Monday, July 6, 2009

Golf Holiday in Kunming

This past month I had the opportunity to take a golf holiday and travel to the city of Kunming. Often referred to as the “City of Eternal Spring”, Kunming features some beautiful scenery and is well known for its year-around “Spring-like” weather. I had a former colleague and good friend join me for the trip as we managed to play five rounds of golf during our three-day journey.

Day One began with a visit to the Spring City Golf Resort. Known as one of the top golf resorts in Asia, the resort was built in the early 90’s by a Singaporean businessman and features two championship golf courses. The two courses are the "Lake Course" and "Mountain Course" and are consistently ranked by Golf Digest as the top 2 courses in all of China. Here's a breakdown of the first four pictures starting with the top left.

1. Overview of the "Lake Course" as seen from the 1st hole green, just beautiful.
2. Playing a round with my good friend and the legendary "Ladies Man" Sean Kennedy
3. The "Lake Course" signature hole, built directly on the red clay shore of the lake
4. The signature hole of the Jack Nicklaus designed "Mountain Course" a beautiful Par 3 over water

Day Two started with a visit to "Sunshine Golf Club". Located on the outside of the city, Sunshine was another well-conditioned golf course that provided some beautiful views of downtown Kunming. We had the opportunity to play with one of the club's members who took us for a nice local dinner our first night in Kunming.

After our morning round there, we traveled across the city to play another course called “Lakeview Golf Club”. Designed by the famous English player Nick Faldo, Lakeview was a very flat and simple course that reminded me of the golf courses back in Central Florida. Probably the most unique feature was the presence of large floodlights on every hole, allowing us to play the course well after sunset.

Our final day in Kunming landed us at the city’s first golf club. Built in 1992, Kunming Country Club was an older club that had a old time country club feeling. We were the only ones eating breakfast in the clubhouse, and pretty much played the entire 18 holes without seeing to many other golfers. It seems most of Kunming's golfers opt to play the newer courses in the city, but this course was still a pleasure to play and fitting way to cap off our golf trip to Kunming.

Overall the trip was brief but very action packed. Five courses in three days with two nights of taking in the local nightlife caught up with me, as I was pretty exhausted arriving back into Shanghai. Here's the breakdown on the last 4 photos:

1. Overview of Kunming's Sunshine Golf Club as seen from the 8th tee box.
2. Beautiful Tee Shot on the #14 hole with the city in the backdrop.
3. Playing "night golf"at Kunming's Lakeview Golf Club.
4. The signature hole of the Kunming Country Club, so peaceful in the countryside.

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