A NEW VENUE FOR THE VOLVO CHINA JUNIOR MATCH PLAY COMPETITORS

The Volvo China Junior Match Play Championship will see a new venue for the 12th staging of this prestigious event when 32 of the nation’s leading junior golfers compete over the West Course at The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula, a 36-hole development on the east coast of Hainan Island.

The impressive Tom Weiskopf-designed layout occupies an envious location on the edge of the South China Sea, one that provides golfers with cooling sea breezes and breath-taking views.

However those cooling sea breezes also determine that correct club selection is of paramount importance when trying to put together a winning score, so the juniors’ skills will be tested to the full during the four rounds of competition.

Weiskopf’s multi-award-winning design also includes five practice holes and a golf academy, while two international hotels provide excellent on-site accommodation in 646 luxury rooms and suites.

The two golf courses – the East and the West – are the centre of attraction at the Hainan resort and present a golfing landscape somewhat unique to this part of Asia.  

Many of the holes are cut through canyons of massive sand dunes, and most of those have been planted with indigenous vegetation that was reintroduced after construction was complete.

Opened for play in 2010, the resort’s two courses are now “must play” venues for international tourists from many parts of the world, and no one goes home disappointed, perhaps except with their scores.

After viewing the Shenzhou property for the first time Weiskopf was reported to have commented that it was “one of the finest he had ever seen” during his 30 years of designing courses in various parts of the world. At that time it was a watermelon plantation!

The bunkering adds both to the visual appeal of the golf course and also to the challenge of play. Most of the bunkers feature jagged edges, which provide the appearance that the golf courses have been here for many more years than they actually have.

Although the resort takes its name from the rugged sand dunes, the golf courses also feature rocky outcrops and huge boulders, particularly on the holes nearer to the ocean, all of which add character to this amazing landscape.

The junior boys will play from the gold tees during the competition, and the 360-yard 16th will no doubt decide the outcome of several matches. A sliced drive here could well see the second shot played from nearby Shenzhou beach!

Such is the skill of the designer, Weiskopf added to his master plan the opportunity to take nine holes from each course to create a composite course that may well be used for future major international competitions.

Located midway between Sanya and Haikou, The Dunes is easily reachable by car or by high-speed train, with the closest station being only about 1km from the resort entrance.

(2017-11-06)

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