The Jack Nicklaus designed World Cup course at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenshen, China was named one of the 10 “Most Influential Golf Courses of the Last 20 Years” by a leading golf magazine in July 2008. The World Cup course, which opened for play in 1994, was considered the prime example of golf’s outstanding overseas growth in the last 20 years.
Host to China’s first international golf tournament, the 41st World Cup of Golf in 1995, “The World Cup Course paved the way for our dreams at Mission Hills,” said Dr. Ken Chu, Chairman, Mission Hills Group. “We were able to seize the momentum created by the tournament and simultaneously bring both Mission Hills and golf in China to unimaginable prevalence on the sporting landscape in a very short period of time.”
Mission Hills Golf Club opened in 1994 and has become China’s golfing epicentre. The club now boasts 216 golf holes stretching across Shenzhen and Dongguan, each course was designed by a world-renowned golfing “legend”: Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Jumbo Ozaki, Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal, David Leadbetter, Greg Norman, Annika Sorenstam, David Duval, Zhang Lian Wei and Pete Dye. Mission Hills is the world’s largest golf club. In 2005, we predictied that by 2015 China would boast more golf courses than the Home of Golf. In December 2014, China passed Scotland's 580 golf courses and reached 600 courses.
We suspect that the World Cup course will be renamed the Nicklaus course in the not too distant future as Mission Hills Golf Club has committed to host the OMEGA Mission Hills World Cup on the Olazabal course through to 2018 leaving the famous Nicklaus World Cup course sidelined.
My favorite of the original MH course. As an early member, most of my rounds played on that course. (The fact that on 10/10/09 I played the 4 par 3's in 2, 2, 2, 1 with a total putting distance of 4" ! Chip in on #5, Hit the pin on #8 stopping 2" away and a 2" tap in on #13 , followed by an ace on #15...has nothing to do with my love of that course!) Let me clear up something about this being the "Nicklaus" course. #16 was re-routed, without design change permission from Mr. Nicklaus. He had his name withdrawn from the course name. It will always have the cache of being a Nicklaus design, I believe, his first in China (?).....Long live Mission Hills and what Dr. Chu (father) did for golf in China. MH will always be the "Father of China golf".....go there and enjoy it, as have I for the past 24 years....grw
The Par 5 539-yard 16th is excellent and can be reached in two shots. A precise and long drive is required down the narrow fairway guarded by bunkers. Bunkers are also well positioned on the second shot. A lake bordering the right side of the narrow fairway extends to greenside, so watch out on left to right balls. If you hit every shot accurately, you will be rewarded by a birdie. But if you slice or hook the ball, you end up with a bogey easily.
This hole has undergone a big change in 2004. In the past, the landing area for drives used to be a lake and bushes, and you had to hit the fairway to the right of the lake, which does not exist under the current layout. Then, the second or third shot is across the lake to the green whose front is guarded by water, which made it a stunning dogleg to the left. The former layout was selected as one of the best 500 holes in the world in 2000 by US Golf Magazine. I don’t know whether or not the new hole will be selected again (surely not) but the club maintains that the new hole is even more difficult. Personally I prefer the old hole but I can still completely enjoy playing the new one. To read more about World Cup course at Mission Hills Golf Club, click here to visit my website.