Monday, July 13, 2009

Nine Dragon Mountain

This past week I had the pleasure of traveling with a few students to play a new golf course located about 1.5 hours south of Shanghai. The course was built inside a National Park bordering the Bay of Hangzhou, an inlet of the East China Sea. The National Park and golf course share the same name of “九龙山” which directly translated means “Nine Dragon Mountain”. Most of Shanghai’s golf courses are very flat and have very few elevation changes. This was not the case for Nine Dragons. Literally carved from the side of a mountain, the course features a variety of slopes and hills, and was a very fun, challenging test of golf.

The front nine begins with a series of holes directly next to the ocean. Wind is a major factor on these holes, as a stiff ocean breeze comes into play. The 3rd hole is a beautiful, Par 3 with the Bay of Hangzhou serving as a beautiful backdrop. You continue to play around the lighthouse before returning to the mountains for the back nine.

The back nine features many elevation changes and several picturesque holes. I have included some pictures of some of the views one can see while playing the course. Nine Dragons is a private club and a very unique concept in China. In addition to its 18-hole championship golf course, Nine Dragons also has a regulation size polo field, complete with a state of the art horse stable facility. Given its ideal location on the ocean, the club also has a harbor and yacht club. The club’s biggest drawback is its distance from the city, but its makes a perfect day trip or weekend getaway from Shanghai. Definitely one of the more interesting courses I have played in China, this course was a treat, looking forward to teeing it up there again soon.

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