Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Club

Course Data
LocationYunnan Province, China
Yardage8457 yards Par 72
Course Rating73.4
Playing Date2 May. 2004
DesignerRobin Nelson & Neil Haworth
Golf CartYes (Compulsory)
Overall Rating
Course Layout
Difficulty Level
Greens Conditions
Fairways Conditions
Landscaping & Views
Level of Satisfaction


The course is set in the bottom of a valley that faces the famous Jade Dragon Snow Mountain that is 5596 meters (18,360 ft.) high. You can enjoy mountain views from almost every place on the course. The course is situated at 3100 meters (10,800 ft.) above see level, the second highest in the world and the highest in Asia. It is 8548 yards long, which is longest par 72 in the world. Thanks to the elevation of 3000 meters (10,000 ft.) the ball flies some 15%-20% farther than normal. The three of the four par 3s measure more than 260 yards and the shortest one is 236 yards long! The shortest par 4 is, whew, as much as 436 long. And the 5th par 5 plays to 711 yards, which is the longest par 5 in the world. The front 9 has Scottish style and the back 9 is a mountainous course, and two of them have completely different characteristics.

A view from the clubhouse

A view from the clubhouse




1st Par 5 681 yards

1st Par 5 681 yards (2)

1st Par 5 681 yards (1)
An ‘”S” shaped neat par 5. The tee-shot is downhill and water come into play for the second shot. The landing area of the second shot is narrow and there is water in front of the green.

3rd P ar 3 236 yards

3rd P ar 3 236 yards
The shortest par 3 in the course. It plays slightly downhill with a wide, but not deep, green. The front and back of the green are guarded by bunkers. There was a pond on the left of the green and when the pin position is on the left, the pond will come into play.
5th Par 5 711yards

5th Par 5 711yards (2)

5th Par 5 711yards (1)
A dogleg to right, the longest par 5 in the world. Playing downhill from the tee, you can have a clear view of the entire hole. It features 13 sand bunkers in line with the 13 peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The white bunkers coupled with the view of the mountain create a unique beauty. The left side of the fairway faces water for the second and the third shots
6th Par 4 467 yards
A dogleg to the left, a slightly uphill par 4. The pretty white bunkers are strategically and beautifully placed on this hole, too. The green slopes from the back to the front and has decent undulations.

6th hole seen from the green

6th Par 4 467 yards (2)

6th Par 4 467 yards (1)

8th Par 3 267 yards
A very difficult par 3 over the water. There is water in front and on the left side of the green, so you tend to hit toward to the right of the green. However, there still is a large bunker facing the left side of the green, waiting for your poor shot

8th green seen from 4th hole

8th Par 3 267 yards (2)

8th Par 3 267 yards (1)
11th Par 4 530 yards

11th Par 4 530 yards (2)

11th Par 4 530 yards (1)
A dogleg to the left, a slightly downhill par 4. It plays slightly downhill; nevertheless it is very rare to have such long par 4 as 530-yard distance. You hit toward Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for the second shot

12th Par 3 260 yards

12th Par 3 260 yards
A downhill par 3. The green is long in width and the bunkers in front of the green are in play.
15th Par 4 497 yards

15th Par 4 497 yards (2)

15th Par 4 497 yards (1)
A dynamic downhill par 4. The tee is the highest on the course, 3100 meters (10,170 ft.). There are trees at the back of the green and hitting over the green should be avoided, so the club selection for the approach shot is crucial here.
16th Par 5 575 yards
A s harply uphill par 5. The third shot needs to fly not only over a valley but also over high trees in front of the green, so a high ball is required.

16th green

16th Par 5 575 yards (2)

16th Par 5 575 yards (1)
19th hole

An oxygen mask during play
It takes one hour by air from Kuming to Lijiang and another one hour by car from the Lijiang Airport. Sited at an altitude of 3000 meters (10,000 ft.), the air is very thin, so oxygen masks are provided in the golf carts. This golf course, 3100 meters (10,170 ft.), is the second highest in the world. The highest in the world is La Paz GC, Bolivia at the dizzying height of 3300 meters (10,800 ft.). The third to the fifth golf courses are all in Colorado, U.S.A. that are around 2900 meters (9,500 ft.). A golf course of the height of 4700 meters (14.335 ft.) in Peru used to be the No.1 in the world but due to its nose-bleeding altitude, it has now been abandoned.

The caddies are from a leading local minority, Naxi, who have lived in Lijiang for generations and they all wear local folk costumes.


Caddie in ethinic costume (3)

Caddie in ethinic costume (2)

Caddie in ethinic costume (1)




The 13 peaks of snow-covered and fog-enlaced mountain resemble a jade dragon lying in the clouds, hence, the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

One of my acquaintances who played this course in March said that they teed off in a little power snow and then the sun came in daytime, which got him slightly sweaty even in a short-sleeved shirt. He was able to experience 4 seasons during the play. When I played, of course there was no snow because it was May. But the temperature differed greatly from sunshine to shade.

Lijiang is considered to be a pearl on the high plateau of Northwestern Yunnan Province, and is regarded as the world of “Shangri-La” (in Tibetan: a wonderful place like paradise) which people yearn to visit. Owing to its special characteristics of ethnic Culture, urban layout and historical authenticity, Lijiang Ancient City was listed as a World Cultural Heritage City by UNESCO in 1997.


The Robin Nelson & Neil Haworth designed courses in Asia are Sheshan International (佘山国际) GC, Sun Island International (上海太陽島國際) GC, Qingdao Huashan International (青島華山國際) CC, Guangzhou International (広州仙村國際) GC, Century Seaview (世紀海景)CC, Xili (西麗) G&CC, Shenzhen (深圳)GC and Huizhou Tangquan (恵州溫泉) GC in China, Kai Sai Chau GC (East) in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur G&CC and Shan Shui G&CC in Malaysia, and Bali G&CC in Indonesia.