The Lake Course of Kunming Spring City Golf & Lake Resort

When playing some Trent Jones Junior designs, you sometimes become aware of the sheer effort that has been made to lend the desired drama to the golf holes. Trent Jones posited the theory that a good golf course is a blend of holes drawn from three styles; strategic, penal and heroic. However, such is the compulsion to add feature that, when the raw land lacks promise, the strokes of the designer’s pen are all too evident.

The Lake Course at Spring City, which is no doubt one of his better designs in Asia, does not suffer from excess artifice. Here, the natural topography contains all the requisite drama which has been used to full effect while retaining a natural element. While Trent Jones had the pick of the land (the Nicklaus [Mountain] course is built at the top of the hill behind the clubhouse) his team had to cope with the significant camber. There is a drop of 150 feet from the clubhouse to the 8th green by the lake shore and buggies are (unfortunately) the order of the day here.

The Spring City Golf & Lake Resort, which was developed by a joint venture led by Keppel Group of Singapore, is located in a thinly populated are of great beauty, 40 minutes from Kunming City… Spring City stands at 2,100 metres altitude, making the courses a pleasant option during the sweltering Asian summers.

For what is ostensibly a resort course, this is a tough test. No hole could be described as easy. Every tee shot with the exception of the 13th, requires some care. This is one of Asia’s finest golf courses and the exacting design, good presentation, the views, the temperate weather conditions, and the bent grasses all conspire to make it the best golfing experience in China.

The above passage is an extract from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia and Australasia by James Spence. Reproduced with kind permission.

‘Spring City, destined to be one of the greatest golf resorts in the Asia Pacific region, offers a golfing experience that capitalises on the existing features of the property while taking advantage of the other elements, such as the dramatic view changes in elevation and expansive nature of the site.’

Robert Trent Jones Jr