The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula
Tropical Hainan is quickly evolving into China's golfing mecca, with new courses popping up all over the island at a quite startling rate. But perhaps the best of them all – and a strong candidate for the country's most outstanding project – is The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula, which features two Tom Weiskopf-designed layouts abutting Hainan's pristine southeastern coastline.
Featuring windswept dunes, craggy rock outcrops and large, natural sandy wastes, the West Course here, which opened earlier this year and is the 1973 Open champion's first course in China, is as natural a layout that you're likely to find anywhere in the Middle Kingdom. While not a links course in the strictest sense of the word, the West is often referred to as one because of its firm and fast playing surfaces and proximity to the sea.
The East Course is slated to open in November and promises to be no less enthralling.
Indeed, it could even top its slightly older sibling, with more of its holes running along the shore's edge. The club's Composite Course – comprising five holes from the West and 13 holes from the East – has been earmarked to host competition play. www.shenzhougolf.com
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