Natural look for China course


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Schmidt-Curley Design's Liaoning Gold Time Golf Club in Yingkou, China, is now ready for play following the completion of its grow-in phase. Featuring a mix of rugged bunkering and dunes, along with fescue and other cool-season grasses, Liaoning is one of the first courses in China to feature a natural, less formal look than is common in the country.

Situated on Bohai Bay in north-eastern China, the par-72, 7,119-yard course benefits from panoramic sea views. Notable holes include the sixteenth, which is a long, heavily-bunkered par four playing to an elevated green. Hole 17 is a demanding, short par three, while the eighteenth hole is another lengthy par four. The finishing stretch passes through seaside sand dunes, waste and formal bunkers, ending with an uphill approach to an undulating putting surface.

“Until recently, most golf course owners in China have preferred highly-manicured designs with hard-line edges," said partner Brian Curley. "Liaoning breaks from this mould. It exemplifies the continuing evolution of the Chinese golf market, and our firm's devotion to promoting differing styles and 'outside-the-box' concepts to further popularise the sport.”

Along with senior design associate Patrick Burton, Curley created dunes and sandy lows as well as waste and blow-out bunkers, with the aim of emphasising the ground game. Although the choice of fescue grasses to frame the bentgrass fairways and greens creates an imposing appearance, the course allows for easy play by golfers at all levels of experience.