One of the greatest female golfers of all time has tried her hand at designing a golf course at the Mission Hills Golf Club. The Annika Course, designed in part by Swedish golfer Annika Sorenstam is the shortest of the 10 courses at Mission Hills.
Located in one of the more mountainous regions of the complex the front 9 enjoys significant changes in elevation creating problems for club selection and when the wind blows creating a challenge making the holes far trickier than normal.
There is no question that this is one of the easier courses at Mission Hills with large fairways and inviting greens.
From the any elevated tees you are often found losing yourself in the scenery that takes your focus away from the course and lets you relax in the natural environment and the beauty of the area.
Measuring in at 6703 yards the course invites longer hits to warm up the shoulders and have a crack at some of the greens. This is even more true for the average golfer who will be playing from the blue tees, which measure less than 6000 yards.
One such hole that provides a chance of getting home in one is the 9th. At 296 yards from the blue tees the hole is crying out to be attacked. From the slightly elevated tee all the danger can be seen. To find the green you need to find the perfect line between the two bunkers that guard the entrance.
The 2nd hole offers one of the prettier backdrops on the course and at handicap 4 on the scorecard the hole challenges you from start to finish. Doglegging to the right the hole requires a good drive to avoid the fairway bunkers that come into play on both sides and the approach is made trickier by the creek that runs across the front of the green and the numerous greenside bunkers waiting for anything misdirected.
Hole 7 considered as the signature hole is a pretty hole, which is played from an elevated tee atop of the mountain to the green below which almost appears to be floating in the sky. Be sure to come up short of the hole as the green slopes severely from back to front.
A sharp dog leg, the 13th is a great opportunity for birdie. Reachable in two this downhill short par 5 requires accuracy to find the fairway that is protected by a number of bunkers ranging in size. The second shot will require a well struck shot over the bunkers that protect the front and right side of the large green.
The large bunkers are a feature of this course and although they are huge in some cases they are relatively shallow and do not provide too much of a challenge.
Getting to the course requires taking a shuttle bus some 20 minutes from the Shenzhen Clubhouse so bear this in mind when you are preparing to play.