Golf Courses in Shenzhen
Course-by-Course Introduction for golf courses in and around Shenzhen
CTS Tycoon Golf Club of Shenzhen – This is a re-built in 1999 on an existing course. It consists of three 9’s of Par 36 each called simply A, B & C with yardages of 3,458, 3,044 & 3,550 respectively. Re-built by Cynthia Dye of the DYE name, the A & B courses are generally open on flat terrain with matured trees demarcating the fairly wide fairways. Ponds and lakes pose as the other obstacle other than the trees and numerous bunkers. Most of the holes are pretty straight, and if not for the long yardage these courses would have been quite boring to play on.
The C Course is however a more slopy one with a few small mounds here and there, apparently a result of much earth-moving work. In fact, it is quite obvious much thoughts had been put in to make the C course a little ‘different’ from the other two not only in terms of the man-made slopes and mounds, more dog-leg fairways were also introduced with the taller trees positioned at strategic turns. As a result, this course is also the longest of the three.
The Par-4 406-yard Hole-1 tees off to a strategic landing just over a large area of water with the green well protected by bunkers. The Par-5 571-yard Hole-2 curves rather interestingly with a sharp dog-leg right to be followed by a smaller one before the green. The many bunkers clustered together at the turn of the first dog-leg attracted much criticism for poor functionality as the entire cluster can be easily avoided, so we read in some other reviews. But then how many can effectively and purpose fully avoid it as the landing area beside the bunkers are quite limited and therefore demanding fairly accurate shots.
All in, Course C somewhat livens up the entire course of 27 holes with the variations, not least with the home-coming Par-4 379-yard Hole-9 which has the entire right-hand side of the fairway edged all the way by a long and narrow pond with the landing area on t-off jutting out to the water like a ‘half island-green’, the other side of which has a bunker ready to catch errant shots.
Shenzhen Jiulong Hills Golf Club – It’s been described as a hidden gem of golf courses in Southern China, this course sits almost next to the biggest golf course complex in the world, Shenzhen’s Mission Hills Resort. That it was able to remain ‘hidden’ in the shadow of the latter is understandable, but is it a gem as such as well? Well, the course was all along a private club under the name of 999 Golf Club until it opened to the public some years back and at the same time changed its name to Jiulong, meaning 9 Dragons, talking about transformation!
Designed by a Mr. Wang Guang Lin, this is a relatively short course at 6,939 yards for a Par-72; the apparent disparity, if any to you, appears to suggest something about this course. It’s also been variously regarded as “…unique, extremely challenging, beautiful surrounding, each hole is a character of its own etc., etc”.
The course is built on a well-wooded, hilly and undulating ground; the fairways have been cleverly carved out to snake around the ups and downs of the natural terrain, and hence the name: 9 Dragons! (Should be 18, no?) Most of the holes are comparatively short and yet most would find it a handful trying to get to the green on regulations; the thick trees, tight landing areas, steep elevational changes and ‘disappearing dog-legs’ demand a very careful assessment before one should be ready to take the shot and, did we forget about the huge, deep bunkers and ample water hazards at strategic points?
Typical of the design would be the Par-4 386-yard Hole-16 which tees off down hill to an ‘island’ landing area surrounded by water before the green, which is also partly at water’s edge with huge bunkers in front! The green of the Par-3 212-yard Hole-3 sits at the edge of the water which stetches all the way from the t-box up on a higher level. Deep bunkers guard the green in front thus demanding a longer than usual a carry over to the back of the green if accuracy is not so dependable. The easiest appears to be the Par-4 430-yard Hole-4 which has the t-box and the green in a straight line, but this is only true if you can get past the very tight first landing area encroached by thick and tall trees downhill.
This course is not for the faint-hearted high handicappers or trigger-happy bombers. A cool head with a touch of artistry will be much needed as often irons are more appropriate than sticks with a bigger head. Try it and you can tell us if it’s not a gem!
Shenzhen CITIC Green Golf Club – Designed by a Mr. Leung Kwuk Kun, this is yet another of the many investments of China International Trust and Investment Corporation or simply CITIC. It is also among the cluster of golf courses all within an hour distance from downtown Shenzhen or Hong Kong with the many access points along the southern Chinese border.
The course consists of three 9’s known simply as A, B & C with yardages of 3,422, 3,562 and 3,396 respectively built over gentle rolling hills with the first two more on higher ground. Because of the openness of the area, the main obstacles are expectedly the ponds and lakes, bunkers and trees. Together with the various degrees of up and down slopes, they make the main constituent of difficulties. Some steep sloping greens add to make the course a little more interesting if not only making it tougher.
Par-5 577-yard Hole-5A is an interesting Index 1 hole. It snakes downhill on t-off and then up again to a 2-tiered green.
Power without finesse will not fetch good score on this; depending on the position of the pin, weak placement skill will decide the number of times one will see the ball rolling remorselessly back to the front of the green.The Par-5 554-yard Hole-3B is another tough cookie to crack, it’s indexed 2 not for no reasons. The fairway rises all the way to the green with tight landing spots and is in a wind catchment area. Water on the left certainly won’t help much.
Big hitters will like the Par-3 205-yard Hole-5C if they can clear the two huge bunkers guarding on both sides of the steeply upward-sloping green.
Perhaps the most interesting amongst the 27 is the Par-4 414-yard Hole-7B which turns sharply to the left in the shape of a hook with a big lake in the belly. If you are powerful with your #1 and at the same time have a delicate touch to it, an Albatross is technically possible with the water stretching just about 240 yards t-box to the green.
Shenzhen Firestone Golf Club – This is another golf course in Shenzhen area not too far from Hong Kong (About 1 hour travel time) where a good number of keen golfers will come from especially over the weekend and/or public holiday. Surrounded on the sides by hills of thick vegetations, this course is surprisingly quite open with generous fairways. The entire course is however generally flat with mainly water holes combining with strategically placed bunkers forming the major obstacle to good score.
Designed by Les Watts, this course actually consists of three 9’s making three narrow loops out from the centrally located club house. Officially it’s a Par-72 7,009-yard 18-hole course with the third 9 for night golf only. Apart from the main obstacles mentioned earlier the landing areas have generally been narrowed to increase level of difficulty.
Typically the longer holes demand a good and strong t-offs to get over water hazards to reach a safe landing as in Par-4 402-yard Hole-1C and the home-coming Par-5 622-yard Hole-9C. The Par-4 396-yard Hole-7A has the same layout except that in place of water in front of the t-box, a wide ravine with over-grown trees threatens more visually.An ‘exception to the rule’ would be the long Par-3 195-yard Hole-8B which has tall matured trees narrowing the passage immediately after t-off and a small river running across just before the green which a huge bunker on one side and water on the other. To score well on this hole, power, good club selection, a touch of artistry to get the ball to the targeted area of the rather generous green and of course more than a pinch of luck will all be required in a correct mix to ensure a Par at least…the Signature Hole?