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Dongzhuang Beach (Linksland)

Shang Hai Shi, China
Shang Hai Shi, China
Rankings
  • AddressShanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), Ying Bin Gao Su Gong Lu, Pu Dong Xin Qu, Shang Hai Shi, China

Located next to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, on the estuary where the mighty Yangtze River empties into the South China Sea, Dongzhuang Beach Golf Club presents its members with two contrasting 18-hole layouts.

The Parkland course features ponds, streams and tree-lined fairways while the Linksland course offers a links-like experience with firm and fast playing conditions, wooden sleepered pot bunkers and irregular landforms.

Wind is a major factor in how each hole plays from one game to the next so the architect has built in sufficient fairway width to allow approach play to the greens from a wide variety of angles.

The following edited extract by Mark Hollinger is from Volume Seven of Golf Architecture: A Worldwide Perspective. Reproduced with kind permission. To obtain a copy of the book, email Paul Daley at [email protected].

“What was most troubling was the fact that the site was basically a huge hole in the ground. Natural features were few and far between. It was almost totally reclaimed land, and quite low in elevation with much of it being periodically flooded. Additionally, the property had the poorest soils I have ever seen before on a potential golf course site; and there was no existing vegetation to work.

From the outset, we made a very important design decision: to significantly elevate portions of the site, in order to capture the wonderful views towards the Yangtze River. This effectively opened up the land with interesting movement of contour, as well as allowing us to solve the engineering issues of draining off the water.

It became obvious that importing a significant quantity of workable soils and sand-plating materials was going to be critical to the project’s success. We immediately did the earthwork calculations and alerted the owner as to what was required; fortunately he was able to make arrangements with other development projects nearby to dispose of their unwanted extra soils on our site.

We made the decision to do two courses, side-by-side, which were complete opposites in style, playability and appearance. The first course would be parkland-style, featuring emerald green turf, white sand bunkers, massings of specimen trees, crystal blue lakes, flowing water features, as well as colourful vegetation. The second course would be designed with a completely different look.

We decided that the second course would have a links-style ‘Irish’ feel, of being wispy, rugged, windswept, utilising natural sands and a mixture of natural turf grasses and plant materials. At the time, links-style courses previously developed in other locations in China had not worked out. Moreover, they weren’t well received. Notwithstanding, we took on the challenge and gave this project an authentic design stamp.

The character of the course is rugged, owing to the main hazards being wind, sand and tall grasses. The course is covered with tall fescue grasses in the roughs, has paspalum fairways, and showcases fast, firm bent grasses on the greens. The imposing and angular mounding and deep hollows, shaped between the holes, were successfully planted with a combination of junipers, cedars and cypress vegetation to provide the feeling of gorse and heather.”

Located next to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, on the estuary where the mighty Yangtze River empties into the South China Sea, Dongzhuang Beach Golf Club presents its members with two contrasting 18-hole layouts.

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