Chinese Golf Resorts, Nearly Nonexistent 10 Years Ago, Are Sprouting Up Throughout The Country
In China, the relatively new sport of golf has become the game of choice for businesspeople and sports aficionados across the country. While golf has long enjoyed strong popularity in neighboring Japan and Korea, where it has long been the leisure activity of the elite, golf has only made inroads in China since the late 1990s. Now, however, golf is booming in China, and the country boasts over 200 courses. Of these, several world-class courses have increasingly attracted enthusiasts from around the world — and the PGA — and none of these courses represents the quality of Chinese golf resorts more than Mission Hills Golf Club in Guangdong Province.
Straddling nearly 17 acres of land near Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Dongguan, Mission Hills is reportedly the world’s largest putting course — with 12 disparate courses and 216 holes — and was designed by American golf course design outfit Schmidt-Curley Design, who has remarked, “There is nothing on the planet that comes close to the course’s size, appearance or playing alternatives…The possibilities are limitless.” But as golf grows in popularity throughout the Mainland, and as more courses spring up to meet the demand of China’s maturing middle class, what will, in the end, set courses like Mission Hills apart from its hundreds of competitors. According to The Examiner, it’s all about the course’s staggering scale and unique localization and personalization efforts:
Big, candidly, is an understatement at Mission Hills Golf Club, which features the world’s largest collection of premier golf courses with 12 layouts designed by many of the greatest golfers and golf course architects from five continents. The facility is also hosting the sixth annual Golfathon, May 1 – August 31, 2009. Open to players of all ages and abilities, contestants will challenge 10 of the club’s 12 golf courses. The Overall Champion will earn an exemption to October’s inaugural Asian Amateur Championship on Mission Hills’ World Cup Course. The AAC winner will be awarded a spot in the 2010 Masters Tournament, arguably the sport’s most-revered championship.
“The Mission Hills Golfathon combines the thrill of golf and marathon into a formula that attracts golf enthusiasts from around the world to our club for the ultimate golf challenge,” said Chu, Mission Hills Golf Club Executive Director. “This year’s exemption to the Asian Amateur Championship is an exceptional first prize. Now golfers from around the world can experience Mission Hills’ unparalleled golf-and-resort experience and vie for a spot in Asia’s most important amateur event.”
For those who are simply content participating in the event,anyone who can complete nine qualifying rounds of golf within five consecutive weekdays will receive an “Iron Man” certificate and complimentary weekday green fee valued at 1,380 RMB ($200). “We will pamper Golfathon competitors with our renowned, gold-standard personal service,” said Chu. “Come share an unforgettable experience with family, friends and fellow golfers, as no other resort in the world can match Mission Hills’ vast array of activities and first-class amenities.”
For the avid, rabid golf junkie this is a must to add to their resume. For others who are looking for an experience that will surpass their expectations, the adventure begins with a short drive north of Hong Kong International Airport, www.hongkongairport.com to Mission Hills Golf Club. Flights on most major airlines from most major cities are available into Hong Kong. From the airport, Mission Hills transports golfers in luxury shuttles across the border to the resort hotel.