The Rose-Poulter Course at Mission Hills, previously the Duval course was remodelled by two stars of international golf, Justin Rose and Ian Poulter.
It is the first design by the English pair and it marks a design debut for both players. The players were tasked with a complete overhaul of the original David Duval design and achieved astonishing results, taking ideas from the Blackstone Course in Haikou and that is clear to see in the stunning remodelled course.
Interestingly the course was remodelled solely with the thought of match play in mind, something that both Rose and Poulter have excelled in both as a team and as individuals.
The focus on match play has created a course that is rich with risk and reward holes and the opportunity to make low scores with plenty of birdies.
Its location in the valley has allowed for the construction of the holes to meander through the old trees and native vegetation and the sense of being more natural has been achieved by the remodelling of the bunkers which now blends in beautifully with the natural surroundings of the mountainous terrain.
With a couple of creeks crossing through the course the use of water hazards has added to the drama and the difficulty of this once average golf course.
Rose and Poulter have worked wonders with each hole presenting both a different visual appeal and true shot making giving the golfer the opportunity to go low when playing well, but enough danger to make the golfer think and create doubt.
Five par fives of which four are comfortably reachable in two if bravery and good striking are applied to the tee shots.
The design brief is perfectly met on the second a long par three that will reward a well struck aggressive tee shot from the elevated tee. Miss the green and the ball will inevitably end up in trouble. The slope that runs across the green makes for some tricky putts.
Hole 7 is another example of rewarding the aggressive, fearless play. Hit it down the left over the bunkers and you will be awarded with a huge drive that will roll forever turning this par 5 into a par four. Find the undulating green and you have a superb chance of birdie, a great way to finish a hole that has breath taking views.
Perhaps the most challenging and rewarding tee shot is to be found on the par 3 14th. At 177 yards the hole is not particularly long but it is fraught with danger. Miss the green and you are almost certain to record a bogey, right and left you will find bunkers. The most difficult of approach shots is to an unforgiving right pin position.
The final par three 17th is a treacherous one. Find the green at all costs. The green is relatively flat but miss it and you could find the vicious pot bunker short or other cavernous bunkers both left and right.
The Rose – Poulter course has to be the most exciting of the Mission Hills courses and is a joy to play but bring your A game.