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Trans Strait Golf Club
Changle, Fujian, China
Design Style: Links Course Type: Private
Setting: Coastal

The Trans Strait Golf Club is located along the Formosa Straits, the waterway separating China from Taiwan. Financed by Taiwanese investors who supported the inclusion of golf as an Olympic event, the golf course was originally envisioned as a component of an Olympic training center.

Physical as well as political challenges were involved in creating Trans Strait. These included figuring how to build a golf course on land where the water table fluctuates widely from season to season. Because golf course development was still a relatively new phenomenon in China at the time, Robert Trent Jones II was forced to rely on primitive construction methods to build the course. Lacking backhoes, trucks, and other common construction equipment, RTJ II created earthworks by hydraulic pumping. Our crews formed a slurry pit beside the fairways and then pumped the sandy mixture in layers to rough shape the golf holes. The fairways were stabilized by the turfgrass. These methods allowed us to give Mother Nature a hand in shaping parts of the golf course. After pumping sand to create features, we allowed the wind to scour the shapes before planting, which endowed the course with a more natural, mature look.

The resulting golf course at Trans Strait has a links-like feel and plays through three distinct topographies. One third of the course weaves through Cassarina trees that were planted by the Chinese government for beach stabilization. The remaining holes play through open marshlands and catchment basins that hold water in summer and dry out in winter. Beyond the grassed areas, much of the rough consists of raked pine needles that don’t penalize shots that go slightly astray. Players taking on Trans Strait will do well to keep the ball under the wind and focus on positioning to take advantage of the terrain. Nearby beaches offer excellent shell collecting, and the waters of the Straits are great for fishing.

Trans Strait Golf Club Awards
    • Golf Digest—Top 10 Course in China