Lava Fields at Mission Hills Haikou has been designed to fit perfectly with its surroundings, yet the surroundings are further complimented by the golf course which is testament to the design by Curley and possibly the reason why I believe it to be the slightly better of the two courses.
At 7475 yards from the back tees, it is more than capable of holding tour events although shorter than its sister course.
Within the design features are the large, rugged and wild bunkers that merge seamlessly with the lava rock to create a visual feast for the eyes.
Wider and more open, it is slightly more forgiving from the tee, but do not let this lead you into a false sense of security, if you do not bring you’re a-game to the course you will be punished and big numbers will appear on your scorecard.
One of the most pleasing aspects of Lava Fields is the attention to detail, the course is in spectacular condition with well-maintained fairways, super-smooth greens and bunkers that are a pleasure to play from, if you can say that about bunkers!
The most delightful hole on the course, possible even the most delightful at Mission Hills Hainan, is the par 4 6th hole. Downhill, the hole tempts you into going for the green, but anything even slightly right will end up in the lap of the gods as you will find lava rock and a random bounce. Taking on the hole is not for the faint hearted.
Lava Fields is world class, and has a number of holes that excite, intrigue and delight.
The par 3 10th and 15th are delightful, yet offer much danger for anything but the cleanest of strikes.
The double dogleg par 5 12th is another hole that will remain long in the memory. A three-shot par five you are required to keep on the fairway and strategically plot your way down this hole, avoiding the trouble that lurks.
The 13th is the quirkiest hole on the course with a heavy, almost wild contouring to the fairway leaving a tricky approach to the green.
But it is the finishing holes on both 9s that really bring home the quality of the design. The 9th is a 513-yard par four, testing every single fibre of your golfing ability, with the 18th offering the chance to finish in style and claim the bragging rights. A downhill par five that requires some careful thought on how to approach the hole.
Lava Fields is an enchanting golf course that will keep you immersed from start to finish. The wider fairways and slightly shorter length makes it more playable for all level of golfer.