West Palace, Beijing, China
The Beijing West Palace Pitch and Putt club is located in the core of the Shijijingyuan commercial district, very close to the citys zoological gardens. Beijing is a thoroughly modern city with 17 million inhabitants, full of architectural futuristic skyscrapers along with gems from the imperial historic past. What may come as a surprise is the attention paid to public gardening, floral displays, and the city is dotted with small and larger landscaped parks. Even more surprising is to have a Pitch and Putt club in the city itself. Surely there cant be many courses with an underground metro station just around the corner.
The West Palace is a nine-hole facility, beautifully shaped over 70,000 square metres. The course is impeccably well constructed and maintained with three water hazards and several strategically placed bunkers protecting large, fast and sloping greens. The course opened for business on 21 March this year and now has 80 members.
For the first FIPPA international Pitch & Putt tournament the course was cleverly redesigned to just under 1,200 metres for 18 holes with astro-turf tee boxes strategically placed to allow for a challenging and entertaining Pitch & Putt course. The winner of the Beijing Open, Fang Jiliang, carded a total of 4 over par over 54 holes.
Perhaps the most difficult hole is the final hole measuring 90 metres, over a lake. The little bridge between the 8th and 9th fairways is very picturesque indeed. One outstanding feature of the West Palace Club is the friendly and cordial reception offered to members and visitors by the attentive staff under the management of Ms. Chen Yue.
The designer and director of the club, Mr. Kenson Liu, is now eager to design and construct a new purpose-built Pitch & Putt course just outside the city. For the moment, the club is open to club members, family members and guests. Fang Jiliang, who won the recent Beijing Open and Liu Yuan, the runner-up, are regular players at West Palace.