When the World Cup (previously known as the Canada Cup and International Golf Championship) was first held in 1953, only seven countries took part, and no one could have predicted that this low-key event would turn into one of the largest and most prestigious team golf tournaments of the sporting calendar. The list of previous winners reads like a who’s-who of the pro golfing world, including Tiger Woods and David Duval (U.S. winners in 2000), Trevor Immelman and Rory Sabbatini (South African winners in 2003), and Paul Casey and Luke Donald (English champions in 2004).
This year the tournament promises to be as exciting as ever, as teams of two world-class players from 24 countries compete for the coveted title. Running from 24th-27th November, the Omega-sponsored World Cup is taking place at the extraordinary Mission Hills Golf Resort in Haiku, the capital of Southern China’s Hainan Island.
Opened in March 2010, Mission Hills Haiku is a five-star resort built on volcanic rock, and is home to a luxury hotel and spa, an outdoor water theme park, a renowned golf club house and, of course, the championship pedigree Blackstone Course. With plenty of length, challenge and difficulty, Blackstone is known for its striking landscape, as the exposed areas of volcanic rock, bold ravine carries, and the rugged bunkering not only make for a very interesting game but also a completely unique setting. And, as testament to its superiority as a tournament layout, Blackstone was selected to host the 2011 World Cup before it had even been finished.
This is certainly not a course to be taken lightly, as this year’s players (including Ian Poulter, Miguel Angel Jiménez, Matt Kuchar and Thomas Bjorn) will face challenges from start to finish.
The World Cup has certainly come far from its humble beginnings, and here at PGA Catalunya we can’t wait to see the action kick off on the Mission Hills Blackstone Course this November.
Have you every played on a Mission Hills Golf Course? We’d love to hear about it so get in touch!