Local scene: Doug Williams’ major week at the US Senior Open
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION VOTED THE REGION’S NO 1 GOLF MAGAZINE
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HK Golfer Issue 91
44 On the Cover:
Rory McIlroy claimed the third major championship of his young but brilliant career at Royal Liverpool Golf Club last month. Photo by AFP
34 | Tales from the Box
27 | Tee Time
What’s in a beard? Has the guard changed? What value experience? Just a few questions that have floated across the mind of our correspondent as we say goodbye to the Open Championship and head forth to the Ryder Cup. By Julian Tutt
40 | A Corking Idea
Meet Nuno Nascimento of The Cork Tree, a Portugal-based firm that is hoping to revolutionize the golf manufacturing industry. Interview by Alex Jenkins
44 | Hoylake High
Rory McIlroy’s triumph at last month’s Open Championship at Roya l Liverpool, t he 25-year-old’s t hird major championship victory, was down to a new-found patience. By Lewine Mair
56 | A Week to Remember Rolex / Chris Turvey (Woods); Daniel Wong (Chan)
HKGC member Doug Williams became only the second local golfer in history* to play in a major championship last month when he teed it up at the US Senior Open after coming through the rigours of qualifying. This is his story. As told to Alex Jenkins
60 | From Tee to Shore
There are nearly sixty courses now complete or under construction on Hainan Island, only an hour’s flight from Hong Kong. We check out five of the best. By Alex Jenkins
74 | Final Shot
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
With Greg Norman. The Great White Shark talks business, the origin of his nickname, Masters tournament heartbreak and his favourite golf courses. By The Editors
Swiss watchmaker Omega celebrates its continuing association with the sport with the launch of the Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M “Golf” watch. By The Editors
30 | Driving Range Our motoring correspondent takes a look at Jaguar Land Rover’s new special operations department. By Ben Oliver
36 | Liquid Assets A journey through the Bourgogne. By Julien Yung Mameaux
38 | By Design Our contributing architect discusses the importance of ground contours and asks why they have become a taboo subject in modern golf course design. By Paul Jansen
58 | Equipment A review of the Last Bag from Club Glove, the golf travel bag of choice among the PGA Tour’s elite. By the Editors
68 | Property Special The founder of Complete RPI discusses property maintenance. By Rupert Smith
78 | Crossword US PGA Championship special. By Dr Milton Wayne HKGOLFER.COM
Collection 2014 Exclusive watches, fashion items, personal accessories, gift ideas and sports products â€“ manufactured with passion and tremendous attention to detail. Visit www.mercedes-benz.com.hk/collection to explore the products that capture the allure of Mercedes-Benz.
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION AUG 2014 • Issue 91
Editor: Alex Jenkins email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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60 D E PA R T M E N T S 14 Mailbag 16 Divots 20 Women’s Focus 22 Senior’s Focus 24 Major Focus
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HK Golfer Mailbag Dominance is Dull I’ve long been an admirer of Rory McIlroy – the 2011 Hong Kong Open, which he won, was by far and away the most exciting tournament I have ever attended. As such it was great to see him win the Open Championship with such a brilliant performance at Royal Liverpool. However, I can’t possibly agree with his post-event comments in which he declared: “Golf is looking for someone to put their hand up and try to dominate and I want to be that person.” Maybe his words were just those of a man who was still flush with the excitement of capturing the biggest prize in golf, a tournament that many doubted he would ever win. But in my view, golf is most certainly not looking for someone to dominate. A dominant player or participant in any sport – Michael Schumacher in Formula One or Pete Sampras at Wimbledon, for example – makes for dull viewing. What golf needs are great rivalries, a handful of players who are at the peak of their games who will challenge each other for major titles and the title of world number one. That would make for a great spectacle. The 1960s and 70s had Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player; the 80s and 90s had Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros. Tiger Woods’ emergence in the late 90s rather spoilt the run (he’s never really gone head-to-head with his closest rival, Phil Mickelson), but here’s hoping that this new breed – McIlroy and the likes of Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer and Jordan Spieth – can give the viewing public what they really want: competitiveness at the highest level. Nobody, aside from clearly McIlroy himself, wants dominance.
McIlroy, seen here en route to winning the 2011 Hong Kong Open, says that he wants to dominate the game; Mickelson (below) filled the Claret Jug with something rather special after winning in 2013
Justin Liu Via email
Make Mine a Claret
Charles McLaughlin (McIlroy); AFP (Mickelson)
I have a new-found respect for Phil Mickelson, and it has nothing to do with what he has done on the golf course. Last month, before the Open Championship, it was revealed that ‘Lefty’ celebrated his own Open win from the year before by filling the Claret Jug with the contents of a US$40,000 bottle of RomaneeConti. Okay, let’s forget the fact that his wine of choice is actually Burgundy and not Claret (Brit-speak for Bordeaux) but he was
quoted as saying: “One of the things that I stressed is that we have to treat the Claret Jug with reverence and respect that it deserves and only put good stuff in it.” Bingo! How right he is! The same cannot be said of Rory McIlroy. One could hardly criticize his fabulous play, but you can his choice of libation. The tousle-haired Ulsterman only went and filled the famous jug with – brace yourself – Jagermeister. ‘Old’ Tom Morris would be appalled. Roger Morris Mid-Levels
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HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
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The Pill – Short Game Saviour If you’re down about your short game, this training a id wi l l help. T he Pi l l, which garnered widespread attention at the 2013 PGA Show, trains you to attain a solid and consistent contact with the putter and wedges. With that, the quality of your putts and chips will improve and your scores will likely go down. The Pill looks like a wheel of cheese. If you line it up on its side and strike it squarely with your putter, it’ll roll smoothly on the green (or carpet, if you’re using it at home or in the office). Likewise with chips: only the purest of contacts will deliver a pure result. However, if you strike The Pill improperly, it’ll roll off line dramatically or tumble wildly. In short, The Pill gives you immediate feedback on the quality of your contact. The Pill (from HK$140) is available to order through the HK Golfer Online Store. Visit hkgolfer.com for more information.
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Eu rA sia Cup capta i ns M i g uel A n g el Ji mene z of Spain and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (pictured) wi l l joi n Ern ie Els i n t he f ield for t his year ’s US $9 0 0 ,0 0 0 Ve n e t i a n Macau Open, which will b e held at Mac au G ol f and Country Club from October 23-26. T he t wo vetera ns – ranked 27th and 33rd in the world respectively – captained their respective continents to a dramatic 13-13 draw at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in March. Jimenez turned 50 in January, but remains in fine form and won his 21st European Tour title in May with a play-off victory at the Open de Espana, breaking the record he set at last December’s Hong Kong Open as the oldestever winner on the European Tour. The charismatic Spaniard will be making his debut in Macau and will be looking to replicate the success he has had in Hong Kong, where he has won four times (2004, 2007, 2012 and 2013) and established a cult following. Els, the four-time major winner now sponsored by The Venetian Macao, finished second on his Macau Open debut last year and has already committed to this year’s tournament. Entry is free to the Asian Tour event.
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
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Magnificent Langer Wins in Wales Bernhard Langer ran away with the Senior British Open last mont h for his fourt h senior major title, finishing a Champions Tour-record 13 strokes ahead of Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie. The 56-year-old German (pic t u re d) clo se d w it h a 4 -u nder 67 at su n ny a nd breezy Royal Porthcawl to finish at 18-under 266. He opened with rounds of 65, 66 and 68. “The golf course is unbelievably tough,” Langer said. “To have this weather for four days is unreal, it’s like playing in Florida with a bit of wind. The secret was I didn’t make too many mistakes and my driver was very good and my long putting was excellent, although not quite today as I was lacking a little. Perhaps my lead was too big.” Montgomerie, the winner of the previous two senior majors, finished with a 69.
R&A to Permit Postal Voting on Motion to Admit Women Members
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The Royal & Ancient Golf Club will hold a postal vote on whether to admit women members for the first time. The club announced last month that it would allow members to vote by post rather than limiting the vote to members attending in person. The club says “by taking this decision all members can take part in this historic vote.” Club rules previously required members to be present to vote. R&A secretary Peter Dawson said during the Open Championship, which was held at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, that “it’s clear that the majority of R&A members feel that postal voting would be appropriate in this case.” The result will be announced on 18 September. The 260-year-old club has about 2,400 members around the world. HKGOLFER.COM
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Women Focus Eagle Lands for Martin Mo Martin produced the performance of her life to secure her first major title with victory at the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale last month. The 31-year-old secured top spot with a stunning eagle on the final hole to finish one shot clear of Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and China’s Shanshan Feng. Ranked 99th in the world, Martin, from California, was not expected to challenge at the top of the leaderboard, but a second shot at the 472-yard 18th landed just six feet away from the pin – allowing Martin to putt for glory and secure a famous triumph. Photo by AFP
Senior Focus Monty’s Major March Colin Montgomerie won his second senior major in succession following victory at the US Senior Open at Oak Tree National Golf Club in Oklahoma last month. The 51-year-old Scot came from four shots behind overnight leader Gene Sauers to force a three-hole play-off, which he would seal at the third extra hole. The title came just seven weeks after he won the Senior PGA Championship. “You talk about the Ryder Cup and one-on-one – I’m usually quite good. A play-off in a golf tournament is like a penalty shootout in the World Cup. You don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Montgomerie. Photo by AFP
Major Focus Sand Ends Sergio’s Surge Sergio Garcia put in a great effort during the final round of last month’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, pulling to within touching distance of Rory McIlroy’s lead after making a fast start. It wasn’t to be for the Spaniard, however, as he failed to extract himself from a greenside bunker at the 15th hole to drop a shot and effectively end his title challenge. Garcia has now come close to breaking his major duck at Hoylake on two occasions. In 2006, he was paired with eventual winner Tiger Woods in the final round but could only muster a 73 to fall back into a share of fifth. Photo by AFP
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Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME
FOR THE GOOD OF THE GAME
ONE OF GOLF’S MOST PROMINENT SUPPORTERS, SWISS WATCHMAKER OMEGA CELEBRATES ITS CONTINUING ASSOCIATION WITH THE SPORT WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE SEAMASTER AQUA TERRA 150M “GOLF” WATCH. The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M “Golf” Watch HKGOLFER.COM
CONTINUED OVERLEAF HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
I Clockwise from top: the watch features Omega’s patented screw and pin stainless steel bracelet; new Omega recruit Rory McIlroy; Michelle Wie is a long-time Omega athlete 28
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
n order to celebrate its expanded presence performance which will be maintained over a in the world of golf, luxury Swiss watchmaker longer period of time than those with a traditional Omega has launched the Seamaster Aqua Terra Swiss lever escapement. As a result, there are 150M “Golf” watch. With the distinctive green longer service intervals and Omega guarantees elements on its dial, the brand fashionably the timepiece for four years. The Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M “Golf” Watch identifies itself with a truly global sport. The watch, which features a 41.50 mm brushed and features Omega’s patented screw and pin stainless steel bracelet and is water polished stainless steel case and resistant to 150 metres. a polished bezel, has a black The Seamaster The Biel-based brand, which dial with the vertical lines that Aqua Terra 150M was founded in 1848, has long define Omega’s popular Aqua “Golf” Watch is supported the sport of golf Terra Collection. The indexes internationally, serving as title are crafted from brushed and powered by the sponsor of the European Masters, polished 18-carat white gold and Omega Co-Axial the Dubai Desert Classic and the there is a date window at 3 o’clock. caliber 8500. When Dubai Ladies Masters. The brand The hour hand can be changed also serves as Official Timekeeper independently of the minute and the movement for The PGA of America’s events seconds hands allowing travellers was introduced in including the Ryder Cup when it to adjust the time easily when 2007, it signaled is contested in the United States. they change time zones. Omega and The PGA of The Seamaster Aqua Terra a revolution America formally began a far150M “Golf” Watch is powered in mechanical reaching strategic marketing and by the Omega Co-Axial caliber watchmaking. sponsorship agreement in 2011 8500. When the movement was and it will carry through 2016. introduced in 2007, it signaled a revolution in mechanical watchmaking. Equipped With this multi-faceted partnership agreement, with the first practical new watch escapement the brand has reaffirmed its commitment to to be introduced in some 250 years, the Co-Axial develop and promote the game of golf around movement delivers outstanding chronometric the world. HKGOLFER.COM
In 2013, Omega took its association with the game to an even greater level by signing three of the golf’s professional elite – Rory Mcllroy, Stacy Lewis and China’s Shanshan Feng. Omega’s roster of brand ambassadors also includes a number of other stars such as Sergio Garcia, Davis Love III, Michelle Wie and Noh Seung-yul, and one In 2013, Omega of the game’s all-time took its association legends – Greg Norman, with the game to the “Great White Shark”. Omega will be an even greater on hand as Of ficial level by signing Timekeeper when golf three of the golf’s returns to the Olympic Games for the first time professional elite – in more than a century. Rory Mcllroy, Stacy In its long-standing role Lewis and China’s as Official Timekeeper of the Olympic Games Shanshan Feng (this year’s Olympic Winter Games in Sochi was the 26th time the brand has fulfilled the role), Omega says it is looking forward to golf’s return as an Olympic sport when Rio de Janeiro hosts the Summer Games in 2016. HKGOLFER.COM
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE
JAGUAR LAND ROVER’S NEW BESPOKE DIVISION, BUILT ON THE BACK OF THE FIRM’S SUCCESS IN MAINLAND CHINA, PROMISES TO TURN THE DESCRIPTION ‘LIMITED EDITION’ ON ITS HEAD, WRITES BEN OLIVER.
But while the importance of individual ost of us would think that a Jaguar or a Land Rover – and a Range Rover especially – is a very desirable vehicle. Your friends customer requests is not new, what is new and and business associates would be impressed if you bought one important about this new division is the scale of – and perhaps you already have. But for some people, a standard what it will do. No other carmaker has made such luxury car is not enough. As premium and even exotic cars a clear commitment to this new trend, or planned become more common on the roads of all the world’s major such radical products for its bespoke division. Of cities, the really wealthy – or the true enthusiasts – want something that stands course, Jaguar Land Rover’s success and growth in China have helped to fund out and looks really special, even among the best cars on the this new investment. And there planet. Something unique. And this is as true among Hong No other carmaker is no doubt that China will also Kong and Chinese customers as it is anywhere in the world. has made such a provide many of its customers. So high-end car companies in Europe are responding. Special Operations will Privately, Ferrari executives tell me that ‘bespoke’ one-off clear commitment design and build very limitedfeatures for clients add around 25 per cent to the final invoice to this new trend, edition special cars. It will value of their V12 cars: so this is good business for them. Bentley or planned such design and build the highest has its Mulliner bespoke division, and Aston Martin has named performance versions of Jaguar its department which handles special customers requests ‘Q’, radical products for after the character in the James Bond novels and films who its bespoke division. and Land Rover’s standard makes the super-spy’s gadgets, including his Aston Martins. cars, which from now on will And now Jaguar Land Rover has launched its Special carry the new SVR badge. It Operations division, to handle everything it makes outside its standard production will design and build one-off cars for special cars. I recently attended a small private briefing in London with JLR chief executive customers. And it will also handle all of Jaguar Dr Ralph Speth in which he announced the launch of the new division, and told us Land Rover’s ‘heritage’ activities: restoring what projects the new team would be working on. Some of this is still secret, so I and racing the most important cars from the company’s past. can’t tell you about it – yet!
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
Clockwise from top: the radical Jaguar Project 7, based on the F-Type roadster, is the first limited-edition car; the Range Rover SVR is the fastest and most powerful Land Rover ever built
The first limited-edition car has already been announced: the radical Jaguar Project 7, based on the F-Type roadster and a tribute to the famous D-Type racer of the ‘50s. It is the fastest, most powerful production Jaguar ever, and a clear sign of how serious this new division is about its cars. Production will be limited to around 250, and they have already started to sell fast; they may all have gone by the time you read this. If you’d like one, speak to your dealer – and fast. And the first very high performance SVRbadged car has also been announced now. The Range Rover Sport SVR is also the fastest, most powerful Land Rover ever produced: I saw and heard the camouflaged prototype when it made a brief public appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed event in the UK in July – and if it drives like it sounds, it will be great! Or, of course, you can visit the new Special Operations headquarters and be shown into the special customer commissioning suite, and have their designers and engineers – some recruited from Formula One – create a car to your exact specification. Maybe the next car they build will be to your design. HKGOLFER.COM
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
CLUBHOUSE | LIQUID ASSETS
EXPERIENCE BOURGOGNE BURGUNDY NATIVE JULIEN YUNG MAMEAUX, WINE EXPERT AND FOUNDER OF THE EXPERIENCE COMPANY, TELLS US HOW BEST TO ENJOY THE REGION.
ine lovers’ pilgrimages are often to Bordeaux in the southwest of France. But the region of Bourgogne (French for Burgundy), between Paris and Lyon, has a lot to offer to those who enjoy great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as delectable food and a genuine, country-style art-de-vivre. Here is what to look for this coming autumn.
WINE DRINKING THRILLS If there is one road to follow in Bourgogne, it is the Route des Grands Crus. This 60km long stretch is formed by dozens of pathways taking you through the best appellations and vineyards. You travel through superb landscapes, hills and villages, like Aloxe-Corton, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Vosne-Romanee and GevreyChambertin. Wine estates pop up around large, countryside houses, however Bourgogne does not offer much in the way of cellar doors, like in Australia, nor has dedicated staff for visits: in most cases you need to make an appointment or be introduced by a specialist. Need it be said, as you drink wine along the way, it is best is to be driven. In Bourgogne, wine events are plentiful, especially in autumn. One of them is the Independent Winemakers’ Fair in October: with 60 estates represented and more than 300 wines from Bourgogne and Jura, this is a rare chance to find hidden gems and future star winemakers. A month later, the famous Beaune Auctions is the mecca for wine collectors and auction bidders. Last year a recordhigh €6.3 million of sales was achieved. And if you explore further, many wine fairs are set up in small villages of the Burgundian countryside, offering a genuine and authentic taste of the local lifestyle.
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
GASTRONOMY, SIGHTSEEING AND MUSIC In pure wine and food pairing tradition, Bourgogne is also famous for its gastronomy. Inspirations can be found at the International Food & Wine Fair in November. With 600 exhibitors presenting local terroir products, famous chefs demonstrating culinary performances and multiple tasting stands, this is a heaven for the visitor’s palate. This year Portugal is the country of honour and wines of Douro will join the party. Sightseeing in Bourgogne is for the curious traveller, the one who doesn’t just stop in front of a monument but steps inside to discover and learn all about heritage and cultural meanings. The region has many historical treasures, many of which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage, such as Fontenay, the oldest Cistercian abbey. And now the “climats” of Burgundy vineyards are aiming to be UNESCO-protected as well. Music is also another way to enjoy Bourgogne, as the region is considered one of the prominent musical centres of France. Harvests are always accompanied by jazz music, like the Beaune Jazz Festival in September. The Festival Awaranda, held in September in the South of Burgundy near Macon (known for Pouilly Fuisse wines), welcomes bands from Colombia, Bulgaria and other countries, and hosts Celtic bagpipe performances and a guitar contest. And the Tribu Festival Dijon will feature this year the vibrant Thomas de Pourquery Supersonic, ambiance musician Wang Li of China and the American jazz multi-instrumentalist Kahil El Zabar & The Magic Orchestra. Arrange and book your trip to Bourgogne with The Experience Company (www.TheExCo.com) at +852 3488 9565 or Contact@TheExCo.com. Quoting “HKGolfer” for a complimentary gift. DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR 13 Sept: Awaranda Music Festival, Iguerande 14-15 Sept: Beaune Jazz Festival, Beaune 19-28 Sept: Tribu Festival, Dijon 17-19 Oct: Independent Winemakers Fair, Dijon 31 Oct – 11 Nov: International Food & Wine Fair, Dijon 14-16 Nov: Beaune Auctions, Beaune HKGOLFER.COM
| TALES FROM THE BOX
Jug to Cup What’s in a beard? Has the guard changed? What value experience? Just a few questions that have floated across the mind of Julian Tutt as we say goodbye to the Open Championship and head forth to the Ryder Cup.
Thomas Bjorn and his splendid whiskers (this page); is Lee Westwood (opposite) deserving of a wildcard pick from Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley? 34
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
he beard issue is an intriguing one. To an “old blazer” like myself, beards are redolent of a bygone era, when Edwardian gentry would have a “loader” for their matching pair of Purdeys, as they slaughtered thousands of pheasants in a day, regaled in Norfolk jacket and plus fours, while the ladies lounged in their long, billowing dresses under a sizeable bonnet and handsome parasol. For the young sports stars of today though they are suddenly trendy again, and a badge of office. At The Open Championship at Hoylake they appeared to be spreading like Topsy. The quality of the grooming though seemed to have a significant impact on performance. Poor old Ernie Els was just into the designer-stubble stage when he missed a putt from nine inches on the opening hole and then missed the anger-inspired backhanded flick coming back. Dustin Johnson sports an immaculately manicured creation that looked as though it might get up close and personal with the Claret Jug, but his Sunday efforts were reminiscent of a 1960’s hippy after too good a night out; all that was missing was the flower-power shirt. Marc Leishman (65), Shane Lowry (65) and Thomas Bjorn (67) all had their best rounds on the final day having
clearly gained strength over the week. Lowry’s hirsute growth does a remarkably good job of disguising the Irishman. Weeks before I’d sat opposite him in a hotel bar without recognising him. Bjorn’s splendid whiskers really do bring to mind the 1920s. With crown, orb and sceptre he would be an ideal candidate for Hollywood’s next biopic of King George V. But what may seem like an act of rebellion merely becomes a sign of conformity, a marque of the tribe, a select band of gladiators for which HKGOLFER.COM
entry and membership is a prized possession. I am, of course, merely extremely envious, both because I was never nearly good enough to join the tribe, and because my previous efforts at growing a beard have left me looking like a billy goat with alopecia. Of much greater significance is the question of whether or not the tribal elders have been forced to make way for the young bucks. Sunday at Royal Liverpool was really all about Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia, although the BBC Director couldn’t resist showing every dying ember of Tiger’s ugly slide into oblivion. Okay, I exaggerate for effect, but it was a performance that the “old” Tiger wouldn’t have recognised. It was only last season that he was winning five tournaments on the PGA Tour and anyone writing him off just yet would be either very foolish or perhaps blessed with remarkable foresight. By the time you are reading this he may have won the US PGA Championship but my gut instinct is that, while he may well win more tournaments, his major tally will remain at fourteen. I say this for two reasons. Firstly, it appears that the overwhelming confidence that once suffused his game has gone, a victim of a turbulent few years, and secondly because his driving is of the military variety. When he won at Hoylake in 2006 his long iron play was imperious. He didn’t try to overpower the course, merely go with the flow. This year, McIlroy’s driving was so long and so straight that he simply flew all the hazardous revetted bunkers that so often meant a dropped shot, if found. Jack Nicklaus always reckoned the driver was the most important club in the bag, closely followed by the putter. McIlroy is the same. When his driver is working the game looks very easy indeed and the rest flows like a Mozart symphony building to a dramatic climax. Who knows whether the old guard has handed over the baton just yet? Any of the top veterans are capable of their day in the sun, as Tom Watson continues to prove, but there’s no question we are into an exciting new era. Fowler arrived on the scene with a flourish of trumpets, but for a while was better known for his flashy outfits than for winning golf. According to Butch Harmon, his coach of the past year, having sorted out his marketing the 25-year-old has matured into a serious golfer with serious ambitions. He has absorbed Butch’s instruction remarkably quickly and now looks ready to tackle the likes of McIlroy head on in what could be the riveting rivalry of the next decade. Only a few weeks before The Open, Fowler was involved in a brutal car crash that could easily have been fatal, but he walked away with just a few stitches in his scalp. Such sobering experiences can have a rapid maturing effect! HKGOLFER.COM
Bjorn’s splendid whiskers really do bring to mind the 1920s. With crown, orb and sceptre he would be an ideal candidate for Hollywood’s next biopic of King George V. Hoylake was a tremendous Open, with the likes of Garcia and Fowler making for a gripping last day despite McIlroy’s big lead. It was a shame that we didn’t see McIlroy throw his victorious ball into the galleries at the end, but sadly the BBC Director was too busy showing us shots of the adoring crowd. Am I alone in wanting to see the combatants and their every move and gesture, or is there a huge groundswell of demand for shots of packed stands of applauding punters? There was no question of a Garcia choke this time, although his challenge did end when he very uncharacteristically left his ball in the greenside bunker on the 15th. If there is any justice in this world he will eventually win a major, but then so should Colin Montgomerie and Lee Westwood. Monty does now have his two senior majors (and well done him) but as Butch Harmon pointed out to him, Nicklaus still considers his major haul to be 18, despite having won a slack handful on the Champions Tour. (In fact, if you check out his website, he claims 20 majors, including his two US Amateur Championships. The Seniors Tour hardly gets a mention). As I write Monty has just finished a very distant second in the British Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl, a mere 13 shots behind Bernhard Langer. The German’s extraordinary, dominating performance led Monty to claim that this would be remembered as one of the greatest displays of golf ever. His comments may have been tinged with a hint of hyperbole in the immediate aftermath of battle, but you get his drift. Tony Jacklin, who was commentating on Sky Television, suggested (with all his invaluable experience as a Ryder Cup captain) that Paul McGinley should give very serious consideration to selecting Langer as a wildcard for this year’s edition at Gleneagles. He feels that Langer’s experience and current form would be a tremendous asset to the team. Personally I reckon they’re all in cloud cuckoo land! With about five weeks to go until the team is selected the top nine are McIlroy, Dubuisson, Donaldson, Stenson, Garcia, Rose, HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
Ryder Cup captains of past and present: Nick Faldo and Tom Watson
Ryder Cup captains are always quick to point out that they don’t hit a shot and that it’s all down to the players to win their matches, but recent history would suggest other factors matter too. outmanoeuvred by a canny Paul Azinger. Almost for the first time the Americans performed as a team, while the Europeans wallowed in a rudderless ship. Before the competition began, Azinger and the whole US team appeared on a riotous stage at a street party in downtown Louisville, to the delight of the assembled masses. The Americans had become European in outlook and vice versa. Captains do matter, which is why the PGA of America have appointed Tom Watson this time. They’re fed up with losing and want a proven, hard-nosed champion to take the Cup back to America. As things stand now, Mickelson is just outside the top nine automatic places, and Woods is miles away. Presumably Watson will pick Mickelson, but what of Tiger? Nicklaus thinks he must be picked. McGinley says the competition would be better for his presence. Watson havers. It’s no secret that there is no love lost between the two men, the captain having been quite outspoken about Tiger’s behaviour in the past and there are rumours (possibly unfounded) of a greater rift dating back many years. Previously it has often been a team of eleven plus Tiger Woods and his security entourage. Nonetheless, Watson is there to win the Cup and if he thinks Woods will add strength to the team he will surely pick him. The question is, will he think that? Tiger is old guard, sometimes has a beard of sorts, and oozes experience. Would you pick him?
Kaymer, Bjorn and Donald. If that remains unchanged, McDowell, Poulter and Westwood are the obvious captain’s picks. Beyond them, there’s a case for Stephen Gallacher (a lone Scot on home soil), Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez (a senior who’s only just outside automatic selection) and perhaps even Robert Karlsson who’s coming right back to top form. I’ve always been a great admirer of Langer, and his longevity at the highest level is remarkable, but I’ll wager he’s not even on McGinley’s radar. Assuming they haven’t qualified and they still easily could, I suspect McDowell and Poulter will be automatic choices. Westwood will give McGinley a bigger headache. His Ryder Cup record is outstanding and his experience would be invaluable. However, to beat a strong American side you need men in form. Would Gallacher, or Jimenez or Molinari or Karlsson bring home more points? The captains are always quick to point out that they don’t hit a shot and that it’s all down to the players to win their matches, but recent history would suggest other factors matter too. At Oakland Hills in 2004, the Texan Hal Sutton appeared on the first tee wearing an enormous Stetson, having stated in gungho fashion that he was putting the best two players in the world together to lead his team. Ken Brown and I went to watch the opening skirmishes close up from the clubhouse. Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington walked early onto the tee together, happily chatting away while they practised their putting. Tiger Woods then appeared on his own and walked over to chat to the Europeans. His partner Phil Mickelson pitched up a minute later and studiously ignored everyone. After the best two players in the world were beaten in the morning, Sutton put them out together again in the afternoon in the firm belief they couldn’t possibly lose twice. They did. Sutton just ignored the fact that they were like oil and water. His opposite number Bernhard Langer hardly put a foot wrong throughout the campaign, getting his pairings spot on, which lead to a record win on American soil. Admittedly he was blessed with a strong, in-form team, but then so was Nick Faldo at Valhalla four years later, and he was totally out-thought and 36
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| BY DESIGN
Award-winning architect Paul Jansen discusses the importance of ground contours and asks why they have become a taboo subject in modern golf course design.
David Cannon / Getty Images
Royal County Down (opposite top) and the Old Course at St Andrews (bottom) are courses which use ground contours to stunning effect 38
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f you happened to watch the Open C ha mpion sh ip la st mont h you would have noted how much Royal Liverpool called for great creativity – and in many cases the need to improvise or invent shots. Royal Liverpool, otherwise known as Hoylake after the nearby village of the same name, rewards brain over brawn – at least when you stay out of the thick stuff. Much of this has to do with the course setup and how much influence the wind and ground contours have on day-today play. Added to this Royal Liverpool is a strong strategic test, so intelligent play is the name of the game. Instead of having to skirt clover leaf shape bunkers or large water bodies – with fountains in them – at Royal Liverpool the golfer has to manoeuver his way around the links using the humps, bumps, cants and depressions to great benefit. The direct line to the pin may not always be the ideal line and this is where the smart golfers will use the wind and ground contours to positively influence the flight and roll of the ball. This type of golf is not something you see every day. In fact many of today’s golf courses have been ‘dumbed down’ to accept one type of golf shot – the aerial one. This in part thanks to the way many golf courses have been designed and are being maintained with extensive use of irrigation systems. Whilst hard and fast is sometimes difficult to achieve in
certain conditions, although not impossible, it’s not difficult to build or utilise existing ground contours that add strategic interest and call for creative shot-making. To d ay t h e r e i s t o o mu c h e mp h a si s on designing features such as bunkers and water bodies to create golf course charm and strategic interest when something as simple as a bump or depression can add as much value – with the penalty being much less severe for the golfer. Also, if we were to substitute some of our manmade features for more natural ones (think of grass depressions, fairway tiers or bumps in the ground) then I am willing to bet it would go a long way in helping solve some of the pace of play issues that harm our game. It’s my view that ground contours are the most underused golf feature today, which is alarming given what they bring to the party at a fraction the cost of any other feature. If designed intelligently ground contours can be very effective in guiding water off the play surfaces as well. This can negate the need to add sub-surface drainage – another hefty cost. Good drainage is essential and grading the ground to help achieve this end is of paramount importance. Mounds are typically always well drained and surface swales help move water off the play zones. Golden Age golf architect Dr A lister MacKenzie, the mastermind behind such classics as Augusta National and Cypress Point, once wrote that “Undulating ground consisting of HKGOLFER.COM
hillocks and hollows is of enormous interest”, yet rarely do we see much undulation on our modern courses. This is hard to fathom given how interesting the game becomes when having to contend with the ball below or above the feet – from time to time. Certainly the game becomes so much more fun to play when the golfer is asked to invent shots which ground undulation demands. You could even argue that difficult stances extract the very best ability out of a golfer. Past Open champion Harold once wrote, “It is these unequal stances which bring out the true ability of the golfer. It is not at all difficult to hit a ball when the stance is what may be termed plumb and the lie a good one: this is the A B C of golf; but it is a very different thing to hit a ball when it is lying at an awkward angle and you have to take stance with one foot placed inches above the other. The playing of such shots requires a good deal of the knowledge of the game and the application thereof.” Ground contours are an essential golf feature, they always have been, so why are we not making more of an effort to utilize them much more in the play areas: it is almost as if today they are seen as taboo. A golfer will never bore – nor tire – playing shots from varied lies and the cost of creating – and then maintaining – these features is minimal in comparison to the “standard” features we get fed from day to day. Let the ground dictate the play and there is every chance your course would be better for it. HKGOLFER.COM
Today there is too much emphasis on designing features such as bunkers and water bodies to create golf course charm and strategic interest when something as simple as a bump or depression can add as much value – with the penalty being much less severe for the golfer.
HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
| INDUSRTY INTERVIEW
Meet Nuno Nascimento of The Cork Tree, a Portugalbased firm that is hoping to revolutionize the golf manufacturing industry with their environmentallyfriendly and versatile products. Interview by Alex Jenkins. Your family has been involved in the cork business for a long time. But how do you go from producing cork stoppers for wine bottles to producing golf bags, headcovers and putter grips made of it?
Courtesy of The Cork Tree
I’m a golf enthusiast. I started playing in 2001 and am now a six-handicapper, one who has his ups and downs. I try to conciliate my passion for cork production with golf, and every break I have from work I spend on the golf course. This idea of combining cork with golf came in 2011 when the cork industry in general grew in terms of technology. A few modest studios started to use cork leather – or as I call it, ‘green’ leather – as a fabric for bags and accessories. Cork leather is not a new concept; it has existed for almost 20 years, but was very limited because of the production process. With the new technology it has become possible to apply different cork patterns and different backings onto the cork leather to create more or less resistance and protection in the manufacturing process. Because I play regularly and have come 40
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to know many people in the golf industry, including some professionals, I thought why not make some headcovers out of cork leather? At least they’d be different from all the other head covers and also ecological. Cork is a renewable source and in this case, a 100 per cent Portuguese raw material. What are the advantages of using cork over the more traditional fabrics for these golf products? Cork is a material that is 100 per cent natural, biodegradable and eco-friendly. Due to its elastic, waterproof and fire resistant properties, cork is a material with immense potential. Cork products will contribute more and more to a cleaner and sustainable world; it’s a very green solution. What else is made using cork? Everything! Only now is the world discovering cork leather. Until now cork has, as you say, been used for wine bottle stoppers but it is much more than that. It is now used for flooring, insulation, construction material and also in design. It’s an awesome product. HKGOLFER.COM
Nuno Nascimento says his products were met with amazement by those at the PGA Golf Show in Orlando, Florida
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If the cork is harvested by hand, does that mean the cost of the products will be comparatively high? Yes and no. Yes, it is not plastic or polyester. But because the different products made require different levels of resistance and protection it can become somewhat expensive, but still cheaper when compared to animal leather. If you consider all the processes that are required to produce the final product then it can be considered relatively inexpensive. You took your products to the 2013 PGA Golf Show in Orlando, the biggest merchandise exhibition in the sport. What was the reaction from industry retailers? Amazement! Everybody whanted to feel the smoothness of the material and everybody asked if it was waterproof. When you present something that is truly innovative it can be hard – there is always someone who thinks we’re nuts! But the acceptance was huge and it was an intense week, with discussions with several potential partners. Where are your products sold? We are starting to expand beyond Europe. Our strategy was to begin with Portugal with an online store and then enter markets in northern Europe, especially those which are more conscious of environmental issues and which have a great appetite for everything that represents design and difference. Now, the next stage is Asia and the Middle East, were we believe there is a need for something different from the mainstream. 42
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What have been your most popular products? Golf bags and golf headcovers. We also do other products that not golf related – wine bags for example – by request. What’s next for you? We are in the final stage of producing golf putter grips made out of genuine cork leather. We have some tour players testing the grips and we are receiving and working upon their feedback. After that we will adjust our offering to meet the needs of each player. We are going to introduce different shapes and sizes. I can’t tell you yet who these players are but all of them support the product. The feeling of cork leather is really good, which is why they’re endorsing it. Having an Asian Tour player using our products is another goal of ours. Having golfers in Asia playing with eco-friendly and fashionable cork products would be great. It will make a difference. The Cork Tree’s products are available for purchase through the HK Golfer Online Store. Visit hkgolfer.com for more information. HKGOLFER.COM
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
| OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP REVIEW
Rory McIlroy’s triumph at last month’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, the 25-year-old’s third major championship victory, was down to a new-found patience, writes Lewine Mair. Photography by Charles McLaughlin, Rolex / Chris Turvey and AFP
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One year on from missing the cut at Muirfield, Rory McIlroy took away the Claret Jug from Royal Liverpool with a performance that was every bit as impressive as his two other major championship wins HKGOLFER.COM
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McIlroy stays alive at the address and his shots are correspondingly full of zing. On top of that, he plays at a pace which sets precisely the right example to all would-be Rorys.
t was back at the 2007 Open at Carnoustie that the then 18-year-old Rory McIlroy talked to the world’s press about how he had been totally smitten with the game from the moment he watched Tiger Woods winning the 1996 US Amateur.
Rickie Fowler has proved that he has the game – and the temperament – to succeed around the bouncy and windblown links courses on the Open Championship rota 46
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“After that,” said McIlroy, who won the silver medal for low amateur honours at Carnoustie, “it was Tiger, Tiger, Tiger. He’s been the big influence in my golfing life. I tried to copy everything he did.” Mannerisms such as Tiger’s pre-shot routine came free but not so the Scotty Cameron putter which young Rory felt he had to have. Indeed, his father, Gerry, can remember wincing as he had the costly implement cut down to the right height for a seven-year-old. Rory had Tiger posters all over his bedroom wall and, in 2000, he was able to add a signed flag from the first Open Tiger won at St Andrews. At last month’s Open at Hoylake, where Woods finished at six over par to McIlroy’s winning tally of 17 under, people were on red alert to see what Woods would have to say when someone posed the question, “What’s it like to see Rory dominate in a way that only you have in a major like this?
Woods, who had won at Hoylake in 2006, was far too wily to let the world know that he was feeling gutted, even if he was. Instead, he went off at a tangent to give a totally honest assessment of McIlroy’s game: “The way he plays is pretty aggressively. When he gets it going, he gets it going. When it gets bad, it gets going real bad. It’s one or the other. It’s very similar to what Phil [Mickelson] does. He has his hot weeks and he has his weeks where he’s off – and that’s just the nature of how he plays the game. There’s no right way or wrong way.” As one of that elite body of men who have gone into the last day of majors with a handsome lead, Woods was also quizzed on what it had meant to McIlroy to have been as many as six ahead going into the last round. “The beauty of having such a large lead,” replied Woods, “is that you can make mistakes and still win the tournament. The guys have to come and get you. “In finishing eagle, bogey, eagle in his third round, Rory made a wonderful job of separating himself from the rest. All of a sudden he went from level to six ahead and after that he had a choice. He could afford to play conservatively and he could afford to play aggressively.” Moving on to his own performance, Woods described it as “encouraging” rather than the reverse. After all, he had hardly played since his early-season back operation. He made it plain that he believes he still has what it takes to win majors and you would have to suspect that he raised a quizzical eyebrow at McIlroy’s use of the past tense in his Sundaynight reference to him. HKGOLFER.COM
Fowler has benefited from working with Butch Harmon. Aside altogether from helping with technical issues, Harmon would appear to have advised his charge to come across as more of a serious player.
Clockwise from top: Sergio Garcia applauds the crowds after his brilliant final-round 66; Tiger Woods faded after a promising start; Adam Scott once again featured prominently at the Open Championship, despite being forced to take an penalty drop during his final round 48
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The relevant McIlroy comment was as follows: “I want to be the guy who goes on and regularly wins majors and other tournaments like Jack Nicklaus did and Tiger Woods did.” It could well have been inadvertent, for the impression overall was that McIlroy played his part in one of the most sporting of Opens of recent years, one in which one top player after another came across as the best of role models. McIlroy had talked of his new-found patience at the start of the week. Yet how much of his enhanced performance was down to patience and how much to the spring and bounce with which he goes about his business on a good day? Where others who work on patience can become too ponderous for their own good, McIlroy stays alive at the address and his shots are correspondingly full of zing. On top of that, he plays at a pace which sets precisely the right example to all would-be Rorys. The other thing the young champion did
so well was in showing time and time again that he had the mental wherewithal to keep the advancing Garcia successfully at bay. Both Fowler and Garcia, who ended up two shots to his rear, were generous in defeat whilst letting everyone know that they have no intention of letting McIlroy leave them behind. Fowler has benefited from working with Butch Harmon, of that there is no doubt. Aside altogether from helping with technical issues, Harmon would appear to have advised his charge to come across as more of a serious player. The freaky hair-style has gone, as indeed has the over-the-top use of orange. Where, previously, he has set out on Sundays looking like a volunteer for the local lifeboat crew, he is now restricting himself to an orange shirt. Garcia, meantime, is eschewing the bitter little asides which used to accompany his close calls in majors. There was a typical example on the Saturday night of the aforementioned 2007 Open in which he lost out to Padraig Harrington in a play-off. A pressman had started a question – presumably about Garcia’s inability to finish off in majors – with the words, “I don’t want to rekindle any bad memories but ...” At that, the Spaniard had intervened to say, “Well don’t.” After a pause, he had added, “What’s wrong with you? I’m only 27. Imagine how many years I have. I have 80, maybe 85 majors to come. It’s not like I am 45-years-old.” At Hoylake, where he was seven shots back going into the last round, Garcia was endlessly positive, endlessly fair. He was justifiably proud of himself for having given his last round 66 his best shot – and that was what mattered most. “Sometimes you play well but there is just one better player and Rory was better,” he said. There are girlfriends who can hold a player back but, in Katharina Boehm, Garcia has found a genuine golfing soul-mate, one who slips into his very close family with no questions asked. She and Sergio’s father, Victor, will regularly join forces to play against Sergio, and both happily confided that they have found a formula in which they have the beating of him. When Garcia won the 2013 Thailand Open, Katherina, who was caddying for him, saw her main role as one of keeping Sergio’s spirits up. Yet when Katherina needed a bit of consoling after Garcia had lost out to McIlroy at Hoylake, Garcia was the one to stay positive. At 34, as he said to the TV men, he has grown up a bit. “All this week has helped me,” he said – and yes, he was referring to the business of winning majors. Next, what of Adam Scott? Scott professed himself to be a little annoyed HKGOLFER.COM
A PROUD PARTNERSHIP: ROLEX AND THE OPEN The Open Championship and Rolex have much in common. Both have been thrilling aesthetes for well over a century and both set the standard for quality in their respective fields. It was inevitable really that the two prestigious icons would become intertwined somehow and so it has proved. The Geneva-based luxury brand has been a proud sponsor of the championship for 30 years now. It is also the official timekeeper for the event. Rolex’s tie-up with the game’s oldest major is reflective of its overall commitment to golf. In 1967, Arnold Palmer became a Rolex ambassador, marking the start of the brand’s association with golf. Today, the Rolex roster of golf sponsorships has grown to include the names of some of the game’s best-known players. Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Phil Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer and Annika Sorenstam are among the proud athletes to wear one of the brand’s luxury timepieces away from the fairways.Rolex’s association with
the Royal and Ancient, golf’s governing body, has been a fruitful one. In 2004, the relationship was extended to Rolex sponsoring the publication of the English language version of the Rules of Golf and its global distribution. Rolex has also provided support to help the R&A grow the amateur game. The brand is also the official partner of the USGA, the European Tour and title sponsors the world rankings in the women’s game.In recent times Rolex has been very much behind the drive to bring golf into China. Despite the long heritage and traditions associated with Golf in the west, just over 25 years ago, the sport was practically non-existent in China. In 2010 Rolex signed a partnership agreement with the China Golf Association and sponsored the first official translation of the Rules of Golf into Chinese. It marked a determination by the brand, not just to be associated with sport but to further its reach into what is the world’s fastest growing nation.
at losing an Open in which he followed a 68, 73 start with rounds of 69 and 66 for a share of fifth place. “I’m upset to be playing so well and to be leaving here and not winning,” he began. “I’m going to give myself a little bit of a break and say it was a bit of a lop-sided draw this week. It didn’t work out for me; there were only a couple of guys from my half in the top 25 after two rounds and that made it hard to compete.” Steve Williams, Scott’s caddie, was thinking forward rather than back. “Adam’s playing better than ever, particularly off the tee. For a long time, he didn’t have a game plan for the Open. Now he’s got a plan and it’s an effective plan.” Scott, when he finished a good 40 minutes ahead of McIlroy, said he had no doubts that McIlroy would tie things up.: “When Rory’s on his rhythm, he’s phenomenal. He’s got more strengths than anyone else.” Wood’s comments on McIlroy had passed the test, but Scott’s were generous to a fault. At the championship’s close, 63-year-old Tom Watson, the owner of a fourth-round 68 which saw him finishing at one-over, was smiling a smile which encompassed rather more than merely his own week’s work. He may have been in a bit of a dilemma as to whether he should have Tiger in his team for Gleneagles but he had no worries about the state of golf in general. The latest generation had acquitted themselves with distinction in the Open of 2014, while the championship itself, with its 202,917 spectators, had been a more than minor triumph. HKGOLFER.COM
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2014 OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL STANDINGS
66 66 68 71
68 70 69 66
69 69 68 67
68 71 71 65
69 72 70 65
68 73 69 66
71 67 72 67
68 73 68 68
68 75 70 65
74 69 68 67
74 66 68 70
12= Ryan Moore
70 68 73 68
69 71 70 69
71 65 71 72
15= Francesco Molinari
68 70 75 67
72 70 70 68
70 72 70 68
70 69 74 68
19= Angel Cabrera
76 69 70 67
73 71 69 69
71 74 68 69
67 75 68 72
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The nu mber of birdies that Rickie Fowler made during the week, the most of any player in the field. Rory McIlroy, the champion, made three fewer but was aided by two third-round eagles.
The nu mber of holes that McIlroy required only one putt on, which put him in a tie for third in this particular category. While much was talked about his prodigious length off the tee, the Northern Irishman’s short game was as good as anyone’s at Hoylake.
The percentage o f f a i r way s t h a t E n g l a n d ’s C h r i s Rodgers, an Asian Tour reg ular, hit over the course of four rounds, the highest of those who made the cut. Rodgers finished in a share of 58th, adding further weight to the old adage of ‘drive for show, putt for dough’. HKGOLFER.COM
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Descente Trading Partners with the HKGA
Hong Kong Descente Trading Limited is the latest company to support amateur golf in Hong Kong by signing up as an Official Golf Apparel Partner of the HKGA. Hong Kong Descente Trading Limited distributes Descente, Munsingwear, le coq sportif GOLF COLLECTION and Calvin Klein golf in Hong Kong – all golf apparel brands which will be made available to HKGA squad members and subscribers as part of the multi-year agreement. “We believe in the vision of the HKGA so we are only too pleased to show our support as an Official Partner,” said Kenneth Lee, President of Hong Kong Descente Trading Limited, a subsidiary of Descente Limited, one of the leading sportswear companies in Japan. As part of the deal between the HKGA and Hong Kong Descente Trading Limited, Hong Kong teams, coaches and volunteers will be supplied with golf apparel from the le coq sportif GOLF COLLECTION and Munsingwear, whilst HKGA cardholders will receive a special 10% discount off a wide range of regular priced golf apparel items.
2014 HKGA Interclub League Standings
Hong Kong GC
Discovery Bay GC
Shek O CC
Clearwater Bay G&CC
Wang and Ng Emerge Victorious at Stableford Event
Jeffrey Wang and Charlotte Ng were the big winners at the HKGA July Stableford Tournament, which was played on 15 July at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. Wang (pictured), a Fanling member, carded 36 points to record a narrow victory over Satyan Patel (35) in the men’s gross division. Dallas Reid bagged third spot with 27 points. Ng had an easier time of things in the ladies’ division, her 33-point haul was five better than Cristal Chan who finished in second. Florence Wong and Inara Sharma shared third with 26 points. A full list of scores can be found on the HKGA website at hkga.com.
Terence Chiu receives his trophy for winning the 15-17 age division at the weather-hit Albert KW Lai Junior Championship at Fanling last month. Chiu recorded 33 stableford points.
Results as of 19 July 52
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HKGA | NEWS
Bushnell Appointed Official HKGA Supplier The HKGA has appointed Bushnell as an Official Supplier in a partnership that will see golfers in Hong Kong have access to rangefinders during HKGA tournaments. As part of the deal, the HKGA and Bushnell have launched a joint initiative that will enable competitors to loan a laser rangefinder during HKGA tournaments if they don’t already own one. This follows a decision by the HKGA’s Rules Committee to allow use of Distance Measuring Devices (DMDs) in its sanctioned tournaments, with the exception of the 6-12 age divisions at junior events. HKGA cardholders will also receive a special 20% discount off the purchase of a Bushnell rangefinder while national squad members will be supplied with the latest laser technology for training and tournaments. Vincent Lok, General Manager of Bushnell Performance Optics Asia said: “Bushnell is proud to support the HKGA in using rangefinders in tournaments and in different initiatives that promote the game in the Hong Kong golf communities. We believe it is a great step forward in improving the way golfers assess distances with precision, ultimately improving performance.”
Ni n g L i , t he Pre sident of t he H KG A , adde d: “ We welcome Bushnell’s support at a time when DMDs are becoming more widely used in golf. Bushnell is another quality partner for the HKGA which will benefit our competitors, our national teams and also the wider golfing public in Hong Kong.”
Tiffany’s Strong Shandong Showing Tiffany Chan’s brilliant summer just keeps getting better. The 20-year-old, who in late June made headlines by winning the World University Championship in Switzerland, earned top amateur honours at the Kumho Tire Ladies Open, a China LPGA event, in early July with a strong showing over the course at Weihai Point Golf & Resort in Shandong province. Chan (pictured) who has risen to a career high of number 38 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, carded rounds of 73, 74 and 70 to finish the professional tournament in a share of 15th, 14 shots behind the winner, Kim Hyo Joo of Korea. Next up for Chan will be the Asian Games and the World Amateur Championship, both of which will be played in September. 54
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| HONG KONG AT THE MAJORS
to Remember Hong Kong Golf Club member Doug Williams became only the second local golfer in history* to play in a major championship last month when he teed it up at the US Senior Open after coming through the rigours of qualifying. This is his story.
Courtesy of the USGA
any friends and family who were kind enough to wish me luck in the tournament were probably disappointed with my results – rounds of 84 and 92 to miss the cut. Of course I was too, but despite some major setbacks that prevented me from playing my normal game, this has been a fantastic experience. It was difficult enough to adapt to new golf clubs after my baggage went missing on a flight from Honolulu (still no trace of it!), but what really undermined me were terrible blisters on my feet and a muscle strain. As the week went on, my feet became more and more painful from the new shoes I had to get to replace the lost ones. It got to the point where I could barely walk. To make matters worse, on Friday I had an acute pain around my kidney area which is probably a muscle strain which made it painful simply to swing the club. In any other round of golf or tournament, I would have stopped playing, but this was the biggest tournament of my life, so that wasn’t an option. This golf course – Oak Tree National, a Pete Dye design in Oklahoma – was by far the most difficult I have ever played. With a par of 71 at 7,200 yards, the rating from the tournament tees is an incredible 79.3! Each hole was very tight; trees everywhere. The rough was so thick that you could be standing over your ball and not even see it. Greens were elevated with severe drop-offs and there were water hazards on almost every hole. Add to that swirling, gusty winds and it makes even the best players who are only slightly off 56
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In any other round of golf, I would have stopped playing, but this was the biggest tournament of my life, so that wasn’t an option. their game look bad. Any shot missing the narrow fairways was likely to lead to bogey or worse. Likewise for any shot missing the green. Plus the greens had multiple levels and were very tricky to putt. Colin Montgomerie defeated Gene Sauers in a play-off after the pair tied at five-under-par. I cannot tell you how good that is on this course. Unfortunately for me, my highlights were the practice rounds, where I actually shot some good scores. I also managed to play with some notable players, including four former winners of this event (Hale Irwin, Olin Browne, HKGOLFER.COM
Kenny Perry and Roger Chapman), multiple PGA tour winners (Steve Pate, Scott Hoch, David Frost), and Ryder Cup players (Barry Lane). On Wednesday, Irwin asked me I wanted to play a “mini Ryder Cup” match against the Englishmen Lane and Chapman for fun, so Hale and I took them on. Thanks to a couple of birdies that I made, we went one up with three to play in our nine-hole match, but Roger birdied the last three meaning we ended up losing. My friends from Honolulu in the gallery started chanting “USA-USA” after I made a birdie to go one up, so Roger pointed back at them when he birdied the seventh to square the match. It was fun and all of these players were very nice and enjoyable to play with. Probably the biggest disappointment was to have my 84-year-old mother fly out to watch me play (she was able to get an electric wheel chair, so she could follow around every hole), and have her see me struggling on the course during the tournament. But on the whole, this has been an amazing experience. My playing partners in the tournament, Bill Harvey and John DiMarco, both PGA club pros, could not have been nicer to play with. They are very good players but also struggled with the course and conditions. The treatment the players get is amazing – everything is first class. We had standard bearers with our names accompanying our group, even in the practice rounds. It is also remarkable how good these players are. Kenny Perry still hits the ball as far as most PGA tour players (he was 60 yards past my good ones). By the way, I asked Kenny how many holes in one he has had, and his response was “I stopped counting after 40”! Then Scott Hoch said he didn’t know if he had over 30 holes in one, and wasn’t aware that Kenny had more than him. Yes, these guys are good! Plus they like to have fun on the course. It was hilarious listening to Kenny and Scott kid each other: Kenny: “Scott is tighter than skin on a hot dog!” Scott: “If you have as much money as Kenny, everyone looks tight!” Kenny: “Scott, you’ve got eight houses!”
This has been an amazing experience ... it is remarkable how good these players are. Kenny Perry was hitting it 60 yards past me!
Williams in action during day one of the Senior US Open (top and bottom); with caddie Dick Sieradzki, a former Hawaii state amateur champion and retired pilot (middle)
Scott: “Well I just sold one, so now I only got seven!” This went on and on and these guys had me laughing. What a week this has been! *The only other Hong Kong golfer to compete in a major championship is Jock Mackie, who played in the 1959 Open Championship at Muirfield. HKGOLFER.COM
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Who makes the world’s best golf travel bags? You’d be hard pushed to beat Club Glove, the American brand that has taken the PGA Tour by storm.
ong Kong golfers are, by their very nature, great travellers – with just 198 holes, spread across six clubs and courses in the SAR our desire – not to mention need – to board aircraft and journey to golf destinations overseas is possibly unrivalled among golfers of the world’s major cities. Herein lies an issue: how do we ensure our valuable clubs are protected from the moment we see them off at airport check-in to the time we’re (hopefully) reunited at the baggage carousel? All the major golf equipment manufacturers sell travel bags, but which one is the best? The answer, if PGA Tour players, arguably the greatest travellers of all, are anything to go by is Club Glove. This American brand, which has been around since 1990, is currently used by 90 per cent of the world’s best players, with its Last Bag model – so-called because it may be the “last bag” you ever have to buy – being the overriding favourite. The Last Bag weighs 4.8 kilogrammes and is made with Cordura 1000 D water resistant nylon that’s up to three times stronger and lasts up to five times longer than standard polyester. The standard version, which is now available in Hong Kong through the HK Golfer Online Store, can hold the average stand bag and a driver that’s up to 47 inches. The Last Bag also has a high impact wheelbase with in-line skate wheels that make it easy to manoeuvre, two exterior shoe pockets and an over the top zipper for easy loading and unloading. Golfers can also add additional protection with Club Glove’s Stiff Arm. The fully adjustable telescoping crutch expands to fit just over the top of the tallest club in the bag for added protection during travel. “We looked at everything and tried to figure out how we could make a bag that lasts,” Club Glove’s founder Jeff Herold said. “With the exception of adding updated zippers that are a little more durable and new straps, the bag, for the most part, has remained the same since we first designed it. We pride ourselves in the product we put out — especially since it’s the only travel bag that’s made in the USA.” Club Glove products, including the Last Bag (HK$2,288), the Burst Proof II (HK$1,688) and the Stiff Arm (HK$268) are available for order through the HK Golfer Online Store. Please visit hkgolfer.com for more details.
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complete residential property investment
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• Free Rental Guarantee Insurance • Unrivalled state of the art property management software allowing clients 24hr portfolio access • Ongoing asset management • We shall even oversee the conveyance management process to completion • Maximising the value of your property asset • Corporate tenancy and optimum rents proven with unrivalled letting exposure • Fully independent with national UK coverage under one roof
Courtesy of Hainan Clear Water Bay Golf Club
GOLF ATRAVEL Player’s Guide
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From Tee to
There are nearly sixty courses now complete or under construction on Hainan Island, just an hour’s flight from Hong Kong. Alex Jenkins checks out five of the best to play in China’s answer to Hawaii.
The seaside setting of Clear Water Bay Golf Club makes a round here an extremely appealing proposition HKGOLFER.COM
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S Courtesy of The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula and Mission Hills China
uch has been the rate of golf course construction in China in recent years that you’re more likely to find the world’s best golf course architects traipsing through the glades of Yunnan and the hills of Zhejiang than you are in the traditional golfing centres of the United States or Great Britain. Make no mistake: the Middle Kingdom has taken to the sport in a way not seen since the Japanese fell in love with the royal and ancient game in the 1970s. Although there have been issues of late, with regional governments beginning to clamp down on course developers who may not have adhered entirely to the admittedly complicated zoning rules, there are few such problems Hainan, the undeniable golf capital of China. In just fifteen years, this tropical island province off the southern tip of Guangdong has been transformed from a rural backwater into a burgeoning tourism destination. Golf has been at the forefront of this development – indeed, it is actively encouraged – with nearly sixty courses now either completed or in the design phase. China’s answer to Hawaii, with its luscious green landscapes and volcanic rock formations, is well and truly on the road to golfing mega-stardom.
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The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula Since retiring as a tour professional, Tom Weiskopf, the 1973 Open champion, has enjoyed a successful career as a golf course architect – his name adorns some of the modern game’s most illustrious layouts, such as Loch Lomond in Scotland and Troon North in Arizona. Weiskopf’s first project in China, the twocourse Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula, situated on the southeast coast of Hainan, has become one of his most talked about designs. The West Course at this fully-fledged holiday resort offers a definite challenge, with its windswept dunes and natural, sandy wastes. Indeed, given its firm and fast playing surfaces and proximity to the crashing waves of the South China Sea, the West course has been likened to the traditional links of the British Isles. The slightly newer East Course is every bit as enjoyable, with sea views at nearly every turn. Owned by Citic Pacific, Shenzhou Peninsula certainly has the quality to host international events. The club, it seems, is prepared for the eventuality: the club’s Composite Course – which includes five holes from the West and 13 holes from the East – has been earmarked for tournament play of the highest standard. shenzhougolf.com HKGOLFER.COM
Citic Shanqin Bay Golf Club The only Chinese course featured in Golf Magazine’s influential World Top 100 ranking, Shanqin Bay, which comes in at number 78, is an exclusive property that impresses at every turn. Designed by leading American architect Bill Coore in harness with two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, Shanqin Bay, located on Hainan’s dramatic eastern seaboard, is a thrilling rollercoaster of a course, one that has been laid out over strongly undulating land offering spectacular vistas of the South China Sea. Dense tropical vegetation, sublime views and sensational bunkering combine to produce one of the most talked about layouts in the Eastern hemisphere. en.shanqinbay.com
Mission Hills Hainan Mission Hills is arguably the most recognisable gol f i ng ‘ bra nd’ i n Ch i na; cer ta i n ly no organisation has done more to put the country on the global golfing map. The brainchild of the late Dr David Chu, a Hongkonger who was over 40 before he lifted a club, the original Mission Hills complex in Guangdong province, which occupies vast tracts of land between the cities of Shenzhen and Dongguan, is the world’s largest golf-specific complex, with 12 courses and a plethora of pre- and post-round amenities. And Mission Hills’ newer facility in Hainan – which includes 10 Brian Curley-designed courses, a luxurious hotel and a vast volcanic spring spa, located just 15 minutes from Haikou airport, the island’s main international gateway – is every bit as remarkable. While every course here is worth playing – including the two par-3 layouts that are perfect for young kids and beginners – the two standout layouts are the Blackstone and Lava Fields courses. The former hosted the World Cup in 2011 and is a lengthy and heavily bunkered test, one that most recreational golfers will enjoy playing from the forward tees. Lava Fields, meanwhile, is a more friendly and subtle course, one that benefits from generous fairway widths, throwback-style bunkering and appealing changes in elevation. missionhillschina.com Clockwise from top: sandy wastes lie in store for those who stray offline at The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula; the expansively bunkered Blackstone Course at Mission Hills; sea inlets and blown-out bunkering are the obvious hazards to avoid at Shenzhou HKGOLFER.COM
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Yalong Bay Golf Club
Clearwater Bay Golf Club
Despite being one of Hainan’s oldest courses, Yalong Bay retains its status as one of the island’s most enjoyable. Situated in the upmarket tourist resort of the same name, the palm-fringed course is within walking distance of a slew of beach-fronted five-star hotels and features an excellent mix of holes in first-rate condition. No surprise then that the course, which was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. who incorporated memorable water hazards into his layout, has been chosen to host a number of European and Asian Tour events since opening in 2000.
The two courses at Clearwater Bay Golf Club act as centrepieces for a vast upscale residential and hotel resort situated a 45-minute drive from Sanya. The A Course here has been built on a flat parcel of land and should be the choice for beginners, given its playability. While the whitesand bunkers that frame many of the holes are large, the landing areas are generally very wide and the greens aren’t overly contoured. The B Course, which is hillier in nature, is more strategic of a strategic challenge and, as such, a more enticing proposition for the better player.
Courtesy of The Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula
The picture-perfect setting of the Dunes at Shenzhou Peninsula (top); the Palmfringed course at Yalong Bay, a Robert Trent Jones II design (below)
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OMEGA GOLF DAY Omega, makers of luxury Swiss watches and one of golf’s biggest sponsors, held its annual golf day at Clearwater Golf & Country Club in late June to celebrate, among other things, its collaboration with the PGA of America, organizers of this month’s US PGA Championship. Featuring a combination of Omega clients and members of the Hong Kong golf media, the event was played under sunny skies on a course that was in first-rate condition. Following the play, a delightful buffet was served, followed by an awards ceremony. Venus Tsui, PR and Events Manager of Omega Hong Kong, was on hand to dispense prizes to the lucky winners, which Charlotte Ng (Best Gross – Ladies), Karin Choi (Best Net – Ladies) and Leslie Liu (Best Net – Men). HK Golfer publisher Charles McLaughlin joined forces with Alan Mok, Samson Siu and John Yim to scoop the best team prize. Omega’s partnership with the PGA of America, which provides multiple “Official Timekeeper” designation, formally began at the 2012 US PGA Championship and will extend through the PGA’s Centennial in 2016. Alan Mok, Charles McLaughlin, Venus Tsui, Samson Siu and John Yim
Venus Tsui and Charlotte Ng
Karin Choi and Venus Tsui
Karin Choi, the ladies' net winner, in action
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PROPERTY | SPECIAL
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE … … OR NOT, AS THE CASE MAY BE. RUPERT SMITH OF COMPLETE RPI ON THE POTENTIAL PERILS OF NOT BEING FULLY PREPARED WHEN LETTING OUT YOUR UK PROPERTY.
elcome to my fifth article discussing the hot topic of residential property investment, search and acquisition, letting, management and sale in the UK. Please take a look at the HK Golfer website to access all previous articles. My name is Rupert Smith and I am the founding director of Complete Residential Property Investments Ltd (hereinafter CRPI). We are a specialist property investment company offering a unique and results-orientated commercial approach to UK property Investment. Established in April 2001 I have built up the business based upon a commercial approach to the ownership of UK residential investment property … a far cry from your traditional estate agent I am pleased to confirm. Following in from last month’s article I wish to cover in this edition property maintenance and contractors / tradesmen, amongst other topical issues.
“Don’t worry I can fix it” … famous last words as the water leak creates a mini Niagara Falls through the ceiling below! This is a topic which is close to my heart only because I have been on the wrong end of a very expensive bill, bankrupt “dodgy tradesmen” and loss of income. When employing the services of your UK management agent one would assume that the tradesmen they use are bona fide and have the correct qualifications to carry out the works. Well you know what they say about assumptions! Please make sure that your agent has terms with all contractors they use and double check that all insurances are in place, such as public liability, indemnity, and indeed the correct accreditation for gas, electrical and plumbing. You like I will be amazed just how many so-called professional outfits utilise the services of tradesmen without these in place; it is all too easy for your managing agent to pick up the phone to get the job done quickly at a cheaper price which allows them a larger margin. At CRPI we as a matter of course make all tradesmen sign our terms of business and we check annually accreditation and insurance. There are an increasing amount of rouge tradesmen in the UK who are here today and gone tomorrow, at the cost of the landlord. The agent has a duty of care to protect you as well they should. CRPI will always obtain a minimum of three quotations for all works and, just as importantly, check the quality of works once complete. Does your appointed agent? Generally we would hold a float on account for all properties of roughly £300 and our clients give the approval for works to be carried out up to this level without authorisation. However all associated quotations and Invoices are produced monthly and can be viewed online through our bespoke property portal. Check the small print! Most management agents will charge a commission for 68
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Check the small print! Most management agents will charge a commission for cost of works which is not always made obvious. It is always worth asking the question to your agent. cost of works which is not always made obvious. It is always worth asking the question to your agent: do you add any margin for any maintenance works? Forgive me but I had assumed that part and parcel of paying an agent to manage my property would be to deal with maintenance issues at no extra cost! In fairness, when an agent takes on a maintenance programme over a certain value then it is normal to charge a project management fee and this would be declared from the outset. We at CRPI charge 12.5% on works over £2,500. As they say, “the devil is in the detail”, so it is worth asking the question and checking the small print. It is also worthy of note that a contractor who may well have the correct insurances and accreditations can also sub-contract his work to a third party as invariably he will have bitten off more than he can chew. In order to avoid this, double check that your agent has catered for this eventuality in his terms as this can often be missed. I don’t mean to be a scare monger but it is worth being “belt and braces” in this regard.
INVENTORY & PROPERTY INSPECTIONS
To document or not to document, that is the question? There is a terrible misconception in the letting industry that you do not have to
document a schedule of condition if your rented property is unfurnished. The reality is that whether the property is furnished or unfurnished it is imperative to create a document that provides a detailed schedule of condition. Most letting and managing agents will offer this service “in house”, however there is a terrible conflict of interest in the event of dispute. In the UK disputes are very common and in the event that the document has not been created in the correct format and indeed ideally by a professional recognised third party then problems will occur. At CRPI we as part of our management s e r v i ce w i l l o n l y u s e a cc r e d i te d A I I C (Association Of Independent Inventory Clerks) to prepare documents and periodically inspect all of our properties. The AIIC are dedicated to promoting the highest possible standards of accuracy and reliability and have been endorsing high levels of professionalism in the inventory business since 1996. They are committed to excellence and professionalism in the property inventory process and work hard to ensure that all landlords, tenants and letting agents understand the importance and benefits of professionally completed property inventories. You will appreciate the value of instructing an expert AIIC independent inventory clerk to avoid unnecessary costs and legal disputes and make every party aware of its responsibilities. You will also have confidence that government regulations are being adhered to and have a professional partner with specialist knowledge. Many a Judge has sadly had to throw a case out court owing to a poorly prepared document. Take heed: this will invariably be a costly and expensive exercise for a minimal outlay. You are well within your rights to stipulate that an independent inventory clerk be used rather than line the pockets of an agent with an “in-house” service. Independence is key! It is vital to document from the outset not only condition but also keys, parking fobs, meter readings, etc, to avoid expensive duplication costs, lock changes and utility bills. It is advisable at the commencement of every new tenancy to create a new “working document” which is acknowledged by the occupant at the point of what is referred to as “check in” and “check out” and as a rule of thumb the landlord will pay for the production of this document and the “check in”. Charges are normally based upon number of rooms, gardens, and furniture. Take a look at www.theaiic.co.uk for some pointers. HKGOLFER.COM
Complete RPI has alliances with many professional organisations in order to offer our clients unrivalled and bespoke property advice. In September’s publication we shall be discussing the topic of gearing and portfolio management. We work hand in hand with other professional organisations as there can be a considerable overlap in terms of services that are offered to clients. For example, we work with The Henley Group Limited, part of FTSE100 company St James's Place Wealth Management Group, who are a private client financial planning and wealth management company with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and the UK. The Henley Group believes in the concept of holistic financial planning, which involves reviewing and planning an individual’s financial affairs as a whole, taking into consideration how they interconnect with their short, medium and long term goals. Part of this broad approach to financial planning would involve a higher level assessment of a client`s property position in respect of overall exposure to the asset class, level of gearing and exit strategy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Why not visit us at www.completerpi.com ... “Your Property, Our Priority."
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CROSSWORD | THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
©2014 Dr Milton Wayne
THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
1. 2. 5. 6. 7. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 22. 24. 25. 26. 27.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 9. 14. 15. 16. 17. 21. 23.
(&14D) Unlikely champ in 2002 (4,4) (&27A) Defending champion (pictured) (5,6) (&7A) 2013 nearly man (3,5) (&24A) Name of the silverware (9,6) See 5A See 18A (&22A) Winner in 2011, beating the 2013 champ in a play-off (6,7) (&13A) Won a record four in a row, and is joint overall with five wins (6,5) See 12A See 2D See 21D (&23D) Scots-born winner from 1930 (5,6) (&10A) Current US Open champ who won this in 2010 (6,6) See 26A (&4D) Irish major man, won this in 2008 (7,10) See 11A See 6A See 17D (& 19A) Breakout win for Mr “Grip it and rip it” in 1991 (4,4) See 2A
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(&16D) Last major win in 2012 for this former world number one (4,7) (&14A) Tall Englishman who was first ever winner in 1916 (3,6) You are unlikely to find one of these in the field! (7) See 20A (&15D) Joint record holder with five wins. He also designed the 2014 course (4,8) This year’s home state, also famous for bourbon and the local Derby (8) Our host golf club in 2014, situated east of Louisville (8) See 1A See 5D See 1D (&25A) Four-time champ who also holds the record score against par (5,5) (&16A) Won in 2003 for his only win on the PGA Tour (5,7) See 17A
WIN A SIGNED LEE WYBRANSKI POSTER! To enter, complete the crossoword and send a scan or photo of the completed grid to Crossword@HKGolfer.com, with “August Crossword” as the subject. Remember to include your name, address and contact number. Entries close on 15 September. ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THE CORRECT ENTRIES. Congratulations to Dan Plotnick who won the June crossword. JUNE ANSWERS Detail of Wybranski’s poster of The Road Hole at St Andrews
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My greatest moment is still my first professional win – the 1976 West Lakes Classic in Australia … [it] gave me the added confidence I needed to go on to win other events. It was a very big victory for me. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 74
What is your greatest regret? Probably hitting the 4-iron on 18 in ‘86 [at The Masters] instead of a 5-iron. What are your five favourite golf courses? Of the ones I have played: Royal Melbourne, Composite course; Doonbeg; Augusta National; Harbor Town; St Andrews; and Shinnecock. What’s your favourite hole? Nu mb er f ive at Roya l Melb ou r ne a nd number 12 at St. A ndrews. The 14th at Doonbeg in Ireland turned out to be one of the best short par-3 holes that I’ve ever played. Do you have heroes? Absolutely. The highest respect I can give to anyone is to Nelson Mandela because of what happened to him. It was 22 or 23 years of incarceration and the guy doesn’t have one bit of malice in his body. I had dinner with him one time and it was probably the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. It was the only time I’ve ever sat there just mesmerized. Who would be in your ideal fourball? I would love to have played with Ben Hogan, Sam Snead and Bobby Jones, but sadly I never got to experience them live. They all epitomize the game of golf to such a high degree and in different ways too – such a broad spectrum of individuals. Hogan was the stoic guy, Snead the pure swinger and Jones the true gentleman.
What in your life are you most proud of? Without question my two children – Morgan and Gregory. HKGOLFER.COM
Norman with the Claret Jug at Royal St George’s in 1993 following the second of his Open Championship victories AFP
How did Great White Shark Enterprises get started? I wanted to get involved with businesses, not just do endorsement deals. The plan was twofold: I wanted to structure my business interests in such a way that after I stopped playing golf I would have something to go on to that I would enjoy doing. Second, I wanted to structure them in such a way that the fruits of my energies were not in a threeyear or five-year endorsement.
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Greg Norman The Great White Shark, a two-time Open Championship winner, talks business, the origin of his nickname, Masters Tournament heartbreak and his favourite golf courses. Where did the Great White Shark nickname originate? It started in 1981 when I was leading the The Masters. The media didn’t know who I was or anything about my background and started asking questions about the unknown blond-haired Aussie with an aggressive style of play who used to swim and dive with the sharks. “Great White Shark To Win The Masters” headlines suddenly started appearing in the press. The Great White Shark logo came about in the late 80s. I own the logo and the rights to it, and it has been a tremendous success story from day one. What is your favorite major? I have no preferences, as they’re all equal in stature, though obviously I wou ld have l i ke d to w i n T he Ma ster s. I ’ ve won t wo O p en Championships and would love to get the hat trick. But if you ask me which is the best tournament, I’d say two different majors for two different reasons: The Masters because it’s pure golf and The Open because it’s pure everything. What was your greatest golfing moment? My greatest moment is still my first professional win – the 1976 West Lakes Classic in Australia. Even though I’ve accomplished things on a much bigger stage since then, that win in my first year as a touring professional gave me the added confidence I needed to go on to win other events. It was a very big victory for me. AFP
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HK GOLFER・AUG 2014
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