquet rooms.

After the golf: One can look forward to outlets serving delicious western and Chinese cuisines as well as a spa (opened in August) with men and women’s sections, both offering make overs in an elegant and tranquil environment.

Shenzhen Longgang Public Golf Course

Where is it? Take east bound Shuiguan Expressway, exiting after the Longgang Toll Station. The course is to the northwest of the toll station in the huge Longgang Sports Park, adjacent to the cycling tracks.

What’s it like? Longgang is the first public golf course in China. This course does not practice a membership and guest system. The fee that it charges is very low and yet, it offers excellent value. There are a total of 27 holes spanning a total length of 10,532 yards. The course is built at the foothills of a mountain along a small creek. While most holes are on friendly slopes, there are some that actually command significant change in altitude, creating an excellent environment for training players of all levels. Some holes in course A are so challenging that even the average professional player finds it hard to perform within regulations.

Address: He’ao village, Henggang town, Longgang district, Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China.

Contact: tel 86 755 28937188, fax 86 755 28937228, www.xxxxxxx.cn

Price: For the 18-hole course, it costs CNY280 (US$35) on weekdays and CNY370 (US$46) for weekends and holidays. For the nine-hole course, it’s CNY190 (US$23) on weekdays and CNY230 (US$28) for weekends and holidays. Rates include green fees and caddy fees.

Can I hire clubs? Yes, at CNY130 (US$16) for clubs and CNY30 (US$4) for shoes.

Club hours? Opens 0600 and 630 and closes between 1600 and 1700, depending on the season.

Handicap Requirements: not required.

Facilities: Courses A, B and C have been designed by LCW, 27-hole par 108, length 10,532 yards. Other facilities include a driving range, Chinese and western restaurants, guestrooms, spa, karaoke, banquet rooms and a pro shop.

After the golf: Despite being a public facility, there is a good hotel with restaurants serving hearty and tasty local dishes.

Shenzhen Tycoon Golf Club

Where is it? The club is 15 minutes driving distance from the Shenzhen Baoan International Airport of the Fuyong Port. Take a cab or the club shuttle bus. Take Highway 107 or the Guangshen Expressway, continue north after exiting at the Hezhou or Hezhoulu exit.

What’s it like? Formerly the Baori Golf Club, this 27-hole golf course complex was built by the Japanese and later sold to the China Travel International Investment HK which remodeled it. With uniform terrain and wide fairways, the 18 holes in courses A and B remain largely what they have been and invite brilliant results. Course C, however, has been renovated to include more challenges. Water hazards can be found practically in every hole. Many a golfer has balked at Hole number 1 and the dogleg number 4 on course C. The last hole is a par-4 with a mere length of 300 yards. It’s not an easy finish either. To reach the green in regulation requires two shots over water. If you can take the risk, just have your second shot crossing the lake to a green located right at the lake’s edge. The gorgeous lake scenery, from the tee to the green along the entire right side, makes the hole one of the best finishing holes in China. And these last nine holes are even more charming than those in the more famous Mission Hills Golf Club.  

Address: Jiu Wei, Xi Xiang Town, Baoan District, Shenzhen, China.

Contact: tel 86 755 27483999, fax 86 755 27483787, email: [email protected],

Price: For visitors, it costs CNY620 (US$77) to play 18 holes on weekdays and CNY1,250 (USD154) on weekends and holidays. And for an additional nine-hole course, it costs CNY305 (US$38) on weekdays and CNY625 (US$77) on weekends and holidays. Rates include green fees and caddy fees. There is a lightning surcharge of CNY216 (US$27) for 18 holes and CNY108 (US$13) for nine hole.

Can I hire clubs? Yes, at CNY260 (US$32) for clubs and CNY50 (USD$) for shoes.

Club hours: 0545-2100 daily. During weekends and public holidays, visitors can play only before 0830 or after 1230.

Handicap requirements: Not required except during tournaments.

Facilities: Course A par 36, length 3,550 yards desiged by Japanese architect Shikazo Uehara; course B par 36, length 3,459 yards, also designed by Shikazo Uehara; course C par 36 3,636 yards designed by Bob McFarland. Other facilities include a clubhouse, driving range, golf library, swimming pool, tennis court, spa and massage, restaurants, mini theater, cigar room, golfer’s lounge, mahjong room, billiard and function room.

After the golf? Relax at the various lounges of the clubhouse, which has received a number of awards for its interior design. The Ju Bao House restaurant offers fine Chinese style dining in a stately décor with black and gold as the key colour scheme.

Xili Golf and Country Club

Where is it? The club is a 30-minute car ride from the Shekou Port and 45 minutes away from Shenzhen city centre. It runs an hourly shuttle bus between the Huanggang border and the club as well as one that connects to Shekou Port to coincide with the ferry schedule. When driving, take Guangshen Expressway and exit for Tanglang to the northeast.

What’s it like? A 36-hole championship course with a southern California style with coconut trees and plenty of lake vistas lining the fairways. Designed by Lynx architects Nelson, Wright and Haworth, the course is studded with water hazards on hilly terrain and requires a good deal of negotiating. The course and the country club is managed by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. It is one of the best maintained golf courses in Shenzhen, despite the fact that the property was developed quite a number of years ago. The mountain and lake views are wonderfully soothing and offers the atmosphere of a hide-away enclave in the middle of a busy city.

Address: Tang Lang Village, Xili District, Nam Shan, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China

Contact: tel 86 755 26552888, fax 86 755 26559793, email [email protected],www.xiligolf.com

Price: Guests using the 18 hole course pay CNY671 (US$83) on weekdays and CNY1,294 (US$160) on weekends and holidays. Prices include green fees and caddy fees.

Can I hire clubs? Yes, it’s CNY259 (US$32) for clubs and CNY97 (US$12) for shoes.

Club hours: 0700-1800 daily.

Handicap requirements: Not required except during tournaments.

Facilities: First 18 holes par 72, length 6,673 yards; second 18 holes par 72 6,565 yards. Other facilities include a Chinese and western restaurant, golf library, game room, outdoor Jacuzzi, health club, function room, karaoke, indoor and outdoor children’s playground, swimming pools and tennis courts

After the golf: A round of beer while soaking in the outdoor Jacuzzi and enjoying the fresh breeze and expansive views of nearby mountains is an excellent way to end the day. The Shenzhen Zoo and the theme park Window on the World is nearby.

CITIC Green Golf Club

Where is it? Accessible by an hourly shuttle bus service, provided by the club, from the Huanggang Border between 0700 and 1900. If driving from Huanggang, take Meiguan Expressway and then change to Jihe Expressway towards Huizhou. Exit at Longgang exit, turn right on Baohe Road towards the direction of Pingshan. From Lohu, take Shuiguan Expressway, exit at Longgang exit, turn to Baohe Road towards the direction of Pingshan.

What’s it like? CITIC Green Golf Club is located in the heart of a botanic garden. As a matter of fact, it is part of a US$32 million gigantic city environment preservation and residential project that has attracted the business community. The club offers a challenging 27 holes championship course on the hillside, and a nine-hole course built on islets in the lake. It is strongly recommended to break up the 36 holes into two or three games for it would have been a pity to rush through the game without the pleasure of strolling through the wonderful garden with its dazzling array of flora. The lake course itself is both fun and challenging, with each ball flying from one islet to another. To top this, light reflections at night from water surfaces in the lake course offers a uniquely surreal experience. The courses are designed by Chinese golf architect Liang Guo Kun.

Where is it? Zhiwuyuan distric?Zhiwuyuan Road, Longgang town, Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China.

Contact: tel 86 755 84845555, fax 86 755 84822300, www.china-golf.com

Price: For visitors, it costs CNY830 (US$103) to play on the 18-hole course on weekdays and CNY 1,450 (US$179) on weekends and holidays, while on the nine-hole course, it’s CNY560 (US$69) on weekdays and CNY760 (US$94) on weekends and holidays.  Price are inclusive of green fees and caddy fees. The lighting surcharge of CNY90 (US$11) for the nine holes is applicable.

Can I hire clubs? Yes, at CNY280 (US$35) for clubs CNY57 (US$7) for shoes.

Club hours? 0600-2100, maximum time for 18 holes is four hours and 15 minutes.

Handicap requirements: Not required except during tournaments.

Facilities: These include a five-star hotel, driving range, restaurants, fitness centre, function room, conference room, golf shop, spa and massage.

After the golf? The club house and guest rooms are wood cabins done up in shades of green, offering full exposure to nature while not forgetting modern comfort. Food served at the hotel restaurants are good. If you have time to spare, check out the fishing club next door. It also belongs to CITIC group which owns the course, and offers a full range of fishing gear and activities. There is also a message centre nearby offering Chinese, Thai and other styles of therapeutic massage.

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