Built atop a spectacular spit of coastline in the north of Hong Kong, the Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club was first opened in 1981 and remodeled in recent years by the team of Peter Thomson, Tim Lobb and Ross Perrett. The land here juts into the sea along a rocky and craggy coast, the layout reminiscent at times to Nefyn in Wales and at other stages to Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand.
Despite its wonderful setting, the original Clearwater layout had major shortcomings as the lack of shaping interest and poor bunkering kept it from getting close to its potential. Peter Thomson's team have reversed the nines here and made changes to the original plans by a Japanese designer, removing the ugly ring of sand circling the back of some greens and introducing some strategic interest into otherwise straightforward holes.
The beauty of Clearwater is that one nine traverses higher ground and enjoys stunning views down and over the Hong Kong coastline, while the other is down and much closer to the sea. Each is dramatic and decent design improvements would seriously elevate this course into the elite of Asian golf.