Sunshine Golf Club

Course Data
LocationKunming, Yunnan Province, China
Yardage6372 yards Par 72
Course Rating72.8
Playing Date3 May 2004
DesignerRobert Trent Jones Jr.
Golf CartYes (Compulsory)
Overall Rating
Course Layout
Difficulty Level
Greens Conditions
Fairways Conditions
Landscaping & Views
Sunshine Golf Club is designed to utilize the natural terrain, and is surrounded by natural & man-made charms such as ponds, rocks, pine woods, fruit trees or caves. Each hole is different with doglegs to the right & to the left and uphill & downhill holes, whose variations will surely fascinate experienced golfers. Although some holes are much too demanding, all players would love this course thanks to its beautiful landscape no matter what your high scores are. The views from the clubhouse are superb, too.

A view from the clubhouse 1

A view from the clubhouse 2

Lovery houses seen from 9th

Flowers coloring the course

3rd Par 4 463 yards
A long par 4 with the impressive rocks. The tee shot should be accurate because the bushes guard both sides of the fairway.

3rd Par 4 463 yards (3)

3rd Par 4 463 yards (2)

3rd Par 4 463 yards (1)
5th Par 3 236 yards

5th Par 3 236 yards (2)

5th Par 3 236 yards (1)
A very difficult par 3. The right side of the green faces a water hazard.
7th Par 3 159 yards

7th Par 3 159yards
A downhill par 3 with a peninsular green.
9th Par 5 549 yards
A dogleg to the right, a tough par 5. The elevated tee can give you a clear picture of the entire hole. There is water on the both sides of the fairway off the tee and the water faces the right side of the fairway for the second shot, too. The clubhouse and the cottages that can be seen from the fairway are really beautiful.

9th Par 5 549 yards (3)

9th Par 5 549 yards (2)

9th Par 5 549 yards (1)
13th Par 5 556 yards

13th Par 5 556 yards (2)

13th Par 5 556 yards (1)
A dogleg to the right, a demanding par 5. The second shot and subsequent are uphill. You must hit the very narrow fairway for the second shot. If your ball curves too much to the left, the pond or the bushes will catch your ball.
14th Par 4 398 yards

14th Par 4 398 yards (2)

14th Par 4 398 yards (1)
An uphill par 4. The tee shot is a little intimidating because of the bushes on the both sides of the tight fairway. The green is elevated and a bunker as deep as 10 meters (30 ft.) guards the front of the green.

A view from 14th green on a hill 1

A view from 14th green on a hill 2

A view from 14th green on a hill 3

16th Par 4 369 yards
an uphill dogleg to the left. Some large beautiful fairway bunkers are strategically placed. The second shot plays sharp uphill over the hollow.


16th Par 4 369 yards (3)

16th Par 4 369 yards (2)

16th Par 4 369 yards (1)

17th Par 3

18th Par 4 (1)

18th Par 4 (2)

19th hole


Inside the clubhouse
It takes around 25 minutes by car from Kunming Airport. Because the course is almost 2000 meters (6000 ft.) above see level, the ball flies about 10% farther.

The golf course is really excellent. However, it was unfortunate for me not to be able to play from the 7186-yard black tees. So, I have no choice but to play from the blue tees of 6372 yards, which is 800 yards shorter from the officially distance. Because the ball flies higher thanks to the high altitude, the real distance of the blue tees should be just around 6000 yards, which is very short for advanced players. To play from the blue tees is still challenging because of the great layout. However, it would appeal to advanced players much more if they could play from the black tees. When I played from the blue tees, the hazards, like the fairway bunkers, were almost not in play. There are 2 tee placements that are longer than the blue tees, i.e., the gold and black tees. So, I tried to hit from the black tee ground without the tees but I was not allowed to do so. The caddie master told me that the club has never permitted players including even the members to play from the gold or black tees. I think that the club should allow good players to use the black tees as long as they bring single- handicap certificates and promise the club not to lag behind players in front of them. When I told the caddie master my opinion, she said that it was a good idea and asked me to write a letter to the managing director. The club recently opened and the members are new, so it seems that no one has requested this before. Because I am just a visitor and don’t know when I’ll visit next, I hope that the club and the members talk about this issue and solve it.

The other Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed courses in China are Spring City (春城) G&LR – Lake Course, Shanghai International (上海國際) CC, Harbour Plaza (東筦海逸) GC, Trans Strait (海峡奥林匹克) GC, Yalong Bay (亞龍灣) GC and in Hong Kong Discovery Bay (愉景灣) GC.