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 had been consistently rated as Asia's best golf resort over the last few decades.
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 around 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 world wide.
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's 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 Travelling Golfer 'must play' golfing destination that must be experienced.
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to China to suit your group.
For itinerary suggestions please see Destinations: China- Spring City & Stoneforest
For further information please enquire here:
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.