Mission Hills China has announced that two of the most popular players on the international circuit will be lending their insight and experience to create a dedicated Match Play course at Mission Hills this summer.
US Open Winner Justin Rose and long-standing friend and fellow competitor Ian Poulter will celebrate the opening of the re-designed Rose/Poulter course with an exhibition match on 28 October 2013 at Mission Hills in the Pearl River region of southern China.
The pair are recognised Match Play specialists and were key figures in last year’s European Team Ryder Cup victory. Poulter has also been a regular at Mission Hills where he competed in World Cups from 2007 through until 2011, partnering Rose twice in the team-format competition.
The course redesign will be undertaken by Brian Curley from the highly acclaimed Schmidt and Curley design team.
Speaking about the collaboration, World No.3 Rose said, “I’m delighted to be involved in this project and am very much looking forward to working with Ian and Brian Curley to create a really exciting course that lends itself to Match Play format.”
“We’ve had a number of discussions with Brian Curley and I look forward to coming to Mission Hills in October and seeing the end result. It should be a great experience,” he added.
Fellow Englishman Poulter, who claimed victory at last year’s WGC HSBC Champions at Mission Hills Dongguan, commented, “It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Match Play so was more than happy to be involved in the project. I’ve got some pretty special memories of Mission Hills from last year and if we can contribute to making the course a more exciting experience for people to compete on, then I’m delighted to be involved.
“We want to create something that presents some exciting risk and reward opportunities incentivizing aggressive play that you only really get on a Match Play course.”
The emphasis of the remodel will be to make use of the fantastic bones associated with the current layout, its tree lined corridors and majestic views. The course will see the introduction of some stunning visuals that incorporate more rugged bunkering and native grass and transitional edges that will seamlessly blend into the outer boundaries.
Speaking about the new design, Curley said, “With the Rose/Poulter pairing and their past successes at Match Play, we’re placing a real focus on creating a renewed strategy that incorporates a number of risk-reward opportunities. While there will remain a strong emphasis on playability and width, we envision a more punishing course that is ultimately more interesting and demanding, yet a fun playing experience.”
Other enhancements include more bunkering along the centrelines of play and green sites will see an introduction of additional features to both punish and reward. The tee surfaces will be expanded significantly, resulting in long ribbons of tight mow rather than individual tees, thus creating many more options for hole length including the opportunity to have many drivable par 4’s and reachable par 5’s.
Tenniel Chu, Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group added, “We’re very pleased to announce this new collaboration with two of the most charismatic players on the international circuit. Mission Hills is continuously striving to create new interest and enjoyment through the game to enhance the golfing experience for our members and guests. When this opportunity presented itself, we knew it would be a win-win situation for all parties. I’m very confident that through this exciting initiative we will achieve that.
“We look forward to welcoming Justin and Ian back to Mission Hills in October and to witnessing what will be a very exciting showcase or Match Play golf.”
Mission Hills Group www.missionhillschina.com
Schmidt and Curley www.schmidt-curley.com