Laid out on top of a narrow peninsula that juts out one and a half miles into the Yellow Sea, the golf facility at Weihai Point Resort was known up until 2007 as Pan China Golf Club.
New developers, recognising that an engineering company with no experience of constructing golf courses had originally built the existing course, brought in Golfplan to virtually recreate the layout.
Eighteen month later – having blasted more than a quarter million cubic meters of rock and soil from the centre of the property, sand capped all the fairways and preserved all the pine trees on the site – the new layout was ready for play.
Extending to a modest (and sensible) 6,235 yards, the resort course at Weihai Point now features a wonderful set of holes with an array of new steep-faced bunkers dotted around the fairways and greensites.
Especially pleasing are the greens – some placid, others boldly contoured, some shallow and raised, others lie of the land – and many of the new putting surfaces have been relocated close to the water’s edge, enhancing their dramatic impact.One of the more indelible passages of play occurs late in the round at the left doglegged 16th, where a 200-yard carry off the tee is required en route to a green that sits by the side of the sea, surrounded by six bunkers. Par scores of 5 on the scorecard at this fabulous hole are much appreciated.
The Weihai Point Hotel & Golf Resort consists of a seaside course that is located on a sheer cliff. The course has many ups & downs and players can enjoy the various dramatic holes that are located along the edge of the ocean. Originally named the Pan China Golf Club, the course was renovated and overhauled 2008 by professional designer David Dale. The first nine holes are located at the end of a very narrow strip that protrudes into and back from the Yellow Sea. The 10th to 13th hole makes use of the right seashore line that can be seen from the clubhouse. Finally, the 14th to 18th holes utilize the left seashore line of the course. Sixteen of the eighteen holes are laid out alongside the shoreline. Four of those have dramatic greens where the ocean comes into play on both sides. Finally, there are two holes that consist of over-the-ocean tee shots. The greens often undulated and surrounded by strategically placed bunkers.
Due to the topographical limitations, the course consists of many narrow holes. The prevailing sea winds also give the player an additional challenge. However, the overall distance is not long (a little less than 6,500 yards) in comparison to today’s standards. This compensates for the fact that it is a narrow and windy course. It is possible for players to score well, as long as their course management is solid. Nevertheless, players must think a lot during the round. For example, when a lay-up is needed, players must think about choosing a side which they believe is safer for a bail-out area. In my opinion, there are more memorable holes on the back nine.
The par 4 370-yard 3rd is a drivable par four that consists of a slight dogleg to the right. Since the hole consists of a relatively strong downhill slope, players can drive down the narrow fairway landing close to the green. However, this is a risk/reward hole. The further a player hits, the narrower their landing area is. Players need to make a decision whether to lay-up before the green or not. The fact that both sides of the green, sloping from back to front, are guarded by the ocean makes this hole quite unique. The par 4 420-yard 12th is a signature hole that bends to the right. The tee shot must carry a ravine and over the ocean. This will require a carry of 180-230 yards. There are several trees that line up along the other side of the cliff, therefore, a high trajectory flight off the tee is required to clear them. The second shot is uphill and semi-blind to the green that is guarded by three bunkers on the left, a bunker at the back left, and the ocean on the right. Achieving a par here would be considered a good score.
The par 5 530-yard 16h is another signature hole. It is a dynamic hole that bends twice to the right. The tee shot is a downhill over the ocean that requires the ball to land onto the narrow fairway that is guarded by the same ocean on the left. If a player’s drive is over 230 yards, their ball will roll down the sharp down slope. From there, they will find their ball at about 50 feet below from the upper fairway and will enjoy the additional 100 yards or so. It is possible to reach the green in two shots. However the longer players hit off the tee, the narrower the landing area will be on this hole. Therefore, players will have to make a decision whether to use a driver for a two-shot or to lay-up safely. The approach shot can be quite demanding since the green is highly elevated as there are three deep bunkers in its front, four bunkers in its rear and right, and the ocean on its left. The putting can also be difficult as the green has several undulations.
Overall, the 6450-yard short distance shouldn’t be dismissed, as Weihai Point is a very challenging course. This course will impose a stern test on a player’s physical, as well as mental skills. Even if a player’s score is bad or they lose a lot of balls, the overall experience will be quite forgiving as the superb panoramic ocean views from the cliff tops more than make up for a poor round. I truly believe that no other golf course has the same, or a similar experience. To read more about Weihai Point, Click here to visit my website.