Mission Hills Golf Club – Els Course
觀瀾湖高爾夫球會、艾斯球場

Course Data
LocationShenzhen, Guandong Province, China
Yardage7049 yards Par 72
Course Rating73.9
Playing Date27 Oct. 2004
Designer Ernie Els, Schmidt & Curley
Opened2001
CaddyYes
Golf CartYes (Compulsory)
Rating
Overall Rating
3.50
Course Layout
3
Difficulty Level
5
Greens Condition
3
Fairways Condition
3
Landscaping & Views
4
 
The front 9 holes are a mountain course layout with ups & downs and each hole is separated by trees. On the other hand, the back 9 holes are flat with water coming into play on many holes. Overall, the course is designed to make use of the natural terrain. It also features attractive par 5s.

A view from clubhouse

A view of the 1st green

 
4th Par 5 582 yards
A tricky but unique par 5 layout. The tee shot is greatly downhill and it doglegs 90 degrees to the left 300 yards from the tee. The landing area from the tee as well as the second shot is very narrow. If you curve your shot left or right, it will easily be OB or get caught in a hazard. The third shot is intimidating, too, because the relatively small green is mostly surrounded by a dry creek. One way of attacking the hole for a pro is to use a long iron off the aiming to the right side of the wider fairway because a driver makes the landing area extremely narrow. Then, to make a short cut he would hit over the tall trees on the left side of the fairway by using a fairway wood. This is a very bold attacking route. Beginners and medium-level players should not try this route and even many advanced players whilst technically able may fail to execute on this hole due to the stress factor. The tee is the highest point on the course with panoramic views of the front 9 and the outlying property.


4th Par 5 582 yards (3)

4th Par 5 582 yards (2)

4th Par 5 582 yards (1)
 
6th  Par 5 517 yards

6th Par 5 517 yards (2)

6th Par 5 517 yards (1)
A dogleg to the right and a sharp uphill. Bunkers on the corner of the dogleg from the tee shot and bunkers in the middle of fairway on the second shot come into play. The approach shot requires a hit to an elevated green whose left is protected by very deep bunkers.
 
11th Par 5 539 yards

11th Par 5 539 yards (2)

11th Par 5 539 yards (1)
You should drive to the right of the fairway bunkers because a creek runs along the left. The second shot is over the creek and the third shot needs to be hit accurately because the creek even cuts into the right side of the green.
 
15th  Par 3 165 yards

15th green seen from behind

15th Par 3 165 yards
A beautiful par 3 with a lot of the natural flavors. The wide green protrudes like a peninsuala to the left toward a lake , so the entire front, left and backsides of the green face water hazards.

 
18th Par 4 438 yards

18th Par 4 438 yards
A dogleg to the left, a gentle uphill.  A beautiful lake with a pretty small waterfall on the left are well positioned to swallow an inaccurate shot. Also be careful of a bunker in front of the green.

19th hole

It takes one and half hours from Hong Kong by a club car. The car is better and more comfortable than a bus because you can shorten the trevel time through immigration.

I played with a single-handicap member from the black tees or tournament tees, which should be possible to play on weekdays. It seems that playing from the black tees is not allowed on weekends. The black tees actually had no tees on the grounds, so we played from back tee box next to the yardage makers. Playing from the black tees, it is a very demanding and difficult course. When advanced players play from the blue tees of 6100 yards, 900 yards shorter, they are not only misled into thinking that the course is easy but also tend to become bored because the hazards in proper positions such as bunkers or lakes don’t come into play so much. There are yellow tees between black and blues tees, so the medium & advanced players understand the course better if they use at least the yellow tees.

This club immediately became famous because the World Cup was held at the World Cup Course in 1995. The Dynasty Cup, a Ryder Cup-style shootout between Asia and Japan, was also held at the World Cup Course in 2004 & 2005.

The adjacent hotel was very comfortable and its Chinese restaurant was very testy.



Hotel

Hotel

Restaurant

 

10 designers' pictures
Mission Hills GC is the world’s biggest golf complex with 10 courses or 180 holes as of 2004, overtaking the huge Pinehurst resort in North Carolina, which has eight 18-hole courses. The picture shows the 10 designers who are all world-famous players or a teaching pro. The 10 courses are designed by Jack Nicklaus, Vijay Singh, Nick Faldo, Jumbo Ozaki, Ernie Els, Annika Sorenstam, Rose & Poulter, Jose Maria Olazabal, David Leadbetter and Greg Norman. The two couses were added in 2007, Pete Dye Course and Zhang Lian Wei Couse (Par 3s course), so the club currently holds 12 curses or 207 holes.

Co-designers, Lee Schmidt & Brian Curley are the principal architects behind the 8 of the 10 courses. They designed the other courses in Asia, Muang Kaew GC (remodeled), Chiang Mai Highlands G&SR, Amata Spring CC in Thailand, Grande Hamanako GC in Japan and Agile (雅居楽長江) G&CC - B Course in China.

Their joint designs with Jack Nicklaus in Asia are Spring City (春城) G&LR - Mountain Course, Chung Shan Hot Spring (中山温泉) GC - Jack Nicklaus Course in China, Ishioka GC, Rokkou Kokusai GC (remodeled), The Tradition GC, President GC, Sanyo GC (remodeled), New Capital GG, Sun Belgravia GC, Bear Paws Japan GC in Japan, Sungai Long CC in Malaysia, and Springfield Royal CC in Thailand.