A new course set among dunes that fringe the Gobi desert in the Inner Mongolia province of China is approaching completion.
Designed by Schmidt-Curley and provisionally named Dalu Dunes, the public course is set to have a soft opening later this year.
“We are really excited to introduce the Chinese population to a real, links golf setting, not just a natural golf course, but to the origins of golf,” said Ryan Farrow, a design associate with Schmidt-Curley. “Spring and early summer brings consistent 20-30 mph winds. The course is set on pure sand, 15-20 metre tall sand dunes and our design places an emphasis on the ground game with open greens sites at their natural grade, featuring plenty of blind shots and sidehill lies.”
The course includes many traditional links features: a Redan hole, a driveable par four to a punchbowl green, large expanses of waste area and blow-out style bunkers.
“The design will also feature two heights of cut, fairway and greens,” explained Farrow. “The tees blend in seamlessly into the fairways, which are more than 75 yards wide in places in order to keep the course playable during the windy season.”
The development by Inner Mongolia Yitai Group will also be home to a hotel, 18-hole par three course, a putting course, a short game area and driving range. The course will be open for daily green fee play, with nearby Hohhot a potential target market, having a population of 2.8 million and only a couple of existing golf facilities.
“We hope this design will not only change the misconceptions of the game in China regarding overly manicured and watered courses, but also inspire developers to seek out great, natural sites like those found here, on the edge of the Gobi Desert,” added Farrow.