Spring City - Lake Course
Kunming in the Yunnan Province of China is known as 'The Spring City' because of a year round temperate climate . The Spring City Golf Resort consists of two courses - The Lake & The Mountain - and has been consistently rated as Asia's best golf resort over the last decade . Little wonder with the two courses rated as no 1 and no 2 in China & Hong Kong....
The Lake Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr , and was completed in 1998 . Built alongside the massive Yang Zonghai Lake , the course is routed along a series of terraces which take you gradually down from the clubhouse high on the mountainside until you reach the 8th , 9th , and 10th holes adjacent to the lake. Then you go back up again - but because you play mostly along the terraces the significant elevation change is not as big a factor as it otherwise might have been . This is not really ideal golfing terrain , but the quality of the end result is a testament to the creative powers of RTJ Jnr , and to the $ and effort put in by the developers in carving a golf course from the mountainside.
I have mentioned before that I have played and generally really enjoyed RTJ Jnr courses aaround the world - I am a fan! Although this course has been rated the best course in China & HK , I didn't rate it as one of his best . I am not as taken by courses where it is not obvious to me what strategy the designer is asking me to employ . Too often I hit a tee shot on a par 4 , or a 2nd shot on a par 5 not really knowing where I should be going - this is definitely a course where one would benefit from playing a couple of times . AND you may be better off playing the course from a longer tee to play short of the hazards....
Nevertheless the Lake Course has much to recommend it . The views are spectacular , and some of the skyline greens are breathtaking .The par 8th in particular demands an accurate short iron . Play is from a very elevated and exposed tee to a seemingly tiny green projecting into the lake . It made for a tense tee shot with heavy winds playing havoc as the ball stayed in the air for what seemed like ages....
Spring City Lake Course was a delight to play , and it's a top place to stay . My tip is that the Lake Course will relinquish it's top ranking -as the competition hots up in China - but it remains a 'must play' golfing destination that must be experienced.
The Travelling Golfer
The Lake Course at Spring City is played on The Travelling Golfer "Spring City & Stoneforest" Golf Tours.
Other courses in the area that are included in the various tours are:
The Mountain Course at Spring City
Course A & B at Stoneforest International CC
Five star accommodation is available at Spring City Resort and at Sloane Place near Stoneforest.