Thursday, February 16, 2012

china The Sundance Kids

The crackdown on golf construction in China is starting to spread pain among course architects everywhere.

The latest one to feel the pinch is Bob Cupp, an Atlanta, Georgia-based designer who has three projects in the People’s Republic -– two in Yunnan Province and one on Hainan Island -– stuck on drawing boards.

“All projects are on hiatus until the central government can come up with new edicts,” says Steve Timm, Cupp’s partner and a former golf pro at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. “There are a number of projects that are being scrutinized very closely.”

Once the pressure is relieved, Cupp and Timm are hoping to begin construction at Sundance Golf Club, part of a community (including houses, a hotel, and a spa) that’s being developed by Guo Linning, a Chinese construction manager turned developer. Sundance will take shape in Xian Dian, a rural town in the hills northeast of Kunming that Timm says has “no trappings of a city,” not even a sewer system. The partners will co-design 36 holes for the community, with the courses stretching to 7,400 and 7,600 yards.

Cupp, who’ll be 72 later this year, is hoping that he doesn’t need to wait too long for golf construction in China to resume.

“It’s still fun to design golf courses,” he says. “I like doing it.”

Some information in this post originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.