Video = May 29th, 2023:
Video: Courtesy of K.D. Lee who has photographed over 400 courses in China
Shanqin Bay, the 14th ranked Platinum Club is the World, provides the ultimate golf experience that is unparalleled. A fabulous Coore-Crenshaw Golf Course on Hainan Island, China, (ranked 39th by Golf Magazine) impeccable course conditions, amazing caddies that are so attentive, food that is world class and an attention to detail that is consistency applied seen no where else in the world.
Shanqin Bay, they have a staff of 150: 50 on the maintenance crew, an estimated 30 caddies, two in the locker room and two in the pro shop, etc.
The key to their financial model is straightforward: Initiation fees are $1.4 million, and annual dues of $30,000, but they are responsible for caddies/carts, food, and beverage. Caddies are provided an annual salary of 3,800 RMB per month ($500), make $75 per round – tipping not allowed, provided room and board, and free golf clubs to play (3 shoot 85 or better from blue tees and 16 can break 100 from the white tees), and are given two months paid vacation (July/August) when the golf course is completely rebuilt from scratch – deep tine aeration, etc. High initiation fees and low cost labor is the key to success.
They play only 2,000 rounds, and there wasn’t a blade of grass out of place; no divots were to be seen or ball marks on the greens. The finest conditioned course I have every seen.
The course name and logo were spelled out with golf balls on the driving range.
For every foursome, there are five caddies – 4 who take care of the golfers: club selection, fixing ball marks, lining up putts, handing you iced towels after every shot or coconut water for hydration or still/sparking water, shading you with an umbrella when you wait to hit, etc. It was 95 degrees with 80% humidity. The fifth caddie rakes the bunkers, and fixes every divot sweeping up all the torn grass and replacing it with a seed mix. When she finishes, there is not torn grass to be seen. She also helps find balls with a rake – there are cobras among the high grasses. 😊 With a twosome, there are three caddies.
No cell phones are allowed on the course. You put your cell phone in a box and it is returned to you are the patios after 4, 12 and upon completing the round. The one picture in the video was an example of the food that was served on the 4th hole.
The customer service practices can not be duplicated at any other golf course. It is simply the finest that exists. To enter Shanqin Bay, there are two security gates: the first one for members and guests. If a guest arrives before a member, they are taken to the range and are not allowed to pass through the second security gate.
My caddie, Melissa, gave me a hand stitched chain along with a personal note in which she painted the flower from where she was born – near Xian. Upon departing she gave me as a going away present – two pictures she painted to remind me of Shanqin Bay.
The best practices at Shanqin Bay are #1 in the world – no other course compares. Not sure? Download this file and see for yourself their superior customer service: https://jjkeegan.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Shanqin-Bay-Best-Practices-6-10-2023-Modified-Reduced_compressed.pdf Download
I have been fortunate to be a Golf Magazine panelist from 2002 to 2019 and a panelist on the Platinum Clubs of the World since around 2015. I feel very luck and honored to have these opportunities to learn.