One of the most influential and individual designers of the last 50 years, Pete Dye has created a course that stands out from the other courses found at the Mission Hills Golf Club in China.
With the construction of the Pete Dye Course, Mission Hills has added a course like no other to the already baffling number of golf courses in one complex.
The course is shorter than most of the other courses measuring 6828 yards, but do not let the length of the course fool you. You will not be disappointed with the challenges that you will face nor the quality of the design and utilization of natural materials to produce a typical Pete Dye course.
The course shares its clubhouse facilities with the Faldo Course and although not as big as the Shenzhen clubhouse it offers more than enough for the two courses it serves. A restaurant that serves good local cuisine, a well-stocked pro shop and changing rooms offer more than the basic service required from a clubhouse. Some may even consider it more atmospheric than the enormous clubhouses of Shenzhen and Dongguan.
With all of the par fours coming in at under 400 yards from the blue tees, the course is more than manageable for any level of golfer and puts a premium on course management. The trick here, as with many Pete Dye courses, is to miss the greenside bunkers that are typically deep and devilishly difficult to get out of.
Typically, of a Pete Dye design the bunkers are adorned with railway sleepers which create a superb visual aspect to the treacherous bunkers and add a sense of tradition to the styling of this course.
The vast majority of tee shots are downhill which makes this course play even shorter than the card suggests and gives great views of the holes and surrounding scenery. Fairways are, in most cases, generous but like the rolling links of Scotland they are undulating, keeping the player on their toes and adding to the charm of the Pete Dye track.
On hole two you can really appreciate Dye´s eye for detail with the use of tall native grasses to define the holes and add a “3 dimensional” aspect to the land. A short par three that shows its beauty in its simplicity, sleepers in the distance framing the bunker that protects the rear of the green and sweeping fairways and bunkers that seamlessly shape into the natural environment.
You will come across the only water hazard on the course on the 5th, a par five that gentle drifts to the right. The tee shot is simple and the green is perfectly framed by the sleeper clad water hazard that sits effortlessly to the right, a classic design.
Dye embraces his design philosophies with the closing hole. A straightforward, downhill hole that is memorable for its design rather than its difficulty. The tee shot played over a stone wall that cuts across the rolling fairway that is bordered by beautifully shaped rough and mounding created through the imaginative use of reclaimed railway sleepers.
The design is a delight and the course a tranquil reminder of days gone by.