Shanghai is becoming a must-visit golfing destination as great courses are being built in the area to cater for not only visitors and Chinese members but also ex-pats who work in the numerous blue chip international companies based in the city.
Sheshan Golf Club is the epitome of Shanghai and itís an intoxicating blend of Chinese tradition and international modernity. The golf course was fashioned by the design firm Nelson & Haworth whose raison d'Ítre is to develop ďchallenging and enjoyable golf courses that sit lightly on the land and often incorporate elements of local cultural significance.Ē
Sheshan Golf Club is set twenty minutes to the west of Shanghai centre and the course, which opened for play in 2004, has developed into one Shanghaiís premier layouts. Sheshan Mountain may be no more than a hill, but Nelson & Haworth moved mountains of earth to create Sheshan, 1.5 million cubic metres to be precise. The result is a dramatic 7,143-yard layout with numerous valleys, a deep rock quarry which comes into play on the 16th and 17th holes, and exciting elevation changes.
The Sheshan clubhouse and surrounding villas have been designed in a Tuscan style and they are amongst some of the most expensive property in Shanghai.
In 2005, less than a year after the course opened, the HSBC Champions tournament was held at Sheshan, Englandís David Howell won the inaugural event beating Tiger Woods by three shots. Koreaís Yang Yong-eun won in 2006 and Phil Mickelson claimed the 2007 title. Sergio Garcia edged out Englandís Oliver Wilson in a play-off to win the 2008 event. This was the inaugural tournament of the new "Race to Dubai", a rebrand of the European Tourís Order of Merit.
In 2009, the HSBC Champions tournament was given World Golf Championship status and Phil Mickelson held his nerve on the final hole at Sheshan to pip Ernie Els by a single shot. Els shot an impressive course record nine-under-par 63 in the final round but it was not enough to catch overnight leader Mickelson. Focus for the 2010 event was centred on the world number one spot after Lee Westwood put an end to Tiger Woods's 281-week reign in October. Both players were in action at Sheshan but it was Italian Francesco Molinari who held his nerve to win by one-shot from Lee Westwood. Tiger Woods finished twelve shots off the pace and without a single win during 2010. Germanyís Martin Kaymer putted his way to victory in the 2011 event, holing every putt he lined up. Kaymer shot a final round 63, taking a mere 29 strokes on the back nine.