As one of 10 courses at Mission Hills, Hainan, The Vintage could not be better named.
Sitting behind the more famous and well thought of courses of Lava Fields and Blackstone, The Vintage is somewhat overlooked, but with no good reason.
It is a superb design, in a return to a bygone era of golf course design and it plays its part exceptionally well.
One major difference, and the effect the modern era has had on the game, is the increase in length from years past. Measuring in at 7363 yards The Vintage is a tough course to tame.
A soft hand has been used to create this scenic and tranquil design that takes the golfer back to the more traditional design of the last century.
An attempt to maintain as much of the natural, mature trees has been made with the addition of geometrically appealing shaping and quirky features to create a truly splendid golf course.
Frequent ridging, mounding, large grass faced and deep pot bunkers provide framing to the holes and are a wonderful obstacle to the golfer, though seemingly unobtrusive.
The experience really begins on the first hole, a delightful opening hole that features a plateau green and one that set the scene perfectly for the remaining holes.
The run of par fours from the 5th through to the 7th offer heavily undulating fairways, almost links like, ensuring that the approach shots must be cleanly struck from the somewhat uneven lies.
Fourteen is a great sweeping, par four that, although mid length will challenge your shot making ability, something that has been lost in recent years.
The essence of this golf course is the emphasis not on booming long drives from the tee, instead it is about creating the best shot to suit the hole and set-up the best angles from which to attack the pins.
A superb par 3 awaits at the 10th, whilst the 17th is a great example of a target par 3, miss the green on this 190 or so par 3 and you will be using your fingers to count up your score.
Somewhat unusual is the arrangement of holes, with 3 par 5s on the front nine and 3 par 3s on the back to give an outward 9 par of 38 and an inward of 34, but I think this adds character to the course and a good performance on the para 5s of which most are reachable will set up the opportunity of a great score.
It is the design and overall quality that makes The Vintage one of the best of the courses at Mission Hills Hainan, and it has certainly been created to the exacting brief, it is a joy to play.