Design firm Fry/Straka will start work on a new project in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia next year, and principal Dana Fry says he believes the course could be among the best in the world.
Batu Bay Golf Club will be part of a resort overlooking the Batu Bay reservoir, a three hour drive from the regional capital, Ordos. The golf course will be built among sand dunes, and perched on a bluff above the reservoir. Developer Oriental Holding Group plans a Banyan Tree hotel on the site.
“We are close to finalising the masterplan. This project is the real deal!” an excited Fry told GCA. “The bluff is about 30km long. The golf course sits about thirty metres above the lake, and is pure sand. Native material no more than a metre high covers about 95 per cent of the site. It has a Sand Hills or Bandon Dunes feel to it.”
“We will move very little earth,” Fry continued. “Because of the wind we will make the turf areas around 50 per cent wider than normal. Tees will be treated as if they are desert tee boxes with native scrub around them, and the scrub will border both sides of the holes, except in areas where we connect the turf between holes. Bunkers will have a wild and woolly look. We will plant fescue everywhere except the greens. It will be special!”
Construction of the course is scheduled to begin next May, with a planned opening in the late summer of 2014. The closest airport is at Yulin City in Shanxi province, about an hour's drive away.