This isn’t the oldest golf course in China but it’s close. It commenced construction in1985, less than a year after China’s first golf course opened at Zhongshan just across the Pearl River Delta. In those days it was a long way out of town at Honey Lake and still gave the feel of a country club. Now it’s almost in the centre of the city. Rapid development and good luck have given the Shenzhen golfer a haven in the heart of the city.

This is where the locals like to play. There is a large core of local members with a solid phalanx of Japanese and local Koreans.

The course was originally designed by Japanese champion Isao Aoki as an eighteen-hole international golf course. In 1997 designers Nelson and Howarth, who also designed the Sheshan International course in Shanghai, were invited to revamp the course and add another nine-holes to give a 27-hole 108 par course. They did this brilliantly taking care to keep the trees and other greenery that had matured on the site over the previous decade and added the latest computerized sprinkler systems.

In 1995 the first international golf tournament in China, the Volvo China Open was held here as it continued to be every subsequent two years.

We just love this course. Tall buildings surround it, which serves to emphasise the oasis of green effect. The fairways are long, rolling, and very unforgiving. There’s no rough but after your first mistake you suddenly realise that they don’t need it.

The clubhouse is a wonderful modern building with none of the architectural cliches, a feature of some other clubs in Shenzhen. The roofs are South-East Asian in inspiration but interpreted in an airy and modern fashion.

Like Mission Hills, Shenzhen Golf Club is surrounded by expensive real estate, especially villas.

Address Shennan Avenue Futian, opposite Honey Lake

Metro: Xiang Mi Hu

Green Fees: Non-members weekdays Y1000, weekends Y1800


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