Lee Schmidt is a partner in the Arizona based firm of Schmidt-Curley Golf Design, which is an extraordinarily prolific company working predominantly in the Asian region. The company designed and built ten of the courses at the Mission Hills Resort outside of Shenzhen China, and have recently completed another ten courses for the same client at the new Mission Hills Haikou Resort, on Hainan Island. Prior to the shutdown of golf development in China, they were also planning another multi-course project for the same client outside of Kunming, in Yunnan Province. Separate to their arrangement with Mission Hills, the design team is busy with work on plenty of other developments across the region. In 2016 they began work on another ten-course project in Vietnam.
Lee Schmidt worked for Nicklaus Design for over 7 years and prior to that appointment was one of Pete Dye’s field architects. He has considerable experience in Asia and although the concept of mass-producing golf courses for signature celebrities should be hard to digest, you can’t blame the architects for the wishes of their client. What's interesting about Schmidt and Curley is they work on projects separately, often within close proximity to each other. It seems that Curley is the more artistic and flamboyant whilst Schmidt is an analytical and precise architect. It's obviously a good combination for partners in this business. Sadly, too many of the recent Schmidt Curley clients in China have asked too much of their project designers, and expected courses to be built at break-neck speed. They have still managed to create some fine work, particularly on Hainan Island, but we would expect better things from this firm should their workload decrease or their clients suddenly find the patience required to build courses properly.
To contact Schmidt-Curley Golf Design, or for an independent assessment of their suitability for your project, please contact Global Golf Group.