Built in 1994, Mission Hills is situated just over the border from Hong Kong, in a stretch of land between Shenzhen and Dongguan. Its two main sites are easily reachable via Hong Kong Airport, and there’s even a mini-bus pick up from several Hong Kong hotels.
Luxury and service
I was booked in to stay at the Dongguan Hotel as the Shenzhen complex was closed for complete refurbishment. As I pulled up to the hotel I was met by Mona Li, the Director of Brand Development and my contact for the two-day stay. Walking through the opulent lobby to the premier check-in desk I very quickly realised that the Mission Hills experience is not just about size, but also about luxury and service.
My accommodation, a Grande Premiere Room, allowed me to enjoy personal butler service, a complimentary breakfast, evening cocktails and access to the Premiere Lounge. The room was sumptuous and modern with stunning views of the lake and the 18th hole of the course that I would later be playing. The personal welcome on the TV screen was a nice finishing touch.
As I settled in and unpacked, a fresh bowl of fruit was delivered just in case I felt peckish. After refreshing quickly I headed down to meet Mona for lunch.Walking to the Dongguan clubhouse (which happens to be the world’s largest clubhouse), I got a sense of the wealthy customers that Mission Hills has been built to serve. On our way to the World Restaurant we passed through an avenue of shops representing some of the largest luxury brands – all which would look at home in any high-end shopping mall around the world. Apart from the lavishness of the place it’s obvious that here golf is “king”. There are TV screens everywhere showing highlights of golf from competitions around the world – all on Mission Hills’ own television station.
The menu for the set lunch had my mouth watering. To get the taste buds going I was first served an appetiser of ‘Tuna with Sesame, and Vegetable and Walnut Salad, Spicy Tomato and Seafood Soup’, followed by ‘Baked Garoupa with Crab Meat in Champagne Cream Sauce on Angel Hair Pasta with Seasonal Vegetables,’
After such a glorious meal it seemed sacrilege to rush off, but my tee time was approaching and I needed to get ready for the highlight of my trip.
Olazábal’s signature course
Of the five courses at the Dongguan I was to play the Olazábal Course, which is José Maria Olazábal’s inaugural Signature course and one of the clubs strongest tests. This course is used for the Omega Mission Hills World Cup. It plays to 7,300 yards and boasts 151 bunkers (including 24 on the 15th hole alone), reflecting Olazábal’
I couldn’t wait; I just hoped my golf was ready for the challenge. I was introduced to my caddy, Mimi (all Mission Hills caddies are female and undergo a minimum of three months training), and found that her English was excellent. Once we had loaded up the cool box with water and towels, as the temperature was a modest 34°C, I was ready for the task at hand......
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