Schmidt-Curley Design — one of golf's most active and innovative design firms — announces its Lava Fields Course at Mission Hills Hainan has been ranked among the world's top 100 layouts by Golf World magazine.
Lava Fields enters the list at number 93. It is the only China course awarded a spot in the U.K. publication's coveted 2011 rankings.
With irregular turf lines, rugged bunkering and sand seamlessly transitioning into natural lava rock surrounds, the par-72, 7,475-yard track is similar in some respects to Mission Hills Hainan's Blackstone Course. But with fewer trees than its sister design, a memorable sense 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.
"We're honored to see Lava Fields named one of the world's 'Top 100' courses by Golf World," says Brian Curley. "One would be hard-pressed to find two more superb tournament tests than Lava Fields and Blackstone at one resort."
Lava Fields' 18th is regarded by many as one of the strongest holes at Mission Hills Hainan. It is a thought-provoking, 575-yard par 5 offering a multitude of playing options.
"A well-struck tee shot down the hill can make the green reachable in two, but laying up is the more likely option," says Curley. "The safest route is short and right, but it leaves the most difficult third shot — uphill and over a cluster of greenside bunkers. Taking the second shot left, over the trees and lava rock, results in the best angle to attack the green. Featuring pronounced slopes, the large putting surface will only yield a good score to the most accurate approaches."
Just 15 minutes from Haikou Meilan International Airport, Lava Fields is one of 10 courses at Mission Hills Hainan. A landscape of ancient volcanic terrain has been transformed into a "must visit" destination for the traveling golfer. Other amenities include a 525-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.
About Schmidt-Curley Design

Founded by partners Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley with offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; Haikou, Hainan Island, China and Kunming, China, Schmidt-Curley is a full-service, international golf course architecture and master-planning firm with more than 100 layouts in 24 countries. The tandem is responsible for crafting 10 of the 12 courses at storied Mission Hills Shenzhen — the "World's Largest Golf Club" — and designed and built all 10 golf courses at Mission Hills' new Hainan Island resort. Schmidt-Curley's recently unveiled 54-hole Stone Forest International C.C. near Kunming is also garnering global acclaim.
Other high profile, award-winning projects from Schmidt-Curley include Bali Hai Golf Club and Siena Golf Club (Las Vegas), Amata Spring Golf Club (Chonburi, Thailand, four-time host of the PGA European Tour's Royal Trophy), Terra Lago Golf Club (Indio, California, site of the Skins Game from 1999 – 2002), Twin Creeks Golf Club (Cedar Park, Texas) and Crosby National Golf Club (Rancho Santa Fe, California).
Schmidt-Curley has also worked extensively with golf's biggest names — including Pete Dye, Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples on numerous high-profile projects — and boasts five ASGCA members (Lee Schmidt, Brian Curley, Grant Haserot, Andy Raugust and Shane Witcombe).
Producing demanding yet beautiful and enjoyable courses, Schmidt-Curley strives to create golf experiences that stir the senses and elevate golfers' appreciations for the land and the game. By balancing classic golf course architecture with ever-changing contemporary technology, Schmidt-Curley places an emphasis on site-adaptive courses, memorable and satisfying for all levels of play and always designed for cost-efficient maintenance and operation.
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