Golf in China

Whilst there are claims that the game was invented by the Chinese in the tenth century, during the Cultural Revolution, Golf was banned in China for being associated to British colonialism and decadent bourgeoisie. After 1984, however, several courses have popped up around the country. As of late 2009, China has roughly 600 golf courses, more than two-thirds of which have opened since 2004.

Understand

Generally, handicap cards are not required to play on courses in mainland China, however they are required within Macau and Hong Kong. As the courses are fairly busy, the main requirement is to keep up the speed of play. Don't be surprised to be tailed by a marshal if you don't.

Locations

Hong Kong

Kunming

Spring City Golf & Lake Resort is only a 45 minute road trip from the International Airport in Kunming. The resort has 2 championship courses - the Mountain course designed by Jack Nicklaus and the Lake Course designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior. Although a smaller resort than Mission Hills, the 2 have regularly successfully competed for China's "Best Course" awards.

Macau

Mainland China

Nan Sha

One resort with two 18 hole courses.

The list price is 540 mid-week and ¥1,080 at weekends, but cheaper packages, including ferry tickets from Hong Kong and accommodation are available through agents.

Shenzhen

Due to its proximity to Hong Kong, Shenzhen has many golf courses. Noble Merchant and Sand River are very close to each other, a 20 minute taxi ride from both Lo Wu and the Shekou ferry terminal. Noble Merchant is a very forgiving course, good for beginners. By far the most comprehensive golfing venue in Shenzhen is Mission Hills Resort & Spa. Boasting 12 championship courses, this 5-star resort is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Zhuhai

Caddies

On most courses, it is compulsory to use caddies. Some courses prohibit the caddies from collecting tips, but generally a tip of ¥50-100 is expected.

Stay healthy

Drink lots of fluids.

In sunny weather wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts, use sunscreen on exposed skin. Use mosquito repellent.

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