|Address||Po Toi O, Sai Kung, New Territories
|Contacts||Tel (852) 2335 3888 / Fax (852) 2335 1380|
|No. of holes||One 18 hole with an executive 9 holes (all par 3’s)|
|Par/Back Tee||70 / 6,608 yards|
|Designer||T. Sawai & A. Furukawa (redesigned by Thomson & Perret)|
|Course Traffic||E. Cart|
|Charges (HK$)||E. Cart for 2 Included (No Caddy Service at CWB)
|Transportation||Central – Club (Approx. 40″ by car)
Hang Hau – Club Club shuttle bus available on weekends and public holidays
This spectacular clifftop course is situated on the tip of the jaw-droppingly beautiful Clearwater Bay Peninsula and was completed in the early 90s. Although it is a private club visitors can play during the week (maximum booking: 3 days in advance) and not surprisingly it isn’t cheap; a round will cost a minumum of HK$1400 – depending on the time of year – and that includes the HK resident discount. Is it worth the cash? Quite possibly…….read on to find out why.
Club Facilities & Service
The clubhouse has been upgraded fairly recently and houses all the facilities that you expect from a club of this stature. More leisure amenities are located in the Country Club five minutes away but these are not open to visitors. The service of the staff was good so we’ve got no complaints there.
Fairway & Green maintenance
Following the recent renovation of the course, conditions were good without being outstanding. The greens were a little furry perhaps (and v. sandy in places) but we’re sure these will improve in time. The fairways and tee boxes were presented superbly.
Caddy Service & knowledge
No caddy service provided at CWB.
CWB is absolutely stunning in parts. Following five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson and his team’s recent renovation the course opens up with the Ocean nine which runs along the cliffs edge before returning inland back up towards the clubhouse. The first four holes are as spectacular as they come and offer wonderful seaside views. The Ocean nine is pretty short – less than 3,190 yards from the blue tees – but that doesn’t really affect scoring; the wind that hammers in off the sea is more of a factor than anything else.
The back nine – the Highland Nine – is not quite as thrilling as the first few holes but features more in the way of elevation change and is much longer as well. It’s definitely a strong stretch of holes and culminates in a swinging par-five that will either make or break your round.
Accuracy off the tee is paramount at CWB. There isn’t much room to spray it around – miss the fairway and more than likely you’ll be reaching into your bag for another ball – and given the length of the layout, bombing it miles isn’t as much as an advantage as it is at other courses. The par-threes, however, are probably the toughest set of short holes in Hong Kong – more so than even Kau Sai Chau North. They all seem to measure in excess of 200 yards and play to tiny greens that feature significant slope.
Put simply, CWB is an undoubtedly tough test but a beautiful one as well. Yes, it’s expensive but well worth a visit every once in a while. Remember to bring you camera – some of the views here are as good as anything you’ll see at a golf course.
Very intimidating opening hole and an usual one: it’s a par-three. Although it plays slightly downhill, it’s usually into the breeze which means that you’ll need to hit a very long club. Trees right, huge bunker left, elevated green………..par is a truly wonderful score.
Great par-five this. The fairway bunkers are definitely in play so aim well left. The second shot is blind but with the ocean (red stakes) on the right side it pays dividends to keep left again. Green is well-bunkered. If you can keep it straight, the length of the hole means that you shouldn’t need much more than a short-iron or wedge for your third.
Jaw-droppingly spectacular hole. Since the renovation of the course, the tee on this par-four has been brought back over 40 yards and now the drive must be played away from the cliff rather than over it. It wasn’t very tough before, but now it’s an absolute brute. The fairway bunkers on the right can only be carried with an exceptional drive so the smart play is to stay left the whole way. The difficulty of this hole, like many at Clearwater Bay, really depends on the wind. Could be anything from a pitching wedge to a 3-iron for your second. Like the 14th at Kau Sai Chau North, this is as unforgettable hole.
Tricky hole with great views of the surrounding mountains. This downhill green features a huge false-front so don’t be short; your ball will trickle a long way back. As you might have guessed, the par-threes at Clearwater Bay are tough!
An uphill par-five which allows you to have a good crack with the driver. Fairway bunkers on the right shouldn’t be ignored, but the real difficulty is with the second and the approach to the elevated green so it’s important not to be short – if you do you’ll be faced with a blind chip.
Yet another really tough par-three. The green is really narrow and undulating, which makes chipping very tricky. A bogey here is certainly NOT a disgrace.
A reprieve of sorts at this short par-four, but lose your concentration and you could face difficulty. Only really requires a mid or long iron – avoiding the lake – and a wedge into the green. Hit driver off this tee and you get an unexpecting result….
Swinging uphill dogleg-left par-four. Bunkers on the left are best avoided though and the green is probably the longest on the course. Depending on where the flag is, the second could be anything from a wedge to a 6-iron.
Water in front of the tee is not really in play so try and fire a good drive over the bunker, which will leave a short approach to the two-tiered green. It’s all about the tee-shot on this potential birdie hole.
Very long par-four that plays into the wind. Fortunately the fairway is wide so give it your Sunday best off the tee. Short of the green on the right are a series of humps that are not the place to be chipping from. (Believe me, I know). Longer hitters have a definite advantage here.
Slighly downslope par 3 without 3 bunkers around the green.
Long par-four with water short and left of the green. Unless you get a good one away off the tee, the sensible play is to keep short and right with the approach. The green is generally flat so a good chip and putt should ensure a par.
A good long drive is required from an elevated tee on this par-four to give you a good view of the green seemingly miles away in the distance. The narrow putting surface is really well-protected with huge bunkers, which makes a run-up shot all the more difficult. Unquestionably one of the toughest holes on the course.
Multi-tiered green on this slighly downhill & short par-three. A lot of trouble on the right so the middle of the green is never a bad result.
Sharply doglegging par-five. The drive had better be accurate or else you’ll be re-loading. Actually, playing a 3-wood or hybrid from the tee is worth serious consideration because it really is very narrow. The hole opens up after the drive and the green is one of the largest on the course. Like a few holes out here, your final score is really dependent on your drive.
Par 3. It pays to be long; the bunker short of the putting surface is not the best place to salvage par.
Quirky par-four that doglegs to the right. Need to fly the fairway cross-bunker in order to have good view of the elevated green. Trouble right and left so giving it a bash with your driver might not be the best of options. Greenside bunkers are quite deep.
The wow-factor at Clearwater Bay is restored with this swinging par-five. From a hugely elevated teeing position, you can either take on the carry over jungle, which will leave a mid-iron approach, or you can stay right (and safety) and plod your way to the green from there. From the blue tee to the bunker in the middle of the shot is around 260 yards making it possible to take it on if the wind is at your back. We believe the great Seve Ballesteros had a bit of a nightmare at this hole the last time he visited. Not surprisingly, we did too!
Cracking layout that would be even better if they had a bit more room – holes 6 & 7 are a little cramped – but that is really a minor gripe. Difficulty of the course increases considerably when the wind’s up – which it normally is. Hope to be back sooner rather than later.