Construction has been completed on the Rick Jacobson, ASGCA-designed 18-hole Moganshan Gowin Golf Club, located in one of China’s premier resort areas about 100 miles from Shanghai. The course is expected to open spring 2012.
Jacobson now has designed and overseen construction of five original signature 18-hole courses in China; he currently has several other courses in varying phases of development in China.
Moganshan Gowin GC has been grassed and now is in its “grow-in” phase – the point at which Jacobson’s architectural drawings come to life in the form of a completed golf course that provides golfers with memorable experiences.
Construction crews broke ground on Moganshan Gowin GC in mid-2009. The course is the focal point of an environmentally sensitive mixed-use development that includes hotel, residential, and retail elements.
“It is always nice when construction is completed and the grow-in phase begins, because you know it won’t be long until golfers are out playing the course,” Jacobson said. “From the perspective of the architect there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing golfers are enjoying the great game of golf on a facility we designed. The Mogan Mountain area has been a premier vacation and resort destination for many years, and we are delighted to provide tourists with a championship quality golf course that will serve as another outstanding amenity for the region.”
The golf course winds through mountains and valleys, and boasts water features on 13 of its 18 holes, Jacobson said. The par 72-course measures over 7,100 yards from the championship tees and over 5,100 yards from the forward tees with three sets in between. Strategic bunkering throughout the course provides risk-reward options off the tee. In addition, every green is designed with flexibility so that pin placements may be “tucked” for championship competition to require precise approach shots.
“Consistent with our firm’s longstanding philosophy, Moganshan Gowin GC has been designed to appeal to and challenge golfers of all levels,” Jacobson said. “The combination of aesthetic beauty and competitive challenge makes Moganshan Gowin GC an attractive destination for members, guests, and the highly skilled international professional.”
The front nine at Moganshan Gowin GC winds through valleys and features dramatic elevation changes of 25 meters (more than 80 feet) from tee to fairway. Several holes are framed by trees and groves of stunning bamboo forests. Seven holes incorporate a variety of water features that include lakes, streams, and waterfalls.
The picturesque back nine, which plays through the wide valley, is framed on three sides by gorgeous mountains and features several large native sand bunkers. Three manmade lakes have been integrated into the design to challenge golfers on six holes of the inward nine.
The 18th hole is especially memorable, Jacobson said. A three-shot par 5 measuring 609 yards from the championship tees, No. 18 plays along the base of the mountain with a stream running along the left side of the fairway. The green is located amid a dramatic waterfall complex built into an abandoned quarry; a vertical rock formation forms a dramatic backdrop for the green.
Moganshan Gowin GC has been built to be environmentally sustainable and sensitive to valuable water resources, Jacobson said. Storm water runoff will be collected by the course’s system of streams and lakes and will be directed by gravity flow to a central collection lake. The irrigation pump station then will recycle the water back onto the golf course.
Numerous areas have been planted with a blend of wildflowers that provides a habitat for wildlife and aesthetic beauty throughout the golf course.
“We feel that environmental sustainability is an important element in the construction of any new golf course,” Jacobson said. “We have the technology to make sure the golf course improves rather than detracts from the environment and we’re committed to using it.”
Jacobson’s Moon Course at Lion Lake County Club near he city of Guangzhou (a/k/a Canton) was named Best Golf Course Design for 2009 by China Golf Magazine and was ranked among the Top 10 courses in China by to Golf Digest (China) magazine. In addition, the course has been selected as the 2010 “Best New Golf Club” in China at the “People’s Choice Awards.”
Jacobson has been active in international golf course design since he opened his own firm in 1991 following many years with Jack Nicklaus. Jacobson’s first original 18-hole design was the World Country Club in Osaka, Japan.
Jacobson reunited with Nicklaus domestically when the two collaborated on Bayside Resort and Golf Club in Fenwick Island, Del. Both Golf Digest and Golfweek magazines named the course among the top new courses for 2006.
Voted Golf Course Architect of the Year in 2007 by the National Association of Private Clubs and Directors, Jacobson is known nationally for such heralded original 18-hole designs as Augustine GC in Stafford, Va., Bull Run CC in Haymarket, Va., Bear Trap Dunes in Ocean View, Del., The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis. Earlier this year, Jacobson’s Bowes Creek Golf Club in Elgin, Ill. won the Merit Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.