Golf Courses in Hainan, Southern China
Course-by-Course Introduction to Golf in-&-around Southern China’s Hainan Island – Haikou & Sanya
Yalong Bay Golf Club of Sanya
Another of Rober Trent Jones Jr.’s master pieces, Yalong Bay Golf Club sits right across the road from the Yalong Bay Golf Resort of Hainan Island, the Hawaii of China, at almost the southern-most tip of all China. Measuring 7,116 yards, this 18-hole Par-72 course is shaped, in every standard of Chinese descriptions, like a ‘dragon’s claw’. One would quite rightly assume there would be quite a few doglegs in the knuckles of the claw when in fact the rolling fairways, with the mountains behind them, run loose in the open fronting the beach in a links-course manner. The greens are particularly fast, undulating and well pretected by sand bunkers. There are also lakes, semi-tropical swamp areas as well as coconut trees filling up the spaces in-between giving rise the impression of the individual claws of the dragon
If the scenic beauty of the course is a sight to behold, then the Par-3 Hole#15 is another as well, technically speaking, at 240 yards. Together with another Par-3, the Hole#3, which requires a confidence-testing carry over the water, and the whopping 600-yard Par-4 Hole#16, it’s no wonder that this golf course was awarded in the top ten for Best Golf Courses in China in 2007.
Only 25 km from Sanya City, it was also the venue of the Asian Tour’s Sanya Open from 2003 to 2005. To top it all, it is also part and parcel of the entire beach entertainment complex essentially making up much of the city now famed for having run the international beauty pageant, the Miss Universe contest, consecutively for a few years now.
Sun Valley Golf Club of Sanya
Situated somewhere mid-way between the East Expressway (to Haikou) and the coast of Yalong Bay in Sanya, the Sun Valley Golf Club is accessible via the Yalong Bay Road. Hardly half an hour from Sanya’s Fenghuang International Airport and even less from downtown, this Par-73 7,875-yard JMP-designed championship course opened in 2004 along with a few other clubs when Sanya was unleashed to become the ‘Hawaii of the East’ and the home of the Miss Universe Pageantry.
Built on high ground and rolling hills, the main feature of the course is the distance and the generous green typical of a JMP touch. An average green is close to 1,000 square meters, and that’s a lot of room to play with, or get lost in. Add-ons have been included to the existing vegetations and terrain roughly creating a front-9 Lake and a back-9 Desert courses environment.
Hole#4, #5 and #6 surround a big wide lake in the valley. At least 7 holes are high up enough for a commanding view of Yalong Bay while 5 others face huge desert bunkers. The largest green in China is also here at over 1,100 square meters while Hole#18, the only Par-6 in China, certainly nails the course as like no others in the country!
The most memorable hole has to be the Par-3 224-yard Lake Course Hole#4 which won accolade for being one of the ’18 Most Famous Signature Holes in China’ some years back. To counter the daunting distance, a full set of tees running alongside the man-made lake caters for all levels. But if you can carry-over the water, an exceptionally large, albeit L-R sloping plus traps behind, green awaits to reward good power shots. Well, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, near Kunming, is one of the longest courses in the world. The distance there is however balanced by the thin air resistance. Here in Sun Valley, one can only anticipate lots of fun playing the 828-yard Par-6 Desert hole if making sure of a good full meal before the first tee-off is not good enough a preparation. If all else fails, superb views of Sanya City and Yalong Bay from some of the tee-boxes on vantage points will make up for everything else that wasn’t for the day.
Sanya International Golf Club
We have little information on this golf club except that it is also known as Sanya Hinode Golf Club, about 30 minutes’ drive west from Sanya city with the Sanya Intenational Airport in between, it measures 6,002 yards, was designed by a Japanese golf course builder and is a mountainous course being surrounded by hilly grounds on all sides rendering a very private atmosphere to it
Luhuitou Golf Club of Sanya
Situated just a few minutes’ drive south in Sanya’s Luhuitou Peninsula Recreational and Scenic Zone, this course is built in the natural rugged beauty of the land of tribal legends and fairy tales. At vantage points up the hill top public park, a panoramic view of the city, the port, the meandering rivers in the distance and the wide ocean down below all come into sight. Designed by Nelson Haworth, the course rolls along the hill slopes on the inland side while having a commanding view of the South China Sea in the south. Because of the undulating terrain, elevational difference increases technical difficulty playing in this 18-hole Par-72 7,253-yard course. Not making anything easier are the 64 sand bunkers and many man-made lakes to either add aesthetic to the course or more woes to the play, depending on your frame of mind.Despite its closeness to the sea, there are only two holes that border the shoreline while 15 others have the lake to accompany play. The 487-yard Hole#9 is the longest Par-4 and certainly not necessarily the friendliest. A powerful second shot, likely with a fairway wood, will give a chance of landing on the green which sits just before the sea shore and is well guarded by two deep sand traps. And all these can only come after a good read of the overhead wind from the open sea. Scoring a par is a good scoring here. The Par-3 212-yard Hole#16 is not only a test of strength; it also exposes the true ruggedness of the terrain with the fairway lying on the hill slope with huge rock buns on the way to the green. The uphill Par-5 570-yard #18 is a classic finishing hole for risk-takers. No less than 11 sand pits littered the fairway on both sides half way to the green. If you can only do it in three to the green, you’ll need a very good and accurate pitch shot to a very narrow green. Attempting a two-on will have to contend with a wide beach sand area on the left. Either way, it only promises an exciting finish to playing in a beautiful course like this.
Meishi Mayflower Golf Club of Haikou Hainan Island
One of the earliest golf courses to be built in Hainan, Haikou Meishi Mayflower International Golf Club is hardly 15 minutes’ drive west from downtown and for this close proximity and convenience, it earns the good tag of being just ‘in-between Haikou city and the South China Sea’. Designed by Colin Montgomerie/IMG, this 27-hole 10,531-yard course blends with its natural surrounding. Most of the hazards are natural features of the land. While the greens are tif-dwarf Bermuda grass covered, the fairways are turfed with water-saving paspalum grass – the first in China to use this grass. Night golf is available here for nine holes.
Signature holes are the Par-4s of Hole#13 and 16. The former encapsulates the natural features of the land by making full use of the original vegetation, water and sand holes as obstacles. Accuracy and good course management are essential to this hole. Hole#16 tees off on elevated ground and has the big pond right down below and the fairway curving along the left shoreline to the green. It is possible to do an accurate and powerful ‘one on’ from the tee box here for the more aggresive players while a good first landing before the green is always a surer way of not losing shots for the more prudent. The few minutes spent on the tee box could either help you to find yourself or learn more of your mates in your flight, or both!
Wenchang Golf Club of Haikou
If at all, this is a golf club that holds dear to many overseas Chinese of Hainanese descent, the majority of whom originated from this very county of Wenchang. The famous Hainanese Chicken Rice so popular in Southeast Asia is simply part of the culinary heritage brought there by the immigrants from here. Wenchang is about a little over half an hour’s drive from the Haikou Airport. Designed by Malaysian Albert Chua, this 18-hole Par-72 7,209-yard course features 14 man-made lakes, 94 sand bunkers, 6 greens edged on water and of course plentiful coconut palm (Wenchang is also known as the Home Village of the Coconut Trees). Despite the many man-made additions, the front nine was built in natural surrounding of the land while the second nine has more of the artificial obstacles, partly for aesthetic and partly too to add level of game to the course in general.
The Par-5 527-yard Hole#3 tees off over a huge lake only to find a fairway of continuous undulations with many deep bunkers thus making judgment difficult if not mistake prone. The green is protected on the right side by tall trees and at the back another small lake – not at all an easy hole. The Par-4 506-yard dogleg-left Hole#16 is an interesting one not only because it offers a beautiful sight come sunset time, it is also not an easy one to score well easily. Water on the left immediately after tee-off stretches to about 210-yard mark after which a wide bunker follows and covers up to the 250-yard mark. The key to this hole is very much on the tee-shot which must not only be powerful, it must also be quite accurate so as to avoid another lake edge nearer to the green on the right side.
West Coast Golf Club of Haikou
Opened in 2004, West Coast Golf Club is, well, located along the west coast of Hainan Island west of Haikou city. Basically a ‘City Golf Course’, it is only a few miniutes’ drive from downtown Haikou and about half-an-hour from the Meilan Airport. This Par-72 7,267-yard course was designed by Perry & Cynthia, a 3rd. generation golf course designers of the Dye family. Despite the tropical setting and vegetation, the theme of the course design is that of a traditional Chinese nature scape with a gentle stream meandering, fish ponds and birds up in the trees. Together with a 9-hole section fronting the sea, one gets the feeling of a wide expanse of scenic beauty playing here.
Easily the Signature Hole, the Par-3 194-yard Hole#16 has the entire flight path from the black tee over water which edges on the right side of the concave fairway all the way to the tif-dwarf Bermuda green.
An experienced player would pay particular attention to the tee-box inclination to avoid errand shots finding the water. The Par-4 476-yard Hole#14 is a straight-forward affair of attacking the Paspalum fairway except that the green is too well guarded by bunkers, especially that big one right in front of the green.
Power is key to this hole and so is accuracy; not an easy hole. The longest hole is the Par-5 557-yard Hole#7 which has sand all the way from the tee-box to the area of the first landing which is littered with many small bunkers. A power drive for a carry-over the sand hazards opens the way to a generous fairway to the green. Short of that, pray for some good luck carried in the breeze from the sea to get over the bunkers.
Hainan IBL Golf Club of Haikou
This is the golf course for the island’s main seaport just about a quarter of an hour from Haikou’s Meilan Airport. Designed by Taiwanese Chen Qingquan, it is a 10,830-yard 27-hole course consisting of three rather distinct 9s – the Mountain 9, the Lake 9 and ‘the Field’ 9 with the first two making up a total of 7,028 yards as the club’s Standard Par-72 Championship 18. Not unexpectedly of Hainan as the only part of China that can truly lay claim to be part of the tropic, the main vegetation along the Hawaiian Grass-turfed fairways is the ever-swaying coconut trees. The greens are covered with Bermuda grass.
The most memorable hole appears to be the Par-3 182-yard Hole#12 which has a front-to-back sloping, narrow green – a good test for spinning and ball control, particularly when using longer iron clubs. But the deciding factor here however is always the overhead wind. If you can’t make it to the green, this is one place you’d be fully excused for doing a ‘Mickelson’ high lob for a second landing. The Par-4 416-yard #18 is a typical finishing hole with the tee-shot landing at about the 250-yard mark, just before the sharp turn of this dogleg-right hole. High trees on the inner side of the fairway and bunkers littered around the turn are the main hazards to an otherwise straight-forward Par-4.
Tai Da Golf Club & Moonbay Golf Club of Haikou
This is the first golf course built in Hainan. Primarily to serve busy international businessmen cum golfers, it is conveniently located near the Meilan International Airport which is about 15 kilometers east of Haikou. Opened in 1992, this 18-hole Par-72 7,220-yard course was designed by Taiwan’s Chen Qingquan, who incidentally is also the architect for Hainan IBL Golf Club further south.
Covering an area of over 100 hactares, the front nine out are mostly on flat land while the reverse traverses more hilly ground. The vegetation is mainly coconut tree groupings which when combining with overhead winds forms a formidable obstacle to a good score. Undulating fairways on the second nine only make the course the more challenging.
Situated next to a crocodile farm inside the Yinbin Island recreational area 15 minutes drive northwest of Haikou city, Moonbay Golf Club is a 27-hole Par-108 10,252-yard course with an open layout just off the shore to the South China Sea. Relatively flat, the fairways are lined with tropical trees, mostly coconut palm, and water ways traverse freely while constant sea breeze caress the ever-willowing palm leaves.
One of the main features of the course are some deep and out-stretching bunkers which the players will have to contend with. The other is the big ponds with clear water, to and from which the ‘riverlets’ flow and contributing much to the aesthetic of the course while posing as no easy hazards. This course is a USGA Golf Course Standards compliant course; the design was the product of a collective effort by a US team.
Haikou Dongshan Golf Club
Also known as Hainan Dongshan Lake Golf Club, this course is about 30 kilometers south-west of Haikou city. Designed by Malaysian C. J. Tan, this course enjoys a certain repute. All the fairways are ‘north-south’-aligned so as to avoid the glaring morning or evening sun and are all turfed with specially cultivated local grass.
The drainage system is so effective that play can resume immediately after heavy shower.
The entire course is built alongside the western shore of the Dongshan Lake. It is not the water from the lake that bothers but rather that from the numerous man-made ponds in between the fairways of this Par-72 18-hole 7,050-yard course that has to be overcome for a good score. Additionally, bunkers in the shape of volcanic craters with amber colour sand dot the entire course creating an impression of playing on a moon-scape course.
East Coast Area of Hainan Island
Bo’ao Golf and Country Club
of Qionghai County Hainan Island is a link style course built on the tiny, sandy island of Sha Po situated at the mouth of Wanquan River which is about an hour and a half drive from Haikou and slightly longer from Sanya on the eastern side of Hainan Island. Together with a few other small islands forming the Bo’ao International Comprehensive Holiday Area, transport to and from the main island is by boat. This 18-hole 7,228-yard course was designed and built by Canadian Bili Yo Ji in 1997. The main feature of this course is the preservation of the original vegetation and landscape. The first 9 goes round the island with the holes mainly in open, sandy areas constantly brushed by sea breeze while the second moves inland and therefore having more trees as obstacles. In both, water hazards are a constant feature.
The tough hole of the course is the Par-4 454-yard dogleg-left Hole#7 which has water on the left all the way to an irregularly-shaped green. The right side of the fairway is none too friendly either with orchard of wild fruits trees posing as a ‘no-go’ area. The Par-5 585-yard Hole#3 is a real challenge. With the fairway in the shape of an elongated ‘S’ and with water on both sides of the strip of the second half leading to the green, both power and accuracy will be badly needed. The short Par-3 171-yard Hole#11 is a teaser which requires a good carry-over wide expanse of water up to the end of the third quarter before finding land leading to a generous green well guarded by a wide bunker on the left side.
BFA International Convention Center Golf Club
of Qionghai County, Hainan Island – Just like Bo’ao Golf & Country Club, the BFA Course is part of the enitre complex of the Bo’ao Asian Convention being held yearly at the BFA Convention Center. But unlike the former, the BFA Course (and the convention center as well) is located on the adjacent Dongyu Island. Designed by Australian Graham Marsh, this 18-hole Par-72 7,129-yard course opened in 2003 together with the rest of the complex when the convention got underway. The main feature of the course is the relatively huge man-made lakes which are found in between fairways for most of the holes.
The 189-yard Hole#7 enjoys a reputation as one of the most beautiful Par-3s in China. The green here is generously large but undulating and well protected by several sand pits. Overhead winds often decide the final outcome on this straight forward and yet challenging hole. The Par-4 385-yard slight dogleg-left Hole#8 has the water edge running all the way along the left side of the fairway and cuts right across it at the last 100-yard mark. The green is again surrounded by bunkers. Not surprisingly the strategic landing of the first shot will have to stick close to the left side of the fairway for an easier attack on the small green. The Par-3 166-yard Hole#16 has a relatively large island green by area when it is actually quite narrow and elongated. Club selection is crucial here for a good choice of landing area is the key to a good scoring.
Kangle Garden International Golf Club
of Wanning County, Hainan Island – This is the first of the 7 golf courses that the owner, Hainan Airlines, has in its master plan to build a major golf complex cum holiday/recreational resort out of the vast hinterland of rubber plantation and coffee trees in Wanning County, about 1.5 hours’ drive south from Haikou along the East Expressway. Designed by Robert MacFarland, this 18-hole Par-72 7,201-yard course is basically very well tucked in the trees on rugged terrain and hot springs. The first half of the course has literally only the trees and land obstacles to overcome while the second half is more open and adds variety with much more water play.
The Par-5 507-yard Hole#7 is an inverse ‘S’ of sharp dogleg-right and then left to the green. Typical of a ‘big decision making’ hole, a brave tee shot over the water just before the sharp second turn left will open the way to a smooth straight to the green.
There’s the rough on the right hand side on landing to avoid though. But the effort if successful could be very rewarding. Otherwise, a conservative tee-off shot following the path of the inversed letter will just take you home, and no more. The score will remain intact though. The Par-3 227-yard Hole#14 is a test of strength and luck. Water fringes from midway to the left side of the green which is padded on both sides below the chin by two long and narrow bunkers. The Par-4 428-yard Hole#16 is as straight forward as the layout suggests except that the fairly generous fairway is punctured by a huge sand bunker which makes both a strong carry over or a precision landing outside the bunker difficult.
Sun River Golf Club of Wanning County
Sun River Golf Club is the second of the Kangle Group of golf courses; the other being Kangle Garden International Golf Club. Both are situated near to each other in Xinglong which is mid-way down the belly of Hainan Island. Well accessible via the East Expressway, it is about one and a half hour from Haikou. This 18-hole Par-72 7,253-yard course was designed by Malaysian C. J. Tan who incorporated most of the natural feature of the rugged landscape and retained much of the original terrain in making it an exciting, if not at times, difficult course. Central to the theme is of course the Sun River which provides not only most of the water play, the river reed which lines the riverside is often the silent, hungry golf balls gobbler.
The front nine plays to the more open ground with a lot of water holes and sand bunkers to contend with while elevational difference is the key obstacle to the second nine thus demanding a higher level of play. The Par-3 235-yard hole#16 tees off to a green 30 meters below and surrounded by shrubs and bunkers on three sides. Another Par-3, the 177-yard Hole#4 has a small island green with a bunker on the approach side. The leeway to the left and back is the only place to go for those lacking in confidence. Yet another Par-3, the 165-yard Hole#11 tees to an elevated green that’s out of sight from the tee box. If you can’t get the better on the Par-3s for easy birdies, the Par-4 398-yard Hole#7 might just help. Teeing off immdediately in front of the water, it requires a carry-over of about 200 yards. A bunker awaits in the middle not for from landing. A good shot game should make the green by avoiding several bunkers and shrubs on three sides, at least.
Ocean Bay Golf Club of Wanning County
This is yet another Sino-Japanese Joint Venture. As the name implies, the course sits next to the sea mid-way along the east coast of the island. Designed by Scott Miller, this 18-Hole Par-72 6,766-yard course sprawls over 80 hactares of coconut palm and loose sandy land interpersed with water ways.
The Par-3 186-yard Hole#3 has a semi-island green with water all round except for a narrow stretch at the back and, the green slopes front-to-back.
It is further protected by a long bunker at the front – not an easy hole despite the land-connected leeway at the back. The Par-4 411-yard Hole#4 tees off to a tight landing area which leads straight to a narrow green guarded by a sand pit just below the chin on the right-hand side – despite its straight forward layout, doesn’t look likely it’ll be everyone’s favourite hole. The Par-5 530-yard Hole#18 is a slight dogleg-right which requires two carry-overs over water. Of greater concern is the second one which is a narrow stretch that fronts the green with two bunkers, one on each side, squeezed in-between – won’t be a finishing hole if it is not as challenging as this.
Special Course Review
MISSION HILLS GOLF RESORT – Haikou
A play-through of two of the best courses of the new Mission Hills Haikou – Blackstone & Lava Fields – February 2013
The Mission Hills Haikou golf complex consists of 10 recently completed courses (max. 2-year old) divided into the North and South groups connected by internal shuttle bus of about 10 minutes?ride apart. The entire complex is built on a base of mostly lava stone field previously used as orchard of lychee and banana trees with some still retained and sparsely decorating rather than serving as obstacles on these very open but immaculately kept courses.
Many obstacles come in the natural form of depressions/ravines of exposed hard lava stones. This ‘Moon Walk’ feature replaces most of the roughs of tall grasses/scrubs and water hazards that are common in most others elsewhere. Not for the faint-hearted punters, these hard rocks could bounce the ball back to contention, if luck has it.
There is hardly any water hazard except when near to the Club House. Despite the openness of the area, wind is generally gentle except for the monsoon months of October and November.
Blackstone (#1) Course
Put simply, it is a very tough and challenging course at 7,808 yards from the black tee with the yellow a good 700+ yards shorter! Partly for this reason perhaps the World Cup was held here a couple of years ago.
Deceptively open with few low-level trees sparsely dotting the course and broad fairways carpeted with well-trimmed Paspalum grass with plenty of lee-ways for a lesser aggression, it is the strategically placed obstacle at (un)favourably optimized distance combining with the long distance that marks this course from many others.
You need to be quite confident of your swing and distance to be sure of getting past the many lava stone fields/ravines and/or huge and grouped bunkers beautifully carved and bearing similarities to Olazabal Course in Mission Hills Shenzhen.
One would realize soon after the first T-off, there must have been much thought and distance calculations well input in designing this course.
Hole #4 518-Yard Par-4
Long course for a Par-4. Second shot over a narrow neck of a dog-leg. Rocks on both sides. Distance and accuracy required
Hole #5 172-Yard Par-3
Easy for distance but steep-sloping green tests judgment and accuracy
Hole #6 599-Yard Par-5
This is the only Index 1 hole. Fairway slopes to the right; full of bunkers and rugged surface. Check the slope of T-box. Tests ability to adjust
Unofficially the Signature Hole
Hole #8 192-Yard Par-3
Distance is a factor for this hole. But if you can get over the sight of a rugged depression full of rocks all the way to the green, you’ll be right
Tests confidence in you
Hole #11 227-Yard Par-3
Looks much further than 227 yards because of the undulation of ground covered with rocks; the unfriendly-looking edge before safe landing may create psychological barrier
Tests confidence in you
Hole #13 681-Yard Par-5
Longest hole on the course and indexed ‘2’. Not much hazards; only distance.
Power rules; rip it! (if you can)
Hole #15 211-Yard Par-3
Octopus-like bunkers (Olazabal Course at Shenzhen?) carved on slopes round the green is the only barrier to safe landing, but then steeply sloping green adds to more woes.
Tests choice of club, accuracy…and luck!
Hole #16 386-Yard Par-4
A tempting short Par-4 of hell holes?
First hole to encounter water hazard. About 270 yards of a bridge and water in between on T-off. Edge of landing looks ugly and unfriendly; adds more psychologically. Have to look for lee-way on the left if you can’t bomb it. There’s another easier T-box about 50 yards to the left. T-off from here will make the entire play much more straight forward and friendly
Tests your skills all in one…power, confidence, consistency and accuracy!
It surely has my vote for the official Signature Hole!
Hole #18 539-Yards Par-5
No description for this hole
But I will remember it as the hole that best characterizes the course with ‘obstacles at strategic distance’
Lava Fields (#5) Course
The first impression of this course reminds of Blackstone except that it is flatter (Not that the Blackstone is anything so undulating in general terrain).
It is as open, well maintained and without so many of the testy obstacles ubiquitous in the latter.
It is however equally deceptive with its broad fairways with well-trimmed grass and lots of space for an alternative spot for safe landing. The Paspalum-grassed greens, just like in Blackstone, are characterized by the some what two-tiered surface. You’ll need lots of luck to land on the right spot.
Built after Blackstone, it may be and may be not if you regard it as a ‘sequel’ or a ‘Rocky II’ as after all they were both by the same designer company. It can be as testy just when you think it’s so much more forgiving.
DUNES GOLF CLUB of Shenzhou Peninsula, Wanning County
A hide-away of good golf, luxurious Sheraton Hotel, scenic bays and beaches, mild sub-tropical climate, hot springs, fresh tropical fruits – all encapsulated in a narrow strip of a fig leaf of indulgence?
For most of time, the Shenzhou Peninsula, nestled along the belly of Hainan Island, remained not known to many except water melon farmers. Today, it is connected to Haikou and Sanya by one of world’s fastest trains and round objects can still be found rolling on its sandy ground except this time they come in the form of white golf balls looking for the elusive 36 holes of the Tom Weiskopf-designed Dunes Golf Club.
Built recently, the two very open link-courses, East & West, share much of the southern beach front with fairways running along the three bays facing the South China Sea.
Next to the golf courses is the luxurious Sheraton & Four-Point Hotel complex which comes complete with not only the usual tennis court but also creature comforts in the form of complete massage and spa treatment by masseuses regularly flown in from Bali and the Philippines, pedicure and manicure services, children play houses and even a day-care center for babies too small yet for the big golf balls!
Further afield, hot springs, fruit farms and scenic age-old fishing villages provide fun-filled day-trip destinations to complete, for Shenzhou Peninsula in a golf ball-shell, a great golf get-away of sun, fun and beautiful beaches.
So, bring your golf mates, kids, husband or wife and in-laws; this place will keep everyone happily occupied while you are out hard at work at your office of 36 holes, in peace for once!
East & West Courses
Built a year apart, these courses are characterized by the openness of link-courses with few trees, more for decoration (Except for one old and majestic looking Banyan tree standing right in the middle of a wide fairway of the East course – Good photo opportunity though!).
Wind factor is a major consideration for good landing on the mostly wavy fairways and tiered-greens, both Paspalum-grassed and immaculately maintained. Fairways are well-carpeted, wide and undefined.
Bunkers are the main obstacles with many carved out of steep slopes at the sides of elevated greens giving plenty of chances for a Duval at the Open 2000. Not too many water holes; rough is in the form of water weeds and planted, well-trimmed beach creepers.
The Black & White 150-yard pole marker found on all fairways is a great, great help not only for directions mid-way, it makes distance estimation easier.
Summary of Essentials:
Power, judgment on wind, accuracy, knowledge of the wavy fairways and tiered-greens.
Hole #6 Par-3 226-Yard
Water all the way to green with separate penalty drop areas for men and ladies.
Challenges your confidence
Hole #7 Par-4 449-Yard
The only with dog-leg; bomb it!
Hole #8 Par-4 455-Yard
Bomb it as far as possible along the almost straight fairway running alongside the beach if you can judge the wind well. Safe spot is on the left but the big, wide green has 3-levels, check the pin position first if you can see that far.
Hole #11 Par-4 462-Yard
Near vertical bunker wall at side of green; stay away!
Hole #16 Par-4 483-Yard
Second landing over a very wide sand pit; blurs judgment on distance, potentially very dangerous.
Hole #13 Par-4 440-Yard
Bunkers left and right at strategic distance; old Banyan tree standing in the middle
Advantage to long hitters
Hole #14 Par-4 444-Yard
Dog-leg left, can’t see the green
Hole #16 Par-5 547-Yard
Uphill course with the third bay on the left
Hole #17 Par-4 31-Yard
All the way downhill after Hole #16. Short for a Par-4 but bunkers in between distort vision.
Hoe #18 Par-5 525-Yard
Wide bunkers on the left leave not much choice for first landing. Landing for approach to green, surrounded by many bunkers of various sizes, largely depends on pin position