Construction underway at Baihua Ridge course in China

  • Lovely Golf Course

    The new Baihua Ridge course is being built in a mountainous region in the interior of China’s Hainan Island

  • Lovely Golf Course

    Ben Davey’s routing makes use of hole corridors from a previous course that closed in 2010

  • Lovely Golf Course

    All holes are being redesigned with new tees, greens, bunkers, drainage and irrigation

Elizabeth Robinson
By Elizabeth Robinson

Construction of a new golf course on China’s Hainan Island is in progress.

The Baihua Ridge course, which has been designed by Australian golf course architect Ben Davey of Contour Golf Design Group, is located in a mountainous region in the interior of the island, between the tourist hub of Sanya and the capital Haikou.

The course will form part of a proposed health spa resort and replaces an 18-hole course that closed in 2010, the new owners taking advantage of the property having a license for a golf course.

“The first time I visited the site, the original course was still there under seven years of jungle regrowth,” said Davey. “Some of the original routing worked very well, especially on the back nine, so the layout of the holes here has not changed dramatically, except in places where more width was needed. The front nine – which occupied lower land with several holes playing around and over a lake – had some serious flaws, so many of these holes were rerouted, still using what were the original cleared corridors, where possible.”

All 18 greens are being rebuilt based on new designs, as are all tees, bunkering, irrigation and most of the drainage systems.

“The biggest challenge on a steep, mountainous site such as this, is giving the landing zones plenty of space,” said Davey. “I am trying to get a minimum 60 metres of width for golfers to play to from the tee, while making sure there is plenty of bail-out space around greens. Some of the drop-offs adjacent to greens are quite dramatic – as are the views – but the steep grades and dense jungle will make retrieving errant shots impossible.”

The new course can stretch to 7,000 yards from the back tees. A new driving range will also be added in a very steep valley with target greens set into the steep slopes at varying distances.

The shaping of three holes is complete and the earthworks are in progress on the back nine holes. Grassing will commence soon and the construction of the course is expected to be completed in late 2018.