Mission Hills Golf Club’s tournament portfolio is expanding again. Not only has it hosted OneAsia Tour Final Qualifying School and the Omega Mission Hills World Cup at its new Hainan complex this year, China’s best-known golf club will now also stage its first European Senior Tour event in 2011.
Co-sanctioned with the China Golf Association, the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship will be played March 11-13 on the World Cup Course in Shenzhen, the first golf course at Mission Hills and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Opened in 1994, LINKS Magazine considers Jack’s course one of “the most important courses of the last 20 years.”
Nicklaus Design is the most active design firm in Asia with 19 courses under construction, including 14 in China, three in Korea, one in India and one in Cambodia. The firm also has another 25 signed and active projects spread throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim, representing China, Korea, Japan, India, Papua New Guinea, Palau and Australia.
A new event to the 2011 European Senior Tour schedule, the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship also marks the tour’s first visit to China.
Organizers expect the US$350,000 event to attract some of the biggest names in the sport, such as Sam Torrance, Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle – and further strengthen the importance of China as a golfing destination.
The new tournament is title-sponsored by the International Sports Promotion Society, which is chaired by Japanese businessman and philanthropist Haruhisa Handa.
In a statement, ISPS said it will use the tournament to help promote blind and disabled golf, bringing the sport to a wider audience.
“We have Paralympic ambitions for the sport, which we hope will soon become a reality,” Handa said.
The 2011 European Senior Tour began in November at the Handa Australian Senior Open, where Peter Senior triumphed over Lyle at the Royal Perth Golf Club in Australia.