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Strategies on the Dunes Golf Course of China

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The Dunes, a 36-hole golf course with an additional 5 practice holes has been thoughtfully designed by internationally-renowned Tom Weiskopf to make the most of the distinctive geography and dramatic beauty of this unique location - from the rugged coastal dunes to the strong, craggy boulders. The unique native bunker style has also been designed to blend in with natural surroundings and made to look like it has always been there for centuries.

Golf enthusiasts of all levels will be inspired and challenged by the beautiful quintessential seaside design which embraces traditional golf course architecture, reminiscent of the classic designs such as Royal Melbourne, Cypress Point and Pine Valley. Whether one is pausing to take a breath of fresh air before teeing off, using the mountainous skyline as a backdrop to a shot, or simply enjoying the superior level of hospitality at the clubhouse, The Dunes offers a world-class setting for everyone to truly enjoy the traditional game of golf.

The legendary Tom Weiskopf paid remarkable attention to ensuring that the only traditional seaside golf course in Asia was carefully carved out of the native sand dunes on this natural peninsula on Hainan's stunning, untouched east coast. Mr. Weiskopf created the natural landscape including massive dunes and reintroduced local indigenous plant species to combine with the unparalleled breathtaking views to create what will truly go down in history as one of Asia finest golfing creations.

The landscape will give every golfer the feeling that they are experiencing golf in the most traditional and natural settings available in all of Asia. Every golf hole will give the golfer a different experience that will make them feel that they have entered and are experiencing the true and ever-changing beauty of Mother Nature.

West 1# Par 4

This medium length par 4 is designed to get the day off to a good start. Drive it out to the right and avoid the fairway bunker to leave the best approach angle. The green sits on a right to left angle and is protected all along the left side with a large and spectacular bunker. Challenging this fairway bunker, which has a carry of 235 yards from the back tee, will leave a much shorter approach to the green.

West #2 Par 5

This 605 yards par 5 is the longest hole on the West Course. The play off the tee is to try and drive the ball as far as possible to this wide open fairway. The second shot is pinched by trees on both sides of the fairway and a bunker left. The medium sized green is guarded on the left by water and a small pot bunker in the front. A large bunker wraps around the right of the green to guard against any player that bails right to avoid the water. Par will be a good score on this truly 3 shot par 5.

West #3 Par 3

Totally surrounded by bunkers, this medium length par 3 places a real emphasis on club selection and accuracy off the tee. The green surface has very mild undulations to provide a good chance for birdie if hit in regulation.

West #4 Par 4

This long par 4 has a large lake all the way down the right side at a slight right angle from the tees. You can choose either the safer left route or try to challenge the water on the right to get closer to the green. The approach to the green should come in from the left to avoid the water and bunker flanking the right side of the green. The green surface is fairly large and accuracy will be important to properly negotiate the roll in the center

West #5 Par4

Coming over the large dune from 4 green, this spectacular hole unfolds before your eyes as the first of many to extend along the ocean. The landing area is defined by a large dune on the left and two menacing bunkers on the right. Shots hit too far left will be behind the dune with a blind shot left into the green. The green is protected by a bunker 30 yards short and a large bunker on the right and one behind. A big false front capes off the left edge and front of the green that run into grassy hollows.

West #6 Par3

Nestled into a backdrop of a huge boulder outcropping, this challenging long par 3 has a little bit of everything. The safe “miss” here is definitely to the right and short of the green, or long left, as the green is positioned over a large tidal wetland and is bunkered front middle and back right. The green surface is undulating just enough to make par a great score on this spectacular and picturesque hole.

West #7 Par4

This hole sits below the base of a mountain range on the right and large native bunkers and sand dunes on the left. The fairway is extremely wide at the landing area, which offers many different options for approach angles to the green. Approaching from the right side of the fairway is the best view to the green and to attack any pin, as the green slopes aggressively from left to right. However, coming in from the left side can be advantageous if trying to shorten the second shot.

West #8 Par4

This dramatic par 4 was carved into the primary dune above the coast of the South China Sea. The elevated tees nestled into the mountain unveil one of the best views on the entire Shenzhou Peninsula. Challenging the left fairway bunker and dune will give the best approach angle to the green from the elevated, gently rolling fairway. The huge elevated green makes for a nice big target when playing this hole on a windy day. However, there is plenty of elevation change, once on the green, to challenge even the best putters.

West #9 Par5

Originating from atop the dune behind 8 green, this medium length par 5 provides a spectacular end to the front nine. Try and challenge the dunes left of the fairway and be rewarded with a clear view and shot to the next landing area. Bail to the right and you may find yourself in a fairway bunker or semi-blind to the green site on your approach. The best layup should be left of the fairway bunker at the second landing area. There is plenty of room on the sides of this large two level green to recover from any stray second or third shots. The bunkers short right and back left provide the steepest penalty for wayward shots.

West #10 Par3

This semi-blind par 3 is reminiscent of traditional Scottish Links Golf. A large dune in the front of the green obscures part of the view of the green surface from each individual tee, however, the flagstick is visible from all. Left is the safe play if unsure of yourself. A large fairway area is nestled left and short of the green giving a place to miss. Missing right will create plenty of challenge trying to negotiate the large native bunker.

West #11 Par 4

Bite off as much as you dare on this long 470 yards, par 4 that is bordered in its entirety by a large lake on the right. A large fairway bunker left protects from players bailing too far from the water, but is a good line to aim at off the tee with a slight fade. The green is one of the largest on the course and is bisected down the middle with a large ridge. A deep bunker on the right and an elevated bunker left help to frame a narrow bounce in. Par is a good score on this demanding hole.

West #12 Par 5

This medium length dog leg left par 5 could be reachable in two with the right wind conditions. A large bunker left of the landing area will force a sure layup for anyone unfortunate enough to reach this off the tee. The second shot is wide open until the player reaches the green. Bunkers left and right at the green will keep the long hitters honest as they approach the flag. A strong swale through the green center will create a challenge for those who reach the green with an inaccurate shot.

West #13 Par 4

The key to this short par 4 is to avoid the low dunes and deep bunkers along the right side. A left center tee shot off the tee will provide the best approach angle to attack this well bunkered green. The perched green surface is fairly small and undulating, demanding an accurate approach for any chance of making birdie.

West #14 Par 5

The par 5 14th begins a spectacular stretch of home holes to finish the round and will usually play into the prevailing wind. The tee shot is framed by two high bunkers right and a menacing low area all along the left. The view from the landing area is awesome as the green sits perched with the ocean behind. The second shot should always be missed right, as a deep low guards the left side of the second landing area. The green sits high above two deep left side bunkers and is characterized by a lot of interesting surface movements.

West #15 Par 4

This short drivable par 4 can be played several ways. Laying up well short of all of the bunkers leaves a longer iron into the lateral green. Driving the ball long and in the right center of the fairway is the best way to go at any pin placed in the right half of the green, as all balls should bounce toward the green center. The heroic shot, for the long hitter, is left over the deep fairway bunkers. If you can avoid the center bunker at the green, then you should be rewarded with a putt for eagle or at the worst a birdie.

West #17 Par 3

A truly target hole, the 17th is the shortest of the par 3's and requires an accurate read of the wind to properly choose the correct club. Multiple tee locations provide various angles to play this hole from, yet each will challenge the player given the green's exposure to the ocean breeze. Play a bit left of center if you are a bit squeamish about going directly at the pin. A large dune and bunker will catch any ball hit short and the beach awaits any missed shots to the right. However, there is a bit of a bounce-in from the left side to help the player that happens to pull the tee shot. Par will be a great score on this devilishly short hole.

West #18 Par 4

The home hole is a long par 4 that plays slightly uphill to a green which sits below the majestic clubhouse. The tee shot is fairly wide open as the bunker on the right is well out of play. Try to stay a bit left of center off the tee for the best views into the green, which is bunkered on both the left and right. The left greenside bunker is deceptively pulled about 25 feet away from the font edge of the green, while the right is very close. The green surface is fairly large and receptive to any well placed approach. There should be plenty of birdie putts on this finishing hole.

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Wow what a detailed post! I was fortunate to play both courses at the Shenzhou Peninsula Dunes...loved every minute of it. Such a great resort and the Sheraton Hotel is also really nice! Well done

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