Shenzhen, China: European Ryder Cup stalwarts Justin Rose and Ian Poulter have given the thumbs up to their new course at Mission Hills.
During a visit to Shenzhen, the English duo officially unveiled the unique par-72 layout, designed in conjunction with Brian Curley, principal of Schmidt-Curley Design.
Especially suited to match play golf, the makeover of the course has already been acknowledged as Renovation of the Year by one publication and is the latest illustration of the innovative skills of Schmidt-Curley Design.
Curley said: “With the Rose-Poulter pairing and their past successes at match play, we placed a real focus on creating a renewed strategy that incorporates a number of risk-reward opportunities.
“While there remains a strong emphasis on playability and width, this is a demanding course, yet a fun playing experience.”
According to Curley, the emphasis of the remodel was to make use of ‘the fantastic bones associated with the original layout, its tree-lined corridors and majestic views’.
He added: “The course has some stunning visuals that incorporate more rugged bunkering and native grass and transitional edges that seamlessly blend into the outer boundaries.”
Other enhancements include more bunkering along the centrelines of play while greensites have seen an introduction of additional features to both punish and reward.
The tee surfaces have been expanded significantly, resulting in long ribbons of tight mow rather than individual tees, thus creating many more options for hole length including the opportunity to have drivable par-fours and reachable par-fives.
The Rose-Poulter Course is one of 12 at the Mission Hills resort – officially the world’s biggest golf club – spread across Shenzhen and Dongguan in southern China.
After defeating his friend and compatriot in a head-to-head encounter over the course, former US Open champion Rose said: “It’s designed to give you a lot of options. You can run the ball into the greens, you can work the contours, but if you miss the contours and end up on the side, then you have a difficult recovery shot.
“We want players of all abilities to have a good time, to get off the tee and feel like they have a chance, but then the course gets a bit more tricky around the greens.
“A lot of the great courses, like Augusta National, for example, are generous off the tee but then the skill is in the second shot, the chipping and the putting, and I feel that is what this golf course is about.”
Poulter added: “It’s all about risk and reward. There are five par-fives and five par-threes. You’re taking shots on, so it’s not easy … but it’s great fun.
“Everyone who plays it is going to have a great time – they will make lots of birdies and they might make a few bogeys, but the course plays very well.”
Kansas, United States: Marc Weston, Course Superintendent at Indian Hill Country Club, has been named a Grassroots Ambassador Leadership Award winner from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
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