|Address||Overseas Chinese Town East, Shenzhen|
|007 booking hotline||+852 2187 3146 or book-on-line|
|No. of Holes||36|
|Par/Length||72/6863 yards (Back Tee)|
Guangdong’s newest public course, Wind Valley is part of Overseas Chinese Town East (the same group are responsible for Windows of the World) and is located on the top of a mountain overlooking Shenzhen docks (better than it sounds). Travel distance around 50 mins from Huanggang.
Club Facilities & Service
Top-notch. The clubhouse might look a bit funky on the outside but it’s elegant on the inside; tastefully decorated(1, 2, 3) and houses the usual array of facilities: restaurant, changing room(1, 2, 3, 4) and proshop(1, 2). The starter’s hut is less of a hut than most places.
Fairway & Green maintenance
Dreadful. Fairways and greens are in good shape. The bunkers – which are like those at Century Seaview (read: tough, but nice to look at.) – were filled with an incredibly fine type of sand which meant that even balls that rolled in would plug. Not good.
Totally wacky. This is an extreme mountain course – elevation changes are outrageous at times. To be perfectly honest, the designers did well do build any kind of golf course here at all, given the nature of the terrain.
From the blue tee – a hair under 6,300 yards – it’s a considerable test. The main difficulties? Elevated, strongly contoured greens, uneven lies and club selection. The par threes are as spectacular (and difficult) as those at Kau Sai Chau North Course.
Caddy Service & knowledge
Pretty ok. Not much English understood but they’re a keen bunch.
Tough opener. Need to thread your drive between the phalanx of bunkers on the left and the lone bunker on the right. Approach is played uphill to a well-guarded green.
Tough hole. Long, but downhill, the main difficulty lies with the approach to the elevated green. Impossible to get a flat lie on this fairway.
Short dogleg left par-4. Possible to drive the green.
Very dramatic par-3: downhill, over a ravine. Green is wide but shallow. Par is excellent.
Another dramatic hole. Only the very longest hitters can carry the bunkers from the blue tee which means the landing area for everyone else is unfairly narrow. Use an old ball and hope for the best. (Picture taken from White tee)
Whatever you do make sure you go left, or at least hit an iron off the tee – the ravine comes into play only 200 yards off the tee. Second must be played over it. Tough, and even tougher when you don’t know where you’re aiming. (thanks for those precise instructions, caddie!).
Mid length downhill par-3 green surrounded by bunkers.
Uphill dogleg right par-5. Agressive line off the tee will hug the right side. From there it’s possible to reach in two. Otherwise, play up the left and pitch in from there. Kinda funky.
Slightly uphill par-4. A good whack with a 3-wood (driver in danger of going through the fairway) will leave a short iron over a ravine to a small green. Another devilishly tricky hole.
Fairly straightforward par-4. Avoid the bunker on the right and you’ll be left with a pitch to the elevated green.
Mid-length par-4 that arcs to the left.
Nice par-5. The important shot here is the second: really long players might fancy taking on the lake, while everyone else has to decide where is the best place to lay up. Thinking required.
Tricky par-3 that plays shorter because of the elevation. Par is a decent score.
Odd par-4. Blind drive followed by a pitch to a small green. The second has to be precise.
Another crazy hole. Longer hitters can fly the bunkers on the left and hope for a good kick down to the fairway. Be careful though – the land slopes towards the water. A good drive will set up an easy mid-iron to the green. Plays considerably shorter than the yardage.
Very tough par-3. Long and features an extremely shallow green. Reminded me a bit of KSC N 14th. Requires a hefty blow to carry the ravine.
Short downhill Par 3 with a strongly contoured green. Don’t pull it left of the green – there’s all sorts of trouble down there.
What are you supposed to hit off the tee here? It measures 597-yards but you can’t hit driver and you can’t hit 3-wood – hit it pure and it will end up in the drink through the first island of fairway. Water all the way down the left too. Fortunately, it plays a lot shorter so it’s still possible to reach in regulation if you hit a good iron off the tee. Controversial hole.
This is definitely one of those courses which is going to be loved and loathed in equal measure. It’s certainly not dull but the extreme terrain and resulting uneven lies means this is one place to avoid if you’re not on your game! Note: Bring plenty of balls. Although it’s not ridiculously narrow off the tee, there are parts of the course which will scare the living daylights out of beginner golfers (eg. Holes 4, 5 and 6).
This rater thinks the course is too mountainous and is in no great rush to go back. My playing partners, however, absolutely loved it and determined to return when conditions improve. Each to their own.
What can’t really be argued with here are the spectacular views. A beautiful waterfall can be seen from behind the 12th tee, but because of the time of year (and expected Shenzhen smog) our photos didn’t come out particularly well.
Crazy course, but interest factor is high.
Important Note: Drive your cart very carefully. Because of all the elevation change you’ll be in for some interesting rides. Make sure you’re paying attention and that the caddies are ready to go. The drive between the 3rd/4th has to be the longest in China golf – it takes about 10 minutes!
Merits goes to Marshals whom are hardworking and busy in taking good care of those slower players, we fourballs managed to finish in 4 hours.