Another four courses – all designed by the firm of Schmidt-Curley – have opened at the Chu family’s second Mission Hills resort on the Chinese island of Hainan. The resort now has ten courses in play.
“At Mission Hills Hainan, golfers can select from a global menu of golf design genres,” says Brian Curley. “Each layout has a distinct 'personality' - levels of difficulty, bunker styles, green sizes and undulations, landscaping, par and yardage were intentionally varied to distinguish the resort from competitors and celebrate its status as an international golf destination.”
The four new courses will stand out as unusual in the Chinese golf market, where a rigid par of 72 has become accepted as the norm. The Stone Quarry course, intended as a tribute to Pete Dye, mentor to both Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley, measures 6,029 yards and plays to a par of 70, as does the 6.428 yard Shadow Dunes. The other two, Double Pin and Stepping Stone, are eighteen hole par three courses, with the former, as its name suggests, having two flagsticks on each green. Stepping Stone is a walking-only course, also unusual in China.
“I am very optimistic Mission Hills Hainan will help show Asian golfers and developers it is more about offering a great experience – that may or may not involve length – and less about presenting a 'standard' scorecard,” says Curley. “Some of the courses, like Blackstone and Lava Fields, will play long and test the best players. However, we also designed courses that are still challenging and thought-provoking but tailored to be more forgiving to mid and high-handicappers.”