With a population of over 1.25 billion and yet only 120 golf courses, The People’s Republic of China holds a remarkable opportunity for the game, but not one of these facilities is open to the public.
Swan Golf Designs, international golf course architects, are in the process of undertaking a total redesign of an existing golf resort in Shanghai to provide China with its first public golf centre.
Taking the existing short and compact eighteen holes course and changing it totally, the new golf centre will include a modern driving range, extensive golf academy, 9 hole course and a 9 hole par 3 family course. In addition the present range buildings are to be redeveloped with teaching bays with video and swing analysis equipment.
The revamped facility is to be known as ‘The St. Andrews International Golf Centre, Shanghai’.
Developers are Hong Kong based property company, Young Brothers Enterprise Inc. Behind the re-launch of the facility are St. Andrews International Golf Developments Ltd, a Scottish-Chinese collaboration, for whom Swan Golf Designs are the exclusive golf course architects.
George Manson, director of the company said, “The concept of a public golf centre may be new in China but with so many people who could take up the game, providing a comprehensive facility where they can begin, be taught, practise, and move up the golfing ladder, so to speak, is just what is required”.
The China Golf Association has given its support to the centre as a pioneering effort to spread the game.
In addition to the golfing facilities it is likely that a golf and greenkeeping college will be established at the centre giving practical training and education to those who will manage and maintain golf courses in China in the future.
Detailed design work is now underway. Construction is due to commence in September, with the three phases of the programme being completed by late 2003.
Swan Golf Designs Ltd www.swangolfdesigns.com