Dongfang ( Orient ) is located in Hengqin Industrial Zone approximately 25 mins from downtown Zhuhai. We paid a round trip fare of 140RMB for a car to take us from the train station outside Gongbei. The golf course is right across from the Hengqin bridge border crossing to Macau and is therefore also easily accessed from there.
The clubhouse is modern but understated, with modest but adequate locker rooms and café. Anyway, few people linger here, preferring instead to head straight out for their round.
With water hazards and OB's featuring on nearly all the holes, the course is visually intimidating. To negotiate the course safely, prior shot planning is required and unless you have brought your A-game along, eat humble pie and tee off from the white tee boxes. An enjoyable round can be had from here though it would still require some precision drives from the tee. Not punitively long even from the blues, this course will appeal to a broad range of golfers with varying skill levels.
On the positive side, green fees are reasonable at RMB 860 on weekday's. On Tuesday morning's, there's a promotional price of RMB 550 for 18 holes and for another RMB120, you can play an additional 9 holes. That's a steal compared to other southern China courses that charge an arm and two legs. Another plus are the well trained caddies. It helped that I spoke a smattering of Chinese as they were knowledgeable and indispensable when pointing out unseen hazards. Dongfang opened another 9 holes ( the A course ) this past September and though I did not get to play there this time, the caddies tell me its more difficult than the B & C courses!
On the downside, part of the land on which the course is built is reclaimed from the sea. While drainage is very good, it can still get mushy during the wet summer season. Although this may sound a little like nit-picking, I felt there was not enough variety of shots. On 8 out of 18 holes, I was approaching the green with my pitching wedge. I felt like I didn't need to carry my whole set out there.
Conclusion, if you don't want to make your way out to the other Zhuhai courses, you can do a lot worse than Orient. But be sure to keep your Tuesday mornings free as you could play 27 holes there and still make it back to downtown Zhuhai for lunch!
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