Page 1

Clubhouse: The Cellini Collection from Rolex and the new Rolls-Royce

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION

HKGOLFER.COM

VOTED THE REGION’S NO 1 GOLF MAGAZINE

DECEMBER 2014

ISSUE 95

$50

+

ERNIE ELS INTERVIEW

YEAR IN REVIEW

A LOOK BACK AT THE BEST AND WORST FROM 2014

DISPLAY UNTIL 15 JAN

PLUS: HK SENIORS AMATEUR OPEN CHAMPS


Race proven

Sport 78, 88, 98

Serket 88, 98

Stealth 90

Exclusive offer to readers of HK Golfer If you are one of that rare breed for whom only the best is good enough you’ll appreciate why Scorpions make the perfect luxury performance RIB, chase boat or superyacht tender. Each is unique, but shares a heritage of innovation and a

FREE sea trial in the Scorpion Serket 98. Your chance to experience the legend for yourself, call or email us now to make your booking!

W

O

R

L

D

C

L

A

S

S

L

U

X

U

R

Y

P

E

R

F

O

R

M

A

N

C

E


Your performance sets you apart from the crowd. So should your boat.

Strike 90

Selene 98

hull design that has been developed over 20 years of recordbreaking offshore ocean passages to deliver a soft, comfortable and safe ride with outstanding performance in all conditions. When you deserve the best, demand the best.

R

I

B

S

F

R

O

M

6. 5

M

Sting 108

Custom

Scorpion RIBS Hong Kong, HFS, Neich Tower, Suite 6 E, 6th Floor, 128 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. t: +852 25118337 m: +852 91993860 e: scorpion@hkgolfer.com

T

O

1

2

M

A

N

D

B

E

Y

O

N

D


MADE IN ICELAND JS Watch Company Reykjavik is a small Icelandic watch manufacturer whose exceptional timepieces promise to put the country on the map for something other than hot springs, Bjork and disruptive volcanoes.

Icelandic Ingenuity The collaboration of a watchmaker, collector and designer has produced the JS Watch co. Reykjavik, one of the world’s smallest manufacturers of stylish, quality watches. Is JS Watch co. Reykjavik, from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, one of the watch industries best kept secret?

All the watches are designed and assembled by hand in Iceland. Only highest quality movements and materials from Germany and Swiss are used to produce the watches and every single detail has been given the time needed for perfection. The quantity of watches produced is limited, giving them an exclusive and truly personal feel. Currently the watches are being worn on many celebrity wrists such as Viggo Mortensen, Quentin Tarantino, Yoko Ono and his holiness 14th Dalai Lama to name just a few.


PROBABLY THE

WORLD’S SMALLEST WATCH MANUFACTURER

Our Master Watchmaker never loses his concentration

With his legendary concentration and 45 years of experience our Master Watchmaker and renowned craftsman, Gilbert O. Gudjonsson, inspects every single timepiece before it leaves our workshop.

All the watches are designed and assembled by hand in Iceland. Only highest quality movements and materials are used to produce the watches and every single detail has been given the time needed for perfection. OFFICIAL HK AGENT: TIMES INTERNATIONAL CREATION LTD. CONTACT: JSWATCH@TIMESIC.COM +852-3590-4153

www.jswatch.com


| CONTENTS

HK Golfer Issue 95

December 2014

70 On the Cover:

Rory McIlroy, the undisputed world number one, features in our review of 2014, which can be read on page Photo by AFP

Features

Plus…

38 | Cover Story

27 | Tee Time

And the award goes to … our correspondent takes an irreverent look at the 2014 season and hands out his coveted “Jules Awards” to the lucky winners. By Julian Tutt

44 | The Unquiet American

The new Ghost from Rolls-Royce is a brilliant driver’s car but it will likely face strong competition from the Mercedes-Maybach. By Ben Oliver

56 | Major Showing

36 | Liquid Assets

60 | Down to the Wire

Shingo Matsumoto claimed his first Asia-Pacific Seniors Amateur win following a gripping play-off at Discovery Bay last month. By Alex Jenkins

66 | The Master of Macau

Rising Indian star Anirban Lahiri pipped Hong Kong Open champion Scott Hend at the death to win the Venetian Macau Open in thrilling fashion. By Alex Jenkins

Daniel Wong

70 | Taking it Easy

12

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

34 | Driving Range

Love him or hate him, there’s no doubting the talent and selfdeprecating humour of Patrick Reed. By Lewine Mair

Double defending Hong Kong Seniors Close champion Doug Williams qualifies for the US Senior Open following a gutsy play-off win in Hawaii. By Alex Jenkins

60

The new line of Cellini watches from Rolex reveals the dressy, sophisticated side of the family. By Evan Rast

We caught up with Ernie Els at the opening of his latest course design – the fabulous Els Club Teluk Datai on Langkawi. By The Editors

Wine and golf – the perfect combination. By Julien Yung Mameaux

42 | By Design A look at the way technology is helping and hindering golf course construction and maintenance. By Paul Jansen

76 | Ryder Cup Redux A look back at a wild and wonderful week at Gleneagles. By Charles McLaughlin

88 | Crossword Open Championship special. By Dr Milton Wayne

90 | Final Shot With Indian cricket legend Kapil Dev Interview by Alex Jenkins

HKGOLFER.COM


HK Golfer

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION DEC 2014 • Issue 95

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

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

42 D E PA R T M E N T S 16 Mailbag 18 Divots 22 Local Focus 24 Global Focus 27 Clubhouse

Publisher: Charles McLaughlin Art Director: Derek Hannah Assistant Designer: Mimi Cheng Office Manager: Moira Moran Advertising: For advertising information, please contact: ads@hkgolfer.com For purchasing information contact: sales@hkgolfer.com For subscription information contact: subs@hkgolfer.com Hong Kong Golf Association Suite 2003, Olympic House 1 Stadium Path, So Kon Po Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Phone (General): +852 2504-8659 Fax: +852 2845-1553 Phone (Handicaps): +852 2504-8197 Fax: +852 2504-8198 Email: info@hkga.com handicaps@hkga.com In association with: www.thymedesign.hk

52 Around the HKGA 52 From the President 54 Local News 58 HK Seniors Open 64 Event Update 84 Something for Christmas

Miller Brown

HK GOLFER is published by Times International Creation, 10A Lockhart Centre, 301-307 Lockhart Road, Hong Kong. HK GOLFER is published monthly © 2012 by Times International Creation. Published in Hong Kong. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. PRINTED IN HONG KONG. 14

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

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

HKGOLFER.COM


The NEW FACE OF

ROLL

From Guerin Rife, the inventor of putter groove technology comes the next evolution in roll performance, VSE grooves. Immediate roll but 50% more accurate on off-center hits. Guerin’s new Tour Spec putters are custom weighted for length and 100% forged/milled. Not just another pretty face. Real Technology. Real performance.

GUERIN PUTTERS

We Know Roll.

Available in Hong Kong exclusively through the HK Golfer Store and Pura Golf. Visit hkgolfer.com

OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR:

SportsLifeAsia.com


HK Golfer Mailbag HK Open Still the Best I have just returned from a trip to Shanghai where I took in both the BMW Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions events. These are big tournaments, with huge prize purses and plenty of world-class players on show (with the notable exception of Rory McIlroy, who was supposed to play in both but pulled out at the eleventh hour – too late even for those in charge or marketing, who used his image to decorate anything to do with either event).

Hong Kong Open: Is it the best spectator experience in Asia?

Both were good events in their own way and my friends and I, on the whole, enjoyed ourselves. The infrastructure at both tournaments was impressive, as you’d expect with the two sponsors involved. But in no way could they be considered better events than our own Hong Kong Open. Sure the prize money is infinitely more at both Shanghai events and there is undoubtedly more recognizable names participating, but for sheer spectator comfort, the Hong Kong Open wins hands down. You get a far better view of the action, you’re much closer to the players, the weather is traditionally most agreeable, and the crowds are by far and away far more knowledgeable and respectful of the on-course action. But above all: there is a sense of history, which you don’t get at all at events on the mainland. You can also buy a beer without crippling yourself financially. I know which event I’m def initely going to attend next year.

Christopher K Clearwater Bay

Give Reed a Break

Daniel Wong

Nobody enjoys hearing swearing on the golf course but I am of the opinion that Patrick Reed is being unfairly singled out for his outburst at the WGC-HSBC

16

Champions last month. While I don’t wish to repeat what he said verbatim, there’s no doubt he used some rather colourful language – aimed at himself – after three-putting a hole in the first round. Unfortunately, this was clearly audible on TV and the commentators then had to apologize to the watching global audience. Now I see that the term Reed used is being described as homophobic, which when considered in the cold light of day it of course is. But hang on a minute. Here is a guy talking to himself – albeit rather too loudly or, more likely, too close to an on-course microphone. He wasn’t describing anyone else and, lest we forget, he apologized – via the medium of Twitter – immediately after his round. Yes, he said something bad, something I’m sure wasn’t meant for public consumption – and he is likely to incur a financial penalty from the PGA Tour, which I am in complete favour of. But to label him homophobic when he is castigating himself … well, that makes little sense to me. Time to move on. Name and address withheld

HK Golfer on Android

We Want to Hear from You!

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

Have something to say about an article in HK Golfer or a topic affecting golf in our area? Send your thoughts and comments to letters@hkgolfer. com. Please also include your address, contact number, email and HKGA #. The winner of the best letter (the first one that appears on the page) will receive a bottle of Champagne Deutz courtesy of Montrose Fine Wines.

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


| DIVOTS

Special Offer.

CEO O’Grady to Retire from European Tour

Enjoy golf ’s most reliable and accurate course maps from around the world, with no annual fee

HK$2,088 Includes free shipping 30,000 Preloaded Course Maps

Order through HK Golfer: www.hkgolfer.com Or write to us at: skycaddie@hkgolfer.com 18

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

European Tour chief executive George O’Grady will retire after a decade in charge of the organization. O’Grady, 65, announced his decision on the eve of last month’s WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai. “I felt this was the right time to ask the board to begin the search for my successor,” O’Grady (pictured) said in a statement. He has overseen the world’s second biggest professional tour behind the United States-based PGA Tour, though it endured some difficult times and loss of sponsors during the global financial crisis a few years ago. “It’s a shame that he’s stepping down but I think he’s had a good reign,” Englishman Justin Rose, the world number six who won the 2013 US Open, told reporters in Shanghai. Rose said he had been talking recently with O’Grady about resurrecting some historic British tournaments that have fallen off the schedule in recent years due to loss of sponsorship. The European Tour, based in Wentworth, England, employs 155 people and O’Grady will remain in charge until a successor is chosen.

New Coach for Woods

Tiger Woods announced last month he has a new swing coach. “Happy to have Chris Como consulting and working with me on my swing,” Woods tweeted. “I’m excited to be back competing.” In an email release, Woods said he was introduced to Como this summer by long-time friend and former Stanford teammate Notah Begay. “Subsequently we had several good conversations about the golf swing,” Woods said. “I’ve worked with him about a month since I started practicing. Chris will consult and work with me during the year.” Woods, who did not record a single top-10 finish on the PGA Tour during an injury-filled 2014, has not played since the PGA Championship due to back injuries. Woods parted with Sean Foley in August after four years together. Woods had previously worked with Hank Haney from 2004-2010 and Butch Harmon from 1997-2003. HKGOLFER.COM


HK$2498!


| DIVOTS

New Thai Event for European Tour The Thailand Classic is set to welcome the best players from the Asian Tour and European Tour when it gets underway at the Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin from February 12-15 next year. It will be the first time in eight years that the European Tour has co-sanctioned an event in Thailand with the Asian Tour. The US$2 million prize money is a record for a golf event in Thailand. The tournament, which is also part of the prestigious Race to Dubai series, is expected to attract a strong field including many of Europe’s successful Ryder Cup squad which comprehensively defeated the United States last year. Asian Tour’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Kerr was enthusiastic about having the new tournament on the Tour calendar. “The Asian Tour is honoured to celebrate the staging of the inaugural Thailand Classic,” he said. “It  is not only the richest golf tournament in the Kingdom but also Thailand’s only cosanctioned tournament by the Asian Tour and European Tour.’’

Available to buy on the HK Golfer Store at hkgolfer.com Enquires to blunt@hkgolfer.com

20

HK GOLFER・NOV GOLFER・DEC 2014 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


Escape the Hazard

Reduce your tax Increase your income Free QROPS guide and UK pension review Email QROPS@HKGolfer.com and receive a free gift


Local Focus Shingo’s Seniors Success The final group play the sixth hole on the Jade Course at Discovery Bay Golf Club during the final round of the AsiaPacific Seniors Amateur Championship last month. Pictured here (from left-toright) are Indian cricketing legend-turned-golfer Kapil Dev, Andrew McKechnie of New Zealand and third-round leader Gordon Claney of Australia. But it was Shingo Matsumoto who would end the day on top, beating McKechnie on the sixth hole of a dramatic suddendeath play-off. This was the third time that Hong Kong had hosted the prestigious AsiaPacific Golf Confederationsanctioned tournament. Photo by Daniel Wong


Global Focus McIlroy at a Canter Rory McIlroy, seen here at Gleneagles during September’s Ryder Cup, was the runaway winner of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for a second time last month. The Northern Irishman, who also led the money list in the United States this season, finished more than €2.1 million ahead of Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, who captured the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, in second place. As well as winning his third and fourth major titles over the summer – at the Open Championship and the US PGA Championship respectively – McIlroy also won the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour’s flagship event, as well as the WGC-Bridgestone invitational. Photo by Charles McLaughlin


Harvest your own rewards Invest in Bordeaux vineyards To learn how we help clients diversify their investment portfolios into prestigious chateaux, and provide vineyard management and wine marketing solutions, please call or email for a personal appointment. Tel: +852 3125 7580 Email: Information@virtuoso-propertygroup.com

www.Virtuoso-PropertyGroup.com

Suite 901, The Hong Kong Club Building 3A Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong


CLUB

Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME

FANCY TIMING THE NEW LINE OF CELLINI WATCHES FROM ROLEX REVEALS THE DRESSY, SOPHISTICATED SIDE OF THE FAMILY, WRITES EVAN RAST.

The Cellini Date from Rolex

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

27


N Terrific Trio: the Time, Date and Dual Time models from the Cellini collection 28

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

amed after one of the Italian Cellini Time, Cellini Date and Cellini Dual Time. All renaissance’s most admired artists, three come with round cases at a comfortable Benvenuto 39mm – a good size for a dress Cellini, who was watch – with a double bezel that a goldsmith and is partly domed and fluted, and This year, Rolex sculptor to the shapely lugs reminiscent of Oyster decided to make popes, Rolex’s Cellini collection Perpetual Datejust watches. The was conceived to be the more cases are offered in 18K Everose, Cellini a more elegant, dressier brother of the recognisable part Rolex’s version of rose gold brand, with watches made from created in-house, or white gold. of the family with The crowns are tapered, fluted noble materials and luxurious finishes, and designs aimed a new collection of and screws down to the case, at dashing, tuxedo-wearing three main models allowing for the timepieces to gentlemen with very active social offer water resistance of up to 50 and 12 versions, re- metres. The caseback is a domed calendars. Gem-set models and a variety of case shapes made designed to stand back with flutes, and compared to the line very different from the out but carry the most of the Oyster models, Cellini brand’s ‘sportier’ collections watches are lighter and slimmer. DNA of the brand. Cellini dials come in solid under the Oyster Perpetual range. This year, Rolex decided to lacquer or with a black or a silvermake Cellini a more recognisable part of the family plated rayon flammé de la gloire guilloché motif, with a new collection of three main models and with gold applique hour markers and traditional 12 versions, re-designed to stand out but carry dauphine hands. Interestingly, the minute track is the DNA of the brand. The main models are the not at the edge of the dial, but instead it bisects HKGOLFER.COM


Timeless Elegance: the Time and Dual Time models are powered by a chronometercertified, automatic mechanical movement, manufactured entirely in-house 30

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

the hour markers. The dial is open, easily read and hours of a second time zone. To differentiate dayneither too large nor too small. time hours from night-time hours, a sun or moon Powering the new Cellini watches is a symbol transits the sub-dial’s small aperture at 9 c h r o n o m e te r- ce r t i f i e d , o’clock. The hour hand can automatic mechanical be set independently by Powering the new movement, manufactured successive jumps to adjust to a entirely in-house, the 3135, new local time zone, without Cellini watches is which is one of Rolex’s most disturbing the functioning of a chronometerreliable movements, given the watch or the chronometric certified, automatic that it has seen numerous precision of the movement. improvements and upgrades mechanical movement, The Cellini Time is offered in order to improve it in four versions: with a black manufactured performance and reliability. or white lacquered dial and a entirely in-house, Among these is the new choice of 18K white or Everose Parachrom Blu hairspring, gold for the case, hand and the 3135, which is which shrugs off the effects markers. The Cellini Date and one of Rolex’s most of magnetism and shock. The Dual Time models feature reliable movements. 3135 calibre beats at 28,8800 guilloche dials in black or silver vph and offers 48 hours of with similar options for the reserve power. precious material. The watches are fitted on a The basic model, Cellini Time, shows the hours, stitched alligator leather strap with large scales, in minutes and seconds in an elegant expression shiny black or brown depending on the model, of the traditional three-hand watch, with centre with an 18K gold buckle matching the gold of seconds, minutes and hour hands. the case. A collection combining the best of The Cellini Date has the extra feature of a sub- Rolex’s watchmaking expertise with refined lines, dial for the date display between 2 and 3 o’clock. noble materials and luxurious finishes, Cellini is a Lastly, Cellini Dual Time shows a gold-rimmed celebration of the maison’s creativity combined dial at 6 o’clock that displays the minutes and with watchmaking technique. HKGOLFER.COM


AWARD-WINNING NEW ZEALAND WINES FROM BOUTIQUE CENTRAL OTAGO PRODUCER

SAVE 15% OFF CELLAR DOOR PRICES

PINOT NOIR 2012 HK$238 RUA PINOT NOIR 2011 HK$158 BRUT NV HK$185 ROSÉ BRUT NV HK$185 RIESLING 2013 HK$158 Also available on extremely limited release:

“THE SIREN” PINOT NOIR 2012 HK$568

FREE DELIVERY

(minimum 12 bottles)

Contact: wine@hkgolfer.com; +852 3590 4153; or visit our online store at HKGolfer.com GOLD - International Wine Challenge 2014 GOLD - China Wine & Spirit Awards 2014 GOLD - New Zealand Easter Show 2014


32

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


Clockwise from below: The Cellini Dual Time in all its glory; a detail of the timepiece; up close and personal with the Cellini Date; the refined sophistication of the Cellini Time

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014

33


CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE

OUT IN FRONT – FOR NOW

THE NEW GHOST FROM ROLLS-ROYCE IS A BRILLIANT DRIVER’S CAR BUT IT WILL LIKELY FACE STRONG COMPETITION FROM THE MERCEDES-MAYBACH, WHICH IS TO BE LAUNCHED NEXT YEAR, WRITES BEN OLIVER.

T

owners will spot the differences. One important change is the way the famous Spirit of Ecstasy and the equally-famous grille have been raised to be more clearly in the driver’s line of sight as he motors along. But although the Ghost The car has been a comes close. is great to drive, much of its colossal success for Rolls- sales growth has been in The smaller (yet still very substantial) Ghost saloon first appeared in 2010 and has just received its first very subtle mainland China, which has Royce, powering a makeover with this new Series II edition. Like the Phantom, very brand which once built become Rolls-Royce’s biggest little needed to change. The car has been a colossal success single market and where only a few hundred for Rolls-Royce, powering a brand which once built only a few owners almost invariably sit cars each year towards hundred cars each year towards 4,000 sales in 2015. in the back. It’s telling that the The Ghost is an exceptionally good driver’s car, as I revised Series II comes with an 4,000 sales in 2015. discovered when I took an early example to the ghost towns optional extended wheelbase that line the final stretch of America’s Route 66 through the desert west of Los from the start for more rear legroom, and even Angeles. Out there, the only speed controls are the very occasional and easily- rear seats that have been subtly angled towards spotted helicopter, and the Ghost was able to display the full, sportscar-like fury of each other to make private conversation easier. its 530-horsepower twin-turbo V12. But another reason for the update could The new Series II drives just as well: the power output is the same and the be seen simultaneously in Los Angeles and handling has been tautened just a little, without compromising that famous Rolls- Guangzhou in November. Mercedes-Benz Royce ride. The looks have been subtly chiselled too, though perhaps only existing launched the standalone Maybach brand in 2003 34

ruly great design doesn’t need much tweaking. The RollsRoyce Phantom, the first model launched by the brand after it was bought by BMW, has been on sale for eleven years now – an eternity in modern motoring terms – with only the most minor of facelifts. Yet it still remains the benchmark super-luxury saloon: nothing else

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


SCORECARD ROLLS-ROYCE GHOST SERIES II Engine: 6.6-litre twin turbo V12 Transmission: 8-speed automatic Power: 563hp at 5250rpm 575lb ft at 1500rpm Performance: 0-100km/h 4.8sec Max speed 250km/h How Heavy? 2470kgs

to battle the reborn Rolls-Royce, but the cars were a flop and the brand closed down. Now it’s back, as Mercedes-Maybach, with the cars more closely related to the magnificent S-Class luxury saloon, but at least 20cm longer in the rear cabin and with interior fittings from a league above, and good enough to challenge even the hand-built work of the most elite name in motoring. These two cars will be direct rivals: Rolls-Royce might have the name, but Mercedes has the budget and the technology. It’s apparent in its claim to be the world’s quietest production car in the back, and in the extraordinary versatility of its ‘first-class’ rear cabin, and in nice features like voice-amplification, so you can instruct your driver without raising your voice. Notice that the car was launched in the USA and China at the same time: China will be the Mercedes-Maybach’s biggest market too. It’s too new for us to have tested it yet. It will need to be good to beat the revised Ghost, but we suspect that this time, it will be. HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

35


CLUBHOUSE | LIQUID ASSETS

HOLE IN WINE WINE EXPERT AND PASSIONATE GOLFER JULIEN YUNG MAMEAUX ON THE BEST GOLF AND WINE COMBOS FOR 2015. a Margaux 2005 (the best Margaux vintage of the new century). Given the other golf course is closer to Saint Emilion, why not try Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2009?

The stunning Terre Blanch Golf and Spa Resort is located close by Chateuneuf-du-Pape

SOUTHEAST FRANCE Fans of Victor Dubuisson know that the Ryder Cup hero started playing in the French Riviera. From Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon to Cannes, Saint-Tropez or Monaco, plenty of courses can be enjoyed throughout the year, like Domaine de Terre Blanche Golf & Spa - where Raphael Jacquelin trains, or Golf de l’Esterel with spectacular holes designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior. Both courses are nearby the Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine area - Raymond Usseglio Cuvee Imperiale 2011(17 JR) - and South Rhone Syrah vineyards - Chene Bleu Abelard 2007 (95 RP). PIEMONTE AND NORTHERN ITALY Lovers of Barolo wine understand how precious the land is in Northern Italy, where noble Nebbiolo grapes are grown and the Molinari brothers were raised. Enjoy pure dolce far niente lifestyle with a glass of Giacomo Conterno Barolo DOCG Cascina Francia 2006 (94 WS) or Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Enrico VI (94 RP). Why not hit the ball in spectacular scenery, either at the Biella Le Betulle Golf Course (ranked number one in Italy) or Royal Park I Roveri by the Olympic Alps mountains - both in the vicinity of Turin. A drive to the fashion capital takes you to Milano Golf Course where celebrities also wander. BORDEAUX The wine mecca of Bordeaux also has its fair share of fine greens, such as Golf du Medoc, a top-15 European course with spa and acclaimed restaurants nearby famous wineries, or Chateau des Vigiers which is a perfect, further inland hideaway in Dordogne. I would pair the first one with a Left Bank-classified growth such as

36

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

MELBOURNE AND YARRA VALLEY Over an extended stop in Melbourne you can discover an exhilarating nature to fulfill your passions. Step on to the fairways of renowned courses like Royal Melbourne, the coveted pinnacle of southern hemisphere golf, or the wonderful Victoria Golf Club, home of many champions. And venture on an experiential wine trip to Yarra Valley and enjoy not just the sparkling Chandon winery, but praised estates like Brown Brothers or Garagiste and its Merricks Chardonnay 2011 (94 JH). SCOTLAND Is there a need to highlight St Andrews’ Old Course, Gleneagles or Castle Stuart in this column? Probably not, but let me point out the best whisky and golf pairings. Near Edinburgh one can attend golf schools and clinics by the East Lothians Links, along with an unforgettable dinner in the world’s largest whisky collection room where you can sip a rare single malt like Aberlour Double Cask 16 year old. If it is whisky you’re more into, spend time in Speyside where The Macallan, The Glenlivet and boutique wineries are located and enjoy a relaxing game at Dufftown Golf Club. Westwards on the Isle of Islay, get a hint of peat on the greens of Machrie Golf Links and in a glass of Ardbeg Uigeadail Single Malt. To visit these destinations and many others, b o ok your holiday with T he E xp e rience Company (TheExCo.com) at +852 3488 9565 or Contact@TheExCo.com. 10% offer for “HKGolfer” readers for any trip taking place by 30th June 2015. Consult us also if you wish to acquire the wines listed in the article.

HKGOLFER.COM


| TALES FROM THE BOX

And the

Award

Goes to ... Julian Tutt takes an irreverent look at the 2014 season and hands out his coveted “Jules Awards” to the lucky winners.

C

Daniel Wong (Tutt); AFP

Donald Trump, who bought Open Championship venue Turnberry is the recipient of the “Mr Modesty” award (opposite top); European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley (opposite bottom) left no stone unturned to ensure his side emerged triumphant at the biennial competition yet again 38

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

an it really be true? With the Christmas decorations already looking tardy, December’s diary bulking out with office pa r t ie s, a nd t he “SA L E” posters ready to go up in shopping malls everywhere, 2014 is almost ready to be consigned to the scrapbook of memories. Time then to award the ancient and historic “Jules Awards” that have been eagerly awaited every year since 2013. Unlike the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, the recipients, for the most part, would probably rather not have been nominated. That said it seems apposite to start with the “Luckiest Plonker of the Year” which must go to Greg Norman for his lunatic attempt to amputate a hand with a chainsaw, when he should have been checking out the latest “Shark” clothing samples, or testing the mix on his new grass seed variant. As someone who regularly swings from a dodgy ladder trying to lop off a high branch on my distressed willow, with chainsaw precariously gripped in one hand, I feel justified in lampooning the great man. Thank heavens though that luck was very much on his side. Not something that you could always say about his golfing career. Talking of mega-rich, highly successful blondes, the awards for “Mr Modesty” and “Mr Unassuming” are combined this year and go to the very deserving Donald Trump, who is now spending an estimated £250 million to upgrade

the shamefully tatty resort at Turnberry. By the time The Open championship returns there, the distinctive old Lighthouse will have been converted to a Halfway House, and the 18th will see Mickey and Minnie popping up out of fairway bunkers, with a cardboard cutout of Alex Salmond ducking and diving as a moving target on the green. T he for mer S cot t i sh Fi r st M i n i ster incidentally takes the award for “Irrelevant Ubiquitous Presence”, as he attempted to use golf, and specifically The Ryder Cup, for his own Independent ambitions. The Ryder Cup was arguably the highlight of a brilliant golfing year for Europe, and so Gleneagles collects two awards: “Best Venue to stage The Cup” rewards a fantastic effort by all involved, and they even got the weather right. Sadly their celebrations will be slightly marred by also receiving “The Dullest Course Ever to Stage The Cup” award. This is not presented lightly as there are plenty of serious challengers, notably The Belfry in its early stagings. But having walked 36 holes a day for three days, I don’t feel a compelling urge to go and ‘golf my ball’ there (as the Americans so eloquently describe it), which surely I should? The Kings or Queens courses … now that’s a different story. Europe’s victorious Captain Paul McGinley left no stone unturned to ensure that his side emerged triumphant yet again. He takes the honours for “Shrewdest Humble Line by a Winning Captain” for his comment that he will HKGOLFER.COM


Paul McGinley takes the honours for “Shrewdest Humble Line by a Winning Captain” for his comment that he will now forever be linked in history with his great golfing hero Tom Watson. now forever be linked in history with his great golfing hero Tom Watson. The one whose team he had just thumped. At the same time poor Old Tom was being lambasted by his most senior player for incompetence and stubbornness. Phil Mickelson then collects the statuette for “Saying the Right Thing at the Wrong Time”. Whether he will be invited to demonstrate how the job should be done in future remains to be seen, but it should make for compelling viewing as the PGA of America goes through the motions of appointing their next captain. Their former president, Ted Bishop, who actually now officially never was their President, probably deserves many awards, but having witnessed at first hand his maniacal tendencies as Old Tom’s self-appointed buggy operator, he gets my vote as “Most Arrogantly Dangerous Driver On A Golf Course”. How he didn’t collect a few kilted trophies on his way round remains a mystery; or perhaps he did and they too have been expunged, Stasi-like, from the record? Europe’s efforts sadly weren’t quite enough to earn them “Team of the Year”. That honour goes to Thongchai Jaidee’s Asian side in the HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

39


EurAsia Cup captains Miguel Angel Jiménez and Thongchai Jaidee share a laugh at the inaugural event in Kuala Lumpur in March

Peter Dawson, CEO of the R&A, announced he will be retiring from his post and earns the “Most Skillful Helmsman” award

Rory McIlroy was Golfer of the Year … or was he?

40

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

inaugural Eurasia Cup for their magnificent, and most unexpected fightback after a first day’s whitewash, to secure a tie. Brilliant. Mercedes Benz-sponsored German, Marcel Siem, earns “The Most Tactless Win” trophy for his success at the BMW Masters in Shanghai. The awards for “Best Venue on Tour” and “Most Welcoming Venue on Tour” both go to the magnificent Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling. Everyone involved at the club should take a bow for their superb staging of the Hong Kong Open. (These awards are made without the slightly hint of prejudice). “The Rookie of the Year” is unquestionably Warren Humphreys, for his stellar debut performance as an on-course commentator at the aforementioned Hong Kong Open. My colleague Dougie Donnelly will be convinced that he has wrapped up “TV Commentator Of The Year”, but in a close fought battle, Dominique Boulet just edges it, by virtue of the fact that he buys me lunch more often and that he has changed my swing from looking like a monkey impersonating a 24-handicapper to a passing imitation of a Champions Tour professional … allow me to dream, please! The soon-to-be retired R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson earns the accolade of “Most Skilful Helmsman” for successfully steering a course through the muddied waters of female membership. The other soon-to-be Chief Executive, George O’Grady collects the rarely presented “Lifetime Achievement Award” for over 40 years of dedicated service to The European Tour. The relatively new-broom Chairman of The Tour, David Williams, is vigorously sweeping clean. Much breath is bated to see who will succeed George, whom this column wishes every success and happiness as he dons his slippers. So (roll of drums) to the main award, “The Golfer of the Year”. Rickie Fowler, with four top-five finishes in the majors is a strong candidate, but his failure to win, alongside his demolition by Rory McIlroy in the Ryder Cup singles goes against him. The Northern Irishman, with his BMW PGA Championship and World Golf Championship wins, two majors and the number one spot on either side of the Atlantic might seem like the overwhelming favourite. But the Committee (of one) has come down in favour of the Hong Kong-based American Doug Williams for his outstanding defence of the Hong Kong Seniors Amateur Open. Despite a untypically errorstrewn final round that saw him surrender a seven-shot lead, his gutsy birdie at the first playoff hole deservedly secures the title of Champion Golfer 2014. McIlroy’s chance will surely come again. HKGOLFER.COM


450


| BY DESIGN

Changing

Times

Award-winning architect Paul Jansen takes a look at the way technology is helping and hindering golf course construction and maintenance.

Miller Brown (Augusta National); Getty Images (North Berwick)

W

The sublime conditioning at Augusta National Golf Club (opposite top) has had a huge influence on other course’s expectations in terms of maintenance procedures; the wild and wooly links at the much-heralded North Berwick in Scotland 42

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

e live in a world of constant flux. What is deemed as cutting edge today is often seen as outdated tomorrow. This is particularly evident in the golf business. Golfers are much stronger today than at any time in our history, and they’re getting stronger each day. Golf clubs are more and more forgiving and the golf ball continues to go further and further. But what of golf course maintenance and turf grass science? This, I believe, is where the biggest strides have been made in golf. Today golf course superintendents (known as green keepers in some parts of the world) are some of the most highly trained, highly skilled people in the golf business, which is easy to understand when you look at the modern golf course. We have certainly come a long way from the days when golf was played over broken, untamed land and a green keeper was a menial job with limited pay. Back at its inception the golf course would typically take care of itself. Sheep were often used to manage the grass areas, and hazards – bunkers, for instance – would get little if any tender loving care. This is certainly not characteristic of the golf courses we get to see and play today. In fact our modern golf courses are a feat of modern engineering. Think multimillion dollar irrigation systems, thousands of metres of sub-surface drainage, varieties of grass species and modern green construction make for golf in the 21st century … and I am forgetting

the high-tech equipment used to maintain these facilities. Thanks to this progress we are now able to build and maintain golf courses in varied environments and over some of the most challenging parcels of land imaginable. Thanks to this progress the game of golf has grown to the point where just about every major centre across the globe has a golf course. This is a good thing. For the most part I embrace change and this includes change in golf. I drive a modern car, carry a laptop and mobile phone and play with a new set of clubs and balls. But there have been times when I have come to think some change has had a damaging effect on the game. Let me explain. I hear a lot of people in our business lambasting the golf ball as if it is the biggest problem the game faces. Whilst I concur that the golf ball has done us no favours in the way we are having to stretch the play areas – mostly for the better golfer – I can’t help but feel the longer, straighter ball makes a difficult game a little easier for the majority of golfers. Where is the bad in that? If we want to point fingers at any one thing that has had such a drastic impact on golf – for good or bad – then I would be inclined to list the way we maintain and irrigate our courses today versus yesteryear and the resulting effect this has had on the way the game is played and perceived. Lush “green” playing areas, manicured bunkers and immaculate putting surfaces are the norm today and anything opposing this is, for the most part, seen as taboo or even unfair. Many golf HKGOLFER.COM


course superintendents are under pressure to create “Augusta National”-like conditions at their club or fear the wrath of the modern golfer and/or club committee. Clubs will spend millions of dollars each year so that they can look green and play “fair”. Anything brown or tatty is seen as poor maintenance practice and even worse, poor design. Modern construction, equipment and irrigation systems have given us the opportunity to create conditions that potentially would have been admired all those years ago. Some may have scorned these advances of course. I personally embrace what we can do in golf construction today and my feeling is that most of the best golf architects of previous generations would have thought the same. What’s important is that the architect does not get carried away with the tools he has at his disposal. I am much less besotted by the general advance and effect of irrigation. I am very conscious it’s necessary in many climates, and I am grateful for this, but I see all too often it being overused to create playing conditions that are visually very appealing to the eye but that come at a hefty cost. Creating over lush and over green conditions is certainly not cheap and it’s hardly sustainable. Yes, you can kill grass by not irrigating at the right times but too little water is hardly as problematic as putting too much water on the play areas. Speak to any golf course superintendent and they will tell you that turf health and playability are much more threatened when overwatering. Too much watering also softens the playing areas and makes it more receptive – which essentially has an effect on the way we play the HKGOLFER.COM

Lush “green” playing areas, manicured bunkers and immaculate putting surfaces are the norm today and anything opposing this is, for the most part, seen as taboo or even unfair. Many golf course superintendents are under pressure to create “Augusta National”-like conditions at their club or fear the wrath of the club committee. game. In this case golf becomes much less about creative and thoughtful play (using the ground to good effect) and more about hitting archetypical shots that drop and stop. This type of golf is very monotonous and leaves little to discover. In my mind this is an unfortunate thing and it is further encouraged by the way many golf courses are designed today. We have made great strides in golf – most of which has been positive. As we move forward let us continue to embrace this change and development. But let this be measured and just maybe, we need at times to look to the past to plan for the future, so that we don’t lose sight of what has made this game so interesting and fun.

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

43


PROFILE

Patrick Reed got his 2014 season off to a flying start with victories at the Humana Challenge in January and the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March 44

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


The

Unquiet

American

Love him or hate him, there's no doubting the talent and selfdeprecating humour of Patrick Reed, writes Lewine Mair.

T

Photography by Getty Images and Charles McLaughlin

here are top golfers who can just as easily bounce in and out of favour as form. Bubba Watson is one example; his friend Patrick Reed another. Though the Americans had previously warned of a certain cockiness on Reed’s part, he could scarcely have gone down better when he was over in the UK for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles There, everyone found something to admire in this spirited, smiling soul. At the very least, he was more obviously upbeat and entertaining than some among his teammates.

HKGOLFER.COM

On the Friday of the match, the day when Tom Watson so surprisingly left him and Jonathan Spieth out of the foursomes, Reed was up for a chat after he had finished signing a few autographs. He did not balk at the suggestion that he had a bit of Ian Poulter about him; he could see for himself that they had a deal in common. It is a few years since Poulter said enough to one of the magazine writers to suggest that he saw himself as second only to Tiger Woods. Reed’s equivalent boast came at the start of 2014 when, after bagging three tournaments, he suddenly declared that he was in the top five in

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

45


Reed’s boast came at the start of 2014 when, after bagging three tournaments, he suddenly declared that he was in the top five in the world. He was some way ahead of the Official World Golf Ranking in coming to that conclusion. the world. He was some way ahead of the Official World Golf Ranking in coming to that conclusion but that is where he felt he belonged. Returning to the conversation at Gleneagles, it made sense to ask where he felt stood vis-à-vis Poulter on the Richter-scale of confidence. “If you’re giving Poulter ten out of ten, I’m a ten, too,“ he said cheerfully. Rather more than Poulter, though, Reed has the ability to poke fun at himself. Back in 2013, when Tom Watson, came over to Gleneagles for the Ryder Cup’s ‘Year to Go’ celebrations, the US captain had upset not a few Scots when he advised that the crowd of 2014 would be applauding the Americans’ missed putts. There was none of that when it came to the match but Reed took what banter there was in good heart. In fact, it would be difficult to find 46

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

anyone who did not enjoy that moment when he put his finger to his lips to tell the people to shush.   “Henrik,” he recalled, “made a big birdie putt and the crowds went wild, which was what I would have expected. “Then I made one on top of him [to draw level] and that’s when I gave them the hush sign. The atmosphere was awesome after that.” Reid won three and a half points in addition to a lot of hearts that week, while he did still more to have people in the UK warming to him when he returned a few weeks later to play in the Volvo World Match Play championship at the London Golf Club. He and his wife, Justine, told how they had watched the tournament on TV on several occasions and had often said to each other that if ever Patrick were invited to play, they would come at once. Justine would explain their ‘feel’ for London. Firstly, they had a cousin in the city and, secondly, Justine had been an avid fan of the late Princess Diana and she and Patrick had retained a big interest in the progress of William and Harry. Reed played some great golf to reach the quarterfinals, where he lost to George HKGOLFER.COM


Coetzee. People were interested to see how he would take that defeat and the answer, here, was that he could not have been more sporting. His opponent, he said, had simply played the better golf on the day. He also reiterated that on the strength of his Ryder Cup and World Match Play experiences, he was determined not to be one of those Americans who stuck rigidly to the PGA tour. He wanted to be a world player and, no, the British weather had done nothing to have him wishing he were back in the US sunshine.  In truth, he notices the weather less than any American you ever saw. On days when the locals were clad in waterproofs and woolly jackets against the cold, he wore nothing on top beyond a tee-shirt. For that alone, people had a sneaking admiration for the young man. The 27-year-old Justine will tell you that though there have been times when she has winced at some of her husband’s comments, she feels he mostly stays within bounds. “His fiery attitude says how he feels,” she suggests. “It’s hard to be that guy because some people are going to approve and some aren’t. Myself, I like it. “When Patrick made that remark as to how he 48

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

was now in the top five in the world,” she continued, “he truly believed that that was where he belonged. He’s only young, but more power to him for showing that kind of confidence. I’m a confident person myself.” Justine made plain that Patrick is nothing if not well-rounded: “He loves all sport, he’s a good cook and he’s willing to try his hand at anything and everything.” When she dropped her nursing career to caddie for him – something she did for a couple of years – she enjoyed the role all the more in that he brought her in on the decision-making. Patrick would seek her advice on everything from clubselection to reading putts in spite of the fact that she had never been anything more than a happygo-lucky high school golfer. “It was because he listened to my opinions that I got better at the job,” she says. “I loved the academic challenges of my nursing career [she completed a dual major in health administration and nursing] and it wasn’t long before I was totally wrapped up in golf’s mental side.” Justine, whose caddying exploits came to a standstill when carrying a 50-pound golf bag had to give way to carrying what would be a seven-

Reed showed a fine sense of humour (top) when he came up against his Ryder Cup adversaries Henrik Stenson, Graeme McDowell, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher; the American was one of the standouts for his side (opposite), showing a passion at Gleneagles that few could match HKGOLFER.COM


Our Master Watchmaker never loses his concentration

New JS Watch ad needed

It is with great pride that we introduce to you our latest collection: The Islandus 45 Years Anniversary Edition, created in special celebration of our Master Watchmaker Gilbert O. Gudjonsson 45th work anniversary as a Watchmaker. Limited to 45 pieces only.

JS Watch co. Reykjavik is one of the world’s smallest watch manufacturers, yet our constant effort to meet our collectors ‘and watch enthusiasts’ needs has virtually no limits.

www.jswatch.com

Official HK Agent: Times International Creation ltd. Contact: jswatch@timesic.com Tel: +852-3590-4153


In truth, Reed notices the weather less than any American you ever saw. On days when the locals were clad in waterproofs and woolly jackets against the cold, he wore nothing on top beyond a tee-shirt. For that alone, people had a sneaking admiration for the young man.

Reed and his wife Justine, who was also his caddie, celebrate with the Wyndham Championship trophy after his victory over Jordan Spieth in suddendeath last year 50

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

pound baby, suggests that she was as well-placed as anyone to keep her husband’s temperament in check. “If he was being a bit hot-headed I’d tell him to cool down,” she laughed. “I would say exactly what needed to be said.” And she was saying what needed to be said when it came to the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, and Patrick suddenly lost his cool and was captured by the cameras in the process. He had taken three putts on the first green, his 10th, on the Thursday, and followed up with a short diatribe which included a couple of words beginning with an “F”, both too unlovely to bear repetition. CNN had picked up very clearly on what he said and made a big thing of it – and soon it was being called 'a homophobic rant’. Almost certainly, the TV people had decided it was the best of follow-on stories to what had happened when Ted Bishop, President of the PGA of America, was sacked for calling Ian Poulter “a squealing little schoolgirl”. (That a man of his age was sending silly messages on Twitter was surely enough of a reason in itself to call for his removal.) Reed was shown the clip and, for advice on what to do next, he went first to his wife and then to Bubba Watson, who knew a thing or two about making a bit of a fool of himself. Watson could only agree that he had messed up. “We all do it from time to time,” he advised. “You need to learn from it.” Thanks not least to Justine and Watson, Reed’s apology was up there with the best. Golf, he said, was a gentleman’s game and he should never have done what he did: “I made a stupid error, that’s for sure. Its hould never have happened.” He blamed no one but himself and, though he reminded his audience that he was still only young, he said that he would indeed be learning from the experience. Justine was not well in China. She had an eye infection which got worse by the day and, by the Saturday night, the doctor was declaring that she needed to go to hospital at once – a good hour away.  It was a wintry night when the couple took off by car to the hospital, with Patrick still in a short-sleeved shirt. Where, previously, people had been of the opinion that Justine ruled the roost in their relationship, that evening was altogether different. That Patrick still had a fourth round to play at the Sheshan GC (it would be a 71 which left him in a share of 22nd place), was beside the point. He was only interested in Justine and those who saw him disappearing into the cold night with a protective arm about her shoulders gave a knowing nod. There was no question that Reed had his good side. HKGOLFER.COM


Master Club Advisors

“Search Consultants to the Private Club Community”

“Your Golf Club Deserves To be The verY besT” Proven World Class Performance in Global Executive Placement, Strategic Planning Facilitation, Governance and Operational Consulting. Norm Spitzig, MCM 1-561-762-7195 norm@masterclubadvisors.com Bill Schulz, MCM 1-713-252-2753 bill@masterclubadvisors.com P.O. Box 941238, Houston, TX 77094 | www.MasterClubAdvisors.com


From the President World University Championship in Switzerland, where she pulled off one of the greatest accomplishments in Hong Kong golf history with a thrilling play-off victory over Spain’s Marta Sanz. After tying with Sanz on a 10-underpar total, Tiffany calmly holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th at scenic Crans-sur-Sierre in the heart of the Swiss Alps to best a strong field that included two members of this year’s winning United States Curtis Cup team and earn the gold medal. Thanks to her wonderful performances, Tiffany broke into the top-20 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking for the first time. The performances of Tiffany’s younger brethren have also given much cause for optimism. The annual HKGA junior summer tour of the United States was highlighted by Leon D’Souza and Kitty Tam making the cut at the most prestigious junior event on the planet – the Callaway Junior World Championships, which took place in San Diego. This was followed up by Isaac Lam and Michael Regan Wong, who recently won the Hong Kong Open Amateur Championship to make his way into the field this week, finishing second and third in their respective divisions at the FCG Cobra Puma World Junior Championship in California. October’s Hong Kong Open provided yet anot her thrilling climax, with Australia’s Scott Hend narrowly edging Angelo Que of the Philippines in a dramatic suddendeath play-off. The Hong Kong Open is Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Hong Kong Golf Club for their generosity in providing such a wonderful venue for the event. A great deal of thanks must also go to the Hong Kong Government, whose Major Sports Events Committee (MSEC) awarded the tournament coveted "M" Mark status, and to all the official tournament partners, which included Amundi, DP World, and Emirates, as well as the other two official sanctioning bodies, the European and Asian Tours. Credit, too, to the hundreds of volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the week as well as the large number of spectators that gave the tournament its traditionally wonderful atmosphere. The HKGA looks for ward to welcoming everyone back to the 2015 Hong Kong Open next October. Happy New Year. Ning Li President

Daniel Wong

With 2014 rapidly coming to an end I am pleased to write that the Hong Kong Golf Association – and golf in Hong Kong generally – has enjoyed a successful past 12 months. Long-time Hong Kong i nter nat iona l Sh i n ich i Mizuno gave local golf fans plenty to cheer early in the year when he became the first player from the city to represent Asia-Pacific at the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy, a biennial amateur Ryder Cup-style team event against Europe that is named after the former leading English amateur golfer and secretary of the R&A. Although Team Asia-Pacific narrowly lost out to their European opponents in an extremely high-quality match that was played in Bangalore, India, 21-year-old Shinichi put in a solid performance that set him up well for the rest of the season. In another first for Hong Kong, Brad Schadewitz, the national coach, was selected to vice-captain the Asia-Pacific side. In February, the Hong Kong Golf Association and Me rc e d e s -B e n z Ho n g Ko n g L i m it e d a n n ou n c e d a partnership that saw the German automaker become the HKGA’s first ever Exclusive Car Partner. The partnership was an early success for the HKGA’s new sponsorship programme, which has seen Descente Trading Ltd come on board as Official Apparel Partner and TaylorMade and Bushnell as Official Suppliers. We are extremely thankful to all our sponsors, especially EFG Bank, which has been a long-time supporter of junior golf in the city. Tiffa ny Cha n has excel led for Hong Kong on t he international stage for numerous years but 2014 saw her record two of her most important victories, wins that show she has the talent to compete with the very best in the world. The Tuen Mun golfer, who is studying in the United States, helped her Daytona State junior college team claims its seventh NJCA A Women’s Championship in May by capturing the individual title. In her freshman year, 21-yearold Tiffany led wire-to-wire after opening with a brilliant 68 (the second-lowest individual round in NJCAA history) to become Daytona State’s first national champion since 2011. But even that feat couldn’t match her performance at the

52

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


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

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

facebook.com/EFGInternational

瑞士盈豐銀行 Practitioners of the craft of private banking

瑞士盈豐銀行 瑞士盈豐銀行 EFG is the marketing name for EFG International and its subsidiaries. 18th Floor, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, T +852 2298 3000. In Asia, also present in Singapore, Jakarta, Shanghai and Taipei. EFG Bank is part of EFG International, which operates in over 30 locations worldwide. www.efginternational.com


HKGA | NEWS

Putting Pen to Paper Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan, the number one-ranked junior college golfer in the United States, has signed her National Letter of Intent (NLI) to the University of Southern California. Chan, who won the 2014 NJCAA national title and was the 2014 National and Florida Junior College Player of the Year, will enroll in the fall of 2015. Chan, who also claimed the World University Championship in Switzerland this year, is currently ranked 21st in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Chan is one of six Hong Kong golfers who have signed National Letter of Intents in the past few weeks. Joining her at college in North America will be Michael Regan Wong (University of California, Riverside), Linus Lo (Western Kentucky University), Tiger Lee (University of New Mexico), Kitty Tam (San Diego State University) and Emily Vicky Leung (Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University). “It’s great to see more and more young Hong Kong golfers getting the opportunity, through golf, to study overseas,” said Hong Kong National Coach Brad Schadewitz. “It is recognition of the Hong Kong Golf Association’s junior development programme and I’m hopeful that more and more young Hong Kong golfers will have the opportunity in the future. “The great thing about playing college golf is that it allows players to remain as competitive amateurs, which means they’ll continue to be available for national team selection in the years ahead.”

Tiffany Chan signs for University of California

Kitty Tam

Emily Vickie Leung Michael Regan Wong

Linus Lo 54

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

Tiger Lee HKGOLFER.COM


HK ABROAD

Hickories and

Hongkongers Territory represented at the World Hickory Open Championship in Scotland by Loretto boarders Yannick Artigolle and Lou Tan.

Y Supplied by Loretto School

oung Hong Kong golfers and boarding pupils at Loretto Golf Academy in Scotland – 14-year-old Lou Tan and 15-year-old Yannick Artigolle – joined Loretto Golf Academy’s Director of Golf and former Hong Kong National Player Rick Valentine to compete in the 2014 World Hickory Open Championship in October. The event was held over the historic links of Panmure on the East coast of Scotland and the players were all supplied with a set of antique hickory clubs for the event. The players got into the spirit of the tournament by dressing up in the style of the era to compete against a field of over 100 players, including eventual champion and two-time major winner Sandy Lyle. Loretto has been supporting the event since its inception and Valentine, who was the Hickory World champion in 2012, believes it is a key part of the player’s development to experience the history of the game as well as learning how to play with the hickory shafts. “It’s a far greater test of ball striking: with the smaller heads and hickory shafts the players have to really work their ball around the course controlling their swing and ball flight,” he said. The format of the event is 36 holes of stroke play, with the first round also incorporating a team event. After a slow start the Hong Kong team got going on the back nine to shoot a team score of eight-under-par to finish in the centre of the pack. Individually, Valentine continued his good form in the tournament, finishing fifth, whilst Lou and Yannick placed 24th and 47threspectively, which was a fantastic achievement for their first attempt. Lou commented: “It has been a great opportunity to compete this week and experience hickory golf and I feel it has been a great benefit to my game.” Yannick added: “I can’t believe how hard the game was in comparison to modern technology, but I enjoyed the experience and hopefully I will get the opportunity to compete again next year.”  The 2015 event is to be held at over the Championsip Course at famed Carnoustie. For more information about Loretto School visit loretto.com.

56

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

Loretto's Director of Golf Rick Valentine flanked by Hong Kong's Yannick Artigolle and Lou Tan

HKGOLFER.COM


HKGA | HK SENIORS AMATEUR OPEN

Cometh the Hour Doug Williams survived a final-round scare to notch his second Hong Kong Seniors Amateur Open title in a row, writes Alex Jenkins. Photography by Daniel Wong

Champion Doug Williams, seen here with Su Su Tong, Clubhouse Manager at the HKGC, receives the trophy for the second successive year

F

anling member Doug Williams continued his remarkable winning ways with a hard-fought victory at the Hong Kong Seniors Amateur Open Championship last month. Williams, the defending champion, overcame Stephen East of England in a play-off after blowing a seven-shot overnight lead over the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Old Course. The American-born Williams, who has now captured back-to-back Hong Kong Seniors Close and Open titles since becoming eligible for senior golf last year, closed with a lacklustre 78 to tie with East on a three-round total of 216, three-over-par. But a brilliant approach to the first hole of sudden-death gave him a chance to spare his blushes and he capitalised on the opportunity by holing a 10ft birdie putt to claim the win. “I’m delighted to win after such a diff icult day,” said Williams, who opened with back-to-back rounds of 69 to forge ahead in the early stages of t he event. “ I was so tense a nd out of my rhy t h m during the round that I was a bit of an emotional wreck out there, so to w i n i n t he play- of f w it h my on ly bi rd ie of t he day wa s a big relief.” 2012 winner Michael Barltrop of New Zealand and Hong Kong’s Anthony Taylor finished in a share of third on 220.

58

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

FINAL STANDINGS 1

Doug Williams*

HKG

69 69 78

216

2

Stephen East

ENG

74 71 71

216

3= Michael Barltrop

NZL

75 71 74

220

Anthony Taylor

HKG

72 73 75

220

5

Anthony Gresham AUS

76 72 77

225

6= John Ambridge

ENG

78 77 71

226

Peter King

AUS

75 78 73

226

8

Alan Evans

AUS

78 73 77

228

9

Peter Reed

HKG

79 74 76

229

HKG

76 77 77

230

10 John Ball * Denotes play-offwinner

HKGOLFER.COM


Australia’s Anthony Gresham, a former winner of the event

Runner-up Stephen East of England

Alan Evans, a twotime champion in Hong Kong, racked up another top-10 finish

Hong Kong’s Tony Taylor finished in a tie for third Despite some late wobbles, Doug Williams held his nerve in the play-off to emerge victorious

New Zealand’s Michael Barltrop, the 2012 winner, again fared well at Fanling, finishing in a share of third place HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

59


ASIA-PACIFIC SENIORS AMATEUR

Down

to the

Wire

Shingo Matsumoto claimed his first Asia-Pacific Seniors Amateur win following a gripping play-off at Discovery Bay, writes Alex Jenkins.

J

Photography by Daniel Wong

apan's Shingo Matsumoto emerged victorious at the Asia-Pacific Seniors Amateur Championship at Discovery Bay Golf Club last month after outlasting Andrew McKechnie of New Zealand in a gruelling sudden-death play-off. Matsumoto, 60, made a solid par four on the sixth extra hole – the  demanding third on the Diamond Course at the cliff-top Lantau course – to consign McKechnie, who could only bogey, to second place after the pair had tied in regulation play on a three-day total of five-over 218. Overnight leader Gordon Claney of Australia finished a shot outside the play-off in solo third place, while the in-form Doug Williams, who won the Hong Kong Open Seniors Amateur Championship at Fanling the week before, tied for fourth, a further stroke adrift. Alan Sutcliffe, the long-time Hong Kong Golf Club member and Hong Kong international was on hand to

present Williams with his eponymous salver, the prize for finishing as the leading Hong Kong player. "Andrew is a great player and I was fortunate to come out on top," said Matsumoto, a two-time Japan Seniors Amateur champion. "But I'm very happy. It feels great to win after such a long battle and I feel very proud to have my name on the championship trophy." Australia won the team event by two strokes from New Zealand on a total of 871. Japan placed third on 895, while Hong Kong picked up fifth spot on 936. Kapil Dev, the legendary cricketing all-rounder, had a day to forget. The Indian started the day just a shot off the pace, but a lacklustre 80 meant he finished down the field in 13th. The historic Asia-Pacific Senior Amateur Championship is an Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation event and was hosted in Hong Kong by the Hong Kong Golf Association for the third time.

REED ENDS 46-YEAR WAIT It might have taken nearly half a century but former Hong Kong Golf Club Captain Peter Reed was rewarded for a fine tee shot as he recorded the third hole-in-one of his life during the first round of the Asia-Pacific Seniors Amateur Championship. Reed, whose last ace was 46 years ago when he was just 17, used a 4-hybrid to make short work of the the 185-yard eighth hole on the Jade Course during his opening round of 82. “Unfortunately I didn’t see it go in,” said Reed, who finished in a tie for 44th place overall. “The ball looked like it was hanging on the edge of the cup but when I got up to the green it had disappeared!”

60

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


Shingo Matsumoto, a two-time Japan Seniors champion, was a very proud man after claiming the Asia-Pacific title for the first time HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014

61


Runner-up Andrew McKechnie of New Zealand

The winning Australian team

Former Indian cricketer Kapil Dev in action on the final day

Doug Williams was Hong Kong's best performer

INDIVIDUAL FINAL RESULTS

Hong Kong's John Ball tees off on the sixth hole, Jade Course

TEAM FINAL RESULTS

1 Shingo Matsumoto*

JPN

73 74 71

218

1 Australia

284 289 298

871

2 Andrew McKechnie

NZL

75 71 72

218

2 New Zealand

295

873

3 Gordon Claney

AUS

69 75 75

219

3 Japan

298 302 295

895

4= Doug Williams

HKG

73 74 73

220

4 Philippines

314 304 315

933

John Batley

NZL

74 75 71

220

5 Hong Kong – 1

314

936

Michael Barltrop

NZL

73 74 73

220

6 India

312 314 329

955

Paul Maslen

AUS

71 75 74

220

7 Hong Kong – 2

321

322

323

966

8 Vincent Clark

AUS

72 74 75

221

8 Chinese Taipei

324

339

341

1004

9 Takashi Kamei

JPN

71 78 73

222

9 Korea

331 340 334

1005

10= John Ambridge

ENG

75 78 71

224

10 Singapore

350

335

334

1019

Denis Dale

AUS

72 78 74

224

11 Pakistan

337

345 347

1029

Eddie Bagtas

PHL

76 72 76

224

12 Guam

378

380 396

1154

290

315

288

307

* Denotes play-off winner

62

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


complete residential property investment

A SMARTER SOLUTION • A commercial solution to the acquisition, letting, management and asset management of residential property anywhere in the UK • Expert advice for private and corporate investors worldwide with representatives in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and London • Highly competitive letting and management fees with no upfront costs • Investment acquisition advisory • Off market pre-let investment opportunity • Portfolio and asset management • Letting and property management UK nationwide • Let and vacant property sale • Strategy, research and financial analysis • Identification, negotiation and refurbishment For more information please contact: Rupert Smith - Founder / Investment Director at rupert.smith@completerpi.com www.completerpi.com uk tel +44 1932 568877 Hong Kong uk tel 00852 9307 0337

• 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


EVENT

English Experts Capture Cup

Mid-October saw the annual tussle for the fabled Shanghai Cup take place in glorious sunshine over the perfectly conditioned course at Shek O Country Club.

The English team (centre) celebrate with the trophy after a hard-fought victory at Shek O Country Club

SHANGHAI CUP RESULTS 1 ENGLAND Stephen Gore (3.5 points), James Watkins (3.5) Jim Wardell (3.5), Richard Garrett (3) 2 WALES Kelly McKenney (4 points), Justin Davies (3.5) Jonathan Williams (2), Les Collett (2)

Charles McLaughlin

3 SCOTLAND Jim Mailer (3.5 points), Charles McLaughlin (3.5) Paul Curren (2), Peter Brannan (1) 4 IRELAND Michael Lacy (2 points), Noel Smyth (1) Ian Candy (1), Sean Powell (1) 64

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

13.5 POINTS

11.5

10

5

O

riginally a golfing version of the Calcutta Cup, the highly-charged grudge match between Scotland and England, in recent years the competition has expanded to include each of the four sporting Home Nations. In fact, neither Scotland nor England have won the trophy since the change in format. That all changed this time as the English team – represented by Stephen Gore, James Watkins, Jim Wardell and Richard Garrett – romped to a two-point victory over defending champions Wales in second place. The format is straightforward: each country fields a four-man team, with each of the four flights containing a representative from each of those nations. Points are awarded within each flight, with four points going to the winner, three to the runner-up, and so on. With three joint-first places and a second, England were not to be caught and the battle for runner-up saw Scotland edged by Wales. Ireland took home the wooden spoon.—CM HKGOLFER.COM


Hawaiian Islands Golf Tour 27 June - 7 July 2015

Tour Inclusions: - 10 nights deluxe accommodation including breakfast daily - 7 rounds of golf including Kapalua Plantation & Bay Courses and Mauna Kea - All rounds with carts - Internal flights Maui to the Big Island - Welcome cocktail party - Presentation dinner with beverages - Drums of the Pacific Luau celebration with dinner and show - Group airport and golf transfers - Fully escorted by Go Golfing’s experienced host - Commemorative tour polo Golfer package from USD6,445 per person (twin share) Non golfer package from USD4,495 per person (twin share) Single supplement USD1,795

Go Golfing Travel is a member of IAGTO.


THE VENETIAN MACAU OPEN REVIEW

In-form Indian Anirban Lahiri capitalized on a late mistake by Hong Kong Open winner Scott Hend to claim the Venetian Macau Open for the first time


The

Master

of

Macau

Rising Indian star Anirban Lahiri pipped Hong Kong Open champion Scott Hend at the death to win the Venetian Macau Open in thrilling fashion.

I

Photography by Daniel Wong

ndian star Anirban Lahiri claimed a sensational one-stroke victory at the US$900,000 Venetian Macau Open in late October after frontrunner Scott Hend of Australia, who won the Hong Kong Open just the week before, agonisingly bogeyed the last hole. Lahiri started the final round two shots behind overnight leader Hend and trailed by four at one stage at the Macau Golf and Country Club before rallying on the home stretch to pip Hend and Thailand’s Prom Meesawat. The 27-year-old Indian signed for a final round of five-under-par 66, which included six birdies, and a winning aggregate of 17-underpar 267. The winner’s cheque of US$162,000 raised his season’s tally to US$504,689 as he consolidated his second place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit and narrowed the gap on leader David Lipsky of the United States. Hend, the defending champion who arrived in Macau in top form after enjoying the best week of his life at Fanling, lipped out a par putt from four feet on the 72nd hole as the roles reversed from last year’s edition where Lahiri was the runner-up. Hend settled for a 69 while Prom charged up the leader board with a 66. “It’s really special. Hendy was playing great

HKGOLFER.COM

golf and it was sad to see him missing that putt on the last,” said Lahiri, who secured his second win of the season and fifth Asian Tour victory. “I knew he was playing some good golf and I told myself that I was going to keep coming back, keep coming back and keep attacking. I wanted to make him think I was not going to go away. I think I played really well.” Hend took charge early on and doubled his overnight lead to four shots after nailing an eagle on two and a birdie on seven. However, a tenacious Lahiri fought back with birdies on eight and nine to make the turn only two back. The pivotal moment came on 14 when Lahiri hit a superb seven iron into the par three hole for an easy birdie while Hend bogeyed. Lahiri, who had opened his campaign with a stunning 61 on Thursday, then led for the first time in the final round with a birdie on 15 but Hend levelled with a birdie at the next hole until his slip-up at the last. “I hit a perfect golf shot on 14,” said Lahiri. “I had just missed a putt at the previous hole and I knew I needed a birdie to catch Hendy and that was just magic the way it came down. I hit a seven iron as hard and high as I could and it came out perfect. One of the best shots of the week. HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

67


“I knew Hend was playing some good golf and I told myself that I was going to keep coming back, keep coming back and keep attacking. I wanted to make him think I was not going to go away. I think I played really well.”

From left to right: Scott Hend in action late on day four; Adam Groom returned to form with a solo fourth place finish; Thailand’s Prom Meesawat put in a fine late charge to share second with Hend; Tim Tang, the only Hong Kong player in the field, failed to make the cut at the Macau Golf and Country Club 68

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

“I was chasing all day and on 14, that’s where the momentum switched a bit. It’s fantastic to win my second of the year. I missed the cut last week (in Hong Kong) after a long time so I had time to think about what I was doing wrong and how was I was not thinking positively on the course. I’m happy I managed to turn that around.” Hend was disappointed he missed his par putt which would have forced a play-off and also the opportunity to join China’s Zhang Lianwei as the only two-time Venetian Macau Open champion. “I hit too many loose shots and then on the last hole, I had a lip out which I thought I put a good putt on it. Unfortunately it lipped out. I looked up to see it lipping out. I thought I had made the putt,” said Hend. “To be honest, the tournament had slipped as the tee shot wasn’t in play. I had to hit the fairway which would have made it a lot easier

but I missed the fairway which made my job a little bit harder.” Prom came home strongly in 32 but fell one short shy of forcing a play-off. He rued a rollercoaster start where he went bogey, birdie, bogey, birdie in his opening four holes. “I had a good back nine but it was up and down in the first four holes. But to finish on five under for the round, I’m happy. My goal was to stay inside the top-three. It was not going to be easy to catch Hendy or Anirban,” said Prom. Meanwhile, The Venetian Macao has extended its title sponsorship of the Venetian Macau Open for a further two years until 2016 following its successful association with Macau’s premier golf championship. The Macau Sport Development Board (MSDB) and its partners, the Asian Tour, Macau Golf Association and IMG, jointly announced that next year’s edition will return to the Macau Golf and Country Club from October 15-18, 2015. HKGOLFER.COM


ELS AND JIMÉNEZ: HEADLINERS FAIL TO SHINE South African star Ernie Els, who was playing in his second consecutive Macau Open, never got going and wound up finishing the event in a share of 26th, 14 shots behind Lahiri. The four-time major winner, who is himself sponsored by The Venetian Macao, did at least manage to better his co-headliner, Miguel Angel

Jiménez. The Spaniard, a four-time Hong Kong Open champion who had surprisingly missed the cut at Fanling the week before after complaining of a gastric-related virus, put together matching rounds of one-over 72 to miss out on the weekend, action again by a shot. Jiménez was making his Macau Open debut.

VENETIAN MACAU OPEN FINAL STANDINGS 1

Anirban Lahiri

IND

61 73 67 66

267

US$162,000

2=

Prom Meesawat

THA

68 70 64 66

268

US$77,850

Scott Hend

AUS

62 70 67 69

268

US$77,850

4

Adam Groom

AUS

65 67 72 66

270

US$45,000

5=

Berry Henson

USA

69 70 68 65

272

US$33,435

Unho Park

AUS

70 69 68 65

272

US$33,435

7

Thaworn Wiratchant

THA

67 70 67 69

273

US$25,650

8

Shiv Kapur

IND

73 67 67 67

274

US$22,050

9

Kieran Pratt

AUS

70 69 68 68

275

US$19,260

10= Kiradech Aphibarnrat

THA

71 69 72 64

276

US$15,840

Thongchai Jaidee

THA

70 70 71 65

276

US$15,840

Chan Kim

USA

70 69 71 66

276

US$15,840

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

69


INTERVIEW | ERNIE ELS

Ernie Els tees off from the back of a yacht towards the Els Club Teluk Datai during his visit to Langkawi in late September. The recently-opened course is considered one of the best new layouts in world golf

70

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


Taking it

Easy

We caught up with Ernie Els at the opening of his latest course design – the fabulous Els Club Teluk Datai on Langkawai – to talk about his growing business concerns, his major championship victories and a certain bar in the Caribbean.

T

o say that Ernie Els is a golfing icon is somewhat of an understatement. From the moment that he burst on to the international golfing scene, winning the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, until the present day, the charismatic South African has remained ever-present at the top of leaderboards around the world. Not only has he built a reputation for being one of the smoothest swingers in the game, capturing four majors titles, a record seven World Matchplay titles and 70 professional career victories along the way, Els has also created his own empire, becoming a major player in both the wine and golf design businesses. At the end of October, we had the opportunity to sit

HKGOLFER.COM

down and talk with The Big Easy at the launch of his first ever-golf course creation in Southeast Asia – The Els Club Teluk Datai, located on the paradise island of Langkawi. Typically relaxed, Ernie was in great spirits as hosted over 200 dignitaries and the world’s media, which included playing nine holes in the company of Her Majesty Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajjah Haminah, The Queen of Malaysia. Ernie we’re sat here in what can only be described as paradise, you must be immensely proud of the magnificent layout you have created at The Els Club Teluk Datai? This is, without doubt, the most spectacular golf course setting I have had the pleasure of working on and I am

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

71


Can you tell us why you chose Malaysia for your third Els Club project? Well, Malaysia really is a hot bed for golf and tourism. When I think of the world’s most exotic destinations, it’s hard to look past this country that is blessed with such stunning paradise islands as Langkawi. Look around you, we’ve got the rainforest, we’ve got the beautiful ocean and the jaw-dropping beaches. It’s just a wonderful spot. I speak to the tourists that come here, some of them have come here for over 20 years, they love what we’ve done with the golf course, it really is world-class now and I think the addition of The Els Club Teluk Datai will help draw a lot of tourism and golf enthusiasts to Malaysia. They are really growing the sport of golf in Malaysia; our design group is currently busy down in the south of the country at Desaru Coast with a much bigger scale project that will open in 2016. The course is quite unique in that it doesn’t feature any bunkers. Can you tell us why this is the case and what challenges the site presented to you, with it being located in a one millionyear-old rainforest?

“When I think of the world’s most exotic destinations, it’s hard to look past this country that is blessed with such stunning paradise islands as Langkawi. Look around you, we’ve got the rainforest, we’ve got the beautiful ocean and the jaw-dropping beaches.” incredibly excited about the prospect of inviting the first visitors to come and enjoy what has already been voted the region’s ‘Best Golf Course’ at the recent 2014 Asia-Pacific Property Awards. The course is truly breath-taking and I am delighted with what we have achieved here. I endeavoured to make the most of this unique location, nestled between ancient rainforest and the Andaman Sea, and I believe that we have done just that. It was an honour to hit the opening tee shot alongside Her Majesty and I would personally like to thank all of those in attendance for their support in what we are confident is set to become one of the world’s most revered golf course designs. 72

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

Well, we have worked on lava rock in Mauritius, on coral reef in the Bahamas, on rolling hills in South Africa, but never in a rainforest, so this was certainly a first for the whole team. Obviously, the first thing we had to take into consideration was the amount of rainfall we get here in Langkawi. Looking at the previous course that was here and just walking around during the first site visit with the guys from Troon Golf, we saw a lot of standing water all over the place. So the first thing we needed to do was find some kind of drainage system. To do this, we literally opened up the creek to the river almost out of the mountain where the water comes through to the golf course. It also dawned on us that first afternoon, when a storm came down and flooded the existing course, that it just wasn’t practical to have to drain out bunkers every time it rained. I think it’s the first course we have ever built without one bunker. It’s quite friendly and I don’t think you’ll miss playing out of bunkers. Moving on to your professional playing career … what, ultimately, made you choose your clubs over everything else? I just, for some reason, loved golf, more than all the other sports. Rugby, you get hurt and I don’t like to get hurt. Cricket I played right through school. I stopped playing rugby at 16, my dad really told me not to play anymore. Tennis I still play, my daughter plays and I’ve picked it up again. I’m a shadow of my former self from back in the day, but I still enjoy the game. In South Africa, we had great weather, so we HKGOLFER.COM


could play any sport at any time of the year growing up, so I was very lucky. You struggled for a while before making your way on to the PGA Tour. What were the challenges for young Ernie back then? Well, I look at youngsters now trying to get on the PGA Tour: the competition is only getting stronger and stronger from right around the world, and there are some seriously great players. I was fortunate to get on the South African Tour and tried the European Tour a little bit in the early days, but for some reason I kept missing in America. Then I got a card in Europe and started making some waves there. I then had some very good breaks in South Africa. I won the South African Open and that got me some invites to play in the Sates and then I won the U.S. Open in 1994. So a lot of good things happened to me at an early age, as well as a lot of luck. You once described 1992 as the year that changed your life and effectively turned things around for you. What was so significant about your achievements that year? Well that year was the year when I won the South African Open and even today the South African Open gets you into events around the world, as well as The Open Championship. I also won the South African PGA and the Masters and before that Gary Player was the only guy to do that. So, a very good year for me in South Africa, got me a tour card in Europe and then I followed that up by finishing fifth at The Open the next year, so everything happened very quickly in about a two-year span that started with the ‘92 SA Open. You are the proud holder of four majors and 70 worldwide professional tournament wins. Do you have a favourite? Any time you lift a trophy it’s a wonderful and memorable moment. The joy is indescribable, but to pick one of the majors over the other is very hard to do. When I was young, I was very cocky and use to think I’m going to win them all by nomination. I thought The Masters was going to be the first one I’d win and then The Open, and then U.S. Open and PGA Championship. Well, I haven’t won the Masters so far and I haven’t won the PGA, so I’m going to try to win the Masters before I retire. To achieve this would possibly be my biggest career achievement. So you’ve played around the world, do you have a favourite course or maybe a course where you are the crowd favourite? Well it definitely used to be Wentworth, especially when we played the World Match Play there. I won that a record seven times and my HKGOLFER.COM

kids were born there. We’ve still got the house there, but we live in Florida a bit more now. That’s one of my really favourite venues and the course certainly likes me. The course that I like the most right now, though, is in Langkawi, but you knew I was going to say that! Who would you say is your toughest competitor? The game itself. Through the years we’ve had our ups and downs. Back in the day, it was definitely Tiger Woods; he was by far the best. It was tough for me because I felt that I could really be the best player in the world and I was for a short time on paper, but Tiger was really the man to beat. He was a very difficult competitor. Nowadays it’s the game and the youngsters, you know Rickie [Fowler], Adam Scott, we can go on and on, Jordan Speith, there are so many other really good guys, really good players, but I

Clockwise from top: the course might be without bunkers but that doesn't make it any less than a fantastic test; several holes run along the pristine Langkawi shoreline; Els with the Queen of Malaysia, a very keen player, and friend HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

73


You once said you had a three-year plan to try to dethrone Tiger, and then said you, if not anyone else, you would be the one to do it. What happened there? Well, I felt really good after a win at the South African Open, I think in ‘06 or something. I had a very bad knee injury in 2005 and that put me off track and I really wanted to rededicate myself to the game. I don’t normally talk so big, or make such bold statements like that but, you know, in South Africa I was feeling that I really needed a goal to go at and I felt I needed a plan, so I made that plan public and I came close. I didn’t quite close the deal and it was maybe something I might regret saying, but I wanted to have a goal to go at. What still motivates you – is it the competition? Yes I love competition. I love doing anything if its competition, if its table tennis or tennis against my daughter, whoever, even a pool game, anything. Competition is what it’s all about. I’ve been competing since I was ten years old in a lot of different sports, it’s in my blood. But, nowadays, I compete for myself, I’m still trying, I want to try and win one or two more Majors before I’m totally done, so that still motivates me and means I am able to play at a high level.

“I got to win only four majors, Phil’s got five, Retief’s got two, Vijay has three and then Tiger has 14, so it just shows you how dominant he was.” really enjoy their company. But, I’m in a different stage of my career. I feel the wins aren’t coming as frequently as they used to, but I really enjoy my game and my time out there. You just mentioned Tiger - tell us about the ‘Big Five’ era. Did you have a game plan going into tournaments, knowing that Tiger, Retief Goosen, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, they were all bringing their A-games as well?

Els in full flow during the official launch day of the club that bears his name. 74

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

That was a great time; we were in the prime of our careers. We still play sporadically like we used to back in the day but, you know, I am 45 now, Tiger is nearly 40 and Retief is the same age as me, but that was a golden era for us. We won a lot of tournaments around the world; I won, just in that five year period, over 27 events around the world. But Tiger was the dominant figure, you know. He was winning the most majors and that’s how you become the guy who’s a great player in the game. I got to win only four, Phil’s got five, Retief’s got two, Vijay has three and then Tiger has 14, so it just shows you how dominant he was. He was quite a force to be reckoned with.

You have had many big moments in your career, but what would you say has been the highlight of your three decades in the sport? In golf, so many things have happened. Obviously wins have been great. The majors are undoubtedly the highlights of my career. I’ve won five South African Opens, which is really great, the Match Plays I’ve won and so on. I can’t really pick one event, but through that whole period of time it’s really the friends I’ve made and now getting into golf design is a real passion of mine that I want to grow. Here at Langkawi this week, we are completing another phase in building an Els Club brand around the world and that has been a lot of fun to be part of. This week I met and played golf with the Queen of Malaysia which is amazing for a guy from South Africa. You mentioned a couple of times that you would like to own a bar or a restaurant in the Caribbean when you retire is that still the plan? That again? You are bringing some good quotes out. I said that back in the early nineties, right before the US Open. The media asked me, what will happen if you win this US Open? I said: “Well, I’d just take the money and go to the Caribbean, open a bar and that would be that.” Well, that was 21 years ago and we are still trying to win more tournaments, as well as building golf courses all over the world, so I guess that bar is gonna have to wait! HKGOLFER.COM


RYDER CUP | GALLERY

Ryder Cup

Redux A look back at a wild and wonderful week in Gleneagles. Photography by Charles McLaughlin

76

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014


Not a happy camper: Team USA vice-captain Ray Floyd behind the eighth green on Saturday

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014

77


HK Golfer fans in the grandstand

Smile please!

Martin Kaymer. No, that isn’t his eye!

Who’s that with Rolex snapper Chris Turvey?

Jimenez hunkers

78

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


Grabbing a good view behind the fourth

Hunter and Phil being introduced Bjorn’s bagman’s bottom!

Chilly! Two-glove Phil on Friday morning

Clearwater Bay's Peter Downie (right) with chums HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

79


The legendary Ivor Robson

Butter wouldn’t melt … Poults winding up Rors

The Bananamen cometh!

Natty threads 80

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

Lee Westwood, something of a surprise captain's pick, collected two points HKGOLFER.COM


Trip of a lifetime! The Lanigans on the first tee. Gavin flanked by Steve and Tom.

Mixed loyalties

Jim Furyk sinks a bomb on the ninth

Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014

81


Rory attempting to wind up an on-camera Jaime Donaldson

Giving it his all. Poults gets the crowd going

Jim Rose and Martin Anderson Gallic flair

82

HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


Aggrieved “leprechauns” hit by Keegan Bradley’s drive on the ninth Poulter pulls one Justin Rose in disguise?

Craig Smyth and Martin Murray Henrik Stenson celebrates another European putt

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

83


SHOPPING

the

for

‘Tis

Season

Shopping

Still stuck for thoughts on a gift or two? These 10, many of which are available through the HK Golfer Online Store, offer plenty of food for thought. A Trip to the Masters The “Hottest Tickets in Sports”, alongside accommodation and hospitality, are available through our partners at Winspire Sports & Entertainment. These first-rate packages, which are tailor-made to meet the requirements of the most discerning of individuals, offer the ultimate in Major Championship viewing. Price on application – quote “HK Golfer”. For more information contact WSE at rflorian@ WSEnow.com.

JS Watch Blunt Umbrella Developed with veteran caddie Steve Williams, the Blunt Golf G1 is quite simply the world’s best golf umbrella and incorporates this New Zealand brand’s revolutionary canopy strengthening RTS Technology, which basically means it effortlessly handles the worst conditions it is possible to play in. This is not a brolly to leave in the back of a taxi! HK$775. Order through The Store at hkgolfer.com.

Reputedly the world’s smallest manufacturer of luxury timepieces, the Iceland-based watchmaker’s range is available in Hong Kong exclusively through the pages of this magazine. With a diverse fan club – the Dalai Lama, Quentin Tarantino and Viggo Mortensen have all sported one or more of the brand’s models – a JS Watch is something truly unique. From HK$13,000. For orders, contact jswatch@timesic.com.

Club Glove Travel Bag The choice of 90% of PGA Tour professionals, Club Glove are the world leaders in golf travel bags and accessories, with the American’s brand’s robust Last Bag model being the overriding favourite. HK$2,288. Order through The Store at hkgolfer.com.

84

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


The Last Drop Only 1,347 bottles of this award-winning whisky were ever made – and only 88 made it to Hong Kong – making it one of the most exclusive bottles that money can buy. A blend of 82 whiskies, the Last Drop is really something else. HK$18,888 per bottle (including delivery). In addition to the whisky, the Last Drop producers have launched a cognac, of which only 478 bottles have been released. HK$28,888 per bottle. Order through The Store at hkgolfer.com.

Scorpion Serket 88/98 Scorpion are class-leading manufacturers of luxury rigid boats (RIBs) and their Serket 88 and 98 models, the choice of multiple British Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Ben Ainslie, are now available in Hong Kong. Perfect for exploring the territory’s remote beaches, the models come in a choice of engine options, with the Serket 98 capable of reaching speeds of 60 knots. Price on application. To arrange a test, contact scorpion@hkgolfer.com.

Signed Posters Lee Wybranski is the artist charged with creating some of Major Championship golf’s most alluring artworks and his individually signed posters have become collector items for fans across the globe. HK$600 (includes postage). For orders, contact posters@hkgolfer.com.

SkyCaddie Watch Preloaded with up to 30,000 course maps, this is considered the most accurate GPS unit on the market, and gives you easy-to-read distances to the front, centre and back of each and every green. What’s more, the manly, waterproof watch even boasts and odometer so you can tally the number of steps you take on or off the course. HK$2,088. For orders, contact skycaddie@hkgolfer.com.

Orange Whip Swing Trainer The ultimate golf swing trainer and fitness tool for today’s golfer and athlete, consistent use of the Orange Whip will improve your golf swing and provide an essential core-muscle workout. The elegant design combines a counter-weighting system and flexible shaft that work together to promote the natural golf swing motion unique to each individual. The Orange Whip will help you find your ideal swing plane, create “tour pro” lag, achieve perfect sequence of motion and promote balance that’s supported from the ground up. HK$850. Order through The Store at hkgolfer.com HKGOLFER.COM

Magazine Subscription And of course there’s always a subscription to HK Golfer, Hong Kong’s best-selling and award-winning golf magazine. Prices for both print and digital editions (including for iPad, Android and other formats) are available online at hkgolfer.com/subscriptions.

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

85


PROPERTY | SPECIAL

LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL? RUPERT SMITH OF COMPLETE RPI DISCUSSES THE IMPACT THAT THE CROSSRAIL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT IS GOING TO HAVE ON PROPERTY PRICES IN AND AROUND LONDON.

W

elcome to my seventh article discussing the hot topic of strategic investment decisions. In addition, Crossrail residential property investment, letting, management and sale has the potential to reposition many locations that in the UK. Please take a look at the HK Golfer website to access are currently considered tertiary, unlocking their all back issues. dormant value. My name is Rupert Smith the founding Director of Aside from the actual improvements to the Complete Residential Property Investments Ltd (hereinafter transport network, Crossrail is also prompting a CRPI). We are a specialist property investment company offering a unique and raft of wider investment and development above results-orientated commercial approach to all elements of UK property investment. ground. There are extensive over-site plans for Like with all investments I am of the view that diversity is key and with residential many of the stations, based around the concept investment in the UK the same principles apply. Investing in a mixture of both capital of placemaking. Tottenham Court Road is a great growth and yield-driven opportunity is always wise in my view, utilising the yield example of an area that, despite its inherently play to service debt on the lesser yielding is a pragmatic approach. good position, has been overlooked historically Location, location, location is what we hear and when transport infrastructure and its property market has under-performed as a changes dramatically never a truer word be said, Crossrail is a prime example. result. Crossrail is Europe’s largest infrastructure project and its impact on London will H owever, there are now subs tantial be far reaching. It will cut journey times by up to 40 minutes and increase capacity redevelopment plans underway that will see the on the capital’s transport network by 10%. The improvement in both connectivity creation of much more attractive and pedestrianand capacity will open up new parts of London, as friendly public space at well as trigger wider investment and regeneration. street level. In property terms, Crossrail is a game changer. It Since Crossrail got It is anticipated house prices has already affected key investment decisions, acting the go ahead, house will increase by an average of as a catalyst for further development and providing a prices around the 2.5% per year around Crossrail significant boost to property values. affected stations have The local housing markets along the Crossrail increased by 20%. This stations. This equates to a stretch will benefit. As a result it is anticipated house is on top of underlying total increase of 13% over prices will increase by an average of 2.5% per year capital appreciation and above wider underlying around Crossrail stations. This equates to a total in London and the increase of 13% over and above wider underlying South East. Although capital appreciation. capital appreciation by the time Crossrail becomes this partly pre-empts fully operational. In Central London, the overall the actual transport increase is more likely to be in the region of 20%. benefits and value increases that will be felt from Crossrail will completely transform London’s public transport system. It will 2018, at this stage it mostly reflects the swell of increase its capacity by 10%, enabling over 200m passengers to make their way in confidence into these areas and the physical and around London per year, as well as significantly reduce journey times. These regeneration already underway. improvements will have a huge impact on the economy of London and the South These increases are likely to be even more East, connecting new areas and creating new opportunities for businesses to grow. pronounced in Central London, at 3.7% per The impact of Crossrail on property will be two-fold. Firstly, the improvement in annum, or around £100,000 per property, over the connectivity will open up new districts and reduce travel times, both of which will next five years. Overall, Crossrail could add around directly drive values in the commercial and residential sectors. Secondly, it will act as £14.7bn to the residential property sector across a catalyst for broader investment and development around the affected stations. the 37 stations. These wider improvements will also unlock considerable underlying value. Although In the western stations, where the reduction in the first lines won’t be operational until 2018, its impact is already being felt as the travel times are the greatest, we expect some of imminent improvements drive confidence and become key considerations in the largest impacts on residential values, outside of

86

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


Central London. Our model suggests that Crossrail will trigger house price increases of around 2.9% per annum between Maidenhead and Acton, or around £50,000 per property over the five year period. This is roughly four times the average increase in East London, which is likely to be closer to 1.7% per annum, or £21,000 over the five years. Overall, the biggest winners will be Ealing, Broadway, Farringdon, Paddington, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road. Homes in these areas could see higher increases, of up to £100,000. A 10% reduction in commuting times can cause house prices to increase by 6%. We anticipate total house price growth of 13% around Crossrail stations between now and 2018, with up to 20% in Central London. This is expected in addition to underlying capital growth. There is no doubt that Crossrail will be a game changer in property terms. By increasing the volume of people travelling into Central London, Crossrail will unlock huge expansion potential. From an office perspective, areas like Farringdon and Canary Wharf are particularly exciting. Infrastructure projects on the scale of Crossrail are essential to both the London economy and that of the wider UK, ensuring that we keep pace in an increasingly globalised marketplace. With a total cost envelope of £14.8bn and an overall estimated benefit of £42bn, there will surely be plenty of winners. All in all diversity is key and Crossrail locations in my view seem like a sensible investment; however the type of property is a different topic all together. Complete RPI will after ascertaining our clients objectives advise of specific investment opportunity and how it fits with current exposure to the market. Like all property investment one should look to invest over the medium to long term (6 – 10 years) and Crossrail locations are far from an exception to the rule. Phase one is scheduled for completion in 2018. HKGOLFER.COM

BESPOKE ONLINE PLATFORM

It is vitally important to keep on top of all aspects of your residential property exposure and at CRPI we have created a bespoke online platform allowing our clients to access vital information about their property 24/7 such as: • References • Tenancy Agreements/Legal documentation • Income and Expenditure Reports • Management Statements • Invoices • Works Orders

• Live Capital and Rental value reports • Postcode demographic information • Inventories • Interim Inspection reports • Internal / External photographs • Investment Analysis

Access is gained through a web portal of which our clients are given an encrypted password, limited access is also available in the accounting section designed for accountants and Tax returns, our clients really like this!

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 info@completerpi.com Why not visit us at www.completerpi.com ... “Your Property, Our Priority."

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

87


CROSSWORD

©2014 Dr Milton Wayne

JUST GOLF!

88

ACROSS

DOWN

4. The place to be, off the tee (7) 5. (&2D) Place to practice, your steering (7,5) 9. Grip aiders, Tommy Gainey wears two! (6) 10. 19th hole locale (9) 11. AKA The #1 Wood (6) 14. Rain protector, BLUNT makes the best! (8) 16. Club maker founded by Karsten Solheim (4) 17. Home of the Hong Kong Golf Club (7) 19. The Home of Golf (2, 7) 21. See 32A 22. (&31A) #1-rated US public course (6,5) 24. Hosted first 12 Open Championships (9) 25. TV outlet founded by Arnold Palmer (pictured) (4,7) 26. See 12D 29. Speciality club invented by Gene Sarazen (9) 31. See 22A 32. (&21A) The Great White Shark (4,6) 33. It’s usually graphite or steel (5)

1. Do they stop your woods catching a cold? (10) 2. See 5A 3. Colour and target (5) 6. See 8D 7. Old and Young Tom from 19A (6) 8. (&6D) Bucket-list golf course, home of the Masters (7,8) 12. (&26A) The Golden Bear (4,8) 13. What Americans call a “trap” (6) 15. One-under-par (6) 17. Alias for the putter (9) 18. At top of club, where tacky is good! (4) 20. Best-selling drivers (10) 23. #1 ball in golf (8) 24. See 30D 27. Screw-in grippers on the sole (6) 28. Wooden peg and place you use it (3) 30. (&24D) The Black Knight (4,6)

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

HKGOLFER.COM


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 “December Crossword” as the subject. Remember to include your name, address and contact number. Entries close on 15 January . ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THE CORRECT ENTRIES. Congratulations to Richard Sutton who won the October crossword.

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

HKGOLFER.COM

OCTOBER ANSWERS

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

89


FINAL SHOT

Kapil Dev The Indian cricket legend, who was in Hong Kong last month to compete at the Asia-Pacific Seniors Amateur Championship at Discovery Bay, talks to Alex Jenkins about taking up golf, his favouite course and the rise of the game in his homeland. When did you first pick up a club? I first started playing golf in December 1994. I remember this because I stopped playing cricket the month before. A friend of mine got me over to Delhi Golf Club. I was amazed. Golf is a game where you compete against yourself. You dream of improving every hole. What’s been your lowest round? I played six-under at the Army Golf Club in Delhi. I play most of my golf at Delhi Golf Club. I’ve had four rounds of four-under there. What’s been your most memorable moment on a golf course? Probably when I made my first hole-in-one. I didn’t even know what a hole-in-one was, really. It was the first year I played and it just happened. Holed out from 185 yards on the fifth at Delhi Golf Club. I’ve had three holes-in-one since.

Daniel Wong

Do you recall which club you used? Kapil Dev was well in I was playing with Honma golf clubs but I don’t the hunt at the Asiaremember the number. If I was so intelligent I Pacific Seniors Amateur wouldn’t have left school when I did [laughs]. Championship last month I was never a good student, which is why I went but faded to a final-round 80 at Discovery Bay to finish in to play sports. 13th spot. “The greens were a little too fast to what we – Do you have a favourite golf course? Your favourite golf course is the one you’re the Indian team – are used playing well on! But no. Delhi Golf Club is to,” he said. 90

HK GOLFER・DEC 2014

"I was never a good student, which is why I went to play sports.” still very interesting for me, even though I play there day in and day out. It’s a great course, very testing and it never seems to play the same twice. What did you make of Discovery Bay? I enjoyed it. I think the greens were a little too fast compared to what we – the Indian team – are used to. But it’s a nice layout. Who would accompany you in your dream fourball? Me, myself, my wife and my God! But if you want famous people then it’d be Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Can golf ever enjoy the popularity of cricket in India? Golf has grown a lot in the past 15 years in India. You can’t really compare it with cricket but golf is certainly becoming a lot more prominent these days, especially around Delhi. The courses are packed on the weekends. With the success of players like Jeev Milkha Singh, Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Shi v Kapur golf is getting a lot more attention and a lot more people are willing to give it a go. HKGOLFER.COM


Available in Hong Kong through the HK Golfer Store. Visit hkgolfer.com

OFFICIAL DISTRIBUTOR:

SportsLifeAsia.com


1412hkgolfer  
Advertisement