Schmidt-Curley Design Announces Opening of Four New Golf Courses at China’s Mission Hills Hainan
Schmidt-Curley Design — one of the world’s most active and innovative golf course design firms — announces four more of its courses have opened at Mission Hills Hainan.
The Stone Quarry, Shadow Dunes, Double Pin and Stepping Stone courses now bring the resort’s grand total to 10. With long-time partner Mission Hills, Schmidt-Curley has transformed Hainan Island’s ancient volcanic terrain into a golf destination featuring playing experiences of unmatched variety.
"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."
Stone Quarry (Par 70, 6,029 yards)
A tribute to the genius of Pete Dye — mentor to the Schmidt-Curley team — Stone Quarry showcases the iconic hallmarks of his designs: railroad tie sleepers, abrupt mounds, long waste bunkers, devilish greens and railroad car bridges. These elements are made even more dramatic by a routing that snakes through volcanic quarries supported by steep rock walls and timbers. Remnants of coal cars, railroad tracks and abandoned mining equipment complete the setting. Dotted with 215 bunkers, the course demands shot making over brute strength — a welcome alternative to today’s typical emphasis on length to protect par.
Shadow Dunes (Par 70, 6,428 yards)
Bringing sand to the city, Shadow Dunes incorporates the towering dunes and native vegetation found along the vast, unspoiled beaches of Hainan Island. It features sweeping contours that will send balls running and some of the largest (averaging 11,500 square feet) and wildest greens at the resort. Pinpoint accuracy with the short game is a must, as the course is designed to avoid being overpowered by bombers. Intimate green-to-tee connections make it eminently walkable.
Double Pin (Par 54, 1,921 yards)
This collection of par-3 holes has a unique characteristic: two pins on each green. One is placed in a relatively accessible location, the other is better protected by both bunkering and severe contours. Players of all skill levels will enjoy walking a quick round while sharpening their games. With holes ranging from 98 to 153 yards, it’s also perfect for families or to transition beginners from the practice tee to the course. Double Pins’ arboretum-like surrounds of colorful trees and flowers ideally complement the blue skies and clean air of Hainan.
Stepping Stone (Par 54, 2,176 yards)
Stepping Stone’s dramatic islands of turf framed by lava rock and rugged, sandy expanses are similar to those found on the Blackstone Course. Only open to walkers, the layout seamlessly blends with the landscape of black rock and thick vegetation. Although short, it is no pushover and a great place to polish your short game.
"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."
Only 15 minutes from Haikou Meilan International Airport, Mission Hills Hainan’s other amenities include a 518-room, five-star hotel; spa oasis; Hainan’s largest mineral springs; 12 world-class restaurants; fully-equipped sports and recreation center; state-of-the-art meeting facilities; opulent villas; resort-themed residential towers and more.
The six previously announced Schmidt-Curley-designed courses at Mission Hills Hainan are:
Blackstone (Par 73, 7,808 yards)
Blackstone, a 350-acre core golf course set on a dense bed of lava rock, promises to become one of the world’s premier tournament layouts and will host the 2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup. It weaves through a striking landscape of mature trees; thick, jungle vegetation; and expansive lakes and wetlands. Wild, irregular bunker edges and transitional sand areas harmoniously converge with volcanic outcroppings framing many holes. Featuring no rough, the hard-line edges associated with most golf courses are non-existent.
Sandbelt Trails (Par 72, 7,297 yards)
Inspired by the Australian Sandbelt’s iconic courses, Sandbelt Trails is distinguished by large, high-flashed bunkers with crisp, thick lips rising above fairway and green surfaces. The gently rolling site is populated with Eucalyptus trees, further evoking its Australian influences of Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath and Metropolitan Golf Club.
The Vintage (Par 72, 7,363 yards)
The Vintage pays homage to the classic American golf courses built at the turn of the 20th century. It has a distinct, authentic feel and is marked by quirky features typically associated with revered courses such as National Golf Links, Merion, Chicago Golf Club and others. Abrupt mounding; deep pot bunkers; severe ridges; blind shots and wicker basket pins are highlights.
Lava Fields (Par 72, 7,475 yards)
Similar in some respects to the Blackstone Course with irregular turf lines and rugged bunkering, this course features sand seamlessly transitioning into natural lava rock surrounds. With fewer trees than its sister design, a memorable feeling of expansiveness pervades over 300-plus acres of core golf. Black rock and ever-present sand dominate the landscape like few other courses in the world.
Meadow Links (Par 70, 6,673 yards)
Incorporating elements of traditional eastern U.S. courses, Meadow Links features lay-of-the-land sensibilities, as well as rough, somewhat geometrically-shaped bunkering and fairway lines. Distinguishing traits like "church pew" bunkers, wide areas of turf punctuated by clusters of trees and native grasses evoke a parkland feel.
The Preserve (Par 70, 6,535 yards)
With lush landscaping and dense palm plantings, this user-friendly course exhibits attributes often associated with modern design. Sculpted bunkering peppers wide fairways. An abundance of turf and soft containment mounding keeps mis-hits in play and reduces lost balls, making it an excellent course to develop new players and promote a fast-paced, stress-free round.
For more information about Schmidt-Curley’s completed and current projects, visit or call 480.483.1994.


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