Surprisingly, the World Cup course at Mission Hills – the world’s largest golf club – is no longer playing host to the World Cup. The distinction now goes to the course that Ollie built, his inaugural signature design.
The Olazábal course at Mission Hills held its third World Cup in 2009 and it’s one of the most challenging layouts at the gargantuan multi-hole Mission Hills Golf Club.
The course of the two-time Masters champion opened for play in 2003 and Ollie’s 7,300-yard layout is routed across undulating ground which features significant changes in elevation and more than 150 bunkers. It winds its way though Shenzen’s lush, tropical jungle and some breathtaking vistas of the surrounding countryside are reward for some hard walking.
The 2007 Mission Hills World Cup closed with drama when Scotland defeated America on the third sudden-death playoff hole and Robert Karlsson and Henrik Stenson beat the Spanish pairing of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal in 2008. In the 2009 World Cup of Golf, brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari held off the challenge from Sweden to secure Italy's first victory in the team event.
Mission Hills Golf Club can now hold claim to being the most used World Cup venue with the fabulous Olazabal course pushing the World Cup course – designed by Nicklaus and venue for the 1995 event – out of the spotlight.
In 2012, the WGC-HSBC Champions event moved from Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai to Mission Hills in Dongguan, further cementing the tournament credentials of the Olazábal course. Ian Poulter secured his first win of the year with a closing round of 65 to claim the 2012 title.