Page 1

HKGolfer

HK Golfer Final Shot: Mark O'Meara's All-Time Favourite Courses

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION

HKGOLFER.COM

ISSUE 44

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2010

$40

TIGER! The Impact?

TOP 10 GAMESMANSHIP OPEN AT ST ANDREWS GLOBAL GOLF

DISPLAY UNTIL 15 APRIL

+

BUGATTI VEYRON BORDEAUX 2005 SIHH REVIEW


contents

HK Golfer

39

Issue 44

February / March 2010

Features 28 | Has Tiger Tainted Golf?

58 | Costa del Golf

32 | Special Edition

64 | Course Report: Hillview Haven

The Tiger Scandal has been at the forefront of general media reporting since the story broke in November. But what impact has the saga had on the sport itself? Lewine Mair previews this year’s Open Championship at St Andrews, which will be celebrating its 150th anniversary.

James Spence reviews Sotogrande and Valderrama, two of Robert Trent Jones, Sr.’s most famous European designs. Why this Dongguan gem, one of the best 36-hole facilities in China, should be at the top of everyone’s play lists.

36 | Hall of Shame

Dr Milton Wayne reports on the dishonourable tale of the forgotten heroes missing from the World Golf Hall of Fame.

39 | Dream Debut

All the coverage from the Hong Kong Senior Open Amateur Championship, which was won in fine style by Australia’s Stefan Albinski.

49 | Gamesmanship: Top 10 Moments

Mak Lok-lin reveals the times when professional golfers used more than just their golf games to try to overcome their opponents.

38 4

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

On the Cover:

Tiger Woods, Sheshan GC, HSBC Champions. Getty Images

Departments 06 | E-mailbag / Contributor’s Page 10 | Divots 11 | Tee Time 14 | Profile 18 | Driving Range 48 | Tournaments 21 | 19th Hole 22 | Yachting 24 | Liquid Assets 26 | Single Malts 38 | Around the HKGA 70 | Final Shot HKGOLFER.COM


hk golfer e-mailbag Legendary Lewine

I was very pleased to see that you have secured the services of Lewine Mair. I used to avidly read her columns in the Daily Telegraph. A bit of a coup for you, I believe. Her feature on golf in the Austrian Alps was first class and an unexpected delight. I'm pleasantly surprised at the breadth of scope I'm seeing in the magazine these days. Keep it up! Kenneth Porter Mid-Levels Editor responds: Thank you, Kenneth. You’re absolutely right, we’re delighted to have Lewine onboard as our correspondent for Europe and I do hope you enjoy her article on the build-up to the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship inside this edition. We’re continuing to expand the breadth of coverage inside the magazine and are pleased to welcome contributions from a number of specialist writers (see below) on a variety of subjects. I trust you’ll enjoy your bottle of Louis Roederer as much as we enjoyed your comments.

C ONTR IBUTORS Lewine Mair

Lewine Mair, once a two-handicap golfer, was the Daily Telegraph’s Chief Golf Correspondent until the beginning of 2009 when she swapped 12 years of daily news reports for a more leisurely and wider brief. Still attached to the Daily Telegraph’s supplements’ department, she has twice featured on the short-list for the British Sports Writing awards. Her six books include The Real Monty, the story of Colin Montgomerie, the 2010 European Ryder Cup captain.

Robin Lynam

Robin Lynam has been writing about wines and spirits since 1984 when he took over as the Tabletalk columnist for Hong Kong Business, a post he held until the magazine closed 25 years later. His journalism has appeared in a wide variety of publications internationally, including Wine Spectator, Discovery, Silk Road, Hong Kong Tatler, and Business Traveller. He also writes on food, travel, arts and culture, and is the jazz columnist of the South China Morning Post. Golf, sadly, is beyond him.

Ben Oliver

Ben Oliver is contributing editor on CAR, the world’s most-respected car magazine, published in 16 countries. He also writes about cars and business for the Mail on Sunday in the UK, and for major magazines and newspapers around the world. Recent adventures include testing the Bugatti Veyron to 340kph, and driving the world’s most expensive car – a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa – on Italian public roads just 24 hours before it was auctioned for €9 million. He lives in London and Sussex.

HK Golfer

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION FEB / MAR 2010 • Issue 44

Editor: Alex Jenkins email: alex.jenkins@hkgolfer.com Sub-editor: Linda Tsang Playing Editor: Jean Van de Velde Contributing Editor: Lewine Mair Published by:

TIMES INTERNATIONAL CREATION Times International Creation Limited 20/F, Central Tower 28 Queen’s Road Central Hong Kong Phone: +852 2159-9427 Fax: +852 3007-0793 Publisher: Charles McLaughlin Art Director: Mimi Cheng Office Manager: Moira Moran Accounting Manager: Christy Wong Advertising For advertising information, please contact: ads@hkgolfer.com For purchasing information contact: sales@hkgolfer.com For subscription information contact: subs@hkgolfer.com Hong Kong Golf Association Suite 2003, Olympic House 1 Stadium Path, So Kon Po Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Phone (General): +852 2504-8659 Fax: +852 2845-1553 Phone (Handicaps): +852 2504-8197 Fax: +852 2504-8198 Email: hkgolf@hkga.com handicaps@hkga.com HK GOLFER is printed in Hong Kong.

Cameron Dueck

Cameron Dueck is a Hong Kong-based yachtsman and journalist who has written for the Financial Times, Reuters and the South China Morning Post. When not banging away at his keyboard he likes to be at sea. He has logged more than 25,000 nautical miles of ocean sailing from the piratefilled waters off the coast of Yemen to crossing the Atlantic Ocean. He is now writing a book about his Arctic sailing expedition, with a television documentary also in the works.

We Want to Hear from You! Have something to say about an article in HK Golfer or a topic affecting golf in our area? Send your thoughts and comments to letters@hkgolfer.com. Please also include your address, contact number, email and HKGA #. The winner of the best letter will receive a bottle of Champagne Louis Roederer courtesy of Links Concept.

6

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HK Golfer is available onboard all Cathay Pacific and Dragonair First and Business Class cabins and in Singapore Airlines First and Business Class lounges.

HKGOLFER.COM


STELLAR SENIOR Terry Collins blasts out of a greenside bunker during the final round of the Hong Kong Seniors Open Amateur Championship at Fanling early December. Collins, who notched up a string of impressive performances throughout 2009 - including a tie for fourth at the Kau Sai Chau International Open - was the pick of the local contingent, placing fourth behind eventual winner Stefan Albinski of Australia (see page 39). Continuing his fine form, American-born Collins would win the 65-69 age division at the Asia Pacific Senior Amateur Golf Championship one week later in Kota Kinabalu. PHOTOGRAPH BY CHARLES McLAUGHLIN

8

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

9


CLUBHOUSE

divots

Aces High for Moore Long-time Hong Kong Golf Club member Donald Moore made it a case of lucky thirteen in early January by recording his thirteenth hole-in-one. Moore aced the 144-yard twelfth on the New Course at Fanling with a nine-iron. It was his third ace at the hole, which is played as the thirteenth during the Hong Kong Open, although it was his first on the new pond-fronted green. “It was a front pin in an almost impossible spot,” recalled Moore, who joined Fanling in the late seventies. “The ball pitched six feet to the right of the flag, stopped brief ly and then rolled dow n i nto t he c up.” Moore’s last hole-in-one came last November when he holed out with a utility club at the demanding fourth on the New Course. But fortunately for the Scotsman, his latest effort didn’t break the bank. “It cost me HK$2,500 [in the bar afterwards] because that’s the limit of my golf insurance,” he laughed. “At this rate I can’t afford not to have it.” Editor’s Note: If you know of any Hong Kong golfers who have had more than thirteen aces please let us know at editorial@hkgolfer.com

Away from the Fairways

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionelle Calibre 2253.

Vietnam’s Linksland Gem Who says you have to travel to the British Isles to enjoy authentic links golf? While it doesn’t officially open until April, the Dunes Course at Danang Golf Club on Vietnam’s central eastern coast is already shaping up to be one of the most unique layouts in Southeast Asia. Designed by Greg Norman, the course features firm and fast fairways that bleed gently into wild seaside vegetation and rugged waste areas. “Terms such as ‘links-style,’ ‘linksish,’ and ‘links-like’ are indiscriminately applied to coastal courses these days, but this is the real deal,” said Harley Kruse, senior architect of Greg Norman Golf Course Design. Looking at the par-three sixteenth (pictured) it’s hard to disagree with him. Danang itself is quickly establishing itself as something of a hotbed for lovers of the original form of the game. Last year the city welcomed the opening of the nearby Colin Montgomeriedesigned Montgomerie Links Vietnam, a seaside track set in dunes close to famed China Beach. Visit www.dananggolfclub.com for more information

NUMBERS GAME

9 12 300

The number of courses on the Open Championship rota: St Andrews (27 times) , Muirfield (15), Royal Liverpool (11), Royal Lytham & St Annes (10) Royal St Georges (9), Royal Troon (8), Royal Birkdale (8), Carnoustie (5) and Turnberry (4). The Open has been played outside Scotland and England only once, at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland in 1951, when it was won by Max Faulkner.

Courtesy of Claire Wiley/Mandarin Media (Dunes Course, Danang)

The number of players who have held the world number one title since the inception of the Official World Rankings in April 1986. Bernard Langer (3 weeks), Seve Ballesteros (61), Greg Norman (331), Nick Faldo (97), Ian Woosnam (50), Fred Couples (16), Nick Price (44), Tom Lehman (1), Ernie Els (9 weeks), David Duval (15), Vijay Singh (32) and Tiger Woods (584).

 TEE TIME

Timely Treats

The estimated number of members at Augusta National Golf Club, host of the Masters tournament. Members include Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, noted investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett, former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch, Carl Sanders, former Governor of Georgia and oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens, Jr.

Evan Rast presents a review of notable pieces from SIHH 2010

W

“ How did you do it? How did you get away with it for so long with no-one knowing? ” - World number 12 Geoff Ogilvy when asked what question he would put to Tiger Woods on the American’s return to competitive golf

10

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

hen thinking of words to describe this year’s Salon International de Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), the first two that come to mind are simplicity and elegance. The brands clearly focused on expertise and artistry rather than on novelty, which resulted in a fine showing of what I feel are soon-to-be classics. CONTINUED OVERLEAF HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

11


fair debutante, independent watchmaker Greubel Forsey, got a fair share of attention for their Tourbillon 24 Seconds in platinum and Double Tourbillon Technique. While these are new versions of existing models, the watches underline the sharp complexity of the company’s calibres, and the amount of R&D, finishing and attention to detail that goes into each watch. A piece that stood out as a clear display of expertise in complications was Vacheron Constantin’s new Patrimony Traditionnelle Calibre 2253. The watch features a quantième perpetual movement with an equation of time, sunset and sunrise times, and a tourbillon. The dial is well-balanced and how the calibre has been laid out quite remarkable. Montblanc has also impressed with its latest addition to its high watchmaking collection, the Metamorphosis. This is a two-in-one watch that allows the wearer to see either a chronograph or a simpler time display with a push of a button. The upper dial breaks in two and disappears into the interior to reveal a second display underneath; an inventive, fun piece that hopefully echoes the future direction of the company, which is relatively new to the haute horlogerie arena. Releases such as Piaget’s ultra-thin Altiplano, which the company attests is the thinnest automatic calibre and watch in the world, lead t he movement. The new Piaget Calibre 1280P is only 2.35-mm thick, while the case is only 5.25mm. The watch, though inspired from a 1960s model, remains very modern with a diameter of 43mm. Vacheron Constantin has revived some of its finest and thinnest movements from the 1950s and 1960s for its Historiques collection. The Ultra-fine 1955, powered by t he handwound 1003 movement , comes i n a thickness of 1.64mm, making the watch, at 4.1mm, the thinnest manually wound watch in the world. It’s a very balanced size with a case diameter of 36mm, and the decoration of the calibre is beautiful and refined. There was nothing too over the top in the new movements and complications arena, though it is worthy to note that 12

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

But it is Cartier that wins my vote for the most ambitious brand at this year’s SIHH, just for the sheer number of its new models – which totals 14 – and includes a gyrotourbillon and the very masculine Calibre, which features the brand’s first in-house automatic movement, the 1904 MC. The house is making valiant efforts to reach a broader audience, and the R&D team’s efforts must be applauded. Another interesting aspect of the show was a focus on mixed materials. While pink gold and platinum still ruled as the metal of choice for cases, some companies opted to create special editions with a play on colour. A. Lange & Söhne is celebrating 165 years since Ferdinand Adolph Lange moved the company to Glashütte. In commemoration, the company has reproduced three of its best works, the 1815 Moonphase, Tourbograph and Lange 1 Tourbillon, in a unique honey-coloured gold, an interesting shade in between pink and yellow which comes from a specific gold that is much harder than usual at more than 300 Vickers. The company has also produced its Lange Zeitwerk (the 2009 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie Genève Watch of the Year) in a luminous version, where the German silver time bridge is PVD-coated black, and the white Superluminova numerals are set on a black background for a glow-in-thedark effect. Grey and black themes were abundant, with my favourites in this category coming from VC and IWC. Vacheron Constantin’s grand complication Patrimony Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph is a beauty up close, while IWC’s new YachtClub Chronograph comes in a version with a striking black dial and red sweep seconds. The watch is part a collection created to celebrate the birth of its famous Portuguese watch in 1939, and features a flyback function and 6-bar water resistance. It

is the only Portuguese to have luminous hand and indices. To sum up, I would have to say that this year’s show was refreshingly pure and simple, echoing refinement, quality and understated style. A good outlook for 2010, don’t you think?

The Geneva Convention (clockwise from top right): Cartier's Calibre; Vacheron Constantin's grand complication Patrimony Traditionnelle Perpetual Calendar Chronograph; the IWC new YachtClub Chronograph collection; VC's Historique Ultrafine 1955 and 1968; the Metamorphosis from MontBlanc. HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

13


 PROFILE

The Watch Maker

HK Golfer publisher Charles McLaughlin meets Daniel Dreifuss, the man behind Maurice de Mauriac Zurich

Charles McLaughlin

T

Daniel Dreifuss, Zurich, June 2009 14

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

h e owner of luxury watch company Maurice de Mauriac Zurich will tell you that the bra nd na me wa s i n spi red by t wo legend a r y French intellectuals: François Mauriac (1885-1970), a Nobel Prize winning free thinker, and Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. This is appropriate because the story of how founder and driving force Daniel Dreifuss got to where he is today reads like a Byzantine novel. Within minutes of meeting him, he will inform you that he is Jewish and a former investment banker. The latter isn’t such a surprise as he has retained a love of hand-made, bold, banker-striped shirts. The former isn’t too surprising either, as he seems to thrive in his selfimposed role of David versus Goliath within the Swiss watch industry. As he himself freely admits, he is driven by his perception of being alienated by his Jewish heritage and originally hid behind the inherent Catholicism behind his chosen brand name. Only in recent years has the banner “Daniel Dreifuss Presents” appeared in his marketing. Meeting Daniel is like getting a shot of adrenalin. He is one of that rare breed whose infectious enthusiasm leaves you with more energy at the end of a meeting than you had at the start, a wonderful contrast to the “Dementor” types one can encounter in the industry, who can suck the life force from you in a matter of minutes. I first met with Daniel in Zurich where a tour of his showroom and workshop was followed by a lively discussion on his business philosophy over brunch at the magnificent Dolder Grand Hotel, overlooking both Lake Zurich and, appropriately, its own nine-hole golf course. Later we continued the discussion over dinner at Hong Kong’s iconic China Club, during one of Daniel’s occasional visits to Asia. He would deny it, but he is a photographer’s dream, very much at ease in front of the camera. The only problem from the photographer’s viewpoint is in keeping the man still enough HKGOLFER.COM

to take a picture. A perpetual motion machine, he is constantly making points with his hands, or running across his atelier to bring back and show you some new innovation for his latest watch design. The Maurice de Mauriac Zurich atelier and showroom is situated in Tödistrasse, in the heart of the banking and insurance district. Knowing the man, the choice of location should be no surprise. As the only watch manufacturer in Zurich, at a stroke he demonstrates that his company is not like the others and marches to its own beat. Also, Zurich has become as much a part of the brand as a place of production. Last year he changed his dial signature from “Maurice de Mauriac Suisse" to “Maurice de Mauriac Zurich”. This led to some existing owners wanting to change the dial on their previous purchases, a service he carries out for free. He has built a team of ex-IWC watchmakers who make each watch by hand. Every day, one of the craftsmen works at a desk in the window of the showroom and is a potent draw to the bankers and insurance executives walking by. As if that were not enough, the shop is full of Daniel’s collection of paraphernalia from motor and cycle racing, flying, sailing and of course watch making. Horology aside, one could spend an hour just admiring the other items on display. Daniel happily says that it has taken him over twenty years to get where he is now, and it will take him at least ten more years to get close to where he wants to be. This is perhaps a subconscious Michel de Montaigne moment, a man who was famous for saying “Que sais-je?” at the height of his powers. The de Montaigne influence is also visible in Daniel’s ability to mix discussions of deeply philosophical topics with casual anecdotes. He draws a parallel between Formula HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

15


DANIEL DREIFUSS PRESENTS:

Minute Man (from top): "The point is not to sell, it's to give pleasure," says Daniel; his Zurich atelier is crammed full of collectables, not just watches

One racing and where he sees himself in business. “My biggest achievement is that my company still exists!” he says. “Like F1, you invest for years, you develop and need to have fantastic knowledge and craftsmanship but make one mistake and you crash and are out of the race.” His introduction to the watch making industry came when a business partner went bankrupt leaving him to make good on several large orders for plastic and promotional watches. To fulfill this he had to go into production for himself, over twenty-two years ago. He still keeps thousands of these colourful little novelties in his vault beneath the atelier. As he proudly shows examples of these small plastic timepieces with rubber straps covered with corporate logos and cartoon characters, it’s clear that even then he put his heart and soul into what he was doing, and a part of him still ticks in these dusty relics. It’s what he was, and he loved it,

but he has no intention of going back there. It’s yet another example of this man’s past being in plain view and driving him forwards. “ I made more money sel l i ng pla st ic watches for twenty-five or forty francs each than I do creating individual pieces for two thousand to four thousand francs or more.,” he says. “However, the money isn’t the driver. What I have had to learn, what I have had to create, to make watches as I do today – that is the satisfaction. It is the creative process, the transmission of care, knowledge, design, quality into the hands of the client – that is the satisfaction” It says everything about the man and his company that his watches seem to be in the background to the personality and his philosophy. But make no mistake - his creations are first-class. That they look fantastic is easy to see from the photographs, but they must be held and worn to appreciate just how substantial, beautifully manufactured and reassuringly solid they feel. There is that unique “hand-made” depth to each one that has to be experienced to be believed and understood. It is also the source of his growing success. The company thrives on word-of-mouth marketing as satisfied clients spread the message, one wrist at a time. He will also take an existing MdMZ watch from a client and transform it with a new dial or bezel for a few hundred francs. It’s an example of his guiding philosophy. “The point is not to sell, it’s to give pleasure,” he says. “I believe one must evolve or die. My wife Claudia is an artist and has taught me to be an empiricist. Innovation isn’t just the quantum leap, it is about thousands of tiny changes, keeping those that improve the timepiece. Many of these ideas for changes come from my clients. Without the constant client interaction evolution ceases. You can see this in many watch companies as they lose touch with their roots.” For many in the luxury watch business, the mantra is to “succeed or die”. Paradoxically, the biggest risk to Dreifuss is that too much success may well undermine both his ability to oversee the production of each carefully hand-crafted timepiece and to interact with each client personally, something he himself credits with not just his job satisfaction and his sales success, but as the source of much of his creative innovation. Looking at the quality of the timepieces and the rate of growth of the company, perhaps we should all get our orders in before he grows too big! However, hearing Daniel’s philosophy on life and business, and seeing this man’s ability to adapt to change and adversity, there seems little chance that Maurice de Mauriac Zurich will be undermined by its current and undoubted future success.

maurice de mauriac manufactured in zurich MAURICEDEMAURIAC.CH

16

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM


 DRIVING RANGE

The Next Generation Range Rover has been given a radical facelift for 2010 and is now awash with power and tech, writes Ben Oliver

B

MW did a fine job of reimagining a series of ailing British car brands – including Rover, Mini and Rolls-Royce – but its magisterial makeover of the Range Rover was arguably the best, and frankly is better compared with the Rolls-Royce Phantom than with other SUVs for sheer cachet. Recently voted ‘Car of the Decade’ by Autocar, it has just been given a major update that will see the car reborn in 2010 through to replacement in 2012. It has been restyled inside and out, there’s a new supercharged V8 engine, revisions to the chassis and some mad new gadgets. Its bluff, architectural looks have been tweaked before, but great architecture doesn’t need facelifts and you might wonder how successful this latest change has been. When I first saw the new car outside Land Rover HQ I did a brief double take to be sure it was a Range Rover. The old car’s front-end looked like the White Cliffs of Dover but the new one is far more apologetic, with smaller lamps and a slightly sloping grille that bites into and breaks up the deep front bumper. There are triple strakes in the side vents and triple-strake indicators in the rear lamps; the overall effect is flashier and more like the Range Rover Sport. Inside, the layout of the fabulous cabin is unchanged and still looks fresh, with the same long spars of wood or veneer bookending the central console. The materials have been upgraded – there’s now a full leather headlining big enough to put cows on the endangered species list – but it’s the gadgets that will make the headlines. The usual speedo and revcounter dials have been replaced with 18

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

marginally easier to justify spoiling yourself with one. But you’ll probably forget about any pretence at justification once you’ve tried it. The old engine sometimes left you wondering where all the power had gone; even 400bhp struggled to push that much mass and acreage along with a sense of urgency, and 7.1sec to 100kph and a top speed of 210kph were never very impressive stats. The new engine cuts the 100kph time to just 5.9sec, but it feels faster still. All the grunt is available with a flex of your right toe and it will sluice you down the road at a mildly alarming rate. It sounds better too, with a decent, deep V8 burble, but is still a little lacking in aural drama. The six-speed automatic gearbox has been tweaked for better economy, emissions and refinement, but still shifts slickly. The Brembo brakes are bigger still at 380 and 365mm front and rear. Despite their size their performance is only adequate but they have huge masses and forces to contain: you wonder how monstrously over-specified they’d have to be to match a car’s for response and effectiveness. The Range Rover’s extraordinary span of ability is at the heart of its appeal; it rides like a RollsRoyce but will drive across the Amazon if you need it to. Handling was never really part of that equation, but the new Adaptive Dynamics active damping system means the chassis does a far better job than before; it no longer feels like it’s about to fall over under hard cornering. The ride quality doesn’t seem to be affected, and it’s no less gobsmackingly capable than the old car off-road. Styling is subjective, but for me the visual changes are just that; changes, rather than improvements. But there’s no question that the

SCORECARD How much? Engine: Transmission: Fuel Economy: Performance: How heavy?

HK$1.62million 5000cc, 8cyl, 510BHP @ 6500, 461lb ft @ 6000 Automatic 14.8 – l/100km 5.9 sec 0-100kph, 225kph 2710kg

car’s dynamics and environmental performance have improved, and by enough to keep the Range Rover relevant until it’s replaced. It can now make a better case against other highpriced, high-performance SUVs. But there’s a big difference between high price and high class, and the Range Rover still has them all licked for the latter.

a large TFT screen which can be configured by the driver. The touch-screen display in the central console can now display a 360-degree view around the car from five cameras, and you can zoom in on any particularly nasty-looking kerbs. But its best feature is the ability to display two things at once from different angles, so the driver can be following the sat-nav while the front seat passenger is trying to follow The Wire. The switchgear is also new; Land Rover says the cabin button-count has been cut by a third and they’re now largely a flat, bland, grey, Lexus-like design rather than the rugged and faintly military lumpy black plastics of before. Better, probably, but a bit less characterful. The new engine is essentially the same supercharged five-litre V8 used in the Jaguar XFR and XKR and soon to be seen in the XJ. With 510bhp it has 29 percent more power than the outgoing supercharged motor yet improves consumption and emissions by 7.3 per cent to 14.8l/100km and 348g/km, thus making it HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

19


 19TH HOLE

The French Window

Birdie Golf, HK Golfer's undercover critic of all things food and wine, visits IFC Mall's latest European offering and comes away impressed

Jaw-Dropper HK Golfer road tests the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport – the fastest (and most expensive) production car in history

I

t’s the noise. I got into the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport feeling pretty cynical, wondering how Bugatti could possibly justify charging €200,000 on top of the eye-watering €1.2m it already asks for the standard, closed-roof Veyron for a new convertible that weighs 102kgs more and is a couple of tenths slower to 100km/h. And aren’t opentops like this purely for poseurs? And then I pressed the starter button. One of the many astonishing things about the Veyron – alongside the 1001 horsepower, the 407km/h top speed and the 2.7 second 100km/h time – is the way it takes such an extreme power output – way in excess of a modern Formula One car – and puts it into such a docile, driveable, reliable package. But you don’t realize just how well-insulated it is until you start the Grand Sport with the roof off. The engine is unchanged, but now you hear from behind you the constant mechanical hum of that openair engine’s sixteen cylinders and sixty-four valves working, by some miracle, in perfect synchronicity. Even at town speeds the hum is punctuated by a loud, fierce hissing from the four turbochargers every time you ease the pressure on the throttle. I defy you not to love this noise. But when the road clears and you can push the throttle as far in as your nerve lets you, the hissing disappears and you hear that eight-litre engine itself; deep, loud, imperious and unique, like sixteen rubber mallets beating on a barrel. Driven like this, the Bugatti is shockingly, almost unmanageably fast. It doesn’t matter how often you drive it; its performance never, ever begins to feel remotely normal. If you think you can detect the 0.2 second deficit in the Grand Sport’s initial acceleration, you’re a neurological marvel. Instead the open car feels faster because it sounds so much better. And if you can find a stretch of road long and 20

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

straight enough to let the drumming continue you’ll find that the absurd acceleration doesn’t begin to relent until you’re well beyond 350km/ h. I know. I tried it. In truth, Bugatti doesn’t need to justify the extra cost of the Grand Sport because its price, power and performance mean it just doesn’t compete with other cars. Only 150 will be made, in addition to 300 Veyrons. Deliveries have just begun, and Bugatti estimates that there are only between 3000 and 6000 people in the world with both sufficient means and enthusiasm to buy one. Bugatti’s people like to say that the last thing their customers need is another car; on average, they already own thirty apiece and are more likely to be deciding between the Grand Sport and a racehorse, helicopter or yacht than another hypercar. So when a car is so dominated by its engine, and when one of the few criticisms you can make of the standard Veyron is that it sometimes seems too refined and aloof, and when cost is almost irrelevant, paying an extra €200,000 just to be more directly connected to that mighty motor starts to look like a bargain. Did I really just write that?—Ben Oliver HKGOLFER.COM

A

f ter a not her forge t t able performance at my home club, Discovery Bay, it was time to turn my attention to the venue for the evening’s festivities – The French Window on the third floor of IFC Mall, a mere hop, skip and a jump from the Central Ferry Pier. Leaving my bag at the club but battle weary from my oncourse misdemeanours, I was in much need of gastronomic delight. Would this spanking new offering fit the bill? Celebrity chef Justin Quek is leading something of an invasion on Hong Kong’s culinary scene. After Whisk in The Mira Hong Kong, the Singaporean has undertaken the role of dining consultant at The French Window, thereby adding significant weight behind The Miramar Group’s growing restaurant portfolio, who own both outlets. Surprisingly, when we arrived the restaurant wasn’t even half full, which was undoubtedly how we were able to secure a reservation on just the restaurant’s second day of business. My partner and I are always a bit cautious about trying a new place so early on in its gestation but, I reckoned, Chef Quek should be familiar with the local market by now. Was I right? Entering the restaurant is like walking into a maze. Long corridors take you past HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

© BirdieGolfBlog.com

 DRIVING RANGE

the impressively-stocked wine fridges which finally lead you to the main dining area. The modern yet sophisticated décor is highlighted by wrought iron and textured glass details, with our table enjoying spectacular views of Victoria Harbour through large double-height floor-to-ceiling windows. There are two set menus, the eight-course Gourmet (HK$1,280) and the five-course Dégustation (HK$780). My partner and I went for the latter. Naturally, there’s also à la carte, which includes almost everything in the set menus. HK$600 extra adds wine paired with all the courses, but we bought our own – a 1996 Les Forts de Latour, which, I have to say, is drinking really well right now. A very smooth fullbodied wine with great balance, the vintage still has many more years of enjoyment left for those who prefer to wait. Corkage was HK$350, but this is waived if in addition you order a bottle from their extensive wine list. Now to the food. The amusebouche was the largest portion that we had ever had. The cep mushroom soup was like a course on its own… very good, but perhaps a bit too much to start. The Dégustation started with the Angus super prime beef tartare, which was good, but we still prefer it presented in the old fashioned way The French Window where the waiter prepares it in front 3101, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall of you. The grilled scallop with cep Central, Hong Kong mushroom was perfect, very fresh and Contact: 2393 3812; thefrenchwindow.hk juicy. Too bad there was just one…but it’s hard to grumble as this was a tasting menu after all. The pot au feu with foie gras and black truffle was very tasty, with the foie gras pan seared to perfection – crispy on the outside and just right inside, not overdone nor too raw. When the pan seared lamb came, we dropped our jaws in awe of the presentation. The potatoes were cut into very thin strips, wrapped cylindrically and deep fried. The result, a hollow wire tube made of potatoes – almost like a stretched out Slinky toy. The lamb was very tender although the end cut was slightly over cooked. Dessert was not quite as stunning however. The sampler included an almond cream, a chocolate biscotti and a modern version of tutti frutti, which tasted rather bland and was a little disappointing given what came before. On reflection, we really should have tried the tarte tartin from the à la carte menu. Overall though, the experience was excellent, and despite being open for only two days, things went relatively smoothly. The waiters were maybe a little too attentive at times as they announced in between every course that they were changing the cutlery for the next dish; we thought they should have introduced the dish when it arrived so that you could actually see what was being presented. But this is a minor point. Chef Quek’s cuisine never disappoints and under Head Chef Mickael Le Calvez, The French Window is no exception. Score: 17/20 21


Cameron Dueck recalls his four-month voyage through the ice floes of the Northwest Passage aboard Silent Sound

A

Arctic Adventure

Cameron Dueck

ll I can see to starboard is ice. Scattered floes, some as small as a tabletop, others as big as a Hong Kong apartment. To port are the dusty hills of Victoria Island and the shallow waters along its shore. I’m hoping that the narrow strip of water we’re sailing through will stay open and lead us to safety. If the ice is blown ashore we’ll be pushed aground with it, so we’re praying for northerly winds. To the south of us two yachts are caught in the ice. They chose to take the traditionally safe route along the southern shores of the gulf, while we gambled and went north, trying to find a way around the giant plug of ice that has blocked our way for more than a week. As precarious as our position may be, we’re making progress while they are stopped. If we can get past this ice and into Cambridge Bay we’ll be halfway through the Northwest Passage and on our way home. 22

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

Sailing a small yacht through Arctic sea ice is more of an art than a navigational science. Sometimes you can cruise along at five knots without a concern even if the ice is fairly near the boat. You find a clear lane, keep the boat running straight, and away you go. Then, the next minute, you find that you are turning 90 degrees every few meters and throttling down all the way, the ice spread around in a pattern that blocks off every lead before you can build up any speed. I am grateful that we put a protective layer of Kevlar on Silent Sound’s bow, even if it is simply some piece of mind. HKGOLFER.COM

As deadly as the ice may be, it’s a stunningly beautiful sight. The water is a deep blue, and the ice a brilliant white. As we get close we can see the ice shining a bright aqua blue under the water. The entire sea is a patchwork of white and blue sparkling in the sun. That sunshine is our best friend right now, as it is slowly melting a path for us. But it’s hard to get too joyous, as what’s good for our progress is ultimately bad for the planet. I’ve decided to sail the Northwest Passage, a route through the Arctic Archipelago above mainland Canada, in order to learn more about climate change. The simple fact that we are sailing an ordinary 40-foot yacht through waters that historically have been locked away under ice already tells half of the story. The temperature in the Arctic is rising twice as fast as anywhere else on earth, and sea ice is disappearing at an alarming rate. That sea ice is what has made these waters infamous over the past 500 years. Hundreds of men and their ships, many backed by kings and queens and titans of industry, have succumbed to the Arctic ice over centuries of trying to find this very passage. They hoped that a northern route between Asia and Europe would give them an edge in global sea trade. Now, climate change has made it possible for me to sail through on a fiberglass yacht with three friends. But our four-month journey, as long as three crossings of the Atlantic Ocean, will still be a test of endurance and determination and my greatest sailing challenge yet. Each island, bay and inlet tells me more of the history of the Northwest Passage. Of the senseless tragedy of the Franklin Expedition, whose men died in dishonor after succumbing to cannibalism as a last resort. But there are also stories of victory, such as Roald Amundsen, who found his way through this maze of watery channels after three years in the Arctic. He would be the first, and now, 100 years later, a handful of adventure seeking sailors such as myself coast through these waters in awe of his feat. We’re lucky, and we get past the ice and continue on our eastward voyage. Silent Sound arrives in Gjoa Haven, named after Amundsen’s boat, and we stop to learn more about Inuit culture and go on a caribou hunt. Three generations of the Atkichok family lead us out into the wild, with a wizened and powerfully built Jacob in the lead, both in age and in action. “This is our grocery store,” they say, sweeping their arm across the barren landscape. After a long boat ride to their favorite hunting grounds Jacob and his son Silas spot some caribou and creep up to them for a shot. HKGOLFER.COM

Moments later, after a barrage of gunfire, two caribou lay motionless on the ground and the hunters whoop in celebration. They skin and cut up the animals right there on the tundra, eating the kidney, liver and stomach lining raw, enjoying the delicacies with relish. “We always do this after we get a caribou, it’s a special treat,” Silas says. We take the two caribou, or “tuktu” back to the Atkichok home, where they put large chunks of it into a steel pot full of boiling water. A steady stream of neighbours and relatives that come to join the feast, and we eat the fresh caribou with our hands, grease running down our chins. After the meal the traditional Inuit games begin. Tests of strength, agility and memory give us a small glimpse of the culture they’re fighting to retain. It’s after midnight when we say our farewells, rolling back to the boat with full bellies and a family of new friends. From Gjoa Haven we sail north and through Bellot Strait, reaching a furthest north of 73.55n before turning south for home. We’re jubilant that we’ve made it through the worst ice, but we’re still above the Arctic Circle and 4,500 kilometers from home. Summer has ended in the Arctic, and autumn storms are raking across Davis Strait and

the Labrador Sea. Our last month of sailing is a cold, grinding voyage, skipping from gale to storm and ducking into harbors whenever we can to get some rest. It is early October by the time Silent Sound slides in Halifax, with her battered and tired crew longing to return to their lives on land. We have sailed to the Arctic, through its most treacherous waters, and we made it home alive to tell the tale. That’s more than many sailors of centuries past can say. HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

Graphic by Troy Dunkley

 YACHTING

23


 LIQUID ASSETS

The Great Red Hype? Robin Lynam assesses the much-lauded 2005 Bordeaux and questions whether it lives up to its label as the vintage of a lifetime

T

24

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

hundred. It is now back to eight thousand, a roller coaster ride which raises some interesting questions about the merit of en primeur buying when prices reflect not only the quality of the wine but the Bordelais idea of what the market will bear. Investment grade wines are the first growths, and a number of the other better known Chateaux from the 1855 Classification. Those buying with future drinking in mind however can still find value for money if they are prepared to look further afield. Pa rker recom mend s less wel l k nown appellations and subregions such as Côtes de Castillon, Montagne St-Émilion and Listrac. Pegna suggests considering Chateau La Conseillante in Pomerol and Chateau HautBailly in Graves, Moulin-St-Georges in StÉmilion or for drinking on a more modest budget Chateau Villa-Bel-Air in Graves which offers fine 2005s, currently for less than two hundred dollars per bottle. The cheaper wines will, of course, reach the peak of their potential much earlier than the first growths. As with all vintages, only time will tell whether the hype was warranted, but at this stage 2005 looks like a good bet. Just be patient with it.

Advertise!

er f l o G HK olf:

ühel G Kitzb

lfer HKGo

he 2005 densit y of fr u it a nd a vintage in very high tannin content. Bordeaux Although the tannins are the marked a new highest ever recorded they highpoint for are by no means aggressive as prices of the they are perfectly ripe. They top chateaux wines en primeur. will ensure the wines have a long life,” Griffiths observes. It was, by common accord, not The vintage is singular for just the best vintage of a still several reasons, of which the young century, but the best in most obvious is that weather decades. conditions were as near to C om mon accord , but perfect as it is possible to not universal, and the lone get in Bordeaux throughout dissenting voice belonged to the year, which means that world’s most influential wine excellent wines were made critic. Robert Parker’s opinion, everywhere in the region. for better or worse, carries “All areas were exceptional more weight in the Bordeaux apart from Sauternes, which market than anybody else’s. wasn’t bad, but then equally “Overall, the 2005 the 2005 Burgundies were Bordeaux have turned out wonder f u l. It ’s not ju st brilliantly,” conceded Parker Bordeaux,” Pegna recalls. “We writing in 2006, “and 2005 went to the Union Des Grands does appear to be one of the Crus tasting, which we don’t most singular years of the past usually do, quite late in the five decades. But it would be day, and even tasting samples reckless to claim the finest which had been drawn that 2005s will surpass the top Roller Coaster Ride: morning were still looking wines of 2003, 2000, 1996 (in the fluctuating value of Chateau Latour so good. Take Margaux, for the northern Médoc), 1990 or, 2005 has raised example, which is notoriously for that matter, the legendary question marks unreliable as a commune, with 1982 vintage.” about the merit of inconsistencies from chateau to Nick Pegna, Managing buying en primeur. chateau. Again everything was Director of Berry Bros and very good.” Rudd in Hong Kong, who, Perhaps the most remarkable other aspect like Parker, tasted the wines as soon as they became available in 2006, formed a of the 2005 vintage is how well it is drinking different view. “Tasting the wines were six of us with a combined experience of a hundred now. Great vintage Bordeaux, after all, does not years in the wine trade, and we all felt it was the best thing we’d ever tasted en usually come into its own without a decade or primeur. I tasted it again the following year, and obviously we’ve followed its more of cellaring. Quite apart from the waste evolution since, and without a doubt it is the most complete vintage that I’ve of its obvious future potential, however, it might be unwise to buy 2005s with a view to tasted,” says Pegna emphatically. One of those tasting with him was Master of Wine Alun Griffiths who also consumption in the near future. Pegna, who sees similarities between 2005 stresses the “completeness” of the wines. “For me, after 20 years of tasting young Bordeaux en primeur at this stage, and 1996 , warns that while vintages of this 2005 remains the most complete and impressive vintage I have tasted. It has type show an attractive youthful exuberance, perfect balance, great intensity, ripeness without stretching to over-ripeness, they subsequently “go to sleep” and then need

to be cellared for around another 15 years. Although 2005s at the moment are displaying considerable charm, they are, he believes, on the verge of “shutting down”. “I never buy such young vintages,” reflects wine consultant Simon Tam – who calls 2005 “a stunning vintage” – morosely. “I can’t trust myself. They’d all be gone within 12 months.” According to Alun Griffiths, for those with the patience to cellar, the wines may still be a fair bet to appreciate in value. “In terms of investment, the golden rule has always been to buy the best wines from the best vintages. In that respect buying 2005 top wines yielded a very good initial return, and although prices have dropped 30-40 percent since the recession they are now firming up again, and in my view they will always be highly desirable wines, and so should represent a very sound investment if well stored,” he states. Chateau Latour 2005, Pegna advises, was sold en primeur for nine thousand pounds (approximately one hundred and fourteen thousand dollars) pre case and at its height was worth nine thousand five hundred. Thanks to economically hard times – which released a lot of the vintage prematurely back into the market – it fell at one point as low as six thousand eight

ust r on A e Mai Lewin

ay getaw lpine ria’s A

R.COM

LFE HKGO

MBER

LF

FICIAL

THE OF

TION OF PUBLICA

NG

THE HO

GO KONG

TION ASSOCIA

DECE

43 ISSUE

2009

0

RY 201

/ JANUA

$40

In Hong Kong’s Premier Golf Magazine

write to

ads@hkgolfer.com or call

2159 9427 RORLYROYber 1? Molcf'sI Next Num G

UARY IL 15 FEBR

UNT DISPLAY

HKGOLFER.COM

+

ulter Ian Po y Armouren Tomm Kong Op Hong

today!

HKGolfer HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

25


 SINGLE MALTS

A Wee Departure

John Bruce raises a glass of The Macallan to the late great Bill McLaren

O

John Gichigi/Getty Images

n January 25, 2010, Bi l l Mc L a r e n t h e legendar y Scottish rugby commentator was laid to rest in Haw ick ceme ter y. News of his death had moved Scots and rugby fans all over the world and as the funeral approached I, like many, was reminiscing fondly as I read through the myriad articles celebrating his life when I came across a photograph of him holding a bottle of The Macallan 50-year-old, which had been presented to him on the occasion of his retirement in 2002. It seemed only appropriate to take the hint. The Macallan distillery in Craigellachie, Speyside was founded in 1824 and has operated continuously since. It is widely available in Hong Kong in its 12- and 18-year-old expressions. Their water source is the Ringorm burn and traditionally Macallan was aged in oak oloroso sherry casks shipped directly from Spain. But in 2004 they launched an alternative, Fine Oak, range which is aged in American oak casks previously used for bourbon. As an experiment over the New Year holiday, I sampled both the traditional and Fine Oak 18-year-olds. I was delighted by the traditional 18-year-old expression, considerably more so than by the Fine Oak and, as always hampered by the editor’s frugal allocation of space, I shall elaborate on the former one only. This had been casked in 1989 and bottled in 2007 and its nose was drier than I expected, its sherry cask provenance was dominant when initially tasted and it rounded off with a nice smoky and nutty finish. Of course, my preference for the traditional expression may have as much to do with my dislike of bourbon as it has to do with the exquisiteness of the bottling aged in sherry casks, but I make no apology for my Europhilic preferences which any recent photograph of Scarlett Johansson would go a long way to explain. Hampered by the realities of life, I have not sampled the 50-year-old that Bill was presented with in 2002 but I have on occasion, when someone else is paying, had the good fortune to try one or two glasses of the 30-year-old. Once again, this is redolent with sherry but the nose is wonderfully recognizable and much as its colour is deeper than that of the eighteen year old, all of the other great qualities are just that wee bit more pronounced. However, much like a first class air ticket, I would happily take it if offered but, faced with pecuniary responsibility, I would happily stay with the eighteen year old. Both the eighteen and thirty year old expressions are exceptional malts and it bodes well for any of the special bottlings, a wide variety of which are available from this distillery which is only second to Glenfiddich in the volume of its production. When one considers that The Macallan distillery is a major contributor to the highest selling blended whisky, the Famous Grouse, it becomes simple to return to the great man, Bill McLaren. The Famous Grouse was, for many years, the 26

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

major sponsor of his beloved Scottish rugby and he was the voice of rugby everywhere. He also was for many, many years an enthusiastic golfer. Indeed, the tale is well known of how, when age had caused one of his fingers to curl and he was unable to straighten it he refused an operation as he claimed that the finger “helped him grip his club better.” I never met the great man but a great friend of mine, Bruce Aitchison, the current coach of Watsonians RFC was behind the campaign to have Bill become Sir Bill McLaren and he told me many tales of the legend’s dedication to sport and to Scotland, indeed to Hawick his home town. Bill McLaren was a tribute to his home country and was a fine example of what many of us would aspire to be. It seems fitting that he was laid to rest after 86 years on the day dedicated to Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet. Bill was himself a modern day lyrical genius whose turn of phrase will be fondly remembered for many a year to come much like the great Bard. On the day after his death, The Herald published a cartoon depicting Bill being winged over The Pearly Gates with Saint Peter quoting the great man’s words, “It’s high enough, it’s straight enough!” With damp eyes and fond memories, I invite you to raise a glass of The Macallan, as old as you can get, to “an auld acquaintance”. HKGOLFER.COM


opinion

Has Tiger Tainted Golf? The Tiger Scandal has been at the forefront of general media reporting since the story broke in November. But what impact has the saga had on the sport itself?

Getty Images

OPINIONS OVERLEAF…

28

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

29


“Golf invested heavily in Woods and his astonishing performances over the years have brought unprecedented popularity, progress and riches to the game. But for all that brilliance, the public, the galleries, was asked to pay a price too.”

30

S

o what does the game of golf do now? I n t hat ea rly November morning, Tiger Woods’ ha lo did more than just slip, it went clattering down his driveway along with his credibility. Golf fans around the world have every single reason to feel betrayed, too, a sense that has continued to grow as time – and Woods’ silence – have worn on. Collectively, you see, we have been sold a pup. Or a dog, as Woods’ wife Elin is no doubt thinking every spare minute or so. It might be a small mercy in the face of private tears and public humiliation but at least she’ll get a massive payout to ease the pain. We are just left to feel embarrassed and slightly soiled by the whole sordid affair. Golf invested heavily in Woods and his astonishing performances over the years have brought unprecedented popularity, progress and riches to the game. But for all that brilliance, the public, the galleries, was asked to pay a price too. We had to turn a blind eye to Woods’ tantrums while playing, the swearing and the spitting. And the poor press pack – bellies buffet-binge-full thanks to that extra money around the game – had to grin and nod along through interview session after interview session as Woods turned the monotone up to full bore. In turn we not only believed the hype fuelled by Woods’ army of advisors, it made us go weak at the knees. It had started of course with the childhood appearances on TV and it was nurtured willingly thanks to Woods’ father Earl, who famously once claimed his son would “do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity.’’ As the titles came, along with a dominance of the game never seen before, Woods retreated into his own world, to emerge only when his time absolutely suited and – let’s not forget here – was handsomely compensated. Burned by a GQ article in 1997, when the reporter had the gall to present the then 21-yearold as the fratboy he still was, Woods and his advisers obviously decided the best way to deal with the prying public was to keep it as far away as possible. Thus Privacy is the name of his yacht and we’ve never really been given a chance to get a glimpse of what makes the man tick. Didn’t stop us investing though. You paid top dollar to watch the man play, even more if you wanted to wear the same watches he did, drive the same cars – in some small way get close to living the same life. We believed what golf – and Woods – wanted us to believe. This was a man beyond reproach,

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

Tainted BY MATHEW SCOTT untouchable to mere mortals as he proved unplayable to his opponents. Woods gave golf credibility when the world’s other major events – from baseball, through athletics and everywhere in between – were tainted by scandals and by lies. Or so it seemed. And therein lies the crunch. Woods was of course never ever anything more than human – but that’s the last thing he and golf wanted the world to believe. Golf put him above everyone else – and Woods willingly allowed it. And, in the end, that is exactly what has hurt the game. It was during the bar-room banter that inevitably followed all the sordid allegations that I saw first-hand the effect of Woods fall from grace has had on golf itself. We were laughing – all but one. “I feel like a fool as I actually believed he was somehow above all the other s—,’’ he said. Woods still believes he is, too. Not a word to the millions of fans that followed him. Religiously. He has only ever given begrudgingly and now he gives nothing at all. His former coach Butch Harmon agrees that this is where the most damage is being done. The fans – the people who make the game happen – have found out just what they mean in the whole scheme of things. Nothing. “The golfing public would like to see Tiger Woods do a press conference,’’ Harmon told The Guardian. “To stand there in front of everybody, take his medicine, be humble, be embarrassed, be humiliated, and answer the questions. But where the hell is he? We could find Osama bin Laden easier than we can find Tiger Woods. How long can you spend on a yacht in the middle of the ocean?’’ We don’t know the final price golf will pay – but pay it will. Woods will return and the fans will no doubt want their pound of flesh. Just how he deals with it – and what the golfing authorities do to protect him, or support him when the hecklers come – remains to be seen. But that nasty taste won’t go away soon. Woods wasn’t in the end the Messiah at all. Just a very naughty boy. Mathew Scott is a Hong Kong-based sports writer HKGOLFER.COM

Not Tainted BY ALEX JENKINS

T

hat Tiger Woods is the biggest draw in professional golf goes without saying. It’s no secret that when Woods plays, audiences – both at home and at the golf course – tune in and turn up. We knew this long before the words ‘fire hydrant’, ‘Ambien’ and ‘VIP hostess’ entered the golfing lexicon. But to suggest that golf itself has been tarred as a result of his (multiple) indiscretions is absurd. No one man is bigger than the game, even if that man happens to be the greatest player that ever lived. Make no mistake, Tiger’s reputation lies in tatters. Portrayed as the family guy who liked nothing more than to spend his off-course time in his Florida mansion with his beautiful wife, two gorgeous children and dogs, Taz and Yogie, Woods’ ‘holier than thou’ existence seemed, even by a professional golfer’s standards, so mundanely serene, so… well, so dreary. He himself claimed as much on his website a few weeks before that infamous Thanksgiving evening, saying, “I think Elin and I have avoided a lot of media attention because we're kind of boring. When we do go out, we like to go to the movies. When we go for dinner, it's usually at the same few restaurants. Mostly, people are very nice and just want to say hi. There are a lot of evenings we'll just rent a movie and stay at home.” This is why the whole sordid story has received the coverage it has. Woods is certainly not the first notable golfer to have committed infidelity – and, statistically speaking, he probably won’t be the last. But why should the fact that he – and his entourage – claimed to be someone he’s not in any way tarnish the reputation of the sport in which he excels? It’s true that there have been a lot of gloomy predictions about the impact the scandal and his self-imposed hiatus will have on the game – and impact there undoubtedly will be. But perhaps it won’t be as bad as one might imagine. TV ratings when Tiger doesn’t play – as we saw when he missed the second half of the 2008 season through injury – drop markedly, and as a result networks suffer through a reduction in the amount advertisers are willing to shell out. But that’s only TV – and the likely trickledown effects of that – and only if Tiger gives up the game entirely (an unlikely scenario) – would only impact upon the professional game. The more important questions HKGOLFER.COM

to ask are: will weekend hackers stop buying the latest equipment? Will chums stop going away for overseas golf trips? Will the other 99.6 percent of golfers who play as amateurs give up the game altogether? The answer, according to marketing experts, is a definite no. “Tiger doesn't affect rounds played,” says Tom Stine, a co-founder of Golf Datatech, a market research firm. “The average player doesn't care if Tiger's playing. They'll play golf no matter what.” Stine, whose company provides research to most equipment makers, also predicted that Tiger's absence won't have a major impact on the golf equipment industry as a whole. “People don't give up an obsession because of one person.” In fact, the case could be argued that Tiger’s offcourse shenanigans are less of a turn off to most lovers of the game than his actual on-course antics. Let’s face it, when he’s not firing on all cylinders, Tiger surely ranks up there among the most petulant players in history. The club-throwing, the cursing, the tongue-lashing he’s given photographers over the years – there’s little wonder why he’s purported to be the most-fined golfer on the PGA Tour. That, more than anything he’s done on his own time away from the course, makes him less than the ideal role model. The intriguing situation that we now face – and by ‘we’ I mean the media, the fans and indeed anyone associated with the game – is that Tiger, indirectly or directly, now has the ability to make golf more exciting than it has ever been. When Tiger was at the top of his game, winning majors left right and centre, it made for compelling viewing. But by the same token, there was always the feeling that his opponents – until YE Yang, that is – lacked the self belief to really look him in the eyes and take him on. It was if they really did think he was the Messiah, that he was unbeatable, that everyone other player was playing a supporting role in the golf show that was Tiger Woods. Well, the aura that he used so effectively has well and truly gone and you can bet that his closest pursuers – the likes of Phil Mickelson, Ror y Mc I l roy, A nt hony K i m a nd L ee Westwood – are relishing his return. Regardless of what happens in his personal life – and it would be wrong for this writer to voice any opinion – the hope is that he returns at the earliest opportunity, and if that means we have to endure a Tiger heart-to-heart with Oprah then so be it. With the Masters only two months away, what golf wants is a focused and refreshed – and dare I say it, a more humble – Woods gunning for Jack Nicklaus’ haul of 18 majors with the next generation of stars embracing the opportunity to usurp his number one status. You never know, we could be heading into the most interesting era championship golf has ever seen. Alex Jenkins is editor of HK Golfer

“The intriguing situation that we now face is that Tiger, indirectly or directly, now has the ability to make golf more exciting than it has ever been… you can bet that his closest pursuers are relishing his return.”

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

31


historical golf

Special Edition

Lewine Mair previews the Open Championship, which will be celebrating its 150th anniversary at St Andrews this July PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE R & A

32

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

33


J

ust as predictably as Old Tom Morris’s favourite Scotch Broth would be simmering on the family stove in the 1860s, so excitement is brewing in the build-up to the 150th anniversary Open championship at St Andrews. Even before the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship got under way last October, posters of past Open champions were on show in the window of the old Woollen Mill adjacent to the original Tom Morris Shop. One was devoted to the late and legendary Bobby Jones and bore the accompanying quote, “You are not a true golfer until you have won at St Andrews.” Another pictured Jack Nicklaus, whose message was along much the same unequivocal lines as that of the man he has always worshipped. “If,” said Nicklaus, “a golfer is going to be remembered, he must win the title at the Home of Golf.” Jones, for the record, won the 1927 Open and the 1930 Amateur over the Old Course, while Nicklaus bagged two Opens, in 1970 and 1978. Tiger Woods is another with two St Andrews’ Opens under his belt – and he could be the first to make it three, though it now seems unlikely that he will return to the game in time for this 2010 installment. The moment the Dunhill was finished, work started on the new tee at the seventeenth, the site for which was previously out of bounds. The adjustment will add thirty-five yards to the famous Road Hole, stretching it to 490 yards and

34

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

rendering it every inch the treacherous affair it was in the days before modern equipment allowed a man to catch the green with his a wedge. Extraordinarily enough, the current change was first mooted by the late Sir Henry Cotton prior to the 1964 Open. “I would make a new tee just beyond the railway line on the other course [he was referring to the Eden Course which is now the practice range]. It would restore this drive to its former value.” Whatever Woods and the rest might say about the alteration, the locals will always be the sterner critics. The St Andrews Links Trust knows as much from experience… When, back in 2002, they started major excavations on the Road Hole Bunker without consulting the townsfolk, it was seen as an act of vandalism, with a former captain of the New Club advising the world’s media, “The town is in uproar.” Almost every bed for the 150th anniversary Open was booked before last year’s championship at Turnberry, with much the same applying to seats at the better restaurants. Again, International Sports Management, who have such as Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy on their books, made arrangements as long ago as 2005 to take over the famous Jigger Inn for the week. The inn, like the Old Course Hotel, stands behind the boundary wall at the 17th. The reason any Open at the Home of Golf adds up to so much of a pressure cauldron is

HKGOLFER.COM

largely down to the sense of intimacy in the town. People are often seemingly magically in the know on every score. Joyce Wethered, winner of the 1929 British Women’s Open, captured the situation to perfection when she talked of how town and course were one… “You meet the same people on the streets as on the fairways.” Everyone in the place is an expert on such diverse topics as where the top players were eating the night before and which bunkers they visited the previous day. It is perhaps because the bunkers have names that events in their sandy depths turn into stories which never go away. For example, none of the moderns has ever descended into the Road Hole Bunker without first having to cast out thoughts of Tommy Nakajima and what happened in his third round in 1978. The Japanese competitor had opened with scores of 70 and 71 and needed two fours for another 71 when, following two splendid shots to the heart of the 17th green, he putted into the deadly trap. With the pin less than 20 feet from the rim of the bunker and the green deceptively fast, he tried to splash out gently, only to leave his ball in the sand. He did the same again, again – and again. In the Dunhill Year Book, they made mention of how there was “a subdued if encouraging cheer” as he finally surfaced en route to holing out in nine. It is quite a thought that had he not suffered such a fate, Nakajima might well have beaten Yang Yong-eun by 31 years as the first Asian to win a major. Hell Bunker is another infamous stopping point. Nicklaus once took three to escape. In HKGOLFER.COM

contrast, a local bishop, circa 1850, once exited so surprisingly well with his niblick that his somewhat mischievous caddie advised, “When you die, you’d better tak’ your niblick wi’ you.” Colin Montgomerie maintains that it is possible to delay the championship’s pressures by having an early starting time on the first day: “You can sneak round before the tension and the atmosphere are in full swing.” That, though, presupposes that the player in question is not drawing attention to himself with his scoring, for it only takes a couple of birdies to go up on the leader-board for a man to remember, forcibly, precisely where he is and what he is about. John Daly, who won in 1990, will tell you that he felt the proverbial shivers up and down his spine from the moment he came round that turn in the A 91 which affords a first glimpse of the old grey town and its spires. He said it affected him even more deeply than the drive up Augusta’s Magnolia Lane. No-one would ever have thought of Daly and St Andrews as obvious soul-mates but that is precisely what they turned out to be. The locals took this often tortured soul under their wing from the moment they saw that he had a short-game which was at times in the same jaw-dropping league as his drives. The same applied with the cook in the Old Course Hotel. He satisfied the A merica n’s relatively harmless addiction of t h e m o m e nt – D a l y classified himself as a chocoholic - by providing the constant supply of chocolate puddings and cakes which fuelled the player’s unlikely triumph. You have to think that if there is one place in the world where Woods would find his comeback less t ha n i mpossibly stressful, it is St Andrews. Though the people would almost certainly go through the litany of his much-publicized transgressions and utter their disapproval, they would look further. No less t ha n t hey embraced Da ly, t hey would see into the soul of a man whose love of St Andrews and the Old Course has never been less than constant.

Open Time (clockwise from bottom): Stewart Cink will be hoping to emulate Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods by winning back-to-back championships; the Road Hole Bunker, arguably the most famous hazard in golf; the Jigger Inn will be the base of McIlroy, Westwood and Els during Open week.

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

35


insight

added players as the years went by. Golf debacle, the PGA has belatedly restored In the early 1980s, the World Golf Hall of their original honorees (including all seventeen Fame ran into significant financial difficulties missing above) and McDermott is once again in and in 1983 the PGA stepped in to take over a PGA Hall of Fame. management, eventually taking over full However, the fact remains that the claim of ownership in 1986. The PGA planned to merge the World Golf Hall of Fame to be “the ultimate their Hall of Fame, now consisting of fifty destination for the celebration and recognition members, with that of World Golf. However, of golf's greatest players and contributors – an only twenty-one of the PGA names were already inspiration to golfers and fans throughout the members of the World Golf inductees. For world” will not be realized. Not until they cease reasons that have never been fully explained, the the internal bickering and restore the missing remaining original members of the PGA Hall of original inductees to their rightful place. Fame were simply dropped, evicted, and required re-election to become part of the new merged World Golf Hall of Fame. PGA officials refused to comment on the decision to exclude some of Johnny Farrell the greatest names in golf, instead Winner of the 1928 US Open. 22 tour victories pointing to the possibility of re(including eight consecutive wins). election. Some names have managed to creep back onto the list, but Doug Ford shamefully there are still seventeen Winner of the 1955 PGA and 1959 Masters. players – seventeen of the finest 19 tour victories. Four-time Ryder Cup team players of their generation – left out in member. the cold (see sidebar). Vic Ghezzi Unforgivably, this includes the Winner of the 1941 PGA. 11 tour victories. tragic figure of Johnny McDermott, the first American-born winner of Chick Harbert the US Open in 1911 (which he Winner of the 1954. Seven tour victories. defended the following year) and still Two-time Ryder Cup team member and the youngest ever winner at the age of captain in 1955. nineteen. Visitors to the faux chateau in St Augustine that now houses this Chandler Harper “Hall of Shame” will see no reference Winner of the 1950 PGA. Seven tour victories. to arguably the world’s best player of his time and a genuine American E.J. “Dutch” Harrison 18 tour victories (fifth all-time). Vardon hero, but instead can read about Bing Trophy winner 1954. Crosby, Bob Hope, and even majorMike Brady Winner of the 1922 Western Open (then less Seniors’ Tour cabaret act Chi Chi Jock Hutchinson considered a major) and two-time US Open Rodriguez. Winner of the 1920 PGA and 1921 Open runner-up. To muddy the waters further, in Championship. 2005 something called the PGA Golf Billy Burke Professional Hall of Fame opened in Johnny McDermott (pictured) Winner of the 1931 US Open. 13 tour victories. Port St Lucie, Florida. The names Winner of the 1911 and 1912 US Opens (first here are primarily those of PGA Past US-born winner). Bobby Cruickshank Presidents and PGA Golf Professionals 20 tour victories. Leading money winner on Fred McLeod (aka club pros) of the year since 1955. tour in 1927. Two-time US Open runner-up Winner of the 1908 US Open. Multiple tour Whilst it is unlikely that many will go and two-time PGA runner-up. victories. out of their way to look at an exhibit Ed Dudley on pros such as Dugan Aycock (1957), Johnny Revolta 15 tour wins (including 1931 Western Open). Hubby Habjan (1965) or Hardy Winner of the 1935 PGA. 18 tour victories. First man to finish in the top 10 in all four Loudermilk (1968), or leave the majors in one year (1937). Head pro at beach to see portraits of former PGA Alex Smith Augusta National from 1932 to 1957. officialdom, what may draw attention Winner of the 1906 and 1910 US Opens. is the inclusion of what they’ve called Olin Dutra PGA Member Original Inductees. MacDonald Smith Winner of the 1932 PGA and 1934 US Open. 24 tour victories. Three Western Open wins. Perhaps in recognition of t heir 19 tour victories. disservice to their sport in the World

The Missing Inductees

The Hall of Shame Dr Milton Wayne reports on the dishonourable tale of the forgotten heroes missing from the World Golf Hall of Fame.

T Dr Milton Wayne

he World Golf Hall of Fame is a popular tourist attraction in the World Golf Village complex near St Augustine, Florida. Hundreds of thousands of golf fans visit each year, and due to its size and sheer number of exhibits, it requires a good four hours to take it all in. The purpose of the WGHOF is simple: showcase the men and women whose contribution to golf made the game what it is today. That is as it should be, but unfortunately is not actually true. What few realize is that the financial and political machinations that led to the creation of the World Golf Hall of Fame in the first place have resulted in many of the greatest early players being “evicted”, despite having been 36

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

inducted decades before to the original PGA Hall of Fame. The result is an embarrassing number of early stars being ignored and unknown to current and future generations. Two years after baseball created the first sporting Hall of Fame, and at legendary writer Grantland Rice’s suggestion, the governing body of professional golf in the US founded a PGA Hall of Fame in 1941 to celebrate the achievements of the early golfing greats that shaped the game. A total of twelve players were inducted that year. As the years went by, more greats were added to the roll of honour. In 1974, the owners of Pinehurst Resort, Diamondhead Corp, seeking a tourist attraction, started a privately-operated World Golf Hall of Fame with thirteen original inductees. This also HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

37


hkga

From the President Of the many events the HKGA has hosted since I became President, few have given me as much pleasure to attend as the EFG Bank Junior Tour Grand Final, which took place at the beginning of January at Deep Water Bay. Exclusively for local golfers under the age of 14, the tournament was the climax of the inaugural season of the EFG Bank Junior Tour. Comprising thirteen events – taking place at SkyCity Nine Eagles, the Executive Course at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club and Deep Water Bay – the aim of the tour is to promote junior golf in Hong Kong and to provide official tournament opportunities for developing junior golfers. Judging by the number of entries and the enthusiasm of the young golfers at each of the events, I’m delighted to say the tour has been a resounding success. The HKGA, as many of you will know, has worked hard over the past few years to develop its Junior Development Programme and thanks in part to the tremendous support of EFG Bank we are seeing very satisfying results. Not only have more golf tournaments been added to the HKGA event calendar, we are continuing to see an improvement in the standard of play. This all bodes very well for the years ahead. Over the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, the Hong Kong Amateur Close Championship will take place at The

Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling. Sponsored for a second successive year by Montrose Fine Wines, the tournament brings together the finest male golfers in the city for four rounds of keenly-fought golf. Once again, the winner of the tournament will not only receive a handsome trophy but also a coveted berth into November’s Hong Kong Open, where he will tee it up with some of the world’s best golfers. Last year, Steven Lam captured the title for the first time after a confident and mature performance. Steven, now 16, is a product of the HKGA’s Junior Development Programme and it is my great hope that we’ll see many more junior golfers making a name for themselves in senior level competitions. Finally, a call to all golfers over the age of 55. The MacGregor Hong Kong Senior Close Championship will take place in May at the Hong Kong Golf Club. As this is one of the few exclusively local senior tournaments in Hong Kong, all eligible players are encouraged to enter. The results of the event are an important factor in selecting the seniors’ team to represent Hong Kong at the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation Championship in November. As ever, details will be posted on the HKGA website, www.hkga.com. —William Chung President HKGA

Lok Tin Secures Breakthrough Victory

Strapping 16-year-old Liu Lok-tin won the HSBC China Junior Open in fine style at the end of January, holding off Thailand’s highly-rated Poom Saksansin for the most important win of his amateur career. Big-hitting Liu, who finished second at last year’s Montrose Fine Wines Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship, fired rounds of 68, 71 and 73 over the 7,000+ yard Meilan Golf Club in northern Hainan for a three shot victory. “It was really exciting,” said Liu, who averages close to 295 yards off the tee. “It’s the first time I’ve won an overseas tournament, but I wasn’t too nervous over the final few holes. I was feeling confident and it really feels amazing to have done it.” Thanks to Liu’s efforts, Hong Kong finished fourth in the team competition.

Collins Leads HK to Fourth Place

HSBC CJGP (Liu)

Terry Collins claimed victory in the 65-69 age division at the Asia Pacific Senior Amateur Golf Championship mid December to help Hong Kong finish the prestigious eight-team event in fourth place, behind winners New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines. Collins carded a three-day total of 226 at the Nexus Golf Resort in Kota Kinabalu to win his group by ten shots from fellow Hong Kong golfer Bertie To, Jr. Wilson Chan (60-64; tied 10th), Walter Kwong (60-64; tied 10th), William Chung (55-59; tied 12th) and Stephen Fung (55-59; tied 24th) were Hong Kong’s other representatives. 38

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

Dream Debut Albinski cruises to Seniors Open win at the first attempt REPORT BY ALEX JENKINS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLES McLAUGHLIN

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2009/JAN 2010

39


Norman Swenson

Mike Grimsdick, Joe Hackler and Alan Evans

Terry Collins

Alan Evans

T

Terry Collins

o say that Stefan Albinski enjoyed Collins picked up the 65-69 age division title. his first ever visit to Hong Kong Graham Steele (233) triumphed in the 70 and would be something of an over age category. understatement. The 56-yearSaving his best till last, Albinski, the reigning old, who has been making Australian Seniors Match Play champion who waves in his native Australia opened with rounds of 74 and 72, fired six since graduating to senior level 18 months birdies and five bogies in a one-under-par 70 in ago, cantered to victory at the Hong Kong the third and final round. “It was a bit of an up Seniors Open Amateur Championship in early and down day,” he said, “but it’s a lovely course, December – and had nothing but praise for both very picturesque, and not as straightforward as the city and the tournament. its length might suggest.” “I’m really glad I made the trip over,” Sydney-based Albinski, who plays out of the laughed Albinski, who carded a three-round seaside Mona Vale Golf Club to the north of the total of 216 (six-over-par) over the Old Course city, went on to claim the Asia Pacific Senior at the Hong Kong Golf Club to win by seven Amateur Golf Championship a week later in shots. “[Hong Kong international] Terry Collins Kota Kinabalu for a second successive year and really encouraged me to come and I’ve had such vowed to return to Hong Kong at the end of a fantastic time. In terms of quality, this event is 2010 to defend his title. “It’s such a great place right up there with the best of them. It’s really that I’m definitely going to do my best to come been a wonderful week.” back,” he said. Norman Swenson (223) of the United SENIORS OPEN LEADERBOARD States and former Hong Kong Golf Club, Old Course champion A lan December 2-4, 2009 Evans from Australia AUSTRALIA 1 Stefan ALBINSKI 74-72-70 216 (226) claimed second UNITED STATES 2 Norman SWENSON 76-77-70 223 and third spots in AUSTRALIA 3 Alan EVANS 79-74-73 226 the overall category, HONG KONG 4 Terry COLLINS 76-74-78 228 while in-form Collins finished as the bestHONG KONG 5 Mike GRIMSDICK 76-76-77 229 placed local player, UNITED STATES 6 Joe HACKLER 72-82-76 230 his total of 228 SINGAPORE 7 Douglas OOI 74-76-81 231 clinching solo fourth UNITED KINGDOM 8= Graham STEEL 81-76-76 233 overall. Swenson’s JAPAN Junichi MANAI 74-80-79 233 e f f o r t s g av e h i m HONG KONG 10= Donald MOORE 75-85-74 234 victory in the 60-64 HONG KONG Matajiro NAGATOMI 80-76-78 234 age division, while 40

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

Stefan Albinski

Graham Steel

HKGOLFER.COM

Bertie To, Jr.

Douglas Ooi

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

41


junior golf

EXPERIENCE

Marcus Lam

VISION

Michelle Cheung Anthony Tam

Tiffany Chan

Mizuno Double for Tam and Chan

Luxe Hills, China Hole 2 Par 3

Talented teenagers pick up Winter Junior Championship titles for second successive year

F

or the second year in a row, Anthony Tam and Tiffany Chan triumphed at the Mizuno Winter Junior Championship, securing both their age division titles and overall honours. Played in bitterly cold weather over the South Course at Kau Sai Chau late December, Lam carded rounds of 75 and 71 to regain his boys’ crown, while Chan came through with a countback win over Michelle Cheung after the pair finished with matching totals of 149 to scoop the girls’ championship silverware. Cheung’s efforts didn’t see her leave empty handed however – rounds of 73 and 76 meant she walked away with the 13-14 age division title. Other notable performances included Marcus Lam’s narrow win in the 15-19 age division. Lam, a Hong Kong junior international, put together rounds of 78 and 74 for a countback victory over Thomas Strandemo (75 and 77), while Humphrey Wong and Tiana Gwen Lau deservedly picked up the 11-12 age division prizes following solid displays. In the lower two age groups –7-8 and 9-10 – the competitors played nine holes each day. Selina Li (87) and Michelle Lee (75) claimed the girls’ titles and Jason Au and Max Ting won their divisions with encouraging scores of 75 and 72 respectively. The Hong Kong Golf Association would like to thank Ken Takafuku and his team at Mizuno for their continued support of local junior golf. 42

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

WORLD CLASS RESULTS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PATRICK LEUNG

Boys’ Champions 15-19 Age Group 13-14 Age Group 11-12 Age Group 9-10 Age Group 7-8 Age Group

Marcus Lam Anthony Tam* Humphrey Wong Max Ting Jason Au

78-74 75-71 72-75 38-34 36-39

152 146 147 72 75

Tiffany Chan* Michelle Cheung Tiana Lau Michelle Lee Selina Li

72-77 73-76 75-75 38-41 44-43

149 149 150 79 87

Mark E. Hollinger ASGCA

* Overall Champion

Girls’ Champions 15-19 Age Group 13-14 Age Group 11-12 Age Group 9-10 Age Group 7-8 Age Group * Overall Champion

HKGOLFER.COM

Address: 1513 Folger Drive, Belmont, California 94002 USA Tel: 1-650-620-9670 Fax: 1-650-620-9707 China: (86)136-6018-6366

www.jmpgolf.com


junior golf

An intelligent filter The judgement to spot talent early; the expertise to nurture it. Blending the finest solutions for clients.

Champions Boys 13-14: Girls 13-14: Boys 11-12: Girls 11-12: Boys 9-10: Girls 9-10: Boys 8 & Under: Girls 8 & Under:

Wong Yuk-hei Vivian Chu Leon D’Souza Christy Chong Taiga Iwasa Michelle Lee Taichi Kho Selina Li

60 68 63 65 32 34 34 43

Inaugural EFG Bank Grand Final Hong Kong Golf Club’s Deep Water Bay course was the venue for the inaugural EFG Bank Junior Tour Grand Final early January. Featuring young golfers who qualified from the EFG Bank Junior Tour – a series of eleven events played in the latter half of 2009 – the Grand Final was highlighted by a number of fine individual performances over the short but tricky nine-hole course. As sponsors of the HKGA’s Junior Development Programme, EFG Bank’s role in local junior golf has been significant – and the Junior Tour illustrates the increased number of playing opportunities available to budding young golfers in Hong Kong.

HK Claim Titleist Win in China Hong Kong triumphed at the 2009 Junior Titleist Invitational held at Nansha Golf Club in Guangdong mid December. Competing against teams from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Hong Kong’s cumulative total of 1852 was good enough for a 29-stroke win over nearest rivals Beijing. Standout performers from the Hong Kong team included Tiffany Chan, who carded rounds of 69, 73, 71 and 78 (291) to win the overall girls’ title, and Steven Lam, who picked up the silver medal in the boys’ championship with rounds of 67, 75, 66 and 73 (281). Other top10s were recorded from Isabella L e u n g (s i x t h , 327); Kimberly Wo n g (e i g ht h , 333); and Mimi Ho (ninth, 334).

Proud sponsors of the EFG Bank Hong Kong Golf Association Junior Golf Programme.

HKGA 1 Place Second at Dr George Choa Cup The Hong Kong Golf Association team of Tiffany Chan, Steven Lam, Jason Ho and Marcus Lam (HKGA 1) were pipped to title honours at the eleventh staging of the Dr George Choa Cup Junior Team Championship at Fanling just before Christmas. Played over the New Course at Hong Kong Golf Club, the team finished the two-day event just five strokes shy of the Guangdong Golf Association team. HKGA 3 – represented by Jackie Chan, Jimmy Lai, Isabella Leung and rising star Kitty Tam – placed third, a further eleven shots adrift.

Practitioners of the craft of private banking

RESULTS RESULTS 1 2 3 4 44

Hong Kong Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou

1852 1881 1938 1940

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

1 2 3 4 5

GDGA (Chow, Jiang, Li, Law) HKGA 1 (Chan, Lam, Ho Lam) HKGA 3 (Chan, Lai, Leung, Tam) SZGA (Lai, Liu, Pan, Wang) HKGA 4 (Ho, Lau, Lau, Lo)

224-228 233-224 237-231 245-229 236-239

452 457 468 474 475

HKGOLFER.COM

Hong Kong: 18th Floor, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, T +852 2298 3000 s Singapore: 25 North Bridge Road, #07-00 EFG Bank Building, Singapore 179104, T +65 6595 4888. Also in Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul and Taipei. EFG Bank is part of EFG International, which operates in 55 locations in over 30 countries. www.efginternational.com

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

45


tournaments

Montrose Return as Close Sponsors Mont rose Fi ne Wines will continue their title sponsorship of the Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship, which takes place over the Lunar New Year. Montrose, importers and distributors of quality wines to Hong Kong, China and Macau, first sponsored the tournament last year, an event that was won for the first time by 16-year-old Steven Lam. Aside from the Close, Montrose were official wine suppliers at last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open, providing the event’s official Champagne, Champagne Deutz.

Chiu and Tang Combine for Pairs Win Chiu Choi-hung and Tang Kei-hin kept a blemish-free scorecard to win the HKGA Pairs Tournament at Discovery Bay Golf Club early December. The duo (seen receiving their trophies from DBGC General Manager Samuel Clayton) plundered four birdies to record an impressive 40-point haul over the clifftop layout and win by four points from Sunny Ho and Leung Chi-shing (36 points). Defending champions Richard Phoebus and Rungnapa Winchester (also 36 points) finished third, losing on countback. In the Nett Division, Stephen Chau and Wong Chi-fai (48 points) edged Garry Lai and Danny To by a single point to win the title. Chau Pak-lin and Domine Ko placed third.

Charles McLaughlin (HKGA Pairs)

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

Around the Clubs The Hong Kong Golf Club

Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club

HKGC Vs Royal Selangor December 19 HKGC: 15 points Royal Selangor: 13 points Played over the New Course

Ladies Section

Arthur Woo Trophy December 20 CSM Ip won the Arthur Woo Trophy played over the New Course with 33 points. MKG Ma was the runner-up with 32 points. Monthly Medal – Gross Section January 9 T Orgill won the Monthly Medal Gross Section played over the Eden Course with 67. Monthly Medal – Nett Section January 9 T Collins won the Monthly Medal Nett Section played over the Eden Course with 69. Sir David Trench Cup Final January 10 S Limbu won the Sir David Trench Cup Final played over the New Course with 35 points. T Linton was the runner-up with 34 points.

RESULTS 1 Chiu Choi-lung / Tang Kei-hin 2 Sunny Ho / Leung Chi-shing 3 Richard Phoebus / Rungnapa Winchester 4 Stephen Chau / Wong Chi-fai 5= Alex Jenkins / Tom Phillips Eric Lee / Victor Ma 7 Oscar Ho / Ivan Leung 8= Garry Lai / Danny To Welson Dao / Benny Loong Christine Chuck / Wong Chi-kong Steve Lai / Tong Siu-man

40 36 36 35 34 34 33 32 32 32 32

From left to right: Team Hong Kong – represented by Rick Kroos, Thomas Greer and Harry Cockrell – at the 50th World Senior Golf Championship Matches, which were held at the renowned Broadmoor club in Colorado Springs, USA. The event, organized by the World Senior Golf Federation, was held from September 1-4, 2009 and featured teams from fourteen countries. While Hong Kong didn’t manage to return home with any silverware amongst their luggage, Kroos’ wife Pamela placed second in the Nett Division of the Ladies’ Tournament, which was played concurrently with the main event. For more information visit www.worldseniorgolf.com. 46

results

HKGOLFER.COM

HKGC Vs Clearwater Bay January 16 Clearwater Bay: 17 points HKGC: 14½ points Played at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club Lusitania Cup – Gross Section January 17 MCK Wong won the Lusitania Cup Gross Section played over the Eden and Old with +1. C Halliday was the runner-up with -8. Lusitania Cup – Nett Section January 17 MCK Wong won the Lusitania Cup Nett Section played over the Eden and Old Courses with +1. C Robinson was the runner-up with +1. Lusitania Cup – Nett Section January 17 I Kitamura won the Lusitania Cup Nett Section (18 holes only) with All Square.

Discovery Bay Golf Club Chairman’s Cup 2009 December 5-6 Winner: Stephen Pan (144 C/B) Runner-up: Stephen Ahmoye (144) Best Gross: Jay Won (150) Best Nett (Day One): BW Park (71) Best Nett (Day Two): Stuart Winchester (72)

Ladies Golf Championship 2009 Winner: Madoka Murayama Runner-up: Anita Chu Division 2 Championship 2009 Winner: Cecilia Szeto Runner-up: Lily Lau January Medal January 6 Division 1 Gross Winner: Nett Winner: Division 2 Gross Winner: Nett Winner:

Sunny Kang (88) Mari Maeda (76 C/B) Miki Motogui (96) Cecilia Szeto (77)

Ladies’ Winter Cup January 13-14 Winner: Callie Botsford (148) Runner-up: Haj Wilcox (149) Ladies’ Winter Plate January 13-14 Winner: Miki Motogui (150) Runner-up: Liza Ho (151) January Stableford January 20 Division 1 Winner: Haj Wilcox (39 points) Division 2 Winner: Lily Lau (35)

Men’s Section

Captain’s Cup January 10 Gross Winner: Tony Melloy (82) Nett Winner: Wilson Chan (74) Chairman’s Cup January 10 Winner: Simon Szeto (34 points) Captain’s Cup for 2009 January 24 Gross Winner: Eugene Pak (80) Nett Winner: George Leung (72) Chairman’s Cup for 2009 January 24 Winner: Chow Tak-yiu (38 points)

Clearwater Stunner: the par-four third presents one of the most challenging drives in Hong Kong golf.

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

47


tournaments

Jock’s Pot Entries Open Entries are being taken for Mackie Quaich Golf Match (“Jock’s Pot”), which takes place on Friday, May 14 at Shek O Country Club. Organized by the St Andrews Society and named after former Chieftain Jock Mackie (who famously played in the 1959 Open Championship at Muirfield, becoming the only Hong Kong golfer so far to play in a major), entry is open to anyone with a valid HKGA handicap. Those interested in participating should contact the St Andrews Society at admin@ standrewshk.org.

Gamesmanship: TOP 10 MOMENTS Mak Lok-lin reveals the times when professionals used more than just their golf game to try to overcome their opponents

Frost Provides Players with Winning Vintage

48

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

Asian Amateur Golf Tour Greencard Golf, who have more than 30 years’ experience organizing golf tournaments around the world, have initiated the Asian Amateur Golf Tour, a series of ten events played throughout Southeast Asia at some of the region’s most popular holiday destination. Starting in Phuket in March and open to anyone with a handicap of 21 or less, each tournament on the AAGT is played in a 54-hole Stableford format, with the winners from each leg – which also includes stops in Ho Chi Minh City, Hua Hin and Siem Reap – earning an all expenses paid trip to the Grand Final in Bali. For entry and f urther i nf o r m at i o n v i s it w w w. greencardgolf.asia HKGOLFER.COM

Back-fire: Tiger's 'crowding' of Yang at the PGA failed to unsettle the gritty Korean

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

AFP/Getty Images

Charles McLaughlin (Jock's Pot)

Golfing icon David Frost (pictured) is giving the WCGC Hong Kong (www.wcgc-hongkong.com) a taste of success by supplying the tournament with his exclusive range of wines. The South African great – winner of more than 20 titles worldwide – has combined his golf career with a hugely successful wine producing business in his homeland. Now his Hong Kong importer, WINE2U.com.hk, has been unveiled as the Official Wine Supplier of the WCGC Hong Kong. “We are very proud to present exclusively to the World Corporate Golf Challenge Hong Kong the range of David Frost wines, a natural connection between the game of golf, business and fine wines,” said Ruth Sellers, of WINE2U.com.hk. Frost grew up on his family’s wine farm near Stellenbosch and it was through earning pocket money picking grapes that he bought his first set of golf clubs. He went on to enjoy a stellar career, collecting 10 US PGA Tour titles and winning the 1994 Hong Kong Open. He and his brother Michel bought a 300-acre wine farm near Paarl in 1994 and began producing the David Frost Signature Series, with each vintage named after a famous golfer. The WCGC Hong Kong will be held on Friday, March 5 at Discovery Bay Golf Club. Twenty teams – comprising four players who each have a maximum handicap of 24 – will take part. The winning team will earn an allexpenses-paid trip to the WCGC World Final in South Africa from May 3-8 during which they will also be given a guided tour of Frost’s wine estate. HK Golfer is the Official Golf Magazine of the tournament. Companies wishing to register a team – note, only one member of the team needs to be a full-time employee – or requiring information about sponsorship opportunities should call Amy Broomhead on 3579 8110 or email amy@laxtonmarketing.com.

49


Heroes and Villains (clockwise from bottom): Allan Robertson, hailed the "Greatest Player Player Who Ever Lived"; Seve and Azinger fail to see eye-to-eye at the 1991 Ryder Cup; the Mangrum 'One-Step'; The King experienced the other side of gamesmanship early on in his career.

O

ne of t he best t hings a b o u t l a s t ye a r ’s P G A Championship, apart from A si a c el e b r a t i n g Ya n g Yong-eun as its first major winner, was the sight of Tiger Woods trying to intimidate his Korean opponent. Given Tiger’s record, it’s obvious the man has a tonne of game, and not just of the technical variety. During that enthralling final round, Woods repeatedly tried to “crowd” Yang on the tee, and walked off at least two greens with Yang still to putt. Woods has used intimidation tactics before, and as the record shows his opponents don’t usually survive. At worse, they collapse; at best, they ignore it. What Yang did differently was to react positively to it, seeing it for what it was: an indication of a lack of confidence on the part of the aggressor. From the earliest days, it’s been clear that golf is as much a mental game as a physical one. We’ve all seen the phenom who can rule the world on the driving range but can’t win a match to save himself on the course. It was ever thus. In the days before Old and Young Tom Morris rose to prominence, Allan Robertson, perhaps the first-ever professional golfer, was hailed as “The Greatest Player Who Ever Lived” and was said to have never lost a match. That said, he was also alleged to have deliberately avoided matches that he could potentially lose. He clearly learned much from his father David, another legend, regarding gamesmanship.

The Poet Laureate of Golf, George Carnegie, had this to say about him, c.1830: Davie, oldest of the cads, Who gives half-one to unsuspicious lads When he might give them two, or even more And win, perhaps, three matches out of four Is just as politic in his affairs As Talleyrand or Metternich in theirs. He has the state-man's elements, 'tis plain. Cheat, flatter, humbug - anything for gain; And, had he trod the world's wide field, methinks, As long as he has trod St Andrews Links, He might have been prime minister or priest, My Lord, or plain Sir Dai'id, at the least. So there it is: The first, and most magnificent, description of the gamesman – although I’m sure that David Roberston would never have actually cheated (unlike his notorious namesake who in Open Championship qualifying in 1985 was fined and banned for 20 years for repeatedly moving his marker closer to the hole), it’s clear he would certainly use flatter, humbug and squeeze mercilessly on the number of strokes he would give. My own reputation as a master of a unique style of Indian gamesmanship is well known in Auchtermuchtie, consisting primarily of the old Navaho trick where I roll over, then scream and beg. It’s good to see the ancient art is alive and well, and I began to think of the other great examples down the years…

1

www.historicalgolfpictures.com (Robertson/Palmer/Mangrum); Bob Thomas/Getty Images (Ballesteros)

Seve Ballesteros

The swashbuckling Spaniard was rightly renowned for his ability to get up and down from just about anywhere, due to a boundless imagination and a magnificent short game. However, he was also notoriously described as the “King of Gamesmanship”, particularly during the Ryder Cup. On the tee, there are countless tales of Seve coughing, shuffling around, jingling change in his pockets and generally crowding his opponents. On the green, he was regularly seen standing beyond the flag as his opponents tried to line up putts. But in two of the most infamous incidents involving the five-time major winner, both against future US Ryder Cup captains, he was found to be in the right. In 1991, when partnered with Jose-Maria Olazabal, he correctly accused Paul Azinger and Chip Beck of changing to different compression balls on certain holes. The Americans claimed that each player was simply teeing off with his own ball in the alternate shot format and were furious the issue had been raised at all. To Seve’s obvious delight, Azinger kept up a running argument

50

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

about the issue until the Spaniards fought back and closed the US out 2 and 1. Mission accomplished! Four years later, Seve called for the referee again when Tom Lehman tapped in his ball instead of marking it in their singles match. The crowd started booing but there was no question that Lehman, a Ryder rookie, was in the wrong and had played out of turn. It goes without saying that a true gamesman would never resort to the Seve tactics on the tee as they are just desperately unsubtle. The phrase that springs to mind is, “There's a fine line between getting the upper hand and getting a fist to the face!”

HKGOLFER.COM

3

Lloyd Mangrum

2

Mangrum has been mentioned in these pages before, when he effectively handed the 1950 US Open to Ben Hogan by mistakenly picking up his ball without marking it on the sixteenth hole of their playoff when only a shot behind. He is also a legend among golf gamesmen by having a delicate tee box manoever named after him, “The Mangrum”. Simply put, Lloyd would stand in his opponents’ peripheral vision, wearing white shoes, and cross his legs during the player’s downswing. Simple but potentially disastrous, as the below diagram illustrates.

Arnold Palmer

Playing in his first Western Open in 1955, Palmer was deliberately wound up by Marty Furgol, at the time a pro for over 20 years and a member of that year’s Ryder Cup team. Having finished his round, Furgol went back out and stood on the eighteenth fairway between Palmer and the green. Arnie yelled to Doug Ford to ask him to move, which Ford did. Furgol moved a couple of feet. Palmer shouted again and Furgol moved another couple of feet. This continued with the intended effect and a hot-headed Palmer smashed his ball over the green and failed to get up and down. End of story? Not quite. Leaving the green and in full view of all watching, Palmer grabbed Furgol by the neck and said, “Mr Furgol, if you ever pull a stunt like that again I’ll take my fists and beat the hell out of you, and if I can’t do it with my fists, I’ll use a golf club.” As often happened in those days, tour officialdom looked the other way to let the players sort themselves out.

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

51


6

Jack Nicklaus

5

Ben Hogan

www.historicalgolfpictures.com (Hagen/Hogan)

All part of the game (clockwise from top): Walter Hagen is 'credited' with many gamesmanship techniques; like Palmer, Hogan was on the receiving end of some unsporting behaviour as a rookie; Jim Thorpe overcame Jack Nicklaus' best efforts to claim his first PGA Tour win; Sam Sneed watches as USGA officials determine who's to putt first - a decision that would cost him the US Open title. 52

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

‘Sir’ Walter Hagen is the subject of so many apocryphal tales that it is no surprise to find he is credited with inventing many of the most basic gamesmanship techniques. The first is the dubious practice of giving match play opponents generous gimmies early in the round then making them putt everything late in the game. The idea is to starve them of practice, but dangerously assumes there is a ‘late in the game’ to worry about. A nother ‘Hagen’ classic is to let your opponent see you taking practice swings with the wrong club. An example occurred in the 1925 PGA against Al Waltrous. Tied coming down the last, a long par-five with water fronting the green, Waltrous looks over to see ‘The Haig’ practice swinging with a wood. Waltrous decides he has to go for it but splashes down some way short. Needless to say, Hagen then takes the iron layup he always intended and wins with a routine par. The Hagen story that rings most true is his reported antics when supposedly in trouble in the trees. He was known to wander around looking agitated and checking right-angle routes back to the fairway. He would then produce a “miracle” shot knocking it stone dead on the green, destroying his opponent’s morale. Afterwards he would smile and confess there was a gap wide enough to drive “two Mack trucks through.”

7

Lee Worsham

Sam Snead became the victim of one of the highest profile mind-game moments of all time in 1947 at the first ever locally televised major. Having never won the US Open, it finally looked as if it was Sam’s year when he sank a 20 foot birdie putt on the final green to force a playoff against the unheralded Worsham. Snead was the reigning Open Champion and had won six tournaments the previous year. However, during an outstanding playoff Snead couldn’t shake his man, as Worsham (wearing a tee shirt!) chipped in twice from off the green. They finally came to the eighteenth tied, but both left their lag putts two and a half feet from the hole, with Lew having the easier uphill putt. As Snead stood over his putt, Worsham struck. He asked, “Hang on, are you sure you are away?” He then called a referee to check. Mayhem then ensued as officials ran around and minutes ticked by before finally deciding that, yes, by a one inch margin, it was Snead to putt first. Predictably, sapped Sam missed right, and the wily Worsham sank his for his only major win.

HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

Getty Images (Thorpe); Bettman/Corbis (Sneed)

4

Walter Hagen

As with Palmer, it’s hard to imagine Ben Hogan as anything other than the all-conquering steelyeyed legend he became. The “Wee Ice Mon”, as the locals in Carnoustie labelled him, was a man of infamously few words. But like Palmer, Hogan quickly let it be known he wasn’t to be messed with. In one of his first tournaments he was paired with a veteran, a legendary player. When the rookie upstart ignored the great man and surged several shots ahead, the veteran began stepping on Hogan’s putting line. Ignoring the provocation on the first two occasions, it was a different scenario when the great man tried his luck for the third time. Grabbing him by the collar, Hogan uttered the immortal line, “See this putter? If you stand on my line again it’s going right between your eyes.” While not condoning Hogan’s actions in their entirety, a strong message to the offending party is most certainly the way to deal with this situation.

Just as it was a shock to see Tiger trying to wind up his opponents, it’s just as surprising to hear of legend Jack Nicklaus doing the same. In 1985 at the Greater Milwaukee Open, the Golden Bear was playing in the final pairing with journeyman pro Jim Thorpe. Coming down the eighteenth, Thorpe was leading by three strokes and within touching distance of his first tournament victory. As one of the few African-American players to have ever made it onto the PGA Tour, Thorpe, the ninth of 12 children, had overcome massive adversity to reach this moment. Struggling to find sponsorship, Thorpe hustled at country clubs across the land to fund his travels. More often than not however, he would then blow most of the money at the racetrack. He was also ‘blessed’ with a bizarre almost Heath Robinsonesque swing, a multi-moving parts disaster in which, according to one awestruck onlooker, “it appears he’s fighting a swarm of hornets in a phone booth.” As they walked off the tee, Nicklaus turned to a nervous Thorpe and shamelessly said, “How does it feel to be walking down the last fairway with a three-shot lead over the greatest player to play the game?” Jack picked the wrong man to squeeze and it was just what Jim needed to calm his nerves. Thorpe looked at the then 17-time major champ and said, “It feels like you can’t win.” Moments later he successfully won the first of his PGA Tour titles.

53


www.historicalgolfpictures.com (Watson); Bob Thomas/Getty Images (Trevino); US PGA Tour (Bubba Watson)

8

Tom Watson

There is a danger to any form of gamesmanship and that is that instead of putting off your opponent, it actually puts him on instead. In other words, he is incensed at the trickery and performs better than usual. This is known as the “Backfire Syndrome”. A classic example occurred in the 1977 Masters, when Tom Watson was struggling in the final group behind Jack Nicklaus. At the par-five thirteenth, Nicklaus rolled in a birdie putt, then to Watson it seemed that he took the ball out of the cup and waved it at Watson as if to say “Take that!” Seeing it as gamesmanship, Watson reacted to the taunt with an inspired run of birdies to win the tournament by two shots. Afterwards a bewildered Nicklaus was confronted by Watson and, after being loudly berated, told him he was only waving to the crowd! True or not, it is an excellent example of the dangers in any form of one-upmanship.

54

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

9

8Lee Trevino

Loved by the galleries for his on-course jocularity, Trevino wasn’t so popular with his fellow pros, some of whom felt his almost nonstop jabbering was a deliberate form of gamesmanship. Although others claimed Trevino’s antics were a result of a Turettes-type nervous affliction, there’s little doubt that the multiple major champion was capable of intentionally putting his opponents off. Greg Norman tells a story of playing against the “Merry Mex” in the 1986 US Open, when both had tricky downhill birdie putts on their first hole of the day. Trevino putted first and put the ball a foot past the hole, and turned to his caddie and said, “Wow, that is the fastest putt I’ve seen all year long.” Needless to say, Norman left his putt over five feet short and a smiling Lee left the green. Less subtle and still unbelievable even after so many years was the “Stretchy Serpent” incident. In HKGOLFER.COM

1971 he and Jack Nicklaus had tied after 4 rounds of the US Open and the following day went to the first tee to start the 18 hole playoff. Before a ball had been struck, Trevino pulled a rubber snake from his bag and threw it at Nicklaus. Jack laughed and it was reported as an incident that “broke the ice”. Many would say it also broke Nicklaus, and Trevino prevailed by three shots.

10

Bubba Watson

“Good ol’ boy” Bubba became “bad ol’ boy” in 2008 during the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Struggling to make the cut, Watson suddenly lost it with his playing partner, 1995 USPGA champion Steve Elkington, accusing him of walking during his backswing. Perhaps due to increased TV coverage, fewer recent examples exist of gamesmanship and although the Elk’s reputation is not spotlessly

HKGOLFER.COM

clean it appeared that the real cause was Bubba’s prodigious length off the tee and the fact that he is a lefty. Nevertheless, the watching viewers were treated to the sight of Bubba stepping back from his shot, and the sounds of him berating the vastly experienced Elk: “Are you gonna stop walkin' man? Damn! You did it all day yesterday.... Tell you what, veterans can kiss my a—!” The toys were thrown out of the pram in the scoring tent before Tournament Director Arvin Ginn restored order. Bubba apologized profusely at the press conference, but his sincerity was questionable. Watson has built a reputation for losing his temper. He makes the cut in barely half of the event he plays in and has never won. Despite this – and a good indication of how much money there is in today’s game – he’s made nearly US$6 million in four years on tour and has started his own clothing line.

Good 'ol boys (from left to right): Tom Watson wins the Masters after being stung into action by Jack Nicklaus; Trevino re-enacts his "Stretchy Serpent" sketch at the 1971 Open Championship; Bubba Watson lost it with Steve Elkington in 2008.

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

55


GOLF TRAVEL

Costa del Golf

James Spence reviews Sotogrande and Valderrama, two of Robert Trent Jones, Sr.’s most famous European designs

A Player’s Guide

T

he Real Club de Sotogrande and Valderrama lie cheek by jowl on the same development (or "urbanization", as it is termed in Spain) just west of Cadiz and Gibraltar, an hour and a bit east of Malaga on Spain's Costa del Sol. Sotogrande was opened for play in 1964 and was Robert Trent Jones' first design in Europe. Valderrama was completed much later – 1985 – by a then quite old Trent Jones, who had been recalled to rework his own 1975 design by his determined client, Jaime Ortiz-Patino. While both courses are justly famous and a treat to play, Sotogrande has, like the overdeveloped Marbella-Cadiz corridor itself, lost a good deal of the international cachet it unquestionably held in the sixties and seventies. And whilst Valderrama remains the receptacle of European golfing dreams as a consequence of hosting, and delivering to Europe, the 1997 Ryder Cup, it is not unquestionably the best course in continental

Controversial Climax: the Sevedesigned par-five seventeenth at Valderrama has seen its fair share of memorable moments through the years. 58

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

HKGOLFER.COM

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

59


Need to Know Real Club de Golf Sotogrande Yardage: 6,894. Par: 72 Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Green Fees: €160 (approx HK$1,770) Contact: golfsotogrande.com; (34) 956-785-014 Valderrama Golf Club Yardage: 6,951. Par: 71. Architect: Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Green Fees: €300 (approx HK$3,325) Contact: valderramagolfclub.com; (34) 956-791-200

blancas its length does not feel compromised by its age. The greens run fast and are as good as anywhere in Europe. A series of internal lakes around the closing holes work well and are reminiscent of Floridian courses. Far from being a blight as they are on many newer courses, the large houses that face the fairways are an integral part of the experience – by size and design they cover a good part of the architectural lexicon of the second half of the twentieth century. The course has recreation in mind and therefore will be regarded by some as overly-easy. Most golfers, it should be said, will have a happier day here, and be closer to handicap, than at Valderrama – a course where faults are magnified. Up t he h i l l a nd rou nd t he corner at Valderrama, the cork, olive and eucalyptus trees that formed part of the ambience at Sotogrande close in on you with menace. The first half dozen holes encourage a particular type of golfing claustrophobia, the precise affliction that overcame the US Ryder Cup team in 1997. It is hard to think of a course, anywhere, where length of shot means precisely nothing. It starts with the 339-metre first where the ideal hitting area is miniscule and a shot on the right side

Hellish Hazards: a pond comes into play on the fourth (left), while a huge bunker at the back of the green at the twelfth at Valderrama. 60

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

Europe. The Top 100 Golf Courses website (w w w.top10 0 g ol fc ou r s e s.c o.u k) pl ac e Valderrama second and Sotogrande twentysecond. In that ranking, Valderrama is flanked by Morfontaine, a reconditioned Tom Simpson design north of Paris which does not accept visitors and Belgium's Royal Zoute on the North Sea coast. Continental European golf is a more democratic offering these days with nine countries making up the first 20 places in the top 100 rankings. The notion of playing golf in shirt sleeves during the European winter months has lost a good deal of its novelty as Asia, Africa and the Caribbean became plausible destinations for

northern Europeans. That said, the Spanish do golf better than almost anybody and have been great golfing hosts since Sean Connery first checked into the Marbella Club Hotel in drainpipes, turtle-neck shirt and pork-pie hat in the early sixties. Sotogrande retains this confident, international-set feel with its modern, all-white, flat-roofed clubhouse, hotel-styled cocktail bar, jacketed waiters and enormous (and presumably little used these days) card room. Visiting Brits, less accustomed to country club amenities, would have marvelled at the presence of lockerroom attendants, swimming pools, full length practice areas and tennis courts. It remains an excellent facility, more impressive by not having HKGOLFER.COM

been overdeveloped. Walking distances between the car park, bars, locker rooms, practice areas and first tee are all quite short. As you might expect, this being Trent Jones' first design on this side of the Pond, the course has a period American feeling to it, and can be easily dated by its architecture. The fairways extend in front of the tees like runways and there is very little bunkering to protect the landing areas. The hazards are more concentrated around the greens where good use has been made of the land's contours. The par threes are quite challenging, the par fives are long enough even by modern standards and several of the par fours feature doglegs. At 6,304 metres from los HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

61


Sotogrande Special: rustic yardage markers (top) and pure putting surfaces are the order of the day at Real Club de Sotogrande.

62

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

of the fairway is an error. The par-four second offers a conundrum - aim for, but miss, a tree in centre of the fairway. 20 metres left of the tree and most locations on the right offer an occluded view of the green. Other holes, such at the 296-metre "El Bunker" eighth, offer the prospect of covering cork trees on both the first and second shots. Here you will test – and find faulty – the adage that trees are 90 percent air. Along the way there are other holes of a different nature – the seventh is a long, straight par-five that could be a hole at Sotogrande, the fourteenth is a steeply uphill par-four that is similar to some Colt designs, the two par threes on the back nine, twelve and fifteen are longish and downhill. The par-five fourth, meanwhile,

is held up as an archetypical Trent Jones risk/ reward hole. The waterfall that lies below and cuts into the green area being, to this reviewer's taste, a little too contrived. The finishing three are tough holes, especially if played into the prevailing breeze. The sixteenth is an excellent, old-fashioned golf hole where you must drive up to a ridge and then drill a mid-iron onto a very small green. The infamous seventeenth, for all the debate, redesigns and tinkering, actually works very well. The drive itself is nondescript as you are unsighted from the green. Once round the corner however, the second or third shot, depending on choice, must fly the lake and shaved banking in front of the green but rest short of the deep bunkering behind. The eighteenth is, for my money, the hardest hole on the course – narrow off the tee and requiring an uphill second. Despite not being overly long this is a considerable test, especially on the first visit, and, this being Andalucía, you can complete the experience by relaxing post-round in the Ryder Cup-themed visitors' bar with a plate of pata negra ham, some marchega cheese and a glass of the house Rioja. Valderrama restricts visitor play to less than a handful of tee times per day and charges handsomely for the privilege. At three hundred euro a round, the conditioning, service and playability need to be remarkable. Fortunately they are.

HKGOLFER.COM

www.enghgolf.com

USA (303) 663-1000

China 86 151 0360 1588

office@enghgolf.com


course check

slightly raised greens on the Masters are not radically contoured but there are certainly right and wrong sides of the hole to putt from. The obvious exception is the putting surface at the par-five sixteenth which features three separate tiers. Failing to find the correct level will result in an extremely difficult putt. Getting down in two will put a definite jaunt in your stride as you head to the seventeenth. But it ’s really the muscular greenside bunkering – a mix of tiny pots and much larger irregular-shaped pits – that are the main hazards to avoid. While water plays a protective role on a number of holes – most memorably at the brilliant eighteenth, perhaps the strongest and most visually stunning par-four on the course – the bunkers rank among the deepest in the Middle Kingdom. They’re also plenty of them – at the glorious fourteenth, a par-four of little more than 300 yards, over twenty almost perfectly circular pots lie in wait for any drastically underhit approaches. It might sound unusual, and it is. But it works. It's also a great deal of fun - which is, as Engh himself would say, the whole point. The Open Course, while described by some as a so-say easier test because of its shorter length and less penal bunkering, is another rollicking

Hillview Haven

This Dongguan beauty, one of the best 36-hole resorts in China, should be close to the top of everyone’s play lists BY THE EDITORS

Background

A resort club situated near the fast-growing city of Dongguan, a 90-minute drive from the Hong Kong-China border crossing at Huanggang, Hillview opened for play in 1998 and offers two fine courses, a luxuriously-appointed clubhouse and first-rate accommodations in the form of a Sofitel-managed 100-room hotel. While many courses in China built during the mid-1990s golf boom were quick to call in big name architects – the likes of Nicklaus, Trent Jones, Jr., Gary Player and others of that ilk – the Hillview owners turned to Jim Engh, a then relatively unknown 35-year-old American who had managed designs worldwide for IMG clients such as Isao Aoki and Bernhard Langer. Hillview was only his second independent project (the first being Dragon Hills in Thailand) and his success here helped pave the way for a glittering career. Hillview was lucky. Named Golf Course Architect of the Year by Golf Digest (USA) in 2003, Engh has risen to the top echelons of his trade and his services are much in demand by 64

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

high-end clients around the globe. It’s safe to assume his design fee has risen accordingly. Understandably, Hillview is popular: 1,000 members, their guests and visitors (while private, the resort nature of the club means outsiders are welcomed) play approximately 100,000 rounds over the two courses each year.

The Golf

Sited on a great piece of protected parkland, the two courses – the Open (made up of the A and B loops) and the Masters (made up of the C and D nines) – contrast each other perfectly. While the former is a cracker in its own right, it’s the Championship-length latter that has scooped any HKGOLFER.COM

number of awards and plaudits through the years. While undoubtedly challenging, the Masters isn’t the type of course that was designed to give golfers – regardless of whether they’re a twohandicapper or a twenty-handicapper – a really hard time. The rolling landing areas on the longer holes are generous, which encourage you to let fly with the longest club in the bag; the narrower fairways on the shorter par-fours require some thought. But on seemingly every hole Engh has given the golfer options from the tee, sometimes in the form of split fairways which add another exciting dimension to a round here. Where recreational golfers may come unglued is on and around the green complexes. The large HKGOLFER.COM

Need to Know Hillview Dongguan Golf Club

Green Fees (Visitors): RMB775-900 / 1,490 (WD/WE – includes caddie and cart fee) Contact: Ying Bin Road, Fucheng District, Dongguang, Guangdong; Tel: +86 (0)769 2220 9998; www.hillviewgolf.com Open Course (A/B) Yardage: 6,765/6,358. Par: 72. Architect: Jim Engh Masters Course (C/D) Yardage: 7,019/6,355. Par: 72. Course/Slope Rating: 72.3/126 (Back) 69.4/120 (Members) Architect: Jim Engh

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

65


GLOBALTOURNAMENTNEWS

Clubhouse / Amenities

ride, one that offers a wonderful variety of holes. The standout is the fifth, one of the region’s great short par-fours. A risk-reward classic, the green on this dainty number can be reached in one with a solid blow of some 240 yards. But that’s all carry – carry over a lake and a lengthy serpent-shaped bunker. The fairway takes a more cautious route around the left side, although even if the percentage play is chosen, greenside mounding and run-off areas mean approach shots had better be precise.

Top-notch. While we’re firm believers that the clubhouse runs a distant second behind the course when it comes to determining the quality of a venue (miles behind, in truth), even the most traditional of golfers can’t fail to be impressed with Hillview’s immaculate nineteenth (or in this case, thirty-seventh) hole. Enormous and beautifully appointed – and not nearly as grandiose as your typical upscale Chinese clubhouse – the third-floor restaurant serves up a more-than-decent array of Chinese and Western favourites, while the service is nearly faultless. The vast locker rooms are a joy, although the pro shop is surprisingly deficient when it comes to equipment. Although there is a good array of domestic products, many of the more familiar international brands are absent. This being China however – where all golf products are slapped with a hefty tax, making them significantly more expensive than Hong Kong – it’s always best to stock up before crossing the border. The rooms in the attached Sofitel are firstrate, making the decision to stay the night and play another round the following day all the more enticing.

er f l o G HK olf:

lfer HKGo

ühel G Kitzb

ay getaw lpine ria’s A

LFE HKGO

MBER

FICIAL

THE OF

TION OF PUBLICA

LF

NG GO

NG KO

THE HO

DECE

43 ISSUE

2009

0

RY 201

/ JANUA

$40

Hong Kong’s Premier Golf Magazine delivered to your door at up to 50% off

write to

subs@hkgolfer.com or call

2159 9427 RORLYROYber 1? Molcf'sI Next Num G

UARY IL 15 FEBR

UNT DISPLAY

66

+

ulter Ian Po y Armouren Tomm Kong Op Hong

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

East London GC, South Africa, Jan 7-10 Charl Schwartzel claimed his fourth European Tour title after his final round 67 was good enough to help him secure the Africa Open in East London. The South African, the highest ranked player in the field at 66 and one of the favourites heading into the tournament, ended with a total of 272 - 20 under par overall - to edge out joint-overnight leader Thomas Aiken by a stroke. Another South African Jbe’ Kruger finished in third place on 18 under after his day four score of 70, while Trevor Fisher's 72 - the worst amongst the leaders - dropped the youngster into a share of fourth place with Chris Swanepoel and the two highest placed foreigners in the field, Englishman James Morrison and Rick Kulacz from Australia.

A class act. If only it was closer to Hong Kong…

R.COM

TION ASSOCIA

AFRICA OPEN

Verdict

Subscribe!

ust r on A e Mai Lewin

EUROPEAN TOUR – RACE TO DUBAI 2010

today!

HKGolfer HKGOLFER.COM

1 2 3 4 4 4 4 8 8 8

Charl Schwartzel Thomas Aiken Jbe’ Kruger Trevor Fisher Jnr Rick Kulacz James Morrison Chris Swanepoel Michiel Bothma Pelle Edberg Branden Grace

67 70 68 67 67 67 69 70 69 68 67 70 66 66 71 72 72 69 67 67 68 70 69 68 71 68 68 68 69 69 70 68 69 68 70 69 70 70 70 66

272 273 274 275 275 275 275 276 276 276

€158,500 €115,000 €69,200 €38,825 €38,825 €38,825 €38,825 €20,800 €20,800 €20,800

ABU DHABI GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

Abu Dhabi GC, UAE, Jan 21-24 New world number six Martin Kaymer secured his second Abu Dhabi Golf Championship title and hopes the victory will be the catalyst to a highly anticipated Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor later this year. After winning his maiden title in Abu Dhabi in 2008 with a nervous four shot wire-to-wire victory, the 25-year-old German needed every ounce of experience gained from adding three wins since to edge out Ian Poulter in a gripping final round duel. Overnight leader Kaymer, who also finished second last year, birdied the f inal hole at Abu Dhabi Golf Club to card a bogey free final round six under par 66 and win by one. 20-year-old star Rory McIlroy claimed third spot after finishing a further shot adrift. 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 8 8 8

Martin Kaymer Ian Poulter Rory McIlroy Shane Lowry Louis Oosthuizen Ariel Canete Rhys Davies Anders Hansen Soren Hansen David Horsey

67 67 67 66 65 70 67 66 66 69 67 67 68 65 71 67 67 71 68 66 70 75 74 64 66 68 72 67 69 70 68 67 72 67 68 67 73 66 70 65

267 268 269 271 272 273 273 274 274 274

€250,000 €166,660 €93,900 €75,000 €63,600 €48,750 €48,750 €33,700 €33,700 €33,700

JOBURG OPEN

Royal Johannesburg and Kensington GC, South Africa, Jan 14-17 Charl Schwartzel cruised to his second straight European Tour title in his home city with a six shot win at the Joburg Open, further extending his early lead in The Race to Dubai. The Africa Open winner coasted around the East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington in a five under par 66, following rounds of 63, 68 and 64 for a 23 under par total. That was far too good for the chasing pack, with Schwartzel’s fellow South African Keith Horne sharing second with Darren Clarke on 17 under following a best of the day final round 64. 1 Charl Schwarztel 63 68 64 66 261 €206,050 2 Darren Clarke 63 69 67 68 267 €119,730 2 Keith Horne 68 65 70 64 267 €119,730 4 James Kamte 67 66 69 68 270 €58,760 4 Danny Willett 65 67 70 68 270 €58,760 6 Soren Hansen 66 70 68 68 272 €36,108 6 Joost Luiten 66 69 69 68 272 €36,108 6 Hennie Otto 67 66 69 70 272 €36,108 6 Peter Whiteford 66 69 70 67 272 €36,108 10 Josh Cunliffe 68 70 67 68 273 €24,375

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

67


GLOBALTOURNAMENTNEWS ROYAL TROPHY 2010

Amata Spring GC, Thailand, Jan 8-10 Europe pulled out a victory against Asia in a tightly fought Royal Trophy match play event, with Henrik Stenson picking up the final hole against Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee to secure an 8 1/2 -to-7 1/2 victory. Jaidee, the local favourite, came up just short on a 15-foot putt at the last that would have given him a win over Stenson, squared the three-day event at 8-8 and forced a playoff. The Swede then sank a 7-footer to square the match and give Europe a victory in the annual team tournament. “All credit to my team for fighting. We all contributed at least one point this week,” European captain Colin Montgomerie said. “Congratulations to my team. [It’s a] Good start for European golf.”

Kapalua, Hawaii, Jan 7-10 Australia's Geoff Ogilvy rallied from a two-shot deficit with 10 holes to play thanks to flawless golf for a 6-under 67 and a one-shot victory over Rory Sabbatini at the season-opening SBS Championship. A year after winning the same event by six shots, Ogilvy posted his eighth consecutive round in the 60s on the Plantation Course. He joined fellow Australian Stuart Appleby as the only repeat winners since this tournament moved to Kapalua in 1999, and he became only the seventh player in the 58 years of this winners-only tournament to win in consecutive years. “We knew what we had to do," said Ogilvy, who moves to the top spot in the FedExCup standings with the victory. “I'd never been in that situation. I'm happy and excited to get it done. I needed to make birdies and I did.” 1 2 3 4 4 6 6 6 9 10

Geoff Ogilvy Rory Sabbatini Matt Kuchar Martin Laird Sean O’Hair Kenny Perry Retief Goosen Ryan Moore Stewart Cink Angel Cabrera

69 66 68 67 70 68 70 63 67 68 71 67 67 68 69 70 68 67 71 68 70 67 70 68 70 69 67 69 69 68 68 70 68 69 69 70 68 68 70 71

SONY OPEN IN HAWAII

270 271 273 274 274 275 275 275 276 277

$1,120,000 $645,000 $426,000 $300,000 $300,000 $208,333 $208,333 $208,333 $185,000 $160,000

Waialae CC, Hawaii, Jan 14-17 Ryan Palmer expected the worst when his chip from 50 feet short of the 18th green came out a little strong. Seconds later, he never felt better. His chip struck the pin squarely, and instead of running several feet past the hole, it settled a few inches away. Palmer tapped in for a birdie and a 4-under-par 66, giving him a one-shot victory in the Sony Open when Robert Allenby missed a 10-foot birdie putt. “What a way to start the year,” said the 33-year-old Palmer, who earned $990,000 for his third victory on the PGA Tour. Palmer, a Texan, finished at 15-under 265. Australian Allenby closed with a 67 and Steve Stricker (65) finished third at 13 under. 1 Ryan Palmer 65 66 68 66 265 $990,000 2 Robert Allenby 65 67 67 67 266 $594,000 3 Steve Stricker 66 67 69 65 267 $374,000 4 Retief Goosen 69 67 70 62 268 $264,000 5 Charles Howell III 73 66 66 64 269 $200,750 5 Davis Love III 65 69 68 67 269 $200,750 5 Carl Pettersson 66 70 67 66 269 $200,750 8 Chad Campbell 68 64 73 66 271 $154,000 8 Nathan Green 71 67 65 68 271 $154,000 8 John Rollins 70 69 67 65 271 $154,000 68

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

ASIA SCENE

SBS CHAMPIONSHIP

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

WORLD PROFESSIONAL GOLF RANKINGS

Mark O’Meara’s Top 10 Courses Pebble Beach California, USA Royal Birkdale Lancashire, England Portmarnock Co. Dublin, Ireland St Andrews (Old Course) Scotland Augusta National Georgia, USA Cypress Point California, USA Pine Valley New Jersey, USA Waterville Co. Kerry, Ireland Seminole Florida, USA Tuhaye Utah, USA

CONTINUED FROM 70

golf is a global game and playing around the world certainly helped me develop as a player. The different grasses, the different weather – playing in those kinds of conditions really helped me become much more creative with my shotmaking. I always thought that’s the reason why the European players did so well at the Masters. The short game thought process comes into play more often at Augusta – another of my favourites – than at any other course I can think of. In Europe, the weather can sometimes get difficult – downright nasty at times – which tests players both mentally and physically. The Europeans were prepared. I came to enjoy the rough weather – and tough links courses especially. I reckoned that half the field was already eliminated and I love it when courses are playing really challenging.

That was the case in 1998, the year I won both the Masters and the Open at Royal Birkdale. I wasn’t actually playing that well going into the season – and at the age of 41, nobody expected me to win – myself included – which took some of the pressure off and lowered my expectations. But Birkdale’s been very special to me – I always enjoyed the challenge, having finished third in the Open to [Ian] Baker-Finch in 1991 and winning the Lawrence Batley International there in 1987 – so to hold off Brian Watts in the playoff and clip Tiger by a shot was hugely satisfying. Again, it’s about creativity. Links golf forces you to be creative and Royal Birkdale – like Portmarnock, another quite brilliant links across the Irish Sea – demands that. –As told to Alex Jenkins

As of January 25, 2010 1

Tiger WOODS

USA

13.59

2

Phil MICKELSON

USA

7.83

3

Steve STRICKER

USA

6.83

4

Lee WESTWOOD

ENG

6.37

5

Jim FURYK

USA

5.51

6

Martin KAYMER

GER

5.31

7

Padraig HARRINGTON

IRL

5.24

8

Henrik STENSON

SWE

5.20

9

Paul CASEY

ENG

5.16

10

Ian POULTER

ENG

5.12

11

Rory McILROY

NIR

5.10

12

Geoff OGILVY

AUS

4.96

13

Kenny PERRY

USA

4.68

14

Sergio GARCIA

ESP

4.34

15

Robert ALLENBY

AUS

4.26

HKGOLFER.COM

Alan C.Birch (Courtesy of Royal Birkdale); Kevin Murray (Courtesy of Portmarnock GC)

PGA TOUR RESULTS 2010

Royal Birkdale

Portmarnock

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

69


final shot

My Top 10

Courses

From the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula to the windswept Lancashire coast, two-time major winner Mark O’Meara reveals his favourite layouts

I

© Joann Dost

’m a big fan of the older style of golf courses – and my ten favourites (see sidebar, page 69) definitely reflect that. Pebble Beach (above), Royal Birkdale and Portmarnock in Ireland all sit very high on that list, and are all classic designs that can still to this day test the very best players in the world. Today’s game – particularly on tour – is dominated by power, and as a result many designers have become infatuated with length. I wouldn’t have gone with that strategy myself. Simply making courses longer as a way of combating the advances of modern equipment takes away creativity. In a roundabout way, designers are now playing into the hands of the most powerful players by doing so. In my experience, it’s the shortest holes that drive just as much fear into the top players. The tenth at Riviera Country Club and the twelfth at Augusta a sub-300 yard par four and a 155 yard par three – are great examples of that. Remember Phil Mickelson making a charge on the final day at the Masters last 70

HK GOLFER・FEB/MAR 2010

year only to make a double at the twelfth? The seventh at Pebble is another great par three, one that’s only 107 yards long. Giving players a variety of options on how to play a particular hole rather than forcing one strategy upon them is very important; it might sound strange, but the more options a player has, the more testing the hole becomes. Pebble Beach is a simply unforgettable course. Before I joined the Champions Tour, I played the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am there twenty-two years in a row. Its beauty is unsurpassed and it doesn’t matter how well or poorly I’ve been playing, I always get excited at the thought of returning. I’ve won at Pebble Beach five times, which gives a pretty good indication of how much I enjoy playing there. I’ve always enjoyed travelling overseas as a professional golfer – I realized early on that CONTINUED ON 69 HKGOLFER.COM


HK Golfer February 2010  
HK Golfer February 2010  

Tiger Woods - The Impact? Hong Kong's best-selling golf magazine.

Advertisement