Jacobson rounds off at Chengdu


Sean Dudley

With his practice continuing to thrive internationally, Chicago-based golf course architect Rick Jacobson has completed the design on his firm’s fourth new layout on the Chinese mainland.

The Chengdu Wolong Valley International Golf Club is an 18-hole championship course located at the focal point of a thriving mixed-use residential, commercial, hotel, and retail development in the city of Chengdu, Sichuan Province in southwestern China. Known as the world’s only breeding and research centre for China's famed giant pandas, Chengdu boasts a 12-month golf season thanks to its mild winters and temperate summer climate.

“We are very excited to complete the design on a new 18-hole golf course located in the midst of an incredible city that is both a large regional population centre as well as a major hub for international business,” said Jacobson. “The Chinese view golf as a tremendous asset for businesses, families, and friends to build strong relationships in a recreational setting.”

Jacobson said his design there has a ‘Pine Valley theme’, which takes advantage of the site’s gently rolling topography. The concept features large sand waste areas with scrub pines, junipers, and fescue grasses reminiscent of George Arthur Crump’s original New Jersey masterpiece. Furthermore, the naturalistic design concept will reduce the need for irrigation and chemical application requirements on turf grass, resulting in an environmentally responsible golf operation.

The course will be tournament-ready, measuring just under 7,200 yards from the back tees. But, as is the case with all Jacobson designs, the course will be playable for hotel guests and higher handicappers, with the forward tees playing approximately 5,100 yards.

The facility will have a large practice area for full-swing, short game, putting, and private instruction and the course is expected to feature a Tuscan-style clubhouse that will provide golfers with dramatic panoramic views across a lake to several golf holes.