|Address||Yalong Bay National Resort District|
|007 booking hotline||+852 2180 2963 or book-on-line|
|No. of Holes||18 (9 with lighting)|
|Par/Yardage||72 / 7,116 yards (Back Tee)|
|Designer||Robert Trent Jones II|
The course is located within the Yalong Bay National Tourist District, a 35 minute drive from Sanya’s International Airport. Yalong Bay is home to many top hotels and resorts, including the Sheraton Sanya, the Marriott Resort, the Crowne Plaza, the Hilton, the Gloria Resort, the Holiday Inn and various others. The district is popular with Hong Kongers (it’s only an hour flight to Sanya) because of the long sandy beach, an excellent choice of hotels and, of course, the golf. There’s not much else here apart from resorts though – the nearest & better local restaurants are a good 30 minute drive away in Sanya itself – but it’s a good place to lay back and relax. Rest and relaxation is what Yalong Bay is all about.Yalong Bay Golf Club might sound familiar because it’s seemingly always hosting professional golf events. In 2006 alone, the course was the venue for the European Tour’s TCL Classic, the Asian Tour’s Crowne Plaza Open and, most recently, the Volkswagen Masters of China. There have been some good winners of the events here too – Paul Casey has won here, Johan Edfors won this year’s TCL, super Thai teen Chinarat Phadungsil won the Crowne Plaza and Retief Goosen triumphed at the Volkswagen Masters. It should be added that the pros routinely rip the course apart with really low winning totals – no surprise, perhaps, because this is a resort course with little in the way of defense against the very best players. Of course, it’s a bit harder for the likes of you and I specially when the wind is up, the course will be a lot tougher.
Interestingly, Yalong Bay was voted by Golf Digest (USA) as one of the top-100 courses outside of the United States. Although, in our opinion, that’s a little generous – it probably has something to do with the course hosting so many professional events – it gives an idea of the overall quality of the golf here.
Club Facilities & Service
Although the club has a good selection of facilities, they are starting to look a bit old and could do with a revamp. Good news, then, that the club is going to start renovating the clubhouse in 2007. Definitely looking forward to when it’s finished.
Fairway & Green maintenance
Yalong Bay always seems to be in very good condition – probably because they have so much practice preparing the course for the big professional events that come to town every so often.
As a resort course don’t expect the greens to be lightning quick, but they’re not too slow either. Fairways are also in very good shape.
Caddy Service & knowledge
Good. No gripes at all. Guangdong caddies seem to speak better English though which is strange given that Hainan is so geared up towards tourism. Perhaps I was just a bit unlucky.
Very enjoyable. Not the hardest course you’ll ever play – generous fairways plenty of expansive bunkering – mostly to add visual splendor than to give you a really hard time – and the appearance of water make it an attractive layout too. A good mix of holes with a couple of exciting short par-4s and a risk-reward par-5. The back nine is a little more memorable than the front.
Lengthy par-5 that arcs gently to the left – a nice straightforward opening hole.
Large fairway bunker on the right is best avoided on this relatively lengthy par-4. The water to the right of the green is only in play if you yank your approach miles offline. Par is a good score.
Solid tee shot required on this par-3. Plenty of room on the left for those who want to play ultra-safe.
Fancy giving it a rip on this potentially reachable par-4? Otherwise knock a fairway wood down the fairway and pitch up to the relatively small green.
Left off this tee doesn’t win too many prizes. Good birdie chance for those who can keep it straight.
Nice par-4 that favours a draw off the tee. The large green features quite a bit of slope so not too many birdies are recorded here (certainly not by us anyway).
Get out the big stick on this very reachable par-4. Better be accurate though – water on the left is definitely in play. Nice hole. Like most of the holes at Yalong Bay, the seventh is best played with a bit of breeze.
Straightaway par-4. Green slopes from back to front.
Longish par-5 that plays slightly uphill. Avoid all the bunkers around the green and there shouldn’t be too much trouble.
Fire it over the right side of the fairway bunker for the best line into this green. Putting surface is ringed by three bunkers. Par is never bad.
Another little par-3 featuring water. The wet stuff shouldn’t be in play though.
Two ways of playing this short par-4. The more agressive line is to try and carry the bunker on the left which will leave only a flip with a wedge. Otherwise, fire a long iron down the right side of the fairway to get a good view of the green. When the wind is up, it plays a lot trickier than both the yardage and course handicap would suggest.
Potentially dangerous par-5 with water all the way down the left. Not the place to try that miracle 3-wood across water from 250 yards away. The conservative route up the right is definitely the way to make par.
Another short par-4 that’s made more tricky by the fairway bunkers. Right off this tee is definite trouble. Keep it straight and it’s a potential birdie hole.
From the tips this plays as a 240-yard par-3! Even from the blues and whites it requires a precisely struck long iron or even fairway wood. Marshy swamp on the right of the green means you’re better off staying left. Bogey is acceptable, par is fantastic.
Exiciting par-5 this one. A good drive will leave the option of taking the green on in two. If you don’t think you can manage the longish carry over the lake then play the second shot up the left hand side and it shouldn’t be much more than a short iron third.
Stay left with the tee shot on this par-4. The main trouble with the approach is guaging the distance to a large two-tiered green.
This par-4 plays slightly longer than its yardage because we’re going uphill. Avoiding the fairway and greenside bunkers is crucial if you need a par. One of the stronger par-4s at Yalong Bay and a good finishing hole.
An excellent place to play for holidaymakers. Relaxed atmosphere and very playable golf course makes this the ideal retreat for players of all abilities. The course, although generally flat, always manages to hold interest and the conditioning is among the best you’ll find in Hainan. When the clubhouse renovations are complete its rating will be even higher.