Golf Courses in Beijing, China
Course-by-Course Introduction to Golf in-&-around the 2008 Olympic City of Beijing!
Beijing International Golf Club
When the Beijing International Golf Club was first advertised, many proudly touted that the course had thirteen holes where water hazard was the main obstacle, despite the fact that it being in an area of perennial water shortage. Today, under the spell of El Nino or for any other reasons golf course investors choose not to talk about, the problem of water shortage actually applies to much of China and the rest of the world in general, and the tag line has since taken a bit of a bitter twist.
Situated north of the Ming Tomb Reservoir which is about an hour’s drive from downtown Beijing, this 18-hole Par-72 6,990-yard was designed by Japan Golf Promotion Inc.
It is a mature course with many undulating large greens and quite a few threatening OB’s in addition to the main course feature of water holes.
Distant mountain range bodes well for those who appreciate its beauty and majesty, for it is here that generations of Emperors of past Dynasties chose to be laid to rest for its good Feng Shui. The most memorable hole is the Par-4 405-yard Hole#7 which has streams of water after the tee box and before the green as well. The fairways are lined with tall trees adding hazards up in the air. The scenic view of this part of the course is always a consolation to a less than satisfactory shot here.
Beijing CBD International Golf Club
Not to be confused with the Beijing Golf Club or the Beijing International Golf Club, the Beijing CBD International Golf Club uses Bluegrass for the fairways and is a ‘Members-Only’ club. Measuring 7,300 yards long, one of its more potent sell-points appears to be its relatively central location – being only 8 minutes’ drive away from the landmark China World Trade Tower in downtown Beijing, according to some drivers.
Designed by Brit Stenson, the course is distinguished by its large water areas and long bunkers. Water is in play on 17 holes and the fate of the eventual winner is often at its mercy. To cap it all it also has a classic island green to match the thrills and spills of the more illustrous others. In 2006, this 18-hole Par-72 and the only TPC (Tournament Players Club – A network of golf clubs created with spectator golf in mind. TPC Sawgrass, home of the PLAYERS Championship, is the flagship club.) in Asia successfully hosted the Volvo Junior Open Championship. Later this year (2008), it will go one step further to stage the Volvo China Open which is one of the links sanctioned by the European Tour.
Pine Valley Golf Resort & Country Club
As we update, Pine Valley Golf is staging for the second year running the Beijing Open, and the Beijing Open 2008 is the tournament co-sanctioned for the first time by the Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation and China Golf Association. It is also for the first time that a JGTO tournament is staged outside Japan. Such is the prestige attached to the club as a host. In the previous edition of the Beijing Open, it featured Jack Nicklaus, the course designer, and John Daly, to name a few of the ‘who’s who’ in the scene. In addition it also hosted the inaugural Volkswagen Masters and the Johnnie Walker Classic in 2005. These exposures have certainly brought greater fame to this very private club which incorporates golf with up-market property investment of a very large scale.
Situated in Changping District, some 55 kilometers west of the business center of Beijing, Pine Valley Golf covers an area over 1,000 acres. It consists of the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course and a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus II Links Course, the latter of which is the venue for the current tournament being staged there. The course layout for the Links Course is of course very open. The fairways are not particularly wide but the mostly flat and mild rough on the sides provides the openness at the fringe of which pine trees demarcate the holes. The greens are large and undulating but mostly only gradually. Most of the bunkers, both on the fairways as well as those at the green sides, are quite shallow [Update-12 May 2008: It all sounds a little too forgiving you might think of the course but the results of the just concluded Beijing Open 2008 shows only a moderate scoring success of 12 under-par for the winner, Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan].
The course makes use of numerous man-made lakes to provide water play. Swaying willows add artistry to an otherwise picturesque course. If the combination of a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding mountain range, beautiful landscaping, clean air and water is not captivating enough, the Ba Da Ling section of the Great Wall of China is clearly visible and might just do the trick. And if this is not convincing enough, Pine Valley Golf Beijing was voted ‘2004 Host Venue of the Year’ by the players of the Asian Tour.
Beijing Golf Club
The club is just 30 minutes from the Beijing International Airport. This championship course was designed by Poellot and Benz of the US. The fairways are lined with mature trees providing challenges for carry over for the many doglegs that are the main feature of this course.
When tee-off at the Par-5 405-yard first hole, do not forget to catch a glimpse of the Great Wall in the distance.
As an annual club programme, Beijing Golf stages the Amateur Invitational Golf Tournament, the Helong Cup, every autumn and the ‘BAT’ China PCA League, Beijing, as well.