BLACK 378 BLUE 344 WHITE 328 RED 290
Visitors are greeted by a massive swathe of green fairway, white bunkers and blue sky, with the first flag visible through rubber trees on the right. This par four, like so many holes at Mission Hills, seems easy -- but beware. Appearances are deceptive.
A par five with plenty of open spaces. The prevailing wind blows unhelpfully across the fairway. A huge bunker on the right meanders down to meet the water. A rolling fairway leads to a large island green, requiring thoughtful golf. In the background is Phang Nga Bay, looking gloriously blue: a scenic delight.
This par four doglegs right, heading towards the bay. A big stretch of mangroves lies between you and the green on the right, with sand scrapes in the foreground. A small bunker and a solitary coconut palm stand off to the left.
Nothing but white sand in front and blue water behind the green target on this short par three, the most distinctive hole at Mission Hills. It's rated the easiest on the course, but there's danger if you let the magnificent view distract you.
More sand, and onwards over a crest to the other half of the island green. Unless you are very carefull, it's possible to play more than one shot into the water on this testing par four.
Mangroves intrude onto the fairway from the left, with rubber and coconut trees pressing in from the right on this par four. It's a reasonably tight fairway, so you must be far enough right to have a clear shot around the left-hand bend. The green is clean -- free from bunkers.
Water lies right, behind a big bunker with a palm tree, on this long par three. Over the crest lies a large green. It's picturesque, with the prevailing wind providing assistance from behind.
An accommodating arena of green awaits an accurate fairway shot on this par four, which doglegs around the course boundary wall that marks the left-hand side. A tiny green at the end of the sweep to the left is ringed by rubber trees.
Rubber plants and a large lake on the left distinguish this par five romp back to the clubhouse.
The second nine begins alongside the first tee, with a par four that doglegs left. Around the corner, there's a big bunker in front of the green and scattered trees off to the right. A road lies through the green.
A shortish par three, the second-easiest hole is protected by a bunker in front. From the tee, the flag is visible, but not the outline of the green, which rolls diagonally away from the tee. Rubber trees protect the fairway.
The hardest hole on the course is a long par four. The prevailing wind off the sea adds to the distance. Bunkers line the left and right of the fairway, with the one on the right stretching parallel to the fairway until it hits water.
On the left, a long sand-scrape bunker leads down to water on this par five. The view across to Phang Nga begins to take shape as the hole turns towards the sea. Palm trees are dotted throughout the sand. In the same way as water might be used elsewhere, the scrape cuts the fairway and defines the target zones. The green lies tight by the sea's edge.
With the wind coming off the sea, it's possible to drive a long way on this par four. Mangroves border the right side, with bunkers towards the green, placed to collect a well-struck drive. Fairly open on the left. The mangroves swing around to also guard the green's rear.
Heading back to the clubhouse, you can see a small bunker on the right with a grove of rubber trees on the left of this par five. Over a slight rise, mangroves guard the right and rubber trees on the left. The green in tucked into a light valley. A smattering of coconut trees and garden beds protect the rear.
A deceptive par three that is guarded by mangroves all along the right. A bunker that appears to be close to the green on the left is actually well short of the putting surface, with a second, smaller bunker hidden behind the rise. Rubber trees lies to behind the green.
Mangroves guard the right of this par four as the swing back to the clubhouse continues. Rubber trees offer trouble on the left. Over a rise, the green is protected by wilderness on the right, with the course boundary behind the putting surface.
A scenic finish is provided by a difficult par four. Water cuts across the fairway, with the green in the distance in front of clubhouse accommodation. Rubber trees mark the left. The second shot to the green requires care to avoid the water. A narrow miss will not be good enough. There's also an alternative green, in a more difficult position.