Golf’s longest courses: China leads the way – The digest: architecture – China’s Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club features the world’s longest golf course, at 8,450 yards – Brief Article
It started in the late 1950s, when the Geoffrey Cornish-designed Runaway Brook Country Club (now The Pines Course at The International Golf Club) in Bolton, Mass., broke the 8,000-yard barrier by 40 yards. Then Dub’s Dread in Kansas opened in 1964 at 8,204 yards. International soon responded, stretching to 8,325 yards, par 72, to reclaim the title as World’s Longest Golf Course. It kept that title until last year, when the Robin Nelson/Neil Haworth-designed Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club opened outside Lijiang City in the Yunnan Province of China.
Tucked beneath breathtaking Himalayan mountain peaks, including an 18,360-foot namesake, Jade Dragon measures 8,450 yards, par 72, including a 735-yard par 5, a 525-yard par 4 and a 270-yard par 3. At a 10,000-foot elevation, the course plays considerably shorter than its yardage. China’s top pro golfer, Zhang Lian Wei, spent a few days during construction hitting balls on various holes. “He was flying the ball 20 percent farther on all shots,” Haworth says. Jade Dragon’s reign as the world’s longest course may be short-lived. El Grande Hombre near Las Vegas could be 8,600 yards when completed in 2003, say designers Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley. John Daly has been retained as a ball-bashing consultant.
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