Monday, August 10, 2009

Sheshan Golf Club

This week I will profile the golf course I have been working at for the last six months, giving you all an inside look into one of China’s top courses, the Sheshan International Golf Club.

Located 23km southeast of the Shanghai city center, Sheshan Golf Club was built directly next to a 100m hill called “佘山” pronounced “She Shan” in Chinese. The hill is not large by Western standards, but in the flat topography of Shanghai, this small hill stands out as one of the higher spots in the city. The Sheshan hill is a recreational area that is maintained by the Chinese government, and is a popular place for locals to travel to on the weekends. Sitting atop the Sheshan hill is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in Shanghai. Both the Sheshan hill and cathedral are visible when playing the golf course, with the most dramatic views coming from 15th tee and as a beautiful backdrop on the 18th hole.

Opening in 2004, Sheshan Golf Club quickly established itself as the premier course in China with being the home course of Asia’s largest golf tournament, the HSBC Champions. Starting in 2005, the HSBC Champions has experienced tremendous success attracting some of the world’s best golfers. Tiger Woods has played the tournament twice, finishing second both times in 2005 and 2006. Past champions also include Phil Mickelson (2007) and Sergio Garcia (2008). Now celebrating its 5th year, the 2009 HSBC Champions promises to be even better as the tournament has been upgraded to a World Golf Championship (WGC) event. WGC events are regarded as golf’s most important tournaments and Sheshan Golf Club is the first club outside the United States to host one. Sheshan currently holds Golf Digest’s #1 ranking for all golf courses in China and was recently ranked as the #68 golf course worldwide for all courses outside the United States.

One of the many beautiful things about Sheshan is the club’s incredible landscape and atmosphere. Upon entering the club, you feel as if you have left China and been transplanted to a European country. Built in an Italian Tuscany design, the clubhouse and surrounding residential properties are truly a one of a kind concept in China. The golf course’s signature holes are the 16th and 17th holes built directly around a natural rock quarry. I’ve had the privilege of playing the course many times now, and it certainly my favorite course in Shanghai. My favorite things about playing at Sheshan are its peaceful environment and beautiful natural surroundings. The overall Sheshan experience is an excellent one and it’s been a pleasure to have the opportunity to work here. Now less than 3 months away from the 2009 HSBC Champions, we will all continue to work hard, excitingly awaiting the arrival of Tiger and company this November.

Here is a breakdown of the photos:

#1 – View of Sheshan's gorgeous clubhouse from the 9th fairway
#2 – View from the 15th tee with the Sheshan hill and cathedral in the distance
#3 – Playing the 17th hole, shooting over a natural rock quarry with the club’s clock tower in the backdrop.
#4 – Overlooking the Par 5 second hole, a relatively short par 5 surrounded by water.

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