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Asian Travel: New courses at Anvaya Cove and The Bluffs, Ho Tram










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AM: Met by concierge at Edinburgh airport. Transfer to The Scotsman Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel in Edinburgh’s city centre. PM: Lunch at Gullane Clubhouse. Play the course. EVENING: Dinner at the award-winning Timberyard restaurant in the historic Edinburgh Grassmarket.

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AM: Play The Renaissance Club. Situated east of Edinburgh between Gullane and North Berwick, it is one of Scotland’s most exclusive private members’ clubs. Lunch in the clubhouse. PM: Afternoon at leisure in Edinburgh. EVENING: Dinner

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HK Golfer Issue 87

April 2014

40 On the Cover:

Adam Scott, the reigning Masters champion, will be looking to make it two wins in as many years at Augusta this month. Photo by AFP



40 | Cover Story / Masters Memories

25 | Tee Time

Ian Baker-Finch recalls Adam Scott’s dramatic 2013 victory at Augusta National – a win that ended Australia’s 77 years of hurt. By Paul Prendergast

44 | The Craftsman An interview with renowned club designer Guerin Rife, whose innovative new line of putters looks set to challenge Scotty Cameron as the brand of choice among discerning golfers around the world. By Alex Jenkins

60 | Karrie on Winning At the age of 39, Karrie Webb, a seven-time major champion, is continuing to show she has what it takes to light up the LPGA Tour. By Lewine Mair

64 | The Golf Doctor An interview with Dr Ara Sappriah, the go-to physician for those on the PGA Tour. By Ron Totton

68 | Subic Sensation Daniel Wong (Leung); AFP (Scott)

A report on the opening of Anvaya Cove, a Kevin Ramsaydesigned course that is setting the bar high for golf in the Philippines. By Duncan Forgan

78 | Final Shot

50 8


With three green jackets to his name Sir Nick Faldo is a true Masters legend. Here he talks about his debut appearance, how he handled Augusta’s notoriously tricky greens and his comefrom-behind victory over Greg Norman in 1996. By Alex Jenkins

Piaget has regained its title as producer of the world’s thinnest mechanical watch with the unveiling of the Altiplano 38mm 900P. The Editors

30 | Liquid Assets Our wine writer on the joys of Super Tuscans, Italy’s most fashionable wines. By Julien Yung Mameaux

34 | Tales from the Box The voice of European Tour golf recalls his visits to the Masters Tournament – and the time he first set foot on the hallowed Augusta turf. By Julian Tutt

38 | By Design In this new column, the award-winning architect questions why the majority of new layouts measure in excess of 7,000 yards and carry a par of 72. By Paul Jansen

58 | HK Golf Club Championship A report on last month’s championship, which produced one of the most exciting finishes in history. By Dr Brian Choa

74 | A Commercial Approach The founder of Complete RPI discusses the issues that investors need to consider when investing in UK property By Rupert Smith HKGOLFER.COM

HK Golfer


Editor: Alex Jenkins email: Editorial Assistant: Cindy Kwok Playing Editor: Jean Van de Velde Senior Editor: Roy Kinnear Photo Editor: Daniel Wong Contributing Editors: Lewine Mair, Robert Lynam, Evan Rast, Ben Oliver, Julian Tutt Published by:

TIMES INTERNATIONAL CREATION Times International Creation Limited 10A Lockhart Centre 301-307 Lockhart Road Hong Kong Phone: +852 3590-4153 Fax: +852 3590-4533

68 D E PA R T M E N T S 12 Mailbag 14 Divots 18 Local Focus 20 China Focus 22 Global Focus

Publisher: Charles McLaughlin Art Director: Derek Hannah Assistant Designer: Mimi Cheng Office Manager: Moira Moran Advertising: For advertising information, please contact: For purchasing information contact: For subscription information contact: 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: In association with:

25 Clubhouse 50 Around the HKGA 52 Hong Kong Ladies’ Close 54 Mercedes-Benz Classic 56 EFG Bank Junior Dinner

HK GOLFER is published by Times International Creation, 10A Lockhart Centre, 301-307 Lockhart Road, Hong Kong. HK GOLFER is published monthly © 2012 by Times International Creation. Published in Hong Kong. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. PRINTED IN HONG KONG. 10


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


HK Golfer Mailbag A Reply to “Thoughts on Urban Driving Ranges” In response to John Austin’s letter in the March issue (“Thoughts on Urban Driving Ranges”), it’s not just the fact that the driving ranges in the downtown area of Hong Kong are being lost, it’s that they’re not being replaced – in the New Territories or indeed anywhere else. Not only does this mean that there are now less places to practice golf in Hong Kong but it also means there are less places for professional coaches to instruct. The other point that Mr Austin hasn’t considered is that car ownership is far lower in Hong Kong than in Europe, making it a far from simple exercise to reach the New Territories’ ranges for the majority of those who live in the urban area. Public transport in Hong Kong is generally very good, but it hasn’t reached the point where travelling with your golf clubs is an attractive proposition. Frank Ho Happy Valley Editor’s reply: Thanks for your letter, Frank. Like many, I’m sure you’ll be interested to read the news of the Hong Kong Golf Club opening it’s driving range to the public (see page 16). On the same page you can also learn about the launch of a new Hong Kong golf concierge service, meaning you no longer need to travel anywhere with your clubs in tow.

Editor’s reply: Thanks, Johnny. The HKGA will be releasing a statement regarding DMDs in the near future. Check out the May issue of HK Golfer or visit the HKGA website at

HK Golfer – New Online Store Congratulations to HK Golfer on launching your new online store. Online golf retail in Hong Kong doesn’t seem to be very popular – there doesn’t seem to be any other golf-related websites where you can shop for gear – so I was happy to see that you guys had. By the way, I’m loving my SkyCaddie watch, which I ordered through It’s a great piece of kit. Ken Jones Mid-Levels Editor’s reply: Thank you, Ken. We’re adding more and more products – both golfing and non-golfing – to the HK Golfer online store on a regular basis, including Guerin Design putters, Club Glove travel bags and the very impressive iTrainer mini (pictured), a state-ofthe-art swing analyser which we reviewed in our August 2013 issue. Now in store: the iTrainer mini swing analyser

Distance Measuring Devices Now that the R&A has relaxed its attitude to Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) by allowing their use in their own amateur events I am wondering if the HKGA will follow suit and permit rangefinders and GPS-type instruments to be used at Hong Kong tournaments too. I have used one myself for a number of years and have come to the conclusion that it speeds up play, particularly at courses which are poorly marked. Johnny Tam Via email


HK Golfer on Android

We Want to Hear from You!

We’re delighted to announce that HK Golfer can now be downloaded on all Android and Apple devices. The HK Golfer iPad application continues to be available on Newsstand, while Android and iPhone users can now read the latest issue through Magzter, a global mobile magazine store. Simply download the Magzter app from either Google Play or the App Store. For more information write to

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 (the first one that appears on the page) will receive a bottle of Champagne Deutz courtesy of Montrose Fine Wines.



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Stewart Qualifies for China Open

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Hong Kong’s James Stewart booked his place in this month’s Volvo China Open, a European Tour event, after grabbing the third – and final – spot at Sanya Luhuitou Qualifying on Hainan Island in early March. Fanling member Stewart, a former Asian Tour regular who has been in a rich vein of form over the past 18 months, birdied the final hole to post a two-round total of 143 (one-under-par) to sneak into the prestigious event, which will be held at Genzon Golf Club in Shenzhen between 24-27 April. Taiwan’s Mou Chung-ho took the first qualifying berth after his total of 139, with Daniel Woltman (141) of the USA in second. Stewart (pictured here alongside Mou and Waltman) admitted he was both relieved and excited to steal the last qualifying spot, having lost out in a play-off on two previous occasions when the international qualifier was held in Hong Kong. He sat comfortably in third place until he reached the tricky par-3 16th when he made his first bogey of the day. Stewart then compounded his problems when he made another bogey on the following hole, but knowing he needed a birdie on the last, he played three magnificent shots to the par-5 18th and holed a six-foot birdie putt to avoid a play-off. “I was really happy to finish with a birdie, as saw the leader board near the 17th green so I knew I had to make one to qualify,” said Stewart. “I really didn’t want to endure another play off having lost out twice before so I was thrilled to make that birdie and qualify for the Volvo China Open.”

Harrington Discloses Skin Cancer Treatment Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington disclosed in late February that he has undergone treatment for skin cancer. The Irish golfer, whose father Patrick died from cancer, said he underwent surgery for sun spots. The 42-yearold Harrington told an Irish radio station: “I’ve had a number of skin cancers removed off my face.” Harrington, who did not say when the treatment took place, was speaking out to urge people to see a doctor if they have concerns about their health. Harrington says his “father had symptoms but didn’t do anything about it. It’s the nature of men in Ireland and certainly older men. I would be much more inclined to go and do something about it.” Patrick Harrington died in 2005 of cancer of the esophagus. HKGOLFER.COM



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Enjoy golf ’s most reliable and accurate course maps from around the world, with no annual fee More than 35 people attended the recent R&A Level One School on the Rules of Golf, hosted by the HKGA at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. Twenty-one took the R&A Level One Exam and 90% passed. Prior to the exam, talks were given by R&A-designated Chief Instructors, Doctor Brian Choa and Ms Candi-Anna Chan. Several qualified Rules Officials were also on hand to host on-course sessions involving four different stations: through the green, the teeing ground, bunkers and the putting green. “This year’s R&A Rules School was very well received and the candidates were full of enthusiasm as ever,” commented Choa (pictured), Chairman of the HKGA’s Rules Committee. “Promoting the Rules of Golf and giving Hong Kong people the opportunity to become a qualified Rules Official is a responsibility that the HKGA takes very seriously.”

HK’s First Golf Concierge Service Launched

HK$2,288 Includes free shipping 30,000 Preloaded Course Maps

Love playing different courses in Hong Kong but hate lugging your clubs around? If so, Hong Kong’s first golf concierge service, Go N Golf, is for you. Launched in February, Go N Golf is the brainchild of long-time Hong Kong resident Mark Sims, who wants to make playing golf in the SAR more accessible and convenient. His concept is simple: sign up for a membership package and Go N Golf will then collect your clubs for secure storage. When you have a round booked, simply call them up and they’ll deliver them to the course or driving range of your choice. Once you’re done Go N Golf will collect them from the course and return to storage. The company also offers additional services such as club cleaning, bag restocking, day storage and cross-border delivery. Introductory rates for individual packages are available from as little as HK$111 per month for individuals, while golf societies can benefit for additional discounts. Visit for more information.

Order through HK Golfer: Or write to us at: 16



Local Focus Kitty in Command Kitty Tam, seen here hitting her tee shot at the third hole on the Jade Course at Discovery Bay Golf Club, cruised to an impressive victory at the Hong Kong Ladies’ Close Amateur Championship last month. Seventeen-year-old Tam made up for the disappointment of finishing second in last year’s event with an eight-shot win. The gifted Hong Kong international was a class apart in extremely windy conditions, shooting a three-round total of 236. The highlight of Tam’s week was her fine one-underpar round of 70 on day two. Photo by Daniel Wong

China Focus Park the Master at Mission Hills World number one Inbee Park claimed her first victory of the year as she stormed to a five-shot success at the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Haikou on Hainan island. The South Korean started the final round tied for the lead with defending champion Suzann Pettersen (who pipped her by a stroke at the same event in 2013) but pulled away thanks to a fine round of 67. “I had good memories from last year, so I’m happy to be here. It has been a fantastic tournament,” said Park. Photo by Paul Lakatos

Global Focus Reed Makes WGC History Patrick Reed earned his third PGA Tour title last month as a one-under-par 71 in the final round gave him a one-stroke win at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at the newlyrenovated Doral course in Florida. Reed, who at the age of 23 is the youngest to have ever won a WGC event, garnered criticism after the event when he was quoted as saying “I believe I am one of the top five players in the world.� Thanks to the victory, Reed, who has never played in a major championship, moved into the top 20 in the rankings. Photo by AFP / Getty Images

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Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME SPECIAL






and designers converge in giving life to this masterpiece of reliability and precision. 2014 is an important year for Piaget. The Maison is celebrating its 140th anniversary and marks the occasion by launching a model that is set to defy the conventions of ultra-thin Fine Watchmaking for many years to come: the Altiplano 38 mm 900P. While clearly geared towards cutting-edge innovation, it is also a nod to history, since it gets the 900P part of its name from Calibre 9P, which was the first ultra-thin hand-wound movement made by Piaget in 1957. That particular mechanism measured just 2mm thin and sealed Piaget’s destiny in the field of ultra-thin horology. By 1960, Piaget was ready to set a first record with its Calibre 12P, the world’s thinnest automatic movement at just 2.3mm. The following years witnessed a spate of new slimness records in the fields of handwound and automatic models, with or without horological complications – like Calibre 600P, the world’s thinnest hand-wound shaped tourbillon movement; and 1208P, an automatic movement that is also the thinnest in its category, to mention just a couple of these feats.


Piaget has produced no less than 23 ultra-thin calibres out of the 35 movements developed and produced in-house, of which 12 have set new records for thinness


either entirely a movement nor exactly a case, the Altiplano 38mm 900P is the world’s thinnest mechanical watch. Merging the hand-wound calibre with the case elements, it is designed as a single entity in order to achieve record-breaking slenderness at just 3.65mm thin. Representing a crowning achievement in over half a century of virtuoso skills displayed in the realm of ultrathin watchmaking where Piaget reigns supreme, it conveys the excellence of the two integrated Manufactures run by the Maison. Places where the skills of the watchmakers, case constructors



Constantly reaffirming its unconditional love of slim mechanisms, Piaget has produced no less than 23 ultra-thin calibres out of the 35 movements developed and produced in-house, of which 12 have set new records for thinness over the past few years and are now part of the collection. Within this impressive body of work, each new accomplishment lays a new milestone in terms of the expertise thus accumulated. It is this know-how that nurtures the Maison in constantly pushing the boundaries of its art and perpetually innovating through a string of exceptional creations. The latter are distinguished not only by their extreme slenderness, but also by their uncompromising reliability – a criterion that governs each and every choice made by the Manufacture. Testifying to the impressive success of this double challenge, all of the 23 ultra-thin movements have been produced continually since the time of their launch, while Calibre 430P has established itself as one of the world’s most widely produced ultra-thin hand-wound movements, due to its extreme resistance.

MERGING THE SKILLS Making an ultra-thin watch is a constant challenge. Right from the first project sketches, all those involved must anticipate the functional, aesthetic HKGOLFER.COM

and durability constraints involved in paring down parts to the extreme. Very few manufacturers are tempted to adopt such an approach, and even fewer develop and produce in-house both their calibres and their cases under the watchful eye of the in-house designers. Piaget belongs to this exclusive circle. While the Altiplano 38mm 900P merges the case and movement to establish itself as the thinnest mechanical watch, it also stems from another fusion without which such a feat would have been impossible: that of the two Manufactures Piaget – one based in La Côte aux Fées, where the movements are traditionally made; and the other in Plan-les-Ouates, where the cases are crafted. These skills are now inextricably intermingled, since within the Altiplano 38 mm 900P, the mechanism and the external components form a single indivisible entity. For a full three years, watchmakers, case constructors and designers worked together at each stage of development, production, adjustment and finishing in order to give life to this slender marvel. Each technical choice had an aesthetic impact, and vice versa. While each of the 145 parts composing the Altiplano 38mm 900P has been trimmed to a size sometimes barely thicker than a hair’s breadth – including some wheels measuring a mere 0.12mm thin (compared with 0.20mm on a classic movement) – special care has been devoted to clearances. In other words, the process involved cleverly arranging the components to within the nearest hundredth of a millimetre so as to create optimal play between the fixed and mobile organs, while being careful to ensure that the later move freely and thus guarantee the smooth running of the mechanism.

While each of the 145 parts composing the Altiplano 38mm 900P has been trimmed to a size sometimes barely than a hair’s breadth, special care has been devoted to clearances 28


AT ITS HEART Nonetheless, the true secret of this extreme slenderness lies in the structure of the case itself, of which the back also serves as the mainplate. Thereby merging calibre and case, the latter was machined directly from the case-back in order to house the mechanical parts. This highly

complex architecture meant reversing movement construction so as to fit the bridges on the dial side – an approach that also has an aesthetic effect by keeping them visible. To save another precious few millimetres, the entire mechanism and the hand-fitting system are contained within the thickness of the balance-wheel itself, thus entailing an off-centred display of the hours and minutes entirely in tune with the iconic design features of the Altiplano line. These characteristics are further enhanced by the entirely visible wheeltrain that invites the owner of the watch to plunge into the very heart of this supremely slender and technically sophisticated mechanism. Working within this extremely confined space, Piaget has devised a suspended barrel hanging from a single bridge on the dial side, contrary to classic barrels that are also fixed to the mainplate side. This highly unusual device is no way detrimental to the performance of the mechanism, since the Altiplano 38 mm 900P has a generous power reserve of around 48 hours. HKGOLFER.COM

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f Hong Kong has its Avenue of Stars, Tuscany, more precisely Bolgheri, has its Cypress Avenue: the 5km long “Viale dei Cipressi”, which is lined by 2,540 elegant, towering trees. It is the perfect stage for a masterpiece – and I'm not talking about Italian cinema. This little paradise is situated inland, a short ride from the Mediterranean on the peninsula’s west coast, south of Pisa, where the Etruscan civilization was founded long before the advent of Rome. The “Strada del Vino” wine road wanders amid forest, backyard alleys and vine fields, popping up names any wine lover is familiar: Tenuta San Guido, Ca’Marcanda, Guado al Tasso and Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, the wineries behind Sassicaia, Gaja, Antinori and Ornellaia.

Bolgheri vineyards

SUPER TUSCAN, NOT JUST TUSCAN Italy’s winemaking industry has existed for millennia, dominated by Tuscany, along with Piedmont, known for Barolo and Barbaresco, and Veneto, where Amarone della Valpolicella comes from. Home of the world-famous Chianti, Tuscany defined schoollike standards for many wine producers. However a few families truanted from the usual curriculum to create a breed of their own called “Super Tuscan”: wines that were not exclusively produced from local Sangiovese grapes and therefore did no adhere to the only then allowed “DOC” appellation. The dissident movement was initiated the end of the Second World War by Mario Incisa della Rochetta, a man who thought that the Bolgheri area was more suited for French-type grapes than local ones. He planted Cabernet Sauvignon and started to make a wine whose name pays tribute to the stony soils where it is grown – Sassicaia. Another man from a 600-year old winemaking family, Piero Antinori, embraced this new approach and also added Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to craft another of Italy’s finest wines – Solaia. Most of these Bolgheri wines started as “vino da tavola”, i.e. table wines, before substantial refinements in viticulture and wine production in the 1980s put them on the road to stardom.

Julien Yung Mameaux

A NEW IDENTITY Since borrowing inspiration from Southwestern France, Super Tuscan wines have emancipated themselves and established their own identity in a short period of time. One may argue that they take the best of both worlds – Bordeaux and Tuscany. Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, in Mouton-Rothschild fashion, granted the artist Michelangelo Pistoletto the right to design exclusive bottles for their 25th anniversary – the 2009 vintage. When I tasted the Ornellaia 2009 (97 points by Robert Parker Jr.) at the property, my palate was stimulated by delicate notes of spices, leather and tannins balanced with sumptuous red berries flavours, as crafted by winemaker Axel Heinz. 30


Despite a trend in limiting oak maturation, Super Tuscans have a long ageing potential, for fruits ripen in ideal conditions with Mediterranean air under the Tuscan sun. There, in pure Italian style, wine is art. The beautiful Ca’Marcanda estate of the Gaja family, otherwise famous for transcending Barbaresco into one of Italy’s noblest wines, is a little heaven where wood and steel artworks blend perfectly with the various rooms of the winery, itself concealed behind a flowery garden. It's delicious, dark colored and very precise Ca’Marcanda wine with blackcurrant and mint flavours is a personal favorite. And it is best enjoyed over an al fresco lunch in the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri, hidden behind a gate at the very end of the Cypress Avenue. There it is, full of harmony, my little corner of Tuscany. Taste the finest Italian wines in Italy with Julien Yung Mameaux over an exceptional golf and wine holiday. Contact Julien, in charge of The Experience Company ( at +852 2179 3307 or A special treat is reserved for HKGolfer readers. HKGOLFER.COM


The Joys of


This month ushers in a return to major championship golf with arguably the greatest of them all – the Masters Tournament. European Tour commentator Julian Tutt recounts his visits to the hallowed turf of Augusta National.

Daniel Wong (Tutt); AFP (Augusta)


The lawn in front of Augusta’s famous old colonial-style clubhouse (this page); Tiger Woods plays his second shot to the par-5 13th, the final hole of Amen Corner (opposite) 34


ommuniqués from the Old Country suggest that the wettest winter since Noah’s carpentry and animal-management skills were sorely tested is showing signs of relenting. My local market town in rural Wiltshire is about to reclaim its original nomenclature of Bradford on Avon, having spent most of the past three months known within the community as ‘Bradford under Avon’. Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, the brilliant whites and yellows of spring are bursting forth in defiance. Even in Hong Kong, where the grey pall lingers longer than normal, the beautiful bright blossom of regeneration brings cheer to doleful souls. Although the modern golf season never ends, and big tournaments have already filled the airwaves, there’s something about early April that brings an air of expectation to the heart of every golf fan and indeed many non-golf fans. It’s all about the dogwoods and azaleas, the camellias and yellow jasmine. The annual trip down Magnolia Lane, when the greenjacketed brethren open their portals for one brief week to allow the hoi polloi to roam freely around Bobby Jones’ old playground, has the advantage of familiarity. Not that the modern version of Augusta National bears much resemblance to the

masterpiece that he and Dr Alister MacKenzie created eighty years ago. Rather like the wonderful old Hong Kong Golf Club courses at Fanling, Augusta was “nude” in the early days, a course that was designed to be played in a links style, predominantly along the ground. Now the coniferous cathedral spires of spruces and pines that line the fairways merely add to the sensation that you have entered hallowed ground. It is the Masters Tournament. Augusta is, for the most part, a town that you would happily take a detour to avoid. I remember well my first visit in the early 1990s when I was working for BBC Radio. Our HKGOLFER.COM

accommodation was one of those typical cheap American motels abutting a noisy highway. The rooms were enormous, as were the beds, with their frayed covers and smelly mattresses. An air of decay permeated, with cigarette burns on the furniture and worse on the tatty carpet. The plastic bathroom inspired a hasty ablution. The morning journey along the Washington Road was a chance to play “which tacky diner with even tackier neon sign will we patronise tonight?” The choice was endless … and depressing. However, turn right off the Washington Road through the Pearly Gates of Magnolia Lane and you entered a world so contrasting that it almost defies description. It’s one of those experiences that you just need to experience! Outside, a churning, screeching mass of rundown humanity with hawkers and ticket touts pushing to take your money. Inside, there is an instant sense of calm and sanctity, like passing through the great west door of Westminster Abbey into a place where reverence is demanded. In fact it’s only the players and those closely related to the Almighty who actually get to drive down Magnolia Lane. The rest of us turn off into one of the many car parks – great areas of gravel and tarmac that stand empty for fifty-one weeks of the year – that amazingly accommodate the forty or fifty thousand “patrons”. It’s when you pass through the heavily fortified pedestrian entrances that the full magnificence of Augusta National starts to strike home. My first impression was the grass. In those days there was no rough, or “second cut”. It was just one enormous, perfect carpet of dark green, totally uniform turf, stretching as far as the eye could see; not a weed, not a blade out of place. Then it was the swathes of enormous conifers with their base of pine straw. Everything in its place, and a place for everything. Next, the empty fairways. Wide enough to land a jumbo jet, they were deserted, save for the odd player and his white boilersuited caddie. It’s the only tournament in the world where that happens, and the players love it. No scorers, no hangers-on, no officials nor even “on-course commentators”. Particularly no on-course commentators! Television viewers remember the banks of colour, so carefully nurtured to be in full bloom at just the right time. But my overwhelming impression was of “green and white”. Green in its many shades interrupted by the white of the beautiful old colonial-style clubhouse and the timber cabins where members can stay and, of course, the Butler Cabin where the new champion takes delivery of his green jacket. On arrival, we made dignified haste for the clubhouse. (Running is not allowed at Augusta HKGOLFER.COM

The annual trip down Magnolia Lane, when the green-jacketed brethren open their portals for one brief week to allow the hoi polloi to roam freely around Bobby Jones’ old playground, has the advantage of familiarity. National. Miscreants are liable to have their accreditation removed!) Every year the same staff were on hand in the wonderfully modest, yet stylish and classy structure that serves as the 19th hole. It was an enormous privilege that we were allowed to roam free, to guzzle our eggs Benedict on the verandah looking out over the first tee and to exchange the odd quip with greats of the game sharing our space: Bob Goalby, Billy Capser, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead – they’d all come wondering by. Rookies like me would stand gawking at the top of the stairs watching and waiting for the door of the Champions Locker Room to open and for Jack Nicklaus to appear, or Arnold Palmer or Tom Watson or Ray Floyd. That was one room we couldn’t enter. You need a green jacket to get in there, and not just one belonging to a member. The social epicentre of Augusta National is “The Big Oak Tree” just outside the clubhouse. Planted in the 1850s it now needs wires to support its heavy, sprawling tentacles. This is the place where business is done and rumours exchanged, where old friends meet for their annual reunion, where new friends are made and where the media hang out eager for every grain of gossip, hoping to intercept the players en route to the first tee or more likely returning from the 18th. The players are either happy to chat after a brilliant 65, or striding with the purposeful look of a man whose next stop is the practice ground, and any hack foolish enough to attempt an interception can expect a curt response. It was here that I spent many a long hour. Interviews are a fairly crucial part of radio sports coverage. The golden nuggets then had to be hastened, discreetly, back to the media centre two hundred yards away. Everyone on the staff at Augusta oozes that drawling Southern charm that makes you feel so welcome, but you soon realise there’s a subcutaneous band of steel that quickly comes to the surface if you breech their very strict code of conduct. A few years ago BBC Radio’s golf correspondent, Iain Carter, offended by running (or was it using his mobile phone, or perhaps talking too loudly, I forget) and had his accreditation removed and was banned from the premises for the rest of the day. One of my happiest memories was interviewing Arnold Palmer after he’d received yet another honour. Everyone wanted a slice of him, but he gave of his time willingly and freely in the most charming and courteous manner possible. A true gentleman and one of the unambiguous sporting greats. Cast around now for today’s equivalent … HK GOLFER・APR 2014


One of my happiest memories was interviewing Arnold Palmer after he’d received yet another honour. Everyone wanted a slice of him, but he gave of his time willingly and freely in the most charming and courteous manner possible.


Chairman Billy Payne shares a joke with Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus at last year’s edition 36


Another interview that sticks in my mind was that given by Greg Norman after his meltdown against Nick Faldo in 1996, eighty-four years to the day after the Titanic had hit an iceberg. He’d lead by six shots going into the final round, but after a soggy double bogey at the 12th, he was behind. Faldo, now the hunted rather than the hunter, was unsure about his second shot to the par-5 13th. Was it a 5-wood or a 2-iron? The discussion between him and caddie Fanny Sunesson took all of five minutes, and we saw and heard all of it. It was a masterstroke by the TV director, who would normally have rushed off to watch Joe Soap’s two-foot tap-in for bogey at the 17th, but this was the pivotal moment in the round. It was a two-horse race by then, and this was all that mattered. Norman shot 78 to Faldo’s 67, and afterwards he covered himself in glory with his honesty, dignity and sportsmanship. He didn’t know what had happened, but he knew that he would come back and win “this thing” one day. If ever there was a sporting injustice, it is that Greg Norman does not own a green jacket. Every year there is a media draw for a lucky handful of scribes who will play the course on the Monday afterwards, set up exactly as the combatants had experienced the day before.

Many Augusta regulars had been going for years and their names had never come up. Amazingly I hit the jackpot first time out. I then had to scurry around finding balls and gloves and a decent set of clubs, and beg David Graham (a two-time major champion and Augusta employee) for an early tee time so that I’d make my flight. We set off from the first with daylight still considering its options. The raucousness of the thronging patrons the night before had been replaced by an eerie silence, broken only by the hysterical giggling of Helen Alfredsson, (who I was later to share a mic with at the 1995 Ryder Cup) who was also about to get her first taste of Augusta National. We made fairly serene progress to the ninth, then ran up against the backlog created by the 10th tee starters, many of whom were Japanese. They knew this was going to be their only chance to walk inside the ropes and nothing was going to hurry them. Group photographs at every landmark were de rigueur, and it was out with the long lens around Amen Corner for those award-winning snaps. Anxious glances at the timepiece slightly took the gilt off the gingerbread as my departure time got ever nearer. I am very lucky though. I got a second bite at the cherry a few years later, the first time I went there for BBC TV. That day I got around without a single three putt. There were plenty of chips and two-putts though! Somehow t he Ma sters a lways seem s to produce drama, romance and intrigue. Remember Tiger’s “rules infraction” last year, and Australia finally getting a green jacket? This year the tournament ends on the 13th of April. Hopefully there’ll be no “Titanic”, but maybe another anniversary will be significant? On 13th April 1612 Miyamoto Musashi defeated Sasaki Kojiro at Funajima Island. So, a first Japanese winner perhaps? In 1742, Handel’s Messiah was given its world premiere in Dublin. Rory McIlroy to take the title home to the Emerald Isle? In 1796, the first elephant ever seen in America arrived from India. There are no Indians in the field as of this moment so look for, err, an “elephant”? More recently, in 1964 Sidney Poitier became the first AfricanAmerican male to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Lilies of the Field”, while on 13th April 1997 Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer, and first African-American, to win the Masters. So Woods crashes through the field (of lilies?) on Sunday like a bull elephant, to defeat Hideki Matsuyama in a play-off, whereupon the patrons burst into a spontaneous rendering of the “Hallelujah Chorus”, as the academy/committee award Tiger his fifteenth Oscar. It’s all utterly predictable. HKGOLFER.COM


Length and Par Dispelling the Myth In this new column, award-winning golf course architect Paul Jansen questions why the majority of new layouts measure in excess of 7,000 yards and carry a par of 72.


Opposite page from top: the wonderful Royal County Down; Laguna Lang Co, where the author acted as the lead architect, has garnered much praise since opening; the Old Course at Sunningdale, a heathland gem 38


ny ranking list that details the world’s top golf courses will reveal a couple of things. Pine Valley, just outside of Philadelphia, is likely to be ranked the best golf course closely followed by Cypress Point on the Monterrey Peninsula, not too far from Pebble Beach. Royal County Down, St Andrews (Old), Merion (East) and Shinnecock Hills will likely make up the next few to go with Ballybunion (Old), Royal Dornoch and Royal Melbourne (West). These are all wonderful golf courses that have a charm of romance, infinite variety and interest. If you take the time to study the best golf courses in great detail, as I have, you will note that a good percentage of these golf courses are less than 7,000 yards in length from the back tees. This is certainly the case at Cypress Point, Merion, Royal Melbourne and Dornoch. You can add Sunningdale (Old), Crystal Downs and Fisher Island to this list as well. In fact, I would be willing to bet that almost half of the world’s top 100 golf courses (on any ranking list) measure less than 7,000 yards / 6400m from the tips. To go further, the bulk of these golf courses have a par value of 70, 71 or 73. For instance, at Pine Valley this happens to be 70 which is the same for Shinnecock Hills, Merion and Dornoch. In the case of Royal County Down and Ballybunion the par score is 71. At famous clubs such as the National Golf Links of America and Woodhall Spa in England the par value is as much as 73. As you can see there is no ‘perfect’ number – and nor should there be. Instead architects should strive to create ideal golf holes and then combined they should make up the score.

But what of Asia? The last two golf courses to win the “Best New Golf Course in Asia-Pacific” award each have a total yardage of less than 7,000 and a par value of 71. Shanqin Bay (2012) on Hainan Island, designed by the Coore and Crenshaw team, measures just 6,894 yards. Laguna Lang Co (2013), located between the cities of Danang and Hue on Vietnam’s central coast, a golf course I was involved as lead golf architect alongside Sir Nick Faldo, has a total yardage of 6,958. As the game grows in Asia it will be our responsibility to create golf courses that are less about the scorecard and more about how they relate to their surrounds. It’s simple: the merit of any great golf course is not determined by its length and par value. Instead, a great golf course is a culmination of factors such as its character, interest and variety. Golden Age architect Albert Tillinghast’s famous quote, “It isn’t how far but how good” should ring as true today as it ever did. Yet still we are obsessed with designing and building long golf courses, over 7,200 yards, as if this is the prerequisite for great golf. In many cases these courses carry a par value of 72, as if this is important. I disagree with that opinion and one need only point to the best golf courses to make my point. Length does matter but it should never take precedence over wanting to create holes with character and interest. The land should dictate the length of any hole and the golf architect should pay less focus at fixing yardages for the purpose of figuring par. More yards inherently mean more money. The longer the golf course, the more land required. The result being additional costs HKGOLFER.COM

associated with land purchase and construction – more earthworks, more drainage, more irrigation, more grass. This then has a snowball effect as the maintenance scope increases, including but not limited to, the need for more water. Did you ever wonder why you were paying so much to play golf? I doubt anyone takes much notice of the total par score, so why are we hung up on the number 72? In fact one would argue that par is inconsequential anyway. I refer to the legendary Bobby Jones, who is quoted as saying, “The practice of printing par figures is literally a mental hazard”. If one were to think about this logically, a par of 70 or 71 would make more sense. The time it takes to play a round of golf would be reduced and the likelihood that the average golfer would break 90 would be vastly increased. Great golf courses are not a product of some magic number or figure. Great golf courses don’t conform by way of their score. Instead, great golf courses are a product of how much charm, interest and variety they possess. Great golf course makes us think, as they offer a multitude of strategic options. Great golf courses allow us the opportunity to enjoy our surrounds and experience some of the wildlife that wander these environments. Great golf courses are memorable in every way, even if we are building up a big score. So enough of this length and par nonsense. Let the focus be on creating golf experiences we can all enjoy.

Length does matter but it should never take precedence over wanting to create holes with character and interest.

Paul Jansen is the principal architect for Jansen Golf Design. For more information visit his website at HKGOLFER.COM





Masters Memories




Ian Baker-Finch recalls Adam Scott's dramatic 2013 victory at Augusta National – a win that ended Australia's 77 years of hurt. Story by Paul Prendergast.

Scott send Augusta – and the whole of Australia – into euphoria following his playoff victory over Angel Cabrera last year HKGOLFER.COM



“It was a truly memorable time for me, not just in my time in broadcasting but in the history of Australian golf, to watch Adam Scott win the Masters."



Clockwise from top: Scott commiserates Cabrera; jacketed-up; Jason Day struggled on the greens in the final round; Ian Baker-Finch is confident that Australians will once again feature prominently at the Masters 42


or millions Down Under on that Monday morning nearly 12 months ago, the march to a firstever victory by an Australian at the Masters Tournament played out as it had in many years past – a rollercoaster of highs and lows which appeared destined to end in more tragedy. When Jason Day holed a bunker shot for an eagle at the second he appeared destined to be the one to break the duck through his stoic golf on the final day. Day held the lead at the 16th, but when he three-putted from the wet fringe beyond the hole, thoughts of 'here we go again' reverberated around lounge rooms across the nation. The only difference this time was that on this occasion, it was another Australian who took the lead and eventually prevailed after yet more heartstopping moments in a two-hole play-off fiercely contested in falling rain and fading light. When Adam Scott reached skywards after prevailing over the brave Angel Cabrera, the first Australian voice a delirious Australian audience

would hear was that of an equally emotional Ian Baker-Finch, the 1991 British Open champion, in commentary for CBS. “It was a truly memorable time for me, not just in my time in broadcasting but in the history of Australian golf, to watch Adam Scott win the Masters,” Baker-Finch told me recently. “It’s one of the highlights of my announcing career because he’s such a good friend and I know the family so well. It just added to the emotion and he just thoroughly deserves the tag, the mantle, the position of being the first Australian to win. “He’ll handle the status that’s been bestowed on him with great aplomb, as he’s already done over the past 12 months.” For Baker-Finch, the emotion he felt resonates now as it did then when he was caught off guard on the telecast. “Holes 18 and 10 (for the play-off) are not my holes on the CBS telecast, Jim Nantz takes those holes. It’s tricky for me because once the players go through 12 and 13, I’m off air. My microphone is not on to just say something whenever I want; I have to get invited in. “At CBS, they have us all on towers on every hole and I’m in a prestige position there at Amen Corner. The downside of that is once I’m finished, I’m out there in the dark in this tower on my own with my headset on watching events transpire on a little monitor. HKGOLFER.COM

“When Jim Nantz did invite me in to comment after Scott won, it was difficult to speak because I was so caught up in it all. I didn’t realise how emotional I was when I had the chance to say something.” Baker-Finch vividly remembers how much noise there was around the golf course as the players made their way down the second playoff hole, even from his position many hundreds of metres away on his tower at Amen Corner. “I’ve spoken to Adam about it and he said it was so noisy, he and Angel couldn’t talk to each other. When Adam hit that cut 6-iron off the side slope on 10 and Angel gave him the thumbs up, they couldn’t hear each other and that was really the only way that they could communicate. “The sportsmanship between the two was fantastic. They’re both good friends, Presidents Cup teammates and played a lot of golf together. Angel has won a green jacket already so it probably didn’t hurt him too badly but he handled himself really well.” I asked Baker-Finch if he or any of the other Australians at Augusta had the chance after the various presentation ceremonies and media commitments to see Scott and share in the moment. Sadly, the late finish to the event and with the weather turning for the worst, he did not. “I was down on the 12th in the dark and the HKGOLFER.COM

rain and by the time I got back to the CBS compound afterwards, it was all over. It was pouring with rain and there was a big storm closing in so I flew home to Florida at about 9.30 that night. “I talked to Adam the next day and shared phone calls and texts with his father Phil. Grades (Wayne Grady) was also there working for BBC, whether he got a chance to see Adam afterwards, I don’t know.” Baker-Finch is confident the Australians would again feature in 2014 and pointed out how many times over the past few years an Aussie has contended, going back to 2011 when Scott, Day and Geoff Ogilvy were in the top five when Charl Schwartzel won. Stuart Appleby also lead the field in the latter stages of the event some years earlier. “I thought Jason would win last year when he got in front but he just didn’t get it done in the closing stages. I think the next time he gets in that position, he will win. “I interviewed Adam for CBS down at Doral the other week and he’s really relaxed and in good shape. The ominous thing is that he’s feeling very confident with the putter. “He said he’s putting really, really well which is a good sign going into Augusta.” HK GOLFER・APR 2014




Craftsman Alex Jenkins talks to renowned club designer Guerin Rife, who first found fame in the industry with his acclaimed brand of Rife putters. Following the sale of the company, the American has launched his latest and greatest venture – Guerin Design, whose innovative new line looks set to challenge Scotty Cameron as the brand of choice among discerning golfers around the world. What was the driving force behind the foundation of Guerin Design following the sale of Rife?

About a year prior to Rife being purchased by Innovex Golf I had formed Guerin Design Putter Company. Like many independent golf manufacturers, Rife was virtually dormant following the 2008 recession. After a few failed attempts to find new investors I left the company to start a super-premium 100% milled putter line that would give discerning golfers an alternative to Scotty Cameron putters. It’s not enough anymore to make a milled putter that is just “milled” and pretty to look at. While that’s a selling point with many golf consumers, a milled or forged- milled putter doesn’t roll the ball any better than the same putter that has been cast-milled or simply cast like all the standard lines from Odyssey, TaylorMade, and Ping, many of which now have grooved inserts in the face, the accepted standard for putter face technology. My new Guerin line is 100% forged-milled, weighted to maintain a constant swing weight at any length, sole technology that keeps the face square at address regardless of hand position, and my new VSE face groove technology that improves accuracy by 50% on off-centre hits. Why did you decide upon the Anser-style blade for the GR1 and the mallet for the GR3?

There are two basic styles of putters – blades 44


and mallets. When starting a new brand the classic Anser-style GR1 blade is a way to reach the broadest customer base and a user-friendly full mallet GR3 has the broadest appeal among non-blade golfers. By taking this mainstream approach to design I am able to highlight the performance enhancing features of my new face groove technology, the RockerSole and the Tour Spec weighting features. As I mentioned I want Guerin Design putters to be the alternative to Scotty Cameron but with real game improvement technology that golfers can experience the minute they roll a putt with a Guerin putter. I have a mid mallet and a wide blade in development for this year. The GR1, regardless of length, maintains a swing weight of D-7, which some would consider at the heavier end of the spectrum. What’s the philosophy behind this?

Years ago when greens were slower it was necessary to have lighter putter head weights that produced lighter swing weights so that a golfer could hit the putt harder to get the ball to the hole. Today’s greens are much faster and require less effort to hit the ball a similar distance. A heavier swing weight allows the hands to be quieter and stay on plane during the execution of a stroke. Also heavier head weights produce higher MOI allowing the putter head to resist twisting on off-centre hits.


Rife and his latest creation – the Guerin Design GR1, a classic Anser-style blade




You’ve also come up with a concept named “RockerSole”. What is it, and how does it work?

Any golfer that has to fight their putter to keep the face square while addressing a putt will love the RockerSole. Golfers position their hands differently due to one of their eyes being stronger than the other; 85% of golfers are right eye dominant. This means that they will position their hands under their right eye at address thinking the shaft is at 90 degrees when in fact it is leaning back away from the ball one or two degrees. This causes the back edge of the putter to engage the ground and forces the toe to turn in, or “hook”. This causes the golfer to constantly adjust the putter head while trying to set up to the target line. The RockerSole allows the putter to sit square to the target line regardless of hand position. The putter face always stays square. You garnered great success with your Two Bar putter, which found its way into the bags of many tour professionals in the mid-late 2000s. How important to you is it that tour pros are seen wielding your putters, and how difficult is it to convince them to even try them out given endorsement deals that the majority have in place with the ‘Big 5’ manufacturers – Acushnet, Ping, Callaway, TaylorMade and Cleveland/Srixon?

“My new wavy VSE grooves keep the ball from sliding off the face on an off-centre hit which keeps the ball 25% closer to the target line than my original straight grooves and 50% closer than standard non-grooved putters.” The putters feature wavy as opposed to straight grooves on the putter face, which were a hallmark of your previous designs. Indeed, you invented closely spaced grooves for putters. What is the advantage of grooves in general and wavy grooves in particular?

The GR1 (above), like the GR3, features Guerin Design’s unique ‘RockerSole’ technology 46


This gets quite technical but I’ll give you a brief explanation. Grooves in general grip the ball at impact. The combination of this gripping effect and a reduction of loft from the old standard of 4 to 6 degrees down to 2 degrees allows the ball to achieve end-over-end roll in only 20 inches instead of 60 inches on a 20-foot putt. The sooner the ball achieves roll the less it is effected by grass grain allowing for greater accuracy and distance control. My new wav y VSE (Variable Surface Engaging) grooves keep the ball from sliding off the face on an off-centre hit which keeps the ball 25% closer to the target line than my original straight grooves and 50% closer than standard non-grooved putters.

I haven’t launched a PGA Tour programme yet. That is a serious investment of time and money. Having said that there is no better advertising than a close-up ground level “wormcam” picture of a PGA Tour player using one of my putters to win a tournament, especially a major. That’s what we call “lightning in a bottle.” It’s the fastest way to success in the golf business. But you have to be incredibly lucky and have the financial means to capture the “lightning” once it strikes. W hen I have t he ot her t wo models I mentioned then I will have enough variety to attract the few players that aren’t under contract with the major manufacturers. When players do begin putting your putter in play it is necessary to give them constant service or lose them to other manufacturers. My initial efforts will be directed toward the Champions, LPGA, European, and the Asian Tours where there are very few putter contracts and players are more receptive to trying something new. Which model do you use, and why?

I get this question all the time and my best answer is “yes.” I constantly try everything I make plus my competitors putters. I try to keep an open mind and constantly improve on what I’ve done in the past. If another putter is better in one way or another then I need to find a way to improve on what they’ve done. Once you HKGOLFER.COM


“I design and manufacture precision milled putters with cutting edge performance technology. Asian golfers have a greater respect and appreciation for my type of putter than the more price conscious US and European golfers.” think you know everything then you’ve stopped learning and it’s time to hang up your gloves. How important is the Asia market for Guerin Design? I think the Asian market is vital to the future growth of golf. Asia has over half the world’s population. In the US there are approximately 30 million golfers, about 10% of the total population. Japan, Korea, and Europe total around 20 million. If 1% of the combined population of China and India (about 2.6 billion people) played golf that would be 27 million new golfers. I design and manufacture precision milled putters with cutting edge performance technology. Asian golfers have a greater respect and appreciation for my type of putter than the more price conscious US and European golfers. Everyone likes a beautifully designed and solid feeling forged-milled putter. The Asian golfer has a greater willingness to pay for that extra quality. Since launching my Guerin brand 90% of my sales have been to Japan and Korea. What do you have in the pipeline, and do you ever see yourself diversifying into wedges or other equipment?

The GR3 (above), is a user-friendly mallet that holds the broadest appeal among non-blade golfers 48


I am developing a new players’ mid mallet that I will call the GR5 and a wider blade style design that will be called the GR6. These will compliment my current GR1 flange blade and

GR3 full mallet. Together they will satisfy 80% of the putter styles golfers are looking for. While these are traditional designs I give them my design touches and load them up with performance technology. As for other equipment it’s just The RollBoard for now. This is a patented velvet covered board that instantly shows a golfer how a golf ball comes off the face of their putter immediately after impact – no smoke and mirrors, the truth. The velvet has a one-way nap that is disturbed by the contact of a ball on the surface. So a typical standard non-grooved putter will hit a low chip that will hop and skip and not start rolling for 60 inches on a 20-foot putt. For years after I invented putter face grooves the only way to show how my putters rolled the ball better was to get up early in the morning when dew was still resting on the surface of a putting green. The dew would show how the ball rolled or didn’t roll. The RollBoard does the exact same thing. Virtually everyone I fit in my putting studio purchases a RollBoard to show their friends how quickly the ball rolls with their new Gueirn putter. It’s nice when your customers become your sales force. G uerin Design put ters are priced at HK$2,480 (including shipping within Hong Kong) and are available for purchase through the HK Golfer Store at or at Pura Golf in Sheung Wan. HKGOLFER.COM

Leung’s LET Learning Experience Although she failed to make the cut, Isabella Leung believes her participation at last month’s Mission Hills World Ladies Championship, a Ladies European Tour (LET) event, will stand her in good stead for the future. Leung, a Hong Kong international amateur who attends the University of Hawaii, carded rounds of 79 and 77 over the challenging Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou on Hainan island to finish in a share of 90th. “The experience was definitely a unique one,” said Leung, who got off to a brilliant start to the event with birdies at the opening two holes. “The best players from around the world are here and I’ve just watched everything they do, from their technique to their attitude towards playing. I think the whole week will really help me.” Leung was selected to represent Hong Kong in the US$500,000 event after Mission Hills extended an invitation to the HKGA – and she had no hesitation in taking up the offer. “It wasn’t something I expected but I said yes straight away,” she said. “At this stage of my golfing career I know I have to take every chance I can because the more you play the more you learn. Compared to the top amateurs, I guess they play a lot more than I do and you see the results of that. I know that’s what I need to do in the future – just keep playing more and more.”

Floodlit Fanling Range Opens to the Public Richard Castka / (Fanling); Daniel Wong (Leung)

Golfers in Hong Kong are set to benefit from the announcement that the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling has opened its newly floodlit driving range to the public. Tom Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of the HKGA, commented:  “The decision by the Hong Kong Golf Club to floodlight its range and allow evening access to the public is great news for local golfers of all ages and abilities. It is also another significant boost to golf development in Hong Kong.” Phillips added: “The Hong Kong Golf Club is always unwavering in its support towards HKGA initiatives, including special visitor rates for HKGA handicap cardholders, regular access to national squad players for play and practice, host to numerous HKGA amateur tournaments every year and the venue for the annual Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event, for the past 55 years.” The 32-bay night range at the Hong Kong Golf Club is open to the public from 7pm-10pm during Monday to



Friday, excluding public holidays. Practice sessions cost HK$80 per 30-minute interval, including unlimited use of range balls. Individual hire clubs are also available at a cost of HK$30 each and parking at the Hong Kong Golf Club is free of charge to all range users.  


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Hong Kong : 18th Floor, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, T +852 2298 3000 • 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.


Kitty Eases to Maiden Title Seventeen-year-old Tam, who finished second in 2013, impresses on her way to victory at the Ladies’ Close Amateur Championship in difficult conditions. Photography by Daniel Wong

Tam in full flow


espite not being at her best in the final round, Kitty Tam cruised to her maiden Hong Kong Ladies Close Amateur title at Discovery Bay Golf Club in late February. The 17-year-old posted a 85 in high winds for a 54hole total of 236, which was good enough for an eightshot margin of victory. Cheria Heng, 19, posted a second consecutive 79 to finish in second place, while Tiana Gwenn Lau’s 84 secured third place, a further four shots back. Tam went into the final round 13 shots clear following a tournament-low round of 70 on day two, and was thankful for the hefty advantage given the difficult scoring conditions that greeted players at the Lantau club. “I’m very happy to win even though I didn’t play so well in the final round,” said Tam, who finished second behind Michelle Cheung last year. “The wind really affected all the players today so I was relieved to have such a large overnight lead.” With a three-day total of 268, Alice Karr emerged victorious in Division One of the Mid-Amateur category, while Hu Yan-hong (255) took the honours in Division Two.



With the silverware


81 70 85


2 Cheria Heng

86 79 79


3 Tiana Lau

88 76 84


4= Mimi Ho

88 80 84


Emily Leung

90 77 85


6 Estee Leung

91 81 81


7 Li Kai Wing

89 84 81


8 Queenie Lai

91 88 82


9 Deedee Wong

90 80 94


10 Annabelle Gerber

87 90 97



Emily Leung in action

Mimi Ho had to settle for a share of fourth

Mid-Amateur Division 2 champ Hu Yan-hong

Runner-up Cheria Heng

Tam with her caddie-father

Tiana Lau earned third spot

Alice Karr receives her trophy from the HKGA’s Ning Li after winning the Mid Amateur title HKGOLFER.COM

To the winners go the spoils HK GOLFER・APR 2014



On Top of Their Games Eight winners and runners-up qualify for the MercedesTrophy Hong Kong following Classic event at Discovery Bay. Photography by Daniel Wong MEN’S GROSS STABLEFORD 1 2 3 4=

Chris Mun Todd Hooper* Dallas Reid* Tse Hing-tong Simon Wong

34 points 32 30 29 29


The new CLA Class on display at DBGC


imon Wong and Chan Ching-Yee are a step closer to a once-in-alifetime trip to the MercedesTrophy World Final in Germany after winning the men’s and ladies’ divisions in the inaugural HKGA Mercedes-Benz Classic at Discovery Bay Golf Club early last month. Fourteen-handicapper Wong carded 44 points to claim the men’s Nett Stableford prize and qualify for the prestigious MercedesTrophy Hong Kong. Chan Ching-Yee scored 42 points to win the Nett division in the ladies’ event and will return to Discovery Bay with Wong for the national qualifier on 23 May. Teenagers Chris Mun (13) and Estee Leung (14) won the men’s and ladies’ Gross Stableford prizes, both with 34 points. However the Hong Kong Golf Association junior squad members will have to wait until they turn 18 before they are eligible to qualify for the MercedesTrophy. A total of eight winners and runners-up from the inaugural HKGA MercedesBenz Classic – a two-day men’s and ladies’ tournament for HKGA subscribers – qualified for the MercedesTrophy Hong Kong. Winners of that event will advance to the MercedesTrophy Asian Final on the Gold Coast in Australia and from there the highest scorer from the SAR will qualify for the MercedesTrophy World Final in Stuttgart, Germany.    The annual HKGA Mercedes-Benz Classic was launched in a bid to provide more playing opportunities for golfers in Hong Kong following the recent appointment of Mercedes-Benz as the Exclusive Car Partner of the HKGA.



1 2 3 4 5

Estee Vivian Leung CarrieAnn Lee Emily Vickie Leung Andrea Au Florence Wong

34 32 31 29 27


Simon Wong* David Chung* William Leung* Chris Mun Nick Ho

44 43 41 41 41


Chan Ching-yee* Florence Wong* Ng Pui-wah Miranda So Estee Vivian Leung

42 41 41 41 40

*qualifies for the MercedesTrophy Hong Kong at Discovery Bay Golf Club on 23 May


Chris Mun, the men’s winner with 34 points, in action

Setting off

Estee Leung won her division with 34 points

The winners and qualifiers from the men’s division

The ladies’ qualifiers


Todd Hooper finished second with his 32-point haul




HKGA - EFG BANK AWARDS CEREMONY Max Ting, who qualified for last year’s Hong Kong Open aged only 13, was among 11 Hong Kong golfers crowned Junior Order of Merit winners at the 2014 HKGA - EFG Bank Annual Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Hong Kong Football Club in mid March. Albert Chiu, Chief Executive of EFG Bank in Asia Pacific commented: “It is great to see so many talented golfers here, many of whom have been part of the HKGA EFG Bank Junior Development Programme since we formed the partnership five years ago. EFG Bank congratulates the 2013 Junior Order of Merit winners and we are excited to confirm that once again we will be granting a scholarship to one of the talented young golfers through the EFG Bank Young Golfers Foundation.” William Chung, President of the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) said:  “We are here tonight to celebrate EFG Bank’s support of junior golf in Hong Kong.  Ranging from eight-year-olds playing in a ninehole tournament for the first time, to 18-year-olds representing Hong Kong in the national junior teams, the HKGA’s Junior Development Programme has flourished over the past five years thanks to the support of EFG Bank.” Based on nine HKGA amateur and junior ranking tournaments during 2013, the HKGA EFG Bank Junior Order of Merit winners were:  15-17 years: Leon Philip D’Souza (boys) and Emily Vickie Leung (girls);  13-14 years: Max Ting and Michelle Lee; 11-12 years: Nathan Han and Selina Li; 9-10 years: Maurice Leung and joint girl winners Chloe Chan and Stephanie Wong; 6-8 years: Julius Yang and Charlene Chung.

Isaac Chan

EFG Bank CEO Asia-Pacific Albert Chiu


President William Chung and CEO Tom Phillips

Up for grabs

Familiar faces HK GOLFER・APR 2014

The junior winners

William Chung entertaining HKGOLFER.COM


One for the Ages

Dr Brian Choa reports on last month’s Hong Kong Golf Club Championship, which produced one of the best come-from-behind performances in the event’s storied history.


Daniel Wong

his year marks the 125th since the Hong Kong Golf Club’s inception – and the 2014 Club Championship gave us stories that are fully worthy of such an historic milestone. It began on the first weekend – at the quarterfinal stage – with more than a few surprises. Doug Williams’ surprisingly poor record in this event continued as he was removed by the veteran John Blackwood, whose fine play was to take him to the semi-final. Reigning champion Tim Orgill’s removal by occasional competitor James Barrington was even more unexpected. Threetime winner Max Wong’s sub-par win against the formidable Stuart Murray in their match, however, was a portent of things to come. Another fancied player was two-time victor Arnold Wong, arguably the finest putter in the Club. Arnold had a tremendous escape against Tony Taylor, a very fine striker of the ball, in their encounter after coming back from being 2 down with 2 to play before clinching the match on the 21st hole. In the first semi-final, Max played the promising youngster Leonard Ho. Max was too strong for Leonard and steadily pulled away to win by 4&3. The Blackwood-Wong match featured some very fine golf from both players, but Blackwood’s short game uncharacteristically 58


deserted him and he succumbed 3&2, just when he looked to be fighting back. The result: an all-Wong final, Max against Arnold, to be decided over the traditional 36 holes. A more thrilling final has rarely been seen! The weather was fine and dry, there was a brisk easterly breeze, meaning conditions were ideal for such a match. Over the course of 36 holes, few punters would have given Arnold much of a chance, despite his excellent golf and record as a winner, such is Max’s record and recent form. However, from the time Max took four to hole out from the edge of the third green, Arnold pulled away. 4 up for Max Steady play brought him round in approximately 71 strokes, a round in which Max won only one hole, and then only be holing out from a bunker. The putts would not fall, the longer shots were erratic and Max found himself 4-down at lunch. Before long, Arnold was 6-up as Max dropped three shots in a row from the par-5 third, which he again failed to par. At this stage of the proceedings, Max seemed almost defeated by the game. But the drama was only just beginning; 6-up with 12 to play, Arnold gave Max HKGOLFER.COM

a small opening when a short putt horseshoed out of the hole on the seventh: 5-up. Into a strong wind, Max then played a brilliant 4-iron to within a few feet of the pin at the par-3 eighth and birdied. At the long par-4 ninth, which was played into the teeth of the breeze, both players had to scramble, but it was Max who his third consecutive hole after he saved his four thanks to a deft pitch. He was now only 3-down heading into the back nine. Max hit the green at the par-5 10th with his second after braving the greenside pond and duly birdied, but to his credit, Arnold matched him with his own four to salvage a gritty halve. At the next hole, and for the first time in an hour, Arnold held the upper hand but failed to convert an eight-foot putt for a birdie and what would have been four-hole advantage. At the 12th, a stout par-4 that was playing in excess of 470 yards, Max once again put his approach to within a few feet of the pin for another win, but Arnold replied superbly by holing a midlength putt for birdie to regain his 3-up lead. Surprisingly, neither player birdied the relatively straightforward par-5 14th – the pair having the hole with fives – meaning Arnold held a three-hole advantage with four tough closing holes remaining. Surely that was enough. Not so. Max played a sublime pitch to four feet for birdie after a stupendous drive at the 15th to reduce the deficit to two holes, and then followed that up with arguably an even better birdie at the 16th after a fine iron. Incredibly, Max was now only 1-down and his putting woes of the morning round forgotten. At the par-3 penultimate hole, Arnold made a costly slip by bunkering his tee shot. When he failed to save par the match was all square for the first time since the second hole of the morning. At the final green, Arnold then bravely holed from five feet to stay alive, so down the 37th they had to go. The momentum was all one-way now, and no one was surprised when Max holed from all of 35 feet for a birdie three and his fourth victory in this ancient event. He played the last 13 holes of the match in six-under-par, which must surely rank among the finest of performances in Club Championship history. Arnold could not in any way blame himself for failing to hold onto his large lead, for he had done nothing injudicious nor been guilty of any golfing indiscretion. It is not often that a player can lose a six-hole lead and feel justly proud of his own performance and the part he played in the drama, but this was such an occasion. In the “Junior” Championship – for players with a handicap of 10 and above – long-hitting Brendan Ma triumphed narrowly over the steady Ken Anderson on the final green. HKGOLFER.COM

Roll of Honour – Hong Kong Golf Club Championship Winners 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956

Capt. H.N. Dumbleton, RE Dr. J. Lowson Dr J. Lowson A.S. Anton C.W. May Dr. J. Lowson T.S. Forrest T.S. Forrest J.H.T. McMurtrie C.E.H. Beavis T.S. Forrest T.S. Forrest E.J. Grist T.S. Forrest Lt. Col. H.N. Dumbleton, RE W.E. Monteith A.W.W. Walkinshaw K.M. Cumming W.H. Forest-Pegg Jasper Clark Jasper Clark Capt. C. Campbell A.B. Stewart A. Ritchie R.A. Lawson A.B. Stewart R.L.D. Wodehouse R.M. Smith A.B. Stewart Col. B.A. Hill Col. B.A. Hill H.U. Treland J.W. Shewan L.S. Andrews A.B. Stewart J.W. Shewan J.K. MacFarlane O.E.C. Marton M.W. Budd O.E.C. Marton D.S. Robb O.E.C. Marton A.K. Mackenzie O.E.C. Marton A.E. Lissaman J.T. Smith E. Groves H.P. McMullen G.G.D. Carter G.G.D. Carter D.L. Anderson K.S. Kinghorn J.K. Watson J.D. Mackie A.R. Petrie J.D. Mackie A.F. Sutcliffe

1957 1958 1959 1960 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

F/Lt. A.W.J.K. Hall J.D. Mackie G.G.D. Carter G.G.D. Carter (1961) W.D. Leighton A.F. Sutcliffe G.G.D. Carter R.E. Patterson Dr. C.R. Gribben A.F. Sutcliffe J.D. Mackie Lt. Col. J.M.C.T. Thornton Lt. Col. J.M.C.T. Thornton W.D. Leighton H.M.P. Miles M.W. Park Dr. C.R. Gribben D. Clegg L.C. Carter L.C. Carter Dr. C.R. Gribben D. Clegg B. To Jr D.M. Innes D.M. Innes H.M.V. de Lacy Staunton Dr. B. Choa I.M. Copeland T. Lloyd H.M.V. de Lacy Staunton H.M.V. de Lacy Staunton Dr. C.R. Gribben I. Hindhaugh D.M. Innes S. Rowe J.W.C. Kwok D.J. Tonroe J. Stewart Dr. B. Choa R.T. de Lacy Staunton D. Moore R.T. de Lacy Staunton R.T. de Lacy Staunton A.C.C. Wong A.C.C. Wong A.N.W. Pettigrew R. Keys A. Osborn E. Saxvik E. Saxvik M.C.K. Wong M.C.K. Wong M.C.K. Wong R.T. de Lacy Staunton R.T. de Lacy Staunton T.D.L. Orgill M.C.K. Wong HK GOLFER・APR 2014




After a lull in form Webb has been sensational over the past two years 60



Karrie On

Winning At the age of 39, Karrie Webb, a seven-time major champion, is continuing to show she has what it takes to light up the LPGA Tour, writes Lewine Mair.


here was every reason to interview Karrie Webb in the days leading up to the recent HSBC Women’s Champions, the event they call “Asia’s major”. At the age of 39, this winner of seven majors had arrived in Singapore having just captured her fifth Australian Open and what was her 40th LPGA title around the world. Though it is not unusual for a man to be performing at or near to his best at the age of 39, the same does not readily apply to the women. Where, for example, 21% of the men in the 36-40 age-group are among their top 100 players of the moment, the commensurate figure for the women is a miserly 7%.   (For the women, the most productive golfing years are those between 20 and 25 when they have 57 top-100 representatives as against the men’s 16.) Most of the women of Webb’s age will tell


you that they have had enough of the travelling lifestyle or, more likely, that they are struggling to hang on to their tour cards. Webb, at the time of the interview, could think only of positives. Her short game had continued to improve and become like an old friend, one on which she could almost always rely to dig her out of a hole. That, in turn, had boosted her confidence. She had won three times in 2013 and, when it came to her Australian triumph at the start of this year, she had signed off in style, unfurling a rush of birdies to overtake the up-and-coming Chella Choi. “The way I played in the Australian Open,” she volunteered, “added up to some of the best mental work I’ve ever done on a golf course. It’s hard to put into words, but when I’m like that there’s a quiet calm about everything that I do. I make decisions calmly and I back myself to pull off shots without trying too hard over them.” As for her enthusiasm, she said that it was very



Webb admitted that there had been days when she had thought to herself, “That’s it, I’ve had enough” but added in a hurry that she had never really meant it: “The day I say it – and mean it – will be the day I stop.”


A walk on the wild side as Webb fell out of the reckoning in Singapore (above); hoisting the Australian Women’s Open trophy for yet another time at the beginning of the year 62


definitely intact. A lot of it, she thought, had to do with the way her game had been relatively consistent over the years and she had not been worn to the proverbial frazzle by too many highs and lows. She did not mention anyone by name, but Taiwan’s Yani Tseng would have to be a case in point. There was a time, in 2011, when Tseng seemed to be winning every other week, while there were three follow-on wins in early 2012. Then, though, the winning stopped and the player has since been tortured by a litany of questions she cannot answer as to what went wrong. Webb admitted that there had been days when she had thought to herself, “That’s it, I’ve had enough” but added in a hurry that she had never really meant it: “The day I say it – and mean it – will be the day I stop.” When the final round of the 2014 HSBC Women’s Champions came along, you had to think that this was that day. It was one which came from nowhere. She

had led at the end of each of her first three rounds, with her game serving as a glorious illustration of the various points she had made earlier in the week. Her short game was meeting with rapturous applause, while the rest of her play was even better than she had indicated. Indeed, one booming drive followed another as she plotted her way round the Sentosa course with a composure which in itself served to keep her rivals in their place. Going into the final day, she had a one-shot lead over the enduring Angela Stanford and was three clear of Azahara Munoz and Teresa Lu, with Paula Creamer one shot further back. If there is one hole among the 18 where most would anticipate a hitch, it would have to be the 13th and, sure enough, this 404-yard par-4 turned out to be the start of Webb’s undoing. Though she caught the left side of the elusive green – it is tucked between the harbour and dense trees – with two impeccable blows, the cheers which greeted her long putt across that slippery putting surface were soon giving way to a sharp intake of breath. The three-footer she had needed for the par missed with room to spare. It was when her drive at the 15th splashed into the lake that her start-of-the-week description of the 1996 Masters started ringing in this correspondent’s ears. HKGOLFER.COM

That six-footer to win the Ryder Cup “was such a fine line between being the hero and the biggest idiot,” he says.

She had recalled that fateful afternoon when Greg Norman went into the last round with a six-shot lead, only to have the collapse of his golfing lifetime against Nick Faldo. At that moment when Norman reached the turn with what was still a two-shot lead, Webb had planted her fold-up seat in a position beside the 18th green where she would be well placed to see her compatriot winning his first Masters. She stayed put until the moment word came that Norman, then two behind with three to play, had hit into the water at the 16th. At that, she packed up her chair and departed the club at a rate of knots. From that day to this, she and Norman had never discussed what happened. It was all too painful. Webb’s breakdown was happening in front of a crowd of 14,000 rather than 40,000 but the feelings it invoked were not so very different. After she had dropped a shot at the 15th, the final straw came at the par-5 18th.  She was on the tee at 10-under while Paula Creamer and Spain’s Munoz were on that same figure but safely in the clubhouse. A winning Webb birdie would have left people making little more than a passing reference to the mishaps that had gone before. As it was, the portents were not good even before she launched into her tee-shot. She had had a warning for slow play at the 17th  along HKGOLFER.COM

with a difference of opinion with her caddie as to whether she should go with her driver at the 18th or play safe with a 5-wood. She went against her better judgement in listening to her caddie and, to his horror even more obviously than hers, she landed in the fairway bunker. People wondered at her choice of club for the recovery and they were right to. Instead of soaring down the fairway, her ball cannoned into the lip on the bunker’s left-hand flank and stayed put in the sand. It led to a disaster of a six which would have been all the harder to bear in that the colourful duo of Creamer and Munoz were busy preparing for a return to the 18th tee for what was now a two-way play-off. Things would get worse for the stricken Webb. There was nowhere in the whole of Singapore where she could have escaped the razzmatazz of Creamer’s winning 75-footer at the second extra hole. The putt in question was a final thrust which, rather like the cartwheel the player turned over the legendary Swilcan Bridge at St Andrews in 2007, went viral. Sandwiched between Webb’s finish and Creamer’s, there had been an interview with the local media which could not have gone worse. Webb had been in no mood to smile sweetly as one member of the Fourth Estate wanted to know if the passage of time had made it more difficult to handle such high pressure situations. It was a bold question and the other writers were open-mouthed as they watched the impact it would have on its still-shaken recipient.   To no one’s great surprise, Webb was in no mood to call on a string of old clichés about things not having gone her way. Instead, she let rip with a terse, “If you’re insinuating that this has anything to do with my age you can ... " It was hardly what anyone expected of this revered Hall of Famer but it was a moment which told more about Webb than anything that had gone before. You knew at once that this was not going to be the day when she would say, “That’s it, I’ve had enough!” and mean it. In what is nowadays an LPGA season of five majors, she was already steeling herself for the mother and father of replies. HK GOLFER・APR 2014






Ron Totton meets Dr Ara Suppiah, the physician of choice among the PGA Tour’s finest players.


wing instructors, fitness coaches and sports psychologists are the norm for today’s elite Tour player. Results can be mixed but many have enjoyed success as they build their confidence, conditioning and mechanics. And now, an increasing number of the game’s best are putting their faith in a physician. While this may seem obvious – who amongst us doesn’t have a regular doctor we see when we’re not feeling that great? – golf’s hierarchy visit one physician in particular – Dr Ara Suppiah. Born into humble beginnings in Malaysia, Orlando-based Dr Ara has established himself as the go-to doctor on the PGA Tour. His client list includes four of the top 10 players from this year’s FedEx Cup ranking as well as host of other household names. The reason? He has – pardon the pun – an infectious personality and a reputation for getting fast results. Dr Ara, how did you get involved with treating professional golfers? When I was studying at the School of Medicine at Liverpool University one of the first athletes I treated was the number one golfer from the university’s golf team. He had an ankle sprain but I couldn’t tell him how long it would take to recover. I could help someone suffering from a heart condition or a stroke but I couldn’t tell an athlete how long his recovery would be for a basic injury – that was the start of my journey. On becoming a certified doctor I pursued, while still practicing medicine, a degree in sports medicine so I could understand why injuries happen and learn how to optimize recovery and prevent injuries where possible. In 2002



I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Dr Roger Hawks, Head of Medicine for the European Tour, and I was asked to be the team physician for the 2002 Ryder Cup team. It was a truly an amazing experience and that is where I met a number of the players I treat today. I was then invited to be the lead physician at a number of European Tour events and started working with the players on a one-to-one basis. My office became the course and the range, and my curiosity for the game became the energy that forged the relationship with the players. I started to monitor what they ate, how much they slept, when they took flights and for how long, their exercise programmes, their schedule, blood samples, etc. I discovered lifestyle had a huge impact on their performance. I completed research around the Tour and came up with remedies and techniques to solve these problems – including natural supplements to help all the players develop alternative lifestyle habits and programmes which positively impacted their health and performance. HKGOLFER.COM

Dr Ara has plenty of reasons to smile after his patient Henrik Stenson’s magnificent 2013 season




Do you have any examples of players you have worked with and how they have performed under your tutelage? Henrik Stenson. He came to me in early 2011 and he was really struggling and not feeling well. He said he was drained. He wasn’t consistently seeing one doctor and he wasn’t improving. With both of us being based in Orlando and the fact that we knew each other, we sat down together and did a number of tests and got down to the issues he was facing. Within three months we got him to where he needed to be. He started training hard, took on nutrients and supplements and corrected his sleep. We talked this past spring about how he was going to dominate in the Majors and he enjoyed a great summer and fall season, ending up as the FedEx Cup champion. What are the most common issues your players suffer with when they first come to see you? General fatigue, a lack of motivation, severe allergies, sleeping trouble related to travel, mental fogginess and symptoms of exhaustion. They’d get sick, travel and couldn’t shake it off for weeks. So you can solve these symptoms for these players? Ah, yes. A lot of the time you can solve the issues by understanding their lifestyle, diet, exercise, and sleep. Simple changes like when they eat, avoiding alcohol at certain times, learning how to sleep on aplane and recover from jetlag can make a huge difference. I believe in improving the lifestyle and diet versus a heavily reliance of medication. How was Henrik like to work with? We hear he has quite a temper … Henrik has a terrible temper but you don’t see it very often. If he loses it we all just stay away from him. You might be surprised but many of the Tour pros have terrible tempers! Henrik is humorous, funny, sarcastic, humble and is 100 per cent trusting of me. He is a delight to work with and is always looking to get better. Most of my guys are extremely motivated and work extremely hard. But they’re smart. They know when to throttle back and have learned how to peak. And Justin Rose is another player you work with … Justin Rose is another great example. I started working with Justin in early 2011. He came to see me because his dad had died of leukemia and he was worried, so he was referred by his trainer and then we started working together. Justin suffered with allergies and we focused on this area. In the first season we worked together he won at Doral [the WGC-Cadillac Championship] which is notorious for high pollen and is a big struggle for players with severe allergies. I helped him control his allergies on the course. But for Justin, the big benefit he has experienced is he stops getting sick when he travels; he has good sleep on the road, has improved his diet and use of supplements and is ready to play after a long-haul flight. Ian Poulter is another. How could I forget him! I started with him in 2007. He suffered from really bad asthma, got pneumonia and suffered from chronic exhaustion. His performance was not where he wanted to be. I believe he wasn’t ranked in the top-50 and he always got sick when he travelled. Since we started together he won in Singapore, China and Hong Kong – and he’s not been sick once! He arrived at events fit and fresh and his record late in the season has been unmatched. Which begs the question: how do you do it? What’s the secret? In brief, I have a holistic approach that is based around six pillars: exercise and training, recovery, sleep; golf and nutrition, brain function and hormonal imbalance. How long before your patients can start seeing results? In some cases, improvement is made in as little as seven to 10 days. For example Hunter Mahan had a significant loss of performance towards the end of the 2013 tour season. He said he felt terrible and we discovered he had significant cortisol 66


“He is a great guy and a great doctor … Thank you for taking such good care of us.” – The Stensons imbalances. Within two weeks of lifestyle modification and a proprietary supplement that I developed, he was in able to perform excellently at the 2013 Presidents Cup and his form returned. He is now back practicing and training as hard as ever. Are there any tips you can share for good health housekeeping? One of the quickest ways of overcoming jet-lag is to make sure you arrive in daylight hours. As soon as can, walk barefoot on natural terrain – grass, sand, or event rocks – for a minimum of 30 minutes. Doing so grounds a lot of electromagnetic radiation and helps you recover from your flight. Another great one is to put lemon or lime into a glass of water as it is a good source of Vitamin C. But to get the added benefit of more alkaline, which is good for digestion, also squeeze the rind of the fruit into the water. The oils are antibacterial and also work as a great appetite suppressor. Do you have plans to expand your clinic outside of the States? With the blessing of my players I am going to reveal my system. I feel Hong Kong is a great hub to introduce it to Asia. I will likely start out with a seminar to a limited number of people – most likely in spring 2014. For now I am focused on ensuring I get my players ready for the 2014 PGA Tour season – many of who are already planning on peaking for Augusta in April. For more information about Dr Ara, visit his website at HKGOLFER.COM

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GOLF ATRAVEL Player’s Guide

Sunset over Anvaya Cove, which overlooks the West Philippine Sea, just over two hours from Makati in central Manila 68




Sensation Duncan Forgan reports on the opening of Anvaya Cove, a Kevin Ramsay-designed course that is setting the bar high for golf in the Philippines. Photography by Tom Breazeale




L Clockwise from above: a look up the ninth fairway back towards the state-ofthe-art clubhouse; as well as magnificent coastal holes, Anvaya boasts wonderful inland holes too, here with a view of the mountains; the author’s favourite – the 446-yard 12th that plays down to a green protected by the ocean 70


i ke it s equa l ly seduct ive neighbors around Southeast Asia, the Philippines is not short on alluring attractions. From hiking in the towering Cordillera Mountains of Luzon to lazing on the powder-white beaches of the Visayas Islands, there’s no lack of evidence to support the country’s tourist board’s contention that it’s ‘more fun in the Philippines’. For Golfplan designer Kevin Ramsay, however, a tract of untamed coastal real estate that sprawled by the shores of Subic Bay in western Luzon was the Philippine sweetheart that seduced him over eight years ago. “I will never forget my first visit to Anvaya Cove,” he says of the site that is now home to the Anvaya Cove Golf and Sports Club, one of the most exciting new challenges in both the Philippines and indeed the region as a whole. “The site’s developers took me to a viewing area that overlooked the whole complex. The land featured some incredible elevation changes, it was home to some stunning vegetation and it had both mountain and sea views. Simply put, it

had everything a golf course designer needed to make a sensational golf course.” Having been fortunate enough to participate in the grand unveiling of the layout last December, I can confirm that Ramsay has put this prime raw material to the very best of use. Around 130km from Manila, Subic Bay was once site of a major US Naval Base. The base was closed back in 1991, but the area still attracts a healthy foreign presence due to its proximity to the capital and also its tremendous possibilities for scuba diving. Now the opening of Anvaya Cove represents another prestigious addition to the range of leisure activities available in the vicinity of Subic Bay. A mid-morning tee-off time necessitated an uncomfortably early departure from our Manila hotel. As the urban sprawl of the city softened into coconut palm-studded rice fields and then into the dramatic mountains-meet-ocean tableaux of Subic Bay, however, the effort began to feel more worthwhile. By the time a rare competent drive and approach shot had secured par at the first and the azure expanse of the West Philippine Sea had come into view on the second tee, all memory of the early morning blues had faded into complete insignificance. One of the things our group liked most about the course was the sheer variety of terrain and experiences it offers over the 18-holes. While sections of Anvaya Cove are played inland through funnels of massive trees, other holes – especially the stunning stretch from 11-13 – are more coastal in character and utilize the course’s stunning location to full show-stopping effect. Ramsay himself is uncomfortable with the idea of focus being placed on one section of the course. Certainly fantastic holes such as the ninth, a three-shot par-5, and the 18th, an uphill par-4 with a creek-fronted green, are spread evenly throughout the scorecard. However, consensus opinion among those who have played the course points to the aforementioned run of holes on the back nine being the highlight of the golfing experience at Anvaya Cove. The first of the three, the 11th, has the distinction being Ramsay’s own personal favorite hole on the course. “I don’t like the expression ‘signature hole’,” says Ramsay. “Because I think golf course architects should aim to make every hole dramatic, enjoyable and memorable. But if you twisted my arm I’d tell you that the 11th makes me smile more than any other hole. It is a short, cliff-top par-4 that tempts longer hitters to pull out a driver and go for the green. “I like reachable par-4s like this because they offer so much reward for taking a risk. HKGOLFER.COM

Undoubtedly, the sensible play here is to hit an iron to the right side of the fairway and then a pitching wedge in, but that is easier said than done. Whenever I step on this tee a little voice in my head whispers ‘go on Kevin, if you hit a really good drive then it could feed down onto the green, making eagle a possibility’. “Conversely, of course, if you hit a bad one, you’ll find yourself in the West Philippine Sea and it is pretty much impossible to make par from there.” Ramsay’s pick is certainly justified. There are plenty, however, who would plump for the 12th as being the pick of the bunch – I among them. Eschewing the flat-out risk/reward philosophy of the previous hole, the 446-yard beauty possesses more epic qualities than its predecessor. The elevated tee boxes high on a bluff reveal a fairway that plays downhill to a green nestled right on the beach itself, with another verdant bluff framing the entire tableau at right. The risk/reward element is not completely absent here as a creek crosses the fairway at 300 yards, complicating decision-making off the tee. A treacherous Pebble Beach-style short hole towards the ocean rounds off the “Amen Corner” of Anvaya Cove. However, as Ramsay says, the course is not lacking in overall quality aside from its most eye-catching stretch of holes. W hat ’s more w it h a state- of-t he-a r t clubhouse, a well-stocked professional’s shop, luxurious locker rooms and extensive accommodations on site, the new course appears to have all the elements in place in order to host a prestigious amateur or professional event. “Given the quality of some of the holes, the dramatic scenery and the early reviews, I think there is every possibility that Anvaya Cove HKGOLFER.COM

could be considered as a venue for major events here in Asia,” says Ramsay. “I also think it has every chance to be ranked as one of the Top 100 Courses in the World, but we’ll have to see what happens over the next few years. “For now I’m just happy that the course is open and golfers are walking off smiling.”

TRIP PLANNER Anvaya Cove is located two and a half hours from Manila International Airport and an hour and twenty minutes from Clark International Airport. Both gateways are served by regular direct flights from Hong Kong. While Anvaya Cove is currently operating on a members’ only basis – memberships, which allows bookings at the on-site accommodations, is priced at approximately US$30,000 – the club will soon announce an arrangement with major Manila hotels whereby guests can arrange tee times. For more information, visit





The mighty 615-yard par-5 10th at The Bluffs, Ho Tram


ne of the most anticipated new courses in Asia called its first golfers to the tee last month, when The Bluffs, Ho Tram opened for preview play along Vietnam’s south-central coast. Designed by two-time major champion Greg Norman, who spent an astounding 331 consecutive weeks atop the world golf rankings, The Bluffs trades on geographical traits that are more akin to the classic links of the British Isles than tropical Southeast Asia. "This is one of only two pieces of land of this quality and character that I have ever been given to work with, the other being Doonbeg in the south of Ireland," said Norman, who also conceived the award-winning (and HK Golfer favourite) Dunes Course at Danang Golf Club, on Vietnam's central coast. Routed over and around towering seaside sand dunes 120km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, The Bluffs is being billed as one of the few championship-calibre links courses with significant elevation changes, making for a golf experience as much a feast for the eyes as it is a challenge to tame. While the highest point of the rugged, windswept property is 50m above sea level, on the 15th green, one of the most spectacular spots comes earlier in the round, on the fourth tee. From there, players are presented with a 360-degree view -- of the course, of the surrounding national forest that's a haven for wildlife, of the expansive shoreline and of the The Grand Ho Tram Strip, which opened in July 2013 as Vietnam's first international luxury casino resort.



During the preview phase, golfers are invited to play the course for US$100, half of what the greens fee is likely to be come grand opening time later this year. "This course has all the elements necessary to be ranked among the best in the world," said Ben Styles, the club’s general manager. "It's golf in its purest, most beautiful form, in a setting that has no rival." When finished, The Bluffs will include an elegant, 2,300sqm clubhouse housing an array of dining outlets and a PGA-staffed driving range with more than 3,000sqm of practice and training facilities. Membership opportunities will be rolled out in May. The course is among several components of The Grand Ho Tram Strip's first stage of development. The ambitious project already features a 541room upscale hotel, six restaurants and bars, a spa, nightclub, convention center and casino with 90 gaming tables and 600 slot machines. For more information visit HKGOLFER.COM

Penthouse – Luxury Golf Precinct Bribie Island – Queensland – Australia 3 Bed 2 Bathroom 2 Car

* N.E. aspect Ocean and Golf Course Views * Private Rooftop BBQ area

* Complex facilities include Mini Golf, heated Pool, CCTV, On Site Manager, Video Intercom, Secure parking * Close to Surf beach, fishing, shops, restaurants, etc

* Family Golf Club Membership is included in the selling price * Furniture Package available

* Government regulations may apply to non resident buyers * Inspect complex and golf course at:

* Investment Opportunity and potential for Capital Growth

* Bridge connects Bribie Island to the mainland


* Brisbane International Airport is only a 45 minute drive

Priced to Sell US$ 725,000


Contact Paul Howard Professionals Bribie Island, Queensland, Australia Telephone: +61 7 3408 2700 or Cell: +61 7 408 068 770




rust me I'm an estate agent ... Does "Oh yes, sir the cost of changing that light bulb for £185 is entirely reasonable" ... or better still "You really must buy a furnishing package, it will only cost you £10,000 for your one-bedroom apartment" sound familiar? When investing your hard earned cash in any other forms, be it stocks, shares, gilts etc you are normally given somewhat of a professional opinion from someone with experience and qualifications. Sadly, the UK property market and the advice that comes with it is something of a minefield. Having worked in this colourful industry for over 25 years I really have seen it all – from studio apartments with nine occupants, to fires being lit on the floor of a Knightsbridge apartment to keep it warm as the tenant did not know how to work the thermostat. Just as sadly, the typical overseas landlord who had the very best intentions to strategically acquire a UK investment property is ripe for the picking, as his eye is generally off the ball being thousands of miles away. To be an estate agent in the UK requires few qualifications short of the desire to don a shiny suit and walk with a swagger. Not wishing to generalise of course, as there are some excellent firms, however they are a minority in their field. Typically when appointing an agent to acquire from or indeed let and manage your valuable asset has been a process of recommendation from the developer who sold you the property (and dare I say it has a vested interest). Alternatively you may have appointed an agent purely by their location to the property itself. STOP! Press pause and inwardly digest if you will ... Property held as an investment should be treated like any other asset class and be managed in the same fashion with a commercial approach. Can you honestly say if you asked your agent what the ROI (return on investment) was on your property in the past 12 months, and if so, did they the faintest idea what you were talking about? Before Complete RPI was born I put this very question to a newly appointed property manager. This was just after they had just spent £500 of my money on a replacement microwave which cost more to install than the product itself. She blinked and asked me if I was on Facebook. This is a very typical experience I hear about day in day out, mostly from investors, predominantly those living outside the UK, when having to interface with the dreaded estate agent. “Hindsight always was the best trader” my father used to say and that’s exactly why I set up my business, Complete RPI (Residential Property Investments), in April 2001. I quickly realised that there was and indeed continues to be, more than ever, a market for providing a commercial approach to owning residential property as an asset class. Having personally experienced the pitfalls of owning residential property from thousands of miles away I thought it best to iron out the wrinkles of cold, hardfaced inexperience and be the captain of my own ship. With over 1,000 properties now under management across the UK and a fantastic, experienced team, we at Complete RPI are specialists in our field. Specialists, I hear you cry? Well let me share some advice over the next few editions and kindly over a cold beer or glass of wine ask yourself whether you can indeed trust me because I am NOT an estate agent. I was admittedly, but not anymore. 74


ACQUISITION STRATEGY Strategy ... who said strategy? Surely it’s as easy as popping along to a very expensive hotel to attend another property exhibition on a Sunday afternoon? Tempted by free nibbles and feeling slightly jaded with a desire to build one’s property empire, that must be way to become a property mogul, right?. Yes you could or indeed probably have, but did you get lucky or make a major financial decision based upon gut feeling? Promises of a reception room “looking out to herds of wildebeest wandering majestically across the plain” – or in reality a dark redbrick wall and the sound of the 10:46 to London Waterloo thundering past? All that is shiny is not gold! Too many of my clients have been wooed by the 'SOLD' sticker and promises of emerging markets and rolled-edge marble effect work surfaces. Complete RPI take a completely different view when advising clients; we have no hidden agenda, no conflict of interest, just good old fashioned experience. Ask yourself the questions, why am I looking to invest? What are my motives? What can I actually afford? What is the net return after all costs allowing for void periods, service charges, disproportionately large agency fees and shifts in interest rates? We at Complete RPI will highlight every single last element of realistic expenditure to find out what the ROI really is. We advise clients to acquire a mixture of both HKGOLFER.COM

capital growth and yield driven residential investment opportunities. Let the income service the debt of your poor yielding central London apartment for instance and include diversity and spread your risk. Complete RPI have access to the entire UK market, not just the shiny new developments that may or may not be worth more than you paid for them in 12 months time. We acquire properties with tenants in situ and a proven track record of rental income rather than the “let’s tell the client what he wants to hear” approach. We acquire property with guaranteed corporate rental terms for 3 / 5 and 10 years, property which may require refurbishment where the value can be enhanced, real distressed properties acquired direct from the receiver or bank. And not only that. We will asset manage your property portfolio (even just the one property), giving you exclusive access to your very own bespoke property portal (which has been two years in the making and very expensive I hasten to add), which enables you to review financial performance, inspection reports, management statements, invoices, expenditure and much more. I shall be discussing fees, location, finance and letting in the next edition, but in the interim please take a look at


1. Golf Course - Includes Restaurant, Golf Shop, Practice Range. 2 Squash Courts, 2 Tennis Courts & Manager’s Residence. 2. Development Opportunity - 15 Lots. 3. 6 Approved Golf Frontage Lots (Last Available)

YOUR PROPERTY, OUR PRIORITY Let Complete RPI overview your UK property free of charge and answer the following questions: - Is your property under-let? We increased our rental income for client's by 7% last year, did your agent? - Have you contracted with the most up to date tenancy agreement? Changes in legislation occur daily. - We only charge monthly fees, are you paying up front? We charge a monthly Letting & Management Fee and no up-front fees, does your agent do the same? - We offer free rental guarantee insurance, does your agent? - Is your property inspected every three months by an independent inventory clerk? If not it should be and we pay the cost. Does your agent? - Do you have 24 hr access to your very own bespoke online property platform which allows you to view all aspects of your property including management statements, invoices, interim inspection reports, values, gearing ratios, etc ... at Complete RPI this is standard. The answers to these questions and many more could both save you money and increase the return on your capital invested. Please call us on +852-9307-0337 or write to Why not visit us at ... Your Property Our Priority." HKGOLFER.COM

Kangaroos free to Roam the course

Beautiful & Peaceful Natural Surroundings

Only 15 minutes to the Famous Noosa Beaches

View: Video:

Ph: (+61) 402 152 687 Email: HK GOLFER・APR 2014



Compiled by Dr Milton Wayne




1. Record sub-par total (8)

2. See 22D

5. (& 30A) Legendary course designer (7,9)

3. Home state and Ray Charles song (7)

7. See 26D

4. See 17D

9. (& 13A) First winner (6,5)

6. Former Chairman Johnson who lengthened the course (6)

10. First one of the year, Jack has won 18 (5) 11. (& 32A) Grumpy co-founder (8,7) 13. See 9A 14. See 25A 16. (& 28A) He hit the “Shot Heard Around The World” (4,7) 21. Masters month (5)


8. First winner of 14D (3,5) 12. First African-American competitor (3,5) 14. Fun competition on Wednesday (3,5) 15. Man behind the Masters, the legendary co-founder (5,5)

23. The “Wee Ice Mon”, 2-time winner (3,5)

17. (& 4D) Tradition started in 1952, hosted by Ben Hogan (9,6)

25. (& 14A) First non-US winner (4,6)

18. Current Chairman (5, 5)

27. Memory lane (8)

19. Holds record winning score (5,5)

28. See 16A

20. Reason the greens are so quick (9)

29. 3-time English winner (4,5)

22. (& 2D) Home to The Masters (7,8)

30. See 5A 31. See 24D

24. (& 31A) He holds the record as the only six-time winner (4,8)

32. See 11A

26. (& 7A) To the winner the spoils! (5,6)



WIN A SIGNED LEE WYBRANSKI POSTER! To enter, complete the crossword and send a scan or a photo of the completed grid to, with "April Crossword" as the subject. Remember to include your name, address and contact number. Entries close on 15 May. ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THE CORRECT ENTRIES. Congratulations to Tim Gilmore who won the February crossword. CORRECTION Apologies to our readers: the March crossword lacked the clue required for 17 down, which should have read 'First major of the year (7)'. We regret the error and as a result will extend the deadline for entries to 15 April.


Detail of Wybranski’s poster of The Road Hole at St Andrews





Sir Nick Faldo With three green jackets to his name the Englishman is a true Masters legend. He talks to Alex Jenkins about his debut, how he handled Augusta’s notoriously tricky greens and his come-from-behind victory over Greg Norman in 1996. On his debut ... My first Masters appearance [in 1979] was very intimidating. I arrived and although I’d seen Augusta on television I really had no idea about the scale of the place. The first thing that strikes you is the undulations – the course is really very hilly – and the hundreds of acres of just perfect fairways. The looks I received from some of the old boys – as if to say, ‘Who’s that guy?’ – was daunting too. On honorary membership ... Although I don’t play the Masters any more I do take part in the Par 3 Contest (pictured) on the Wednesday. Past winners of the Masters get honorary membership but you don’t get the same members’ rights. If I wanted to turn up tomorrow I’d still need to play with a member. On the greens ... The key to Augusta is the greens. Certainly I’d never played on greens like them before and it takes a long time to appreciate that you need to play different types of chips than you’re used to because of their slopes and speed. I remember practicing one- and two-yard chips because a lot of the time that was the only way to stop the ball anywhere near the hole. On the lengthening of the course ... The lengthening was necessary, given how far the guys hit it. They wanted to get them hitting similar irons into the greens as we used to in the 80s, and I think they’ve achieved that. The subtleties of the course have remained – they haven’t touched the 12th hole for example. I am a fan of what they’ve done. On his favourite win ... All three of my wins are incredibly special but certainly 1996 stands out in a number of ways. That was the best I have ever been mentally on a golf course, and to shoot 67 with just one bogey in that kind of situation ... well, that’s about as good as it gets right there. It also came at a time when I wasn’t at my peak playing-wise – I was getting on a bit in my 78


career – so I was very proud of the way I was able to get it done. It is also without doubt the most famous of my wins. Wherever I am – especially in America – people are constantly reminding me of it. They know I have won The Open too, but they are not always correct about the details – they’ll say, ‘You won at Birkdale, right? and stuff like that. But the Masters in 1996 – everyone seems to remember exactly what happened and when. On Greg Norman handling of the media ... Huge credit to him for doing that. I couldn’t have done the same. I would needed to have slept on what happened and gone back and done the interviews the next morning. To stand there and take it on the chin ... that’s what I said to him on the [18th] green, I said: ‘Don’t let the bastards get you down’ because I knew what was coming. I genuinely felt for the guy that day because that would have scarred me. On that famous 2-iron to the 13th which set up birdie ... The thing about that shot was the timing. It came at such a pivotal point in the round. I was originally going to go with the 5-wood but the ball wasn’t sitting right, so I switched to the 2-iron, which came across as indecision on TV, but it wasn’t. It was a great shot at just the right moment. HKGOLFER.COM