A Better Swing on China's Scenic Golf Courses
    2011-12-09 16:04:49     CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Duan Xuelian
Golf courses began to mushroom across the country's major cities. However, as the construction of golf courses proliferated, a small group of people have tried to maintain the idyllic nature of the sport by hiding their golfing playgrounds in the depth of China's national parks.

As more and more international golfers set their sights on China, golf courses began to mushroom across the country's major cities. However, as the construction of golf courses proliferated, a small group of people have tried to maintain the idyllic nature of the sport by hiding their golfing playgrounds in the depth of China's national parks. The November issue of the travel magazine Voyage introduces the following three unique golfing destinations.

The golf course surrounded by lava rocks in Haikou, Hainan province. [Photo:Voyage]

Surrounded by lava rocks, Hainan

While most golfers would prefer a smooth landscape and open views similar to those golf courses situated by the coast, the Mission Hills Golf Clubs in Haikou, the capital city of Hainan province, grabbed the attention of a number of international players.

The resort is located in the center of a volcano national park, surrounded by black coal lava rocks and age-old verdant lychee trees. The natural landscape posed great challenges to the construction of the golf course but a skillful design guaranteed that the layout of the course takes advantage of the landscape rather than being obstructed by it.

Sufficient as a world-class competition ground, the golf course has served as the venue of World Cup of Golf and the Asian Amateur Championship.

Lost in Shilin, the karst forest, Yunnan

The Stone Forest Geological Park in Shilin county, Yunnan province has the world's largest karst land formations. The Shilin international golf club is embraced by thick, sharp, slender stone rocks protruding from the ground reaching up to the sky. Brain Curely, architect of the golf course, managed to carpet velvet grass golf lanes weaving around the labyrinth-like rock walls.

The golf club has three 18-hole golf courses adequate to host tournament level competitions. But playing in these courses might be tricky as the off tracked ball could hit the rocks and rebound to the hitter.

Among the pine trees in Huangshan, Anhui

Huangshan Pine Golf and Country Club is buried among some 600,000 pine trees and is over 40 years old. Secured at the foot of Huangshan Mountain, and within driving distance to the scattering of ancient villages, the golf club often receives visitors who come in search of leisurely strokes rather than professional training or competition.

The golf club has two 18-hole courses and a training field with 26 hitting bays. The features of the three courses are distinguished from one another by their natural landscapes which vary from valleys, to mountainous terrain and flat prairies centering round a lake. The various greens may be difficult for amateur players to master but such difficulty will only help to maintain their interest in the course.

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