Considered by Brian Curley and the team at Mission Hills Hainan, Sandbelt Trails was modelled on the great Australian Sandbelt courses.
A 7297-yard par 72 golf course, Sandbelt Trails provides golfers with a straightforward test of golf that is far from the difficulties posed by the Lava Fields or championship Blackstone courses here.
The use of the natural vegetation and lava rocks provide a much-needed injection of style to this otherwise relatively flat and somewhat drab golf course, in comparison to the design and difficulty of the other Mission Hills Hainan.
Spread out over an immense swathe of land, the distance between the holes is actually short, making this an easy walk, through the native shrubs and lava rock formations that are ever present through the Mission hills Golf Club.
For those that travel here to find an authentic blend of Australian sandbelt courses, such as Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath or Victoria, be prepared to be somewhat disappointed as the designers failed to truly capture the strategic beauty and possible dangers of the famous Australian courses.
Instead many of the large, sand-flashed bunkers are somewhat out of place, positioned more for aesthetic reasons than to pose issues to golfers when trying to shave a few yards off the hole, which would have been a truer reflection on the design brief of traditional sandbelt courses.
It was an idea too far, and although it does to live up to expectations the course is presented in good order, with large fast greens that will challenge the very best putters and large bunkers that will come into play for many golfers, especially around the greens.
Unlike many of the courses in Asia, Sandbelt Trails does not feature any truly memorable holes, instead the holes are all unassumingly good, there are no truly awful holes, just none that capture your imagination.
With exceptionally wide playing areas, the opportunity to attack the greens from various angles is ever present, and it is this that gives this course some sort of enjoyability.
The real test here comes with the inclusion of some very good par 3s, and is the only real indication that the Australian courses had any influence on the design at all.
From the first tee, you will see a sea of sand, bunkers are dotted all over the hole, requiring a good tee shot and a slice of luck to not end up in one.
The back 9 is much more interesting and challenging than the front with a couple of very good par fours that will test both the tee-shot and approach shots, which is something that lacks throughout the front 9.
Sandbelt Trails is by no means a poor attempt at golf course design, but, it is a course that seems to have got lost, in its attempt to pay homage to rather more famous and intricately better golf courses.
If you are visiting Mission Hills, Sandbelt Trails is worth a go, even if it is just for a break from the tighter, tougher tests of golf to be found on the other courses here.