Mission Hills to build family-friendly ‘fantasy golf course’ in Hainan
Award-winning American golf course architecture firm Schmidt-Curley Design will create a full-scale, mini-golf experience at family-friendly Mission Hills Hainan. Plans include:
• 400-yard tee-to-green reproduction of the Great Wall
• Par 3 playing over a depression filled with replica terra cotta warriors
• Tee shot from a grotto through a waterfall on a jungle-themed hole
• Par 3 where large fans buffet players with strong winds
• Par 5 weaving through towering Mayan ruins
• Volcano-themed par 3 with two options: 1) a very difficult shot to a tiny green surrounded by lava rock, or 2) playing into a raised volcano mound much closer to the tee where a pipe sends the ball to the green
• Island-green par 3 where the "lake" is an 80-meter-wide noodle bowl with 75-meter-long chopsticks
Three holes ("Great Wall," "Noodle Bowl," and "Riches to Ruins") are the handiwork of winners from a worldwide fantasy design contest held last year. A 2014 opening is anticipated.
"As the leader of China’s golf boom and developer of 22 world-class courses, our properties have staged some of the biggest global events and hosted the game’s best players," says Dr. Ken Chu, Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group. "The fantasy course will be a fun alternative for families, novices, and children on holiday in sunny, warm Haikou."
"Unlike mini-golf on artificial grass, the fantasy course is played at full-scale with standard equipment on real turf," says Brian Curley of Schmidt-Curley Design. "Other regulation courses frame holes with trees, bunkers and lakes; this course will incorporate many unique visuals while still requiring players to execute full shots and hole putts."
Curley, with long-time partner Lee Schmidt, was named 2011’s "Architect of the Year" by GOLF Magazine and Asian Golf Monthly’s "Best Golf Course Architects."
As one of 10 layouts at the new Mission Hills Hainan – including the critically-acclaimed Lava Fields and Blackstone, host of the 2011 World Cup of Golf – the fantasy course presents yet another enticing option for resort visitors.
Corporate sponsors are already lining up to be associated with this refreshing approach to the sport.
"Golf is typically a very conservative, tradition-filled game, yet there are many calls to make it more ‘fun,’" says Dr. Chu. "We are taking this desire for change to the extreme, feeling many golfers will seek out this new adventure and, while here, play our other wonderful courses."
He adds: "Due to its distinctiveness, we’re taking our time to ensure every detail is perfect, wild and wildly enjoyable."
About Mission Hills Hainan
Mission Hills Hainan’s Blackstone Course hosted the 56th World Cup of Golf in November 2011. It will welcome a star-studded, international lineup of sports and entertainment celebrities for the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am in October 2012. A magnificent addition to Hainan’s tropical island paradise, the resort is poised to become the island’s premier sanctuary, attracting visitors from around the globe.
Getting There: Mission Hills Hainan is 15 minutes from Haikou Meilan International Airport (HAK). Flights from major cities throughout Asia – including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore – to Haikou are available.
About Schmidt-Curley Design
Schmidt-Curley has designed more than 150 layouts in 25 countries. High-profile credits include 10 of the 12 courses at storied Mission Hills Shenzhen – the "World’s Largest Golf Club" – and all 10 at Mission Hills’ new Hainan Island resort. Mission Hills Hainan’s Lava Fields Course is the only Chinese design ranked among Golf World’s "Top 100," and was named GOLF’s "Best New International Course" of 2011. The resort’s Blackstone Course was named 2010’s "Best New" Asia course by GOLF.
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