The Justin Rose – Ian Poulter course has been designed with Matchplay in mind, incentivising golfers to take more chances for greater reward. Set within a stunning valley of age old trees and thick jungle foliage, the course evokes a very natural feel with a significant amount of the bunker complexes transitioning into native vegetation, creating an integrated relationship with the outside vegetation and towering mountains. With shorter Par 4 distances, there are plenty of birdie opportunities – who knows – maybe even a chance for a hole in one!
David Leadbetter’s commitment to instruction is on full display at this golf course. The world-renowned instructor devised a layout meant to challenge and teach players without intimidating. Generous fairways, short Par 4s and drives from elevated tees are prevalent throughout. Yet it also features large, sand-flashed bunkers and undulating fairways that while wide, rarely yield a flush lie. The course requires each player to use every club in the bag at some point in the round, just as any top-notch instructor would demand.
Jose Maria Olazabal’s inaugural signature course is one of Mission Hill Golf Club’s strongest tests. Playing more than 7,300 yards for the Omega Mission Hills World Cup and boasting over 150 bunkers (including 24 on No. 15 alone!), the course reflects Olazabal’s reputation as a master with the sand wedge. Heavily bunkered, with an Australian Sand Belt flair, coupled with undulating fairways that make for some tricky lies, are two of the distinguishing features of this true Championship golf course.
Annika Sorenstam’s first design features spectacular views of the natural terrain and mountains which rise more than 300 meters above the golf course. The dramatic elevations change throughout the course providing several panoramic tee shots suspended high above spacious, yet heavily bunkered fairways that cut through densely forested valleys. Well-manicured tees and greens create a beautiful “botanical” feel.
Greg Norman built a reputation designing challenging golf courses shaped in the traditional stylings of the Australian Sand Belt. His offering at Mission Hills follows suit, as narrow fairways surrounded by long, native grasses and dense forest vegetation contribute to the layout’s reputation as one of the most challenging courses in Asia.
The Ozaki Course takes advantage of its dramatic terrain by playing largely through single corridors offering elevated tees and fairways flanked by naturally occurring slopes. Large areas of turf and wide fairways punctuated by strategic bunkering, contrast with tall slopes of native plants and trees. Dramatic long views into valley corridors often include serene lakes, and end at the course’s large challenging green complexes.
The Els Course is designed to emulate his South African homeland using a lush backdrop of dense tree growth set against wide manicured fairways to evoke the visual of a well-maintained garden. Measuring more than 7,000 yards, the Els Course follows a unique layout in which no two holes run parallel. The signature 4th hole features a tee box atop the highest point on the golf course, providing panoramic views of Mission Hills Golf Club and the surrounding region.
Three-time major winner Vijay Singh has created a course with several innovative design techniques, including the 150-yard beach bunker on the Par 4 3rd hole, and the green complex on the Par 5 10th, literally perched atop a rock wall. The Vijay Course features wild, undulating greens, steep grass faced bunkers, frequent use of long waste bunkers that run parallel to fairways and there are water hazards in-play on 14 of the 18 holes. Singh drew inspiration from famous designs around the world including Pebble Beach Golf Links, making it a favourite for both low and high handicappers.
The Faldo Course at Mission Hills is China’s first “stadium course”. Measuring nearly 7,000 yards from the back tees, it’s highlighted by grassed spectator mounding to create an amphitheatre effect and provide a great spectator experience. It features China’s only island-green hole (the 16th Par 3) which, along with the driveable Par 4 15th are two of Asia’s most exciting holes and have played significant roles in many tournament outcomes. Set in a picturesque setting of mature trees and open vistas, with a decent number of large, deep irregular-shaped bunkers, it is a highly strategic and playable stadium golf course.
Named in honour of the 41st World Cup of Golf which it hosted in 1995, this critically acclaimed course was designed by 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. It’s the first course in China to be accredited by the US PGA for major professional competitions and is widely hailed as one of Asia’s best golfing experiences. It is a long and challenging tournament course, measuring over 7300 yards, with large, fast greens, deep bunkers and plenty of water hazards throughout.