Asia's Most Memorable Golfing Experiences

There’s playing golf - and then there’s really experiencing this greatest of games. Alex Jenkins provides a checklist of what avid Asia-based golfers might wish to sample before they sign their final scorecard

The fine par-4 16th hole at Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai

Enter the Inner Sanctums

In this day and age of trying to make golf as appealing as possible to the wider populous, banging on about the virtues of strictly private golf clubs, those open to only well-heeled members and their select guests, might be considered somewhat politically incorrect. But golfers are the same as everyone else: they like a challenge. And getting a game at an exclusive track, where the fairways are largely free of, well, anyone else, where the staff go the extra mile to lay on top-notch service pre- and post-round and where a jacket is often required for dinner, does tend to make you feel like you’ve arrived as a golfer - albeit only for around five hours or so.

It comes as no surprise to learn that there are a great number of strictly private golf clubs in Asia - many of which can be found in the northern reaches of the continent in Japan and Korea. But the best, with the exception of Hirono (see the Take a Step Back in Time), are located a little closer to home.

Think Sheshan in Shanghai, home of the annual WGC-HSBC Champions; Shanqin Bay, the fabulous Coore and Crenshaw design on Hainan’s eastern seaboard; The Country Club, Tom Weiskopf’s luxurious creation near Manila and, of course, Shek O, Hong Kong’s diminutive coastal cracker which boasts some of the most agreeable golfing terrain in this part of the world.

Now all you need to do is butter up a few worthy members and a few hours of golfing bliss awaits.


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