Mission Hills Resort
Mission Hills is quite simply the world's most staggering golf facility: 12 courses, 216 holes, 3,000 caddies (all women) and five clubhouses, including one 630,000-square-foot behemoth. Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley did most of the design work here, though each layout is named after its professional design consultant.
The original course is a Jack Nicklaus effort that hosted the 1995 World Cup. It's a fine test, but you'll have more pure fun on the adjoining Zhang Lian Wei Course, a two-hour joyride of par 3s that are tributes to classic holes. Or you can enjoy the Ernie Els Course under floodlights.
The best course at Mission Hills is the Greg Norman design. The bunkering is penal and the strategic choices forced on golfers leave few easy options. A good score on this one is Mission: Impossible. The Nick Faldo course is a close second in quality, with a superb back nine. Next door, the Pete Dye Course is a pale imitation of Dye's design touches it's likely to leave you more frustrated than fulfilled.
The World Cup now has a semi-permanent home at Mission Hills' Olazabal Course, a 7,320-yard monster that bulges with more than 150 bunkers, 26 of which litter the signature par-5 15th alone. The main reason it was chosen to host the World Cup is that its water-guarded 18th green is set just beneath the gargantuan clubhouse, although the course proved plenty testing. The Cup returns November 27-30.