Forest City Golf Resort’s encore to its Legacy Course was completed in 2019 when architect Liang Guokun unveiled his 7,138-yard Classic Course.
It presents a very different challenge. Instead of the Legacy’s more open, naturalistic layout, the Classic Course is an impeccably manicured affair, with narrower fairways, punctuated by sharply etched bunkers and lakes.
But you will need your A-game. The Classic Course demands accuracy from tee to green and provides few safe options for the high-handicapper. There is one route on most holes and all must take it – a daunting prospect when you contemplate a carry over two lake inlets at the par-4 5th or the island green on the par-3 that follows it.
The designer’s use of dramatic fairway mounding is best seen at 14, where he relies solely on undulations to defend the green. Factor in multi-tier greens with breaks that put a heavy premium on accurate approach shots and you face a stern test right to the end of your round.
The 580-yard 18th would make a wonderful climax to a pro tournament but will be a daunting finish for tired amateurs. Play it from anything other than the most forward tee and your ball must find two cape fairways, followed by an island green that’s also ringed with sand. That’s three shots over water on the same hole.