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MISSION HILLS GOLF CLUB SHENZHEN

When writing about Mission Hills Golf Club one rapidly runs out of superlatives. Until the opening of the even more ridiculously large Mission Hills course in Hainan, the Guinness Book of Records listed it as the world’s largest golf course. Actually it’s twelve eighteen-hole golf courses in one place with 216 holes. It has six driving ranges. It has the world’s largest pro shop. It has the world’s largest outdoor kiddy playground. It has Asia’s biggest tennis complex with 51 courts. It has four spa centres. Euromoney lists it as the world’s most popular golf club for the rich. The list goes on and on. And in a further boost to the fame of the club, the Golf World Cup has granted a twelve-year franchise to Mission Hills to be its home base. Is there any greater honour in golf?

The golf giants after whom they are named individually designed its twelve courses: Vijay Singh, Faldo, Nicklaus, Ernie Els.

A couple of the designs are worthy of mention. The Greg Norman course was based on the design of one of golf’s most hallowed venues, the Royal Melbourne Golf Club and is considered by those in the know to be the all-round most difficult. But it is generally agreed that the most difficult single hole is the seventh hole of the World Cup course, known to the locals as the Devil Hole.

This is very much an international golf course. You won’t find a lot of locals here. Hong Kong and Taiwanese members, with about ten per cent Japanese, dominate membership. This is partly because it’s very expensive and partly because locals don’t particularly care to mix with Hong Kongers whose style is very different.

Mission Hills straddles the border between Shenzhen and the neighbouring city of Dongguan in the town of Guanlan. Before the Club was opened in 1992, Guanlan was out of the way and known as Shenzhen’s Siberia. When you’ve finished punishing the dimpled ball, have a look at the luxury gold villa developments that have made Guanlan one of the most sought after residential suburbs of Shenzhen. The fairways are lined with row after row of enormous villas averaging 700 sq. metres in area. Meticulously maintained streets lined with meticulously maintained hedges purr with the hum of Mercedes and BMWs.

As well as the golf, Mission Hills has a 317 room five star hotel and too many restaurants to mention them by name.

This is a membership club but it is also available to hotel guests and holders of stored value cards issued by the management.

Address: Guanlan Town, Bao’an District

Buses: Buses? Hey, this is Mission Hills. You can park your limo without too much trouble. The management also arranges transport from Hong Kong and Huanggang Customs.

Website: http://www.missionhillsgroup.com/en/default.html

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