Whilst there are claims that the game was invented by the Chinese in the tenth century, during the Cultural Revolution, Golf was banned in China for being associated to British colonialism and decadent bourgeoisie. After 1984, however, several courses have popped up around the country. As of late 2009, China has roughly 600 golf courses, more than two-thirds of which have opened since 2004.
Generally, handicap cards are not required to play on courses in mainland China, however they are required within Macau and Hong Kong. As the courses are fairly busy, the main requirement is to keep up the speed of play. Don't be surprised to be tailed by a marshal if you don't.
- The Hong Kong Jockey Club has two 18 hole courses on the island of Kau Sai Chau. The North Course is walking only, and harder than the South Course. A third course on the East of the island is due to open in 2007. The 101M minibus from Hang Hau MTR station terminates at the ferry pier at Sai Kung, from which the ferry departs every 20 minutes. The $45 ferry fare is paid on the return trip. Apart from certain tournaments, handicap certificates are required, the handicap requirement for the North Course is 30. Hong Kong ID card or Passport number is must be given when booking, and be shown to the starter.The marshals can be very strict about the pace of play. On almost every hole a generous drop zone is provided and should be used.
Spring City Golf & Lake Resort is only a 45 minute road trip from the International Airport in Kunming. The resort has 2 championship courses - the Mountain course designed by Jack Nicklaus and the Lake Course designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior. Although a smaller resort than Mission Hills, the 2 have regularly successfully competed for China's "Best Course" awards.
- Westin Resort on Coloane Island near Hac Sha Beach
- Caesars Golf at the end of the Cotai Strip
One resort with two 18 hole courses.
- Mountain Course tricky, hilly, carts are advisable.
- Valley Course walking only, easier
The list price is 540 mid-week and ¥1,080 at weekends, but cheaper packages, including ferry tickets from Hong Kong and accommodation are available through agents.
Due to its proximity to Hong Kong, Shenzhen has many golf courses. Noble Merchant and Sand River are very close to each other, a 20 minute taxi ride from both Lo Wu and the Shekou ferry terminal. Noble Merchant is a very forgiving course, good for beginners. By far the most comprehensive golfing venue in Shenzhen is Mission Hills Resort & Spa. Boasting 12 championship courses, this 5-star resort is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
- Golden Gulf Golf Club. 27 holes designed by Colin Montgomerie. 30 minutes by taxi from the ferry pier, expect to pay around ¥100. The golf club provides some shuttle buses. Not very challenging. Accommodation is available, and packages including green fees, accommodation and ferry tickets can be purchased through agents.
- Lakewood Gold Club in Jin Ding, Zhuhai. Two international standard 18-holes golf courses
On most courses, it is compulsory to use caddies. Some courses prohibit the caddies from collecting tips, but generally a tip of ¥50-100 is expected.
Drink lots of fluids.
In sunny weather wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts, use sunscreen on exposed skin. Use mosquito repellent.