Mission Hills Golf Club – the world’s largest collection of first-class golf courses with layouts designed by many of the greatest golfers and golf-course architects hailing from five countries – has announced the opening of its 11th and 12th courses from legendary designer Pete Dye and Chinese golf hero Zhang Lian Wei.
The Pete Dye Course at Mission Hills Golf Club, the first Pete Dye design in China, offers a marked departure from the property’s other 11 designs. Dye trademarks are all present and accounted for throughout the 6,800-yard layout, including small pot bunkers, long tee-to-green waste areas, railroad ties used as sleepers and walkway steps framed by tall native grasses to provide a sharp, visual contrast. Dye and collaborating architect Brian Curley of Schmidt-Curley Design routed the course through dramatic, rolling hills, where the course will be serviced by a new clubhouse scheduled to soon open.
An innovative executive course – the first par-3 course in China — designed by Schmidt-Curley in conjunction with one of China’s true golfing legends, the Zhang Lian Wei Course features design elements and greens borrowed from many of the world’s most famous golf venues. Architecture aficionados will discover a history lesson of quirky designs such as the Postage Stamp green from Royal Troon, the Road Hole green at St. Andrews and Donald Ross-style “turtle back” green complexes.
Zhang Lian Wei has won numerous events in China and on the Asian Tour since turning pro in 1994. In 2003, he captured the Caltex Masters Presented by Carlsberg, Singapore on the tournament’s 72nd hole with a dramatic birdie putt, becoming the first Chinese golfer to win on the PGA European Tour. Zhang received a special invitation to play in the Masters in 2004, becoming the first player from mainland China to grace the fairways of Augusta National. In 2006, he topped the Order of Merit on the Omega China Tour and over the course of his career has played on the World Cup, Dunhill Cup, Dynasty Cup and Royal Trophy teams.
“We are excited to add our 11th and 12th courses, and to present our members and guests with 216 holes of outstanding, world-class golf,” says Dr. David Chu, chairman of the Mission Hills Group. “It is an honour to have Pete Dye and Zhang Lian Wei represented at Mission Hills and we look forward to a lasting relationship with both gentlemen.”
“With the addition of Dye and Zhang Lian Wei course, the variety and quality of golf at Mission Hills is further unrivalled,” says Brian Curley. “Having been involved with this grand golf club since its early days, it is rewarding to see it all come to fruition.”
Curley and partner Lee Schmidt have worked with Dye on numerous projects over the years, and both cut their teeth in the business with Dye’s golf-course architecture firm, serving as project coordinator and lead architect, respectively. Curley was intimately involved in the design of the Dye Course at Mission Hills and is the architect of record for the Zhang Lian Wei Course. A student of the game who grew up caddying at Pebble Beach and playing the great courses of the Monterrey Peninsula, Curley wanted to create a ‘memorable’ short-course experience by recreating many of the world’s most famous greens.
“It is as fun to play as it was to design and build,” adds Curley. “Players will have many more options around the green than they would at a typical par-3 course, and architecture buffs will enjoy its historical elements.”
Mission Hills www.missionhillsgroup.com
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