Hole-in-one in China
One of Ancient China’s most popular pastimes, golf is gaining new popularity as a luxury sport as the country’s economy growsBy Florence Suen
In China, golf has always been seen as a western hobby. Yet, during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, something similar to golf was once very popular, and is regarded as China’s oldest ball game. During the Ming Dynasty, a painting named “The Autumn Banquet” depicted high society engaging in a game of golf, where they used a mallet to hit the ball, and the player with the most “in’s” would win. The ancient game was, in fact, very similar to golf as we know it today.
Yesterday’s Luxury, Today’s Classic
When Hong Kong tycoon Henry Fok founded China’s first golf course and country club in Chung Shan in the Guangdong province in 1984, golf was still considered a rich man’s sport. Today, leading the way to an international luxury lifestyle is the Mission Hills Resort. In 1992, it was founded on a vast piece of land between Shenzhen and Dongguan in collaboration with 12 international golf champions, who joined forces and designed a unique course that united five different championship course designs. The Chinese golf player Zhang Lian Wei was one of these 12 designers. Once again, like Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club, golfing at Mission Hills Haikou has been conceptualised as an international, professional and above all, fashionable sport.
As tourism becomes more and more important to some Chinese cities, Hainan Island, known as “China’s Hawaii,” has quickly transformed into a golf and luxury resort destination. The Mission Hills’ vision was to combine international golf championships with entertainment, world class cuisine and spa under one roof, thus establishing Mission Hills Haikou on this exotic island. Since its opening, many international golf champions, local celebrities and socialites have come to practise their swing.
The Haikou resort is not only a leisure and wellness getaway, but has turned a new page in the development of Haikou’s tourism industry. In October, Mission Hills Haikou held the “2010 Mission Hills Star Trophy,” with international film stars Hugh Grant, Matthew McConaughey, Catherine Zeta-Jones and other celebrities, along with high-profile golf players competing for the 1.28-million USD prize.
Mission Hills Haikou is located in a dormant volcanic region on Hainan Island, stretching over a lush green horizon. Conveniently located, it is just 15 minutes by car from the Hainan Haikou Meilan airport. There are direct flights from the Hong Kong International Airport, so a relaxing weekend of golf is never too far away.
For information about Mission Hills Haikou and to make reservations for your golf holiday, please go to www.missionhillschina.com or call ＋86 898 6868 3888.
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