Featured Golf News
The Biggest Golf Facility in the World
Mission Hills Golf Club in Guanlan, Shenzhen, China, stretches over 50 miles across a piece of property twice the size of Manhattan. The club is recognized as the largest golf facility in the world by the Guinness World Records.
Mission Hills boasts 180 holes over 10 championship courses designed by golf legends from five continents. Containing the most courses in a single facility anywhere in the world, the layouts were designed by such golf notables as Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Jumbo Ozaki, Vijay Singh, Jose Marie Olazabal, Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Greg Norman and golf instructor David Leadbetter. Let’s take a glimpse at these layouts.
The World Cup Course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and served as the host site of the 41st World Cup of Golf in 1995. The layout was the first in China to be accredited by the PGA Tour for major professional competitions. Perhaps its signature hole is the 16th.
The Els Course was designed by the popular South African golfer, a multiple winner of golf’s major championships. The layout winds through a lush landscape of dense trees. It features wide swaths of manicured turf and a unique flavor of the “Big Easy’s” homeland. Measuring over 7,000 yards from the back tees, the Els Course is a core layout, with no peripheral development. Its 4th tee perches atop the highest point of the course, offering commanding views of Mission Hills and outlying properties.
The Faldo Course opened in 1999. It contains one of the world's toughest island greens – the 16th. Faldo, another multiple major winner, used his outstanding shot-making skills to design this challenging venue.
The Ozaki Course was created by Japan’s most popular golfer. The track takes advantage of the dramatic mountain valleys that house each hole. Towering peaks and wooded hillsides line every fairway. The terrain is so mountainous that a 200-foot-long tunnel is needed to connect the 12th green with the 13th tee. Every hole provides great views – from elevated tees to undulating fairways and greens that require accuracy. Perhaps the deepest bunkers in Asia are found on this course.
The Vijay Course was designed by Singh, the Fijian currently ranked as the No. 2 player in the world, after Tiger Woods. The layout, which is reminiscent of Pebble Beach, boasts a 150-yard-long bunker.
The Olazabal Course adheres to its namesake’s reputation as one of the game’s best sand players. The 7,400-yard test offers vistas of untouched jungles and flowing streams, which create natural backdrops throughout the routing. Square tees and concave paspalum grass fairways are two distinguishing features of this course. The bunkers contain numerous fingers, grassy vertical lips and deep "bowled" bottoms.
The Annika Course was designed by the world’s greatest woman golfer. Representing Sorenstam’s first-ever design, the layout showcases her best talent: precision. The course also has spectacular views of nearby mountains and dramatic elevation changes. Manicured landscaping creates an appealing "botanical" atmosphere. The 465-yard 18th hole, located next to a large natural lake, is a fine finisher.
The Duval Course challenges with numerous water hazards, dense groundcover and a mixture of long and short double-doglegs. The course is designed in such that half the course is situated on an uphill slope and the remainder on a descent. The layout’s first half rises up to a secluded natural valley in the northeasternmost part of the resort, while the finishing holes wind their way back down to the clubhouse. A stream meanders through many holes. Deep flat-bottomed bunkers squeeze many landing areas, collecting errant tee shots and affecting approaches into the greens.
The Norman Course boasts a very high level of difficulty. Average courses usually have slope ratings of between 120 and 130. But the slope rating of Greg Norman’s course at Mission Hills is over 140, making it the most difficult track in Asia. Also labeled the "Tournament Course," this layout is dominated by numerous high-flashed bunkers. The front nine meanders through several small valleys, while the back nine is set in a much larger solitary valley defined by steep slopes.
Perhaps the salient feature of the Leadbetter Course is that it requires precise approaches into its oversized greens. Leadbetter’s turf choices include paspalum fairways, Zoysia grass roughs, and Tifeagle Hybrid Bermuda grass greens. Big sand-flashed bunkers frame the contoured fairways, while various tee blocks assure the golfing experience is enjoyable yet challenging for all players.
In addition to the World Cup of Golf, the facility has hosted the Mission Hills Tiger Woods China Challenge and the Ryder Cup-style Dynasty Cup. The club has also participated in programs hosted by Leadbetter, including the Leadbetter Workshop and the Junior Golf Clinic.
Mission Hills Resort is China’s only five-star resort built alongside a championship golf course. It provides luxurious accommodations in an environment augmented by warm hospitality from a courteous staff. The resort contains 315 rooms, each with a balcony overlooking the Vijay and Els Courses. In addition to large living spaces, the resort offers 13 deluxe suites and the ornate Imperial Suite, which has hosted many celebrities and heads of states.
Besides golf, guests have access to 51 tennis courts; two swimming pools; a 64-bay driving range; squash, badminton and basketball courts; table tennis and billiards; a children’s play area; a gymnasium with the latest Cybex training equipment; and the Spa La Quinta, which offers a full range of specialty treatments.
Mission Hills’ also offers Chinese and Western restaurants, wine cellars stocked with vintage wines, and a full room-service menu. Other amenities include the Piano Bar and the poolside Captain’s Bar, a gift shop, flower shop and transportation counter (consierge), who tends to guests’ travel needs, including sea, land and air ticketing requirements. Also available are a wide selection of meeting rooms, conference suites, banquet halls and a 24-hour business center.
Mission Hills Resort is located 30 minutes from the center of Shenzhen and 20 minutes from the Shenzhen’s Huang Gang/Hong Kong border. The resort is serviced by over 100 daily transits from Central, Kowloon Tong and Lok Ma Chau every day.
For additional information about Mission Hills Resort, visit http://www.missionhillsgroup.com/en/default.aspx.