Imagine a regulation golf course that has all the elements of a mini-putt facility. Okay, maybe not the clown’s mouth, but it does have a version of the Great Wall of China, and another hole that looks like a noodle bowl.
The course in question, Mission Hills Haikou Fantasy Course, designed by American architectural firm Schmidt Curley, is part of a massive golf development in China. Missions Hills claims to be the largest golf course resort in the world, with courses that have PGA Tour players attached to many of the designs, including David Duval, Annika Sorenstam and Vijay Singh. With more than 200 holes at the resort, Schmidt Curley were engaged to create a whimsical course unlike anything every built for golf.
The resort unveiled three holes, including the Riches to Ruin hole, which is patterned after Mayan pyramids, with structures along the fairway that look like ancient ruins.
The second hole recreates the Great Wall of China, with the wall running along the left side and back of the hole. There are ruins of the wall fronting the area of the green, so you’re not going to want to thin one on this hole.
But the hole gaining the most attention is the Noodle Bowl, which is like a version of the fabled island hole at TPC Sawgrass in Florida – only with the green set in a bowl and fake noodles surrounding it. So it isn’t really like the 17th at Sawgrass at all – there’s fewer rice noodles at the home of the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra. This hole will feature 70-metre long chopsticks dangling on the side.
There are precedents for some of this in golf. Designer Desmond Muirhead, who once worked with Jack Nicklaus, created a green meant to represent Jason and the Argonauts, and Canadian designer Stanley Thompson once replicated the image of a dragon in a bunker at Highlands Links in Cape Breton.
But the noodle hole is a more literal concept than what anyone has attempted before. No word on whether the water will be just below boiling temperature, or whether a ball retriever will heat up while used on the hole.
The course is expected to open next year.