Located between the cities of Qingdao and Yantai on the southern flank of the Shandong Peninsula, the remarkable course at Tiger Beach Golf Links was set out by Beta Soong, a Taiwanese developer, who took four years to fashion his version of a Scottish links along the coastline of the Yellow Sea.
To prepare for the construction of the layout, Mr Soong travelled to Great Britain where he visited and played many of the classic old links of Scotland and Ireland to get a feel for what was needed to transform a flat tract of land into one that offered an authentic links golf experience.
And so, sand dunes were shaped to frame the holes, firm and fast fairways were prepared, pot bunkers were positioned around small contoured greens and thick fescue was grown on just about every non-maintained part of the property.
Highlight holes include the 555-yard 5th which plays to an infinity green (a replica Swilcan Bridge also features on this hole) and the 374-yard 7th, where the fairway doglegs left to a two-tiered green that’s defended by a couple of pot bunkers on the right.
On the inward half, the 191-yard 12th and 196-yard 16th are standout par threes. The raised green on the former is guarded at the front by two pot bunkers so tee shots must not be short. On the latter, the wind is normally against, so marking a "3" on the scorecard as you walk off this three-tiered green is a fine achievement.
The shoreline seen from the second green is beautiful. Some views of the Yellow Sea are fantastic, equal to Scotland. When I played there, it was fun to watch over 20 goats led by a shepherd that were allowed to roam around the course in the late afternoon, which is surely unique when you encounter them during playing. The Par 3 204-yard 6th is a charming hole where the green, slightly elevated and surrounded by bunkers, looks like it's floating in the rough, so the right club selection is important. The Par 4 460-yard 7th is really tough. Two pot bunkers are placed on the right side of the green that is steeply undulating and double-tiered. You can also enjoy a superb ocean view off the tee. To read more about Tiger Beach Golf Links, click here to visit my website.