Asian Golf Monthly Awards have announce their winner of “Best New Golf Course”, a Schmidt-Curley Design takes Award

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Mission Hills Resort

Schmidt-Curley Design – one of the world’s most active and innovative golf-course design firms – announces its Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Resort Haikou was named Asia’s “Best New Golf Course” at the 2010 Asian Golf Monthly awards.

The par-73, 7,808-yard layout is the centerpiece of Mission Hills’ new luxury retreat on tropical Hainan Island, Mission Hills Resort Haikou. Set on 350 acres, Blackstone is a core golf course featuring an immaculate blanket of fairway-length paspalum turf punctuated by wild, irregularly-shaped bunkers.

Holes meander through a dramatically-contoured, yet very walkable, site and are framed by lava rock, lush ground cover and ancient trees. Designed to host the world’s biggest tournaments, it offers exceptional spectator vantage points and a back nine with myriad risk / reward holes.

This week the Blackstone Course hosts its first major international event, the Mission Hills Star Trophy. It is also slated to become the official home of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup beginning in 2011.

“We’re extremely pleased with our work on the Blackstone Course and honored it’s been recognized by Asian Golf Monthly,” says Brian Curley. “It seamlessly blends with the volcanic surrounds and is a rarity in that it can be enjoyed by high-handicappers while also challenging the best touring professionals.”

For the second consecutive year, and third time out of four, Schmidt-Curley Design was named first runner-up in the “Best Golf Course Architect” category. The firm has been a fixture in Asia for more than 15 years. With fully-staffed offices in both Haikou and Kunming, it is the American design practice best positioned to efficiently and optimally serve the booming market.

“Dependability, creativity and playability are hallmarks of our firm,” says Curley. “These attributes are reflected by our consistently high finishes.”

Further evidencing its commitment to quality, Schmidt-Curley’s Olazabal Course at Mission Hills Resort Shenzhen was also recognized. The host of the Omega Mission Hills World Cup from 2007-2009, it was named second runner-up in the “Best Courses in China” group.

For more information about completed and current projects, visit www.schmidt-curley.com or call 480.483.1994.

About Schmidt-Curley Design

Founded by partners Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley with offices in Scottsdale, Arizona; Haikou, Hainan Island, China and Kunming, China, Schmidt-Curley is a full-service, international golf course architecture and master-planning firm with more than 100 layouts in 24 countries. The tandem is responsible for crafting 10 of the 12 courses at storied Mission Hills Shenzhen – the “World’s Largest Golf Club” – and is currently designing and building all golf courses at new Mission Hills Resort Haikou on Hainan Island.

Other high profile, award-winning projects from Schmidt-Curley include Bali Hai and Siena Golf Clubs (Las Vegas), Amata Spring Golf Club (Chonburi, Thailand, four-time host of the PGA European Tour’s Royal Trophy), Terra Lago Golf Club (Indio, California, site of the Skins Game from 1999 – 2002), Twin Creeks Golf Club (Cedar Park, Texas) and Crosby National Golf Club (Rancho Santa Fe, California).

Schmidt-Curley has also worked extensively with golf’s biggest names – including Pete Dye, Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples on numerous high-profile projects – and boasts four ASGCA members (Lee Schmidt, Brian Curley, Grant Haserot and Andy Raugust).

Producing demanding yet beautiful and enjoyable courses, Schmidt-Curley strives to create golf experiences that stir the senses and elevate golfers’ appreciations for the land and the game. By balancing classic golf course architecture with ever-changing contemporary technology, Schmidt-Curley places an emphasis on site-adaptive courses, memorable and enjoyable for all levels of play and always designed for cost-efficient maintenance and operations.

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Austrailia’s Stefanie Michl grabs lead in Sanya Ladies Open on Ladies European Tour

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Stefanie Michl

In the best score that she has ever shot, Australia’s Stefanie Michl fired a 7 under 65 to take the lead in the inaugural Sanya Ladies Open on Friday. This round found her three shots ahead of England’s Florentyna Parker, South African Lee-Ann Pace and Cecile Lundgreen from Norway, who all are tied for second at 68. The 24 year-old Michl was in incredible form on an incredibly hot day on the Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya, located on Hainan Island, in southern China.

Stating the she will be staying in Orlando, Florida for the winter, which has similar type temperatures, Stefanie took advantage of the mornings hot and benign conditions. With the temperature topping 31 degrees Celsius, Michl said “It was a calm day, really nice. Luckily I am staying in Orlando, Florida, which is similar weather to here, so I like it.”

“I stayed out of trouble pretty well. I’ve been hitting my driver alright. My irons have been okay too but the best part of my game today was definitely my putting. I’ve been sinking a lot of short putts and medium-long putts and two ro three longer putts I holed out. That helped to get my score low.”

This is the fourth season for this Ladies European Tour player but she has not yet won any tournaments. She had a terrific back nine when she attacked with birdies on the 12th, 13th, 15th and 17th holes. She was able to pick up three shots and ended coming in with seven birdies in all.

“I was actually surprised that I was playing that well today, because I didn’t expect anything. I was just working on my swing the last few weeks.” she said.

“The pro-am was my first 18-hole round in four weeks, so it took a while to get into my game and get into the rythm and then I saw it was going quite well and I started to really go for the flags.”

Although her competition were faced with a much breezier afternoon, Parker, Pace and Lundgreen were very happy to be in contention at all.

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