Golf, traditionally known as a Western pastime, has become a booming industry in China. With the rapid construction of about 500 golf courses, China is quickly positioning itself as a major golf destination. Affluent regions, including Guangdong, Hainan, Hong Kong, and Yunnan, have become central hubs, with metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen not far behind. In the following article, we proudly introduce you to some of the most distinguished golf courses in China. For bespoke tours, reach out to us.
Most Thrilling Golf Courses in China
1. The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula
- Address: Wanning, Hainan Island, South China
- Designer: Tom Weiskopf
Set against the tranquil backdrop of Wanning on Hainan Island, this Tom Weiskopf-designed course is a golfer’s paradise. Awarded a prominent position in the top 10 New International Golf Courses in 2010 by the U.S Golf magazine, its charm lies in its pristine sand terrains, artfully sculpted bunkers, and panoramic views of the South China Sea. Golfers particularly rave about the breathtaking par-4 15th and 16th holes, which offer both challenge and spectacle.
2. Spring City Golf & Lake Resort
- Address: Kunming, Yunnan Province, Southwest China
- Designer: Jack Nicklaus (mountain course) and Robert Trent Jones Jr. (lake course)
Located in Kunming, Yunnan, Spring City is a testament to the genius of designers Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones Jr. The city’s perpetual spring climate, combined with mesmerizing lake and mountain views, makes it one of the best golf courses in China. The resort, comprising luxury villas and championship golf courses, is frequently honored in global rankings, a testament to its world-class standards.
3. Mission Hills Golf Club Shenzhen
- Address: Between Shenzhen and Dongguan, South China
- Designer: 12 top golf players in the world
This sprawling golfing haven stretches between Shenzhen and Dongguan, showcasing a mosaic of 12 distinct courses. Each course is a masterpiece crafted by global golfing legends, including Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman. As a holder of the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest golf club since 2004, its reputation precedes it. Its legacy is further cemented by hosting prestigious tournaments, drawing international attention to China golf courses.
4. Jinshi Golf Club
- Address: Dalian, Liaoning Province, Northeast China
- Designer: Peter L.H. Thompson and Zhu Zongying
Perched on Dalian’s picturesque coastline near the Huanghai Sea, Jinshi, also renowned as Dalian Golden Pebble Beach Golf Club, is a synergy of nature and design. With its coastal landscapes and unique hill features, it earned a spot among the world’s top ten courses just a year after its inauguration.
5. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club
- Address: Lijiang, Yunnan Province, Southwest China
- Designer: Neil Haworth
Located near the ancient town of Lijiang, this club provides a breathtaking vista of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a par-72 8548-yard course layout. The blend of snow-capped mountains, ethnic villages, and the golfing green makes it a unique destination. Its altitude offers golfers an unparalleled experience, with the course sitting at a lofty 3100 meters above sea level, making it a marvel of golf architecture.
6. Sheshan International Golf Club
- Address: Shanghai, East China
- Designer: Nelson & Haworth Design
As Shanghai’s pioneering and most esteemed private golf club, Sheshan is synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. Annually hosting the WGC-HSBC Champions since 2006, it has stamped its authority in the list of the best golf courses in China. Numerous accolades adorn its trophy cabinet, making it not just a course, but a symbol of golfing excellence in Asia.
7. Mission Hills Haikou
- Address: Haikou, Hainan Island, South China
- Designer: Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley
On Hainan Island’s city of Haikou, this 54-hole championship course offers a unique fusion of golf and geology. Built atop ancient lava beds, its terrains evoke the region’s volcanic origins, offering a golfing experience like no other. With varied layouts catering to all skill levels, it promises a rich and diverse golfing experience.
8. Pine Valley Golf Resort & Country Club
- Address: Beijing, North China
- Designer: Jack Nicklaus
Situated in Beijing, Pine Valley Golf Club is one of the premiere invite-only China golf courses. With vistas encompassing the iconic Badaling Great Wall and enveloping mountains, it’s a visual and sporting delight. Hosting illustrious tournaments like Volkswagen Masters and Johnnie Walker Classic and built to international standards, it’s a beacon of golfing luxury.
9. Dragon Lake Golf Club
- Address: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, South China
- Designer: Dick Davidson
In the heart of Guangzhou, Dragon Lake Golf Club is a serene retreat. Its Scottish-inspired design, nestled amidst rolling hills and the serene Dragon Lake, offers a perfect juxtaposition of sport and relaxation. The course is a haven for those seeking a respite from city life while indulging in their passion for golf.
10. The 27 Club (Jianjin Club)
- Address: Tian Jin Shi, China
- Designer: Beau Welling and Thomas McBroom
Recipient of the 2017 World Golf Awards as China’s premier course, Tianjin Club stands out distinctly. Initially hosting 36 holes, the club transformed under the guidance of Beau Welling and Thomas McBroom, leading to a 27-hole marvel. Its distinctiveness is further accentuated by its name, inspired by the 27 Major champions such as Greg Norman, Y.E. Yang, and Vijay Singh. Each champion infused their preferred features into the course design, giving every hole a distinct character, yet harmoniously integrating into the three individual courses.
11. Shanqin Bay Golf Club
- Address: Hainan, China
- Designer: Bill Core
Hainan Island is dotted with numerous beautiful golf courses in China. Yet, standing unparalleled is the distant Shanqin Bay, crafted by Bill Core. This masterpiece is Asia’s singular cliffside golf course with sweeping sea views. The former Citic chairman, Wang Jun, conducted an aerial survey using a helicopter before chancing upon this gem of a location.
The idea of setting up a course in such a spot was met with skepticism by many. Core, however, managed to envision and draft a feasible design for the landscape in merely a week. Its proximity to the sea means players often grapple with the wind, adding to the course’s intricacy. Over time, external interventions have slightly altered its pristine nature, as evidenced by the 2017 decision to plant saplings along the 17th fairway to serve as a wind barrier.
12. Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf Club
- Address: Jiangsu, China
- Designer: Gary Player
Established in 1934 during the period when Nanjing served as the country’s capital, this club stands as one of the most venerable China golf courses. Today’s configuration includes an 18-hole and a nine-hole course, masterfully crafted by Gary Player, and is segmented into mountain, lake, and valley zones. Nestled within the picturesque surroundings of Purple Mountain, the course has been a preferred venue for prestigious tournaments, including the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games.
The sport of golf is growing significantly in China with many more golf courses being built in the country. If you know any other beautiful golf courses in China other than the ones mentioned above, don’t hesitate to share them with us by commenting on the box below. We are glad to hear from you.