Latest designs for the new showpiece match play course at Mission Hills in China’s PealRiver region were unveiled this week, providing golfers with an insight into the highly anticipated course redesign by two of the world’s top golfers.
The new Rose-Poulter course at the Mission Hills Resort in China has been designed to stage more match play golf and marks a shift away from medal play where the need to count every stroke can lead to more conservative play, resulting in longer rounds.
Speaking about the new course design, the 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions winner Ian Poulter said, “The ultimate objective of the course design is to make it more dramatic and more fun. Match play can be played on any course but we wanted to create holes that encourage people to play aggressively and take chances that they wouldn’t usually take on a traditional course. Mission Hills has some superb courses, designed by some of the true greats of the game so we’re delighted for our names to join such esteemed group.”
The new design, which marks both players’ course design debut, has seen all eighteen holes re-configured to present exciting risk and reward opportunities, incentivizing aggressive play over and between trouble spots by incorporating features such as speed slots in fairways and feeder slopes that roll the ball to difficult pin placements. And with a common objective of creating a course sympathetic to the surrounding environment, the re-design also features a number of ecological course improvements.
Key features of the new course include:
- Introduction of more rugged bunkering, native grass and transitional edges that blend into the outside vegetation, creating a more natural look.
- Realigned fairway bunkering and landing areas offering risk and reward options from the tee with plenty of centre line features and obstacles while still providing ample fairway width for optional lines of play.
- Ecological benefits including reduction in total grass area to save on water usage; extensive planting of native flora; and introduction of native, natural colour bunker sand.
- Improved and enlarged tees providing different locations and angles to play from and accentuating the course’s tree lined corridors and imposing hillside views.
- Shorter par 4 yardages offering driveable opportunities and new par 5 set-ups with each green reachable in two shots to encourage aggressive lines of play.
- More low scoring rewards as well as punishing penalties and recovery opportunities throughout the course.
Both golfers have played extensively at Mission Hills so are familiar with the type of courses and had a clear idea of what they wanted to achieve, as Brian Curley from Schmidt-Curley Design, which is lending technical support to the project commented: “Justin and Ian partnered each other in the World Cup on the Blackstone Course in Haikou and liked the bunkering and the rugged style of some of the holes which is something they’ve looked to incorporate. Similarly following Ian’s success winning the WGC on the Olazabal course last year, we’ve done our best to accentuate the tree lined fairways, long vistas and change in elevations that you get on the course.”
2013 US Open champion Justin Rose added, “It’s the first time for either of us to design a golf course and it’s been great to partner with Mission HillsChina for such an exciting project.”
“The idea of the new course is to encourage people to play hole-by-hole, in a quicker style that’s a bit more fun for everyone. Our hope is to encourage more players to play the game as it originated along the wind-swept dunes on links courses where your opponent was in your group, not the scorecard,” continued Rose.
The new course will be officially opened by Justin Rose and Ian Poulter on 28th October, who, following an opening ceremony, will play an exhibition match on the course named in their honour.
Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group added, “The course redesign is taking very good shape and is generating a lot of excitement among our members and visitors. We look forward to welcoming Justin and Ian back to Mission Hills for what will be another ground-breaking initiative for the Group and golfers in the region.”
Mission Hills Group www.missionhillschina.com