Active + Adventure

The World's Highest Destinations

by Jonathan Trew

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Course, Yunnan Province, China

High Notes: Much like the competition for tackiest golf-wear, the battle for the title of world's highest golf course is fierce. At 14,335 feet, the Mount Tuctu Golf Club in Peru was legendary in golfing circles but has long been abandoned, possibly because no one could reach the back nine without suffering a nosebleed. La Paz Golf Club in Bolivia, founded in 1912 and still going strong, seems to be the winner at 10,800 feet. But despite its being nearly 800 feet lower, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Course in China gets our nod, on the strength of its name and its stunning location among the snowcapped peaks of a mountain massif in the southwest of the country. At 8,548 yards, the Neil Haworth–designed course is also one of the longest in the world—so thank the laws of physics that the thin air causes balls to travel farther up here than they do at sea level. This is one of the few courses where cloud cover is as much of an obstacle as a sand bunker.

Where to Catch Your Breath: The Banyan Tree hotel and spa in Lijiang is 1.5 hour's drive from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and has 55 luxurious villas with traditional decor; some have outdoor pavilions, others have private gardens or swimming pools.

Green fees at Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Golf Course from $135, including caddy; doubles at Banyan Tree Lijiang from $450

Next: The highest restaurant in the southern hemisphere >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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