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2017 Masters Preview









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HK Golfer Issue 122

April 2017

38 On the Cover:

New world number-one Dustin Johnson has won twice already on the tour this year but never truly contending at the Masters before. Can he win this year? Photo by Getty Images/AFP



35 | Old Game, New Rules, Time to Change

12 | Divots

Roy Lee talks about his view on the preview of proposed new Rules of Golf by the USGA and R&A. Interview by Louie Chan

News and events from Hong Kong and the region. By The Editors

38 | 2017 Masters Preview

A pictorial review of the last 30 days from around the world. By The Editors

The 80th Masters must be one of the most open in recent years and let’s expect the young guns all making assault on the summit. By Mike Wilson

44 | SSP - Truly Made in India

S.S.P Chawrasia successfully defended his Hero Indian Open title and proved that the old cliché ‘drive for show, putt for dough’ is always right. By Chuah Choo Chiang

48 | Bunker Mentality

Professional golfers and caddies with a nicotine-addiction smoking openly at work presents entirely the wrong image for a sport already with its issues. By Mike Wilson

52 | The Unlikely Golf Lesson

A reminiscent of an unlikely 40-second lesson that fixed a golf swing woes, which had haunted a golfer for 40 years… By The Kilted Caddie AFP/Getty Images

56 | “The Golfers” – Golf’s

Greatest Artwork?

44 6


“The Golfers” by Charles Lees is perhaps the most iconic golf painting in the world. By Dr Milton Wayne

14 | In Focus

21 | Tee Time

IWC Schaffhausen revisits the iconic design of the 1980s and presents the 2017 Da Vinci collection, once again with its classic round case. By The Editors

26 | Driving Range

The SUV revolution has reached its inevitable conclusion and the latest Audi Q2 makes a big statement for a small car. By The Editors

30 | Equipment

The new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x continually set the standard for golf ball performance. By Louie Chan

64 | Cornwall Travel: In the

Footsteps of Giants (Part 2)

Let’s head for deepest Cornwall to continue to search for the hidden gems created by the designers of the Golden Age. By Charles McLaughlin

74 | Crossword

This issue: It's Masters Time! By Dr Milton Wayne HKGOLFER.COM

HK Golfer


Managing Editor: Louie Chan Contributing Editors: Dr Milton Wayne, Faye Glasgow, John Bruce, Nathan Goulding, Keith McLaren, Paul Jansen, Evan Rast, Mike Wilson, Robin Lynam. Art Director: Derek Hannah Photo Editor: Daniel Wong Administration Manager Cindy Kwok Publisher: Charles McLaughlin Published by:

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

D E PA R T M E N T S 12 Divots 14 Global Focus 16 Asia Focus 18 Local Focus 21 Clubhouse 31 Around the HKGA 44 Notes from The Asian Tour 48 Bunker Mentality 76 Crossword

In association with: Advertising: For advertising information, please contact: For purchasing information contact: For subscription information contact: Hong Kong Golf Association Suite 2003, Olympic House 1 Stadium Path, So Kon Po Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Charles McLaughlin

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HK GOLFER is published by Times International Creation, 10B Lockhart Centre, 301-307 Lockhart Road, Hong Kong. HK GOLFER is published monthly © 2017 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. 8




Dustin Johnson Chooses Hublot

The Hublot family brings together exceptional athletes who have left their mark on the history of sport. The fastest man alive, Usain Bolt; footballing legends Pelé and Maradona; charismatic football manager José Mourinho, and many others. And now, new world number one Dustin Johnson has chosen Hublot, “a perfect match” between the watchmaker symbolising “the art of fusion” and the man blazing a trail through professional golf. “I am honored to join the distinguished list of Hublot Ambassadors, especially since I have always been such an admirer of their timepieces. Each one

is so unique, unlike many of the other luxury brands, which I appreciate and enjoy. I am very excited about the partnership and hope to hoist a few trophies with a Hublot on my wrist”, DJ stated. “Over 10 years, DJ has moved up the world Top 10, often coming tantalisingly close to realising his dream of a Major win. Destiny rewarded his talent in 2016. His career has a particular resonance for us, in some respects mirroring that of Hublot”, Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot said.

Snyder Wins Volvo China Open Int’l Qualifying at Fanling Blake Snyder booked his place in the RMB 20 million Volvo China Open after cla i m i ng v ic tor y i n t he Hong Kong International Qualifying at Fanling. The 24-year-old American posted a one under par round of 69 for a total score of 134 and a two-stroke victory. Janne Kaske and Lien Lu-sen also posted rounds of 69 and both will now join Snyder in Beijing in April for the Volvo China Open, as they claimed the remaining two qualifying spots. Tim Tang ended the event as the leading Hong Kong player after posting a three under par 67 to finish in joint eighth place. 10


From left to right: Lien Lu-sen, Blake Snyder, Janne Kaske HKGOLFER.COM


Ladies Look Forward to HKGC Return


Daniel Wong

The Hong Kong Gol f Club’s h istoric Old C ou rse w i l l b e t he venue for t he t h ird Hong Kong Ladies Open. Fanling will welcome an international cast for t he 54 -hole event f r o m Ju n e 9 -11. Hong Kong amateur Tif fa ny Cha n wil l return to defend the title she won last year, described by many as the proudest moment in Hong Kong golfing history. With a prize purse of US$150,000 the Hong Kong Ladies Open will be tri-sanctioned by the Lad ies A sia n Gol f To u r , t h e T a i w a n LPGA and the China LPGA.



Global Focus DJ Plans On Staying At The Top Dustin Johnson solidified his status at the top of golf's world rankings, holding off a late challenge at the WGC-Mexico Championship to clinch a second successive PGA Tour victory. The American, 32, closed with a round of 68 to finish 14-under par, one shot clear of England's Tommy Fleetwood. Johnson only secured top spot from Jason Day two weeks ago, strolling to a five-shot victory at California's Genesis Open. Now he has a fourth WGC title - more than anyone other than Tiger Woods (18) - and becomes just the fifth player in history to win his first tournament as world No. 1. Johnson gave every indication that he planned on staying at the top for a while. “My first week playing as No. 1, there's obviously a little bit extra pressure, a lot of limelight on me," Johnson said after his victory. "So, to come out and win, it means a lot." Photo by Getty Images/AFP

Asia Focus CGA & AT Announce Strategic Partnership The China Golf Association (CGA) and Asian Tour have announced their strategic partnership which aims to further grow the game through the creation of new tournaments in China that will be co-sanctioned by both organisations. Under this new collaboration, the CGA and Asian Tour plan to stage up to four new events in China this year where earnings will count towards the Asian Tour Order of Merit and the China Tour Order of Merit. Golfers from the China Tour will be eligible to take up associate memberships with the Asian Tour, with the top-five non-exempt players from the China Tour Order of Merit receiving exemptions into the Final Stage of the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2018. Winners of these new co-sanctioned tournaments in China will also earn their exemption on the Asian Tour under the winner’s category. The prize purses of the new events will range from US$300,000 to US$500,000 and more CGA and Asian Tour co-sanctioned tournaments will be staged from 2018 and beyond. Photo by Asian Tour

China Focus Korean Dominance at Haikou Kim Hae-rym captured the SGF 67 World Ladies Championship with SBS on Sunday when the Korean beat compatriot Bae Seon-woo on the second hole of a play-off under wet conditions in Hainan Island. With Kim (70) and Bae (69) deadlocked at 14-under 205 through 54 holes on the Mission Hills Haikou Blackstone Course, both players made par at the first extra hole, the 371-yard first. At the next, the veteran made a birdie four at the 524-yard par-five for her third career title as Bae missed an eight-foot putt. Going into the extra session, Kim said she felt confident as she had played in play-offs twice last year in a season where she earned her first two professional wins. On the first extra hole, however, her drive went into the lava rocks prevalent around the Blackstone Course. After finding her ball she had to take a penalty for an unplayable lie and then proceeded to get up-and-down for par. Photo by Daniel Wong


Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME


Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. IW393101) HKGOLFER.COM



Da Vinci Automatic 36 (Ref. IW458308)


i th the new Da V inci collection, IWC Schaffhausen has returned to the round case that was so successfully established by the Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar in 1985. It also means bidding farewell to the tonneau case and reaffirming commitment to the classic proportions the brand stands for. With the Da Vinci Automatic 36 and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36, IWC also reestablishes an old tradition of creating selected models from the Da Vinci line specially for women and adding diamonds or fashionable straps and bracelets as features.



The Da Vinci Automatic 36 (Ref. IW458307/ IW458308/ IW458310/IW458312) and the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 (Ref. IW459306/IW459307/IW459308) are not only smaller and slimmer, but also have a more feminine design: with rounded crowns and a recessed inner circle on the dial, as previously found in the Portofino 37 mm collection. Gold cases, diamond-set bezels and alligator leather straps by Santoni in the colours raspberry, bronze, dark brown and dark blue specially developed for IWC underscore the watch’s aesthetic appeal. To achieve the nuanced gradations of colour on the strap, the surface of the leather is polished with a variety of different pastes until it has the desired shading HKGOLFER.COM

Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 with Gold Case (Ref. IW459308)

"The Da Vinci Automatic 36 & Moon Phase 36 are not only smaller and slimmer, but also have a more feminine design."

Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 with Diamond-Set Bezel (Ref. IW459307)

and a perfect sheen. As a result, every strap has an exclusive patina-like shimmer with its own individual nuances of colour. The moon phase display, which has been part of the Da Vinci family since 1985, is now the visual centre of the silver-plated dial in the Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36. The gold- or silvercoloured moon moves clockwise against the dark blue night sky. The so-called “Flower of Life” is engraved on the case backs of all Da Vinci Automatic 36 and Da Vinci Automatic Moon Phase 36 models. This geometrical figure features several regularly overlapping circles and was the object of intensive study and numerous drawings by Leonardo da HKGOLFER.COM



Vinci. It represents his unflagging search for mathematical rules for beauty and proportions, and thus symbolizes the new design approach of the watch collection. The Da Vinci Automatic (Ref. IW356601/ IW356602) with its 40mm diameter was designed for both men and women as a classic watch with three hands and features a discreet, elegant design. This reference ideally reflects the watch family’s design signature a round case with distinctive horns. Moreover, the minimalist dial with its large Arabic figures and lancet-shaped hands perfectly matches the purist design of the Da Vinci Automatic. One model comes with a silver-plated dial and a black Santoni leather strap, the other with a slate-coloured dial and stainless-steel bracelet. The Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (Ref. IW392101/IW392103) is the first watch from IWC to combine the well-known mechanical chronograph with a perpetual moon phase display on a sub-dial in a new complication module. The moon phase is displayed by a disc, partly silver- or gold-plated, partly dark blue, which rotates to show the shadow of the earth and the waxing or waning moon below an aperture in the dial. In order to achieve this, IWC’s watchmakers had to design the inhouse 89630 calibre that powers the perpetual calendar’s other functions: the date, month, day and four-digit year display. The name of the Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. IW393101) in 18-carat red gold alone reflects its unique status: an unusual combination of a classic tourbillon with a retrograde date and a sporty chronograph on a single dial. The furtherdeveloped 89360 chronograph calibre, the new IWC-manufactured 89900 calibre, permits down-to-the-second set ting of what is known as the “hacking tourbillon” via a newly designed system of levers. The result is a technically sophisticated and optically balanced complication with a clear, uncluttered design. The wearer reads stopped hours and minutes off from a totalizer at the top of the dial, while a central seconds hand shows elapsed seconds. The flying tourbillon is positioned below at “6 o’clock” and, on the left-hand side, the gently curved arc of the retrograde date display almost visually connects one complication with the other. Apart from this, the pallet lever and escape wheel were manufactured with the use of diamond shell technology for the first time. This involves a diamond coating that reduces friction, thus generating a higher output of energy. 22


Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (Ref. IW392101)

The Back of Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. IW393101)



Audi Q2 Edition #1




he latest Audi Q2 is 200mm shorter than a Q3 and 130mm shorter than an A3 Sportback, but slightly taller and wider than the fivedoor A3. At the front, a strong image is created by the Singleframe grill in octagonal design that is positioned up high as well as by the large air inlets. Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with color offset blades. The rear body terminates in a dynamic way with a long roof edge spoiler and a diffuser that has an underbody-protection look. In a side view, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching as are the concave flanks in the door area. The latter emphasize the wheel housings and thereby the quattro character of the compact SUV. 24


There’s nothing particularly rugged or spor t y about the Q2 - it’s ver y much of the soft-roader variety. As an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, adaptive dampers are optional and in their softest setting offer a suppler ride than the passive setup. In fact, without having the visual reference of the wider and squarer bonnet in front of you, you’d be hard pushed to tell this apart from an A3. Progressive steering, where the ratio increases the more HKGOLFER.COM

SCORECARD New Audi Q2 35 TFSI Engine: 1,395 cc, In-line 4 cylinders FSI petrol engine, turbocharged with Cylinder on Demand technology Transmission: Front-wheel drive, 7-speed S tronic Power: 250 NM/1,500 - 3,500rpm Acceleration: 0-100km/h 8.5sec Fuel Consumption: 5.2 litre/100km *THE ‘Q2 EDITION #1’ WILL BE THE FIRST MODEL TO BE SOLD EXCLUSIVELY VIA AUDI ONLINE STORE

you twirl the wheel, is standard on every model and actually gives the Q2 decent agility when weaving between traffic and potholes. Beyond that, it’s a package finished with the usual Audi polish, so exceptional refinement, an interior of peerless quality and surefooted. Audi’s interiors are usually top of the pile, and the Q2 doesn’t let the side down. But it’s space that matters here and the Q2 has a seriously deep 405-litre boot (more than the A3), but because of the slightly raised rear seats the maximum 1,050-litre space is a little less than the A3. Rear legroom is limited for anyone over six foot, but there’s headroom to spare. The highlight is that the driver’s seat position is sporty and low in relation to the steering wheel, like in an Audi Sedan. Optional practical solutions are available such as a power tailgate and a three-way split rear bench backrest with cargo through-loading. The personalisation options include wheels ranging from 16in to 19in (17s are likely to be the best compromise between style and comfort), a selection of colours for the interior trim and ambient lighting and contrast-coloured panel on the C-pillar - for now available in three shades of silver or body-coloured. From launch you can have a 113bhp threecylinder 1.0 TFSI or a 148bhp 1.4 TFSI, plus 113bhp 1.6 and 148bhp 2.0 TDI engines. The 1.4 TFSI, with claimed economy of 49.6mpg, is probably the sweet spot of the range, punching hard enough when you need it, fading out at a cruise and slipping into two-cylinder mode when you really feather your right foot. As an alternative to the sixspeed manual transmission, Audi also offers the S tronic dual clutch transmission with seven speeds for all engines. In the case of the top TDI and the 2.0 TFSI, a newly developed dual-clutch transmission is used, which has a new type of oil supply and reduced friction. Both engines may also be combined with a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system as standard equipment. HKGOLFER.COM

The driver’s seat position is sporty and low in relation to the steering wheel

A power tailgate and a three-way split rear bench backrest with cargo through-loading

The 1.4 TFSI, with claimed economy of 49.6mpg, is probably the sweet spot of the range




V or X? That is the

Question As the overwhelming choice of players at every level of competitive golf and best-selling models around the world, the new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x continually set the standard for golf ball performance, writes Louie Chan.


The new Titleist 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are available in golf shops of Hong Kong now

he new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are the most advanced, best performing golf balls ever stamped with the Titleist script. Precisely engineered using the most sophisticated golf ball technology, new Pro V1 and Pro V1x provide total performance for every player and deliver unmatched quality and consistency. The longest Pro V1 ever, 2017 Pro V1 has been reengineered with a Next Generation 2.0 ZG Process Core that delivers longer distance on all shots through lower long game spin and faster ball speed, while maintaining the very soft feel and superior short-game performance that Pro V1 players demand. A new spherically

The new Titleist 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls officially launched at Foshan in late February for the Greater China market 28



tiled 352 tetrahedral dimple design produces a penetrating trajectory with even more consistent flight. The extraordinary distance of the 2017 Pro V1x, featuring a ZG Process Dual Core, is enhanced by a new spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design that produces a high trajectory with its most consistent flight ever. The new dimple designs feature improved dimple placement and produce even more consistent surfaces. During the manufacturing process, mold cavities are used to form the Urethane Elastomer cover, created by a chemical reaction that takes place during the casting process, also provides long-lasting durability throughout the course of play. Tens of thousands of mold cavities are needed to supply the Pro V1 and Pro V1x urethane casting lines. In order to achieve ball-to-ball consistency, it is crucial that every mold cavity produces the same result. To guarantee this level of precision, the Operations team has always manufactured the cavities and the tooling used to make the cavities (called “hobs”) in-house. An investment in new equipment to make the master hobs provides even tighter tolerances. These advancements in both dimple design and hob production combine to produce new Pro V1 and Pro V1x models that deliver a more aerodynamically consistent flight. And both 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x continue to deliver superior short game scoring performance. The soft Urethane Elastomer cover system used on both models is precisely formulated to deliver Drop-andStop greenside control with soft feel, providing golfers with the performance and confidence to hit it closer to the hole. Choosing between the total performance of Pro V1 and Pro V1x, you will notice differences in flight, feel and spin. Pro V1 flies lower with a penetrating trajectory and feels softer. New Pro V1 and Pro V1x have achieved immediate validation and success across the worldwide professional tours. Jordan Spieth, playing new Pro V1x for the first time in competition, won the Australian Open in midNovember. Two weeks later, Brandon Stone played new Pro V1 in his victory at the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship. In total, the testing and validation process for 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x included more than 80,000 golfers of all skill levels who received numerous iterations of prototypes throughout the rigorous two-year development process. This included six different doubleblind prototype tests during the summer and fall of 2015 that were instrumental in determining the final 2017 designs. HKGOLFER.COM

SCORECARD PRO V1 TECHNOLOGY A three-piece, multi-component technology with a Next Generation 2.0 ZG Process Core, ionomeric casing layer, soft Urethane Elastomer cover system and new spherically-tiled 352 tetrahedral dimple design. PRO V1x TECHNOLOGY A four-piece, multi-component technology with a ZG process dual core, ionomeric casing layer, soft Urethane Elastomer cover system and new spherically tiled 328 tetrahedral dimple design. PRICE AND AVAILABILITY The new 2017 Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are available in golf shops of Hong Kong at HK $680 (MSRP).



Rules Officials, You Are Not Overlooked!


John Ng (left) and Danny Ho (right) at the R&A Headquarters

n any golf tournament, the players usually attract most spotlights more than anybody else. Natural, I would say.   But we must not overlook the amount of work and manpower behind the scene.  The UBS Hong Kong Open, for instance, involves as the organizer thousands of hours on pre- and post-tournament planning.  The emotional Sam Brazel’s birdie in the last hole in the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open won his first European Tour title still lingers in my head.  When I was watching the tournament at the patio in one of the stands I realized there were many, many unknown heroes who had made the tournament a success.  As a matter of fact, in any golf tournament, the rules officials, for instance.  The officials are a vital part of any golf tournament but they are seldom visible if everything goes right.  They are the arbitrators on the course.   Hong Kong is fortunate enough to have some high-quality R&A qualified rules officials in such a small place. As the governing body of amateur golf in Hong Kong, the HKGA does not just


train players. Its development programmes would not be completed with developments on officials, coaches, administrators… etc.  Thanks to our Chairman of Rules and Tournament, Dr Brian Choa, who have been wholeheartedly promoting the rule of golf for as long time as we could remember.  His graduates had just been increased by 55 recently after another R&A Level 1 Rules Seminar in February. Among them is our new Chief Executive Officer who has, luckily, passed with good marks too!  Two of our senior officials, John Ng and Danny Ho, have recently traveled to St. Andrews attending the R& A Level 3 Tournament Administrators & Referees School.  The Level 3 examination is the highest level one can reach and the examination is done under high pressure as I was told. Ng and Ho, again, did proud for Hong Kong by passing the Level 3 with merit and distinction respectively.  One cannot imagine with an estimated golfing population of only 60,000 golfers in Hong Kong according to one unofficial surveys, we have over 15 R& A qualified Level 3 officials.  Would this be a record per capita?   Harald Dudok van Heel President Hong Kong Golf Association HK GOLFER・APR 2017


Tiffany and Mimi in Action at NCAA Mimi was named MW West Women’s Golfer of the Week for the second time

H Mimi: Fresno State Athletics/Keith Kountz; Tiffany: Getty Images/AFP

ong Kong National Ladies’ Squad teammates Tiffany Chan and Mimi Ho played against each other at the semifinal of SDSU March Mayhem in late March. Tiffany won the match 3&2 and went on to help her University of Southern California women’s golf team to seal the victory against Brigham Young University in the final. Tiffany led 1up late in her match when action was called. The USC Trojans won for the third time this season and successfully defending its 2016 SDSU March Mayhem title. Back in early March, Mimi Ho finished third at the Fresno State Classic with a total score of even-par 216, which included a final round 3-under 69, tied her 54-hole careerlow. She also set the all-time best mark for a Bulldog at the Fresno State Classic. “I put too much pressure on myself in the first two rounds,” said Ho, “But I shot a 69 in the final round and hopefully this will give my season a good push.” Mimi was named the Mountain West Women’s Golfer of the Week for tournaments played March 13-17. It is her second career weekly accolade.



Tiffany in action for the USC Trojans



Rickie Fowler gets a ruling from PGA rules official during The Honda Classic

Old Game, New Rule, Time for Change The USGA and The R&A have unveiled a preview of proposed new Rules of Golf, as part of a joint initiative to modernize the Rules and make them easier to understand and apply. Louie Chan talks to Roy Lee about his view on the changes and impacts. Louie Chan: Does the proposed new Rules of Golf look easier to understand and apply to you in general? Roy Lee: The main purpose is to make the Rules easier to understand in a less formal tone so that it does not confuse and scare people away. LC: Out of the 24 proposed new Rules, which one or more are most drastic to you? And why? RL: Rule 14.3 Dropping Ball in Relief Area. This radically simplifies the dropping of a ball and eliminates the confusing 7 re-drop situations that are in the current rules under Rule 20-2c. LC: Do you have comment and feedback on any specific new Rules? Do you disagree on any specific new Rules? RL: Personally, I am a bit concerned with the 20 inches and 80 inches defining the

relief area instead of the 1 or 2 club lengths used now. This is too precise and it’s even more confusing in countries using the metric system as it becomes 50.8 centimeters and 203.2 centimeters respectively. LC: How would you foresee the game would change when the new Rules take effect in 2019? RL: By simplifying the rules, I look forward to people enjoying the game more and improve the speed of play. AFP/Getty Images; Roy Lee, Golf Travel Photographer

Roy qualified as a R&A Level 3 officials in St Andrews in 2010. He has been actively refereeing in HKGA amateur tournaments as well as the professional HK Ladies Open and UBS HK Open. Through his work at Garden Farm Golf Centre, he created the Golf Rules Guru Facebook page to share his refereeing experiences and educate more people on the Rules of Golf.

LC: Will the new Rules make rules officials’ job easier in the future? RL: We always joke that we will be out of a job in 2019! But our jobs have always been to help the golfer with situations regarding the rules so simplifying and having less controversy is no doubt good for the game. This applies to both professional tournaments as well as amateur events CONTINUED ON PAGE 78...













PineCreek Golf Property Holdings Ltd does not provide Hong Kong properties



Young Guns be This Year’s

Master Blasters?

Mike Wilson explains why the 80th Masters must be one of the most open in recent years.

E Augusta National 2016

ven though there have been 14 tournaments worth US$96m on the PGA Tour so far in this calendar year, it somehow feels as if the golf season doesn’t legit imately get u nder way until the Masters. T he sea son’s open i ng ‘ Major ’ championship, complete with its patrons, perfectly manicured grounds, the riot of colour of springtime blossoms, all the pomp and circumstance of the Par-3 competition and the Champion’s Dinner, the Masters is about as ritualistic as it’s possible to get in sport. Aside of the sad absence of four-time M a s t e r s w i n n e r Pa l m e r, w h o d i e d i n September last year at the age of 87, another notable absentee is likely to be another quadruple champion at Augusta, namely



Tiger Woods, remarkably a dozen years since he last donned the famous green jacket and 20 years since his first, when he destroyed the best of the rest with a 12-stroke margin of victory. With Woods, on the grounds of both form and fitness frequently out of the picture on the PGA Tour over recent years, there has been an interesting – if not exactly riveting jockeying for position at the top of the tree amongst golf’s ‘Alpha Males,’ Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Jason Day and now Dustin Johnson playing pass the parcel, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas all making assaults on the summit, hence the 80th Masters must be one of the most open in recent years. English ma n Da n ny Wil let t, who capitalised on Jordan Spiet h’s dramatic final round capitulation last year has found HKGOLFER.COM

The Masters at Augusta National in Georgia, for some, it’s a bit like visiting a shrine to the Great God of Golf




Getty Images/AFP

Jordan Spieth won his first Green Jacket in 2015 but he has found the ownership a heavy burden and lost to Danny Willett in the final round last year 38


ownership of a Green Jacket a heavy burden; indeed, that was his last victory, although he did show some evidence of form out in Asia, in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur as the 2016/17 season got underway. It is hard however, to make a case for a successful defence by Willett; fair dues to him, he seized the moment last year when Spieth left the door wide open, striding through it with all the adrenaline of a young man presented with the biggest sporting opportunity of his career to date, toppedup by becoming a father for the first time just days earlier and having no time to think about Augusta National and the challenges that lay ahead. Rory McIlroy’s recent injury woes may have suppressed much of the talk of the career Grand Slam, and with the successive top 10 finishes at Augusta, logic would suggest the world number-two could be in the mix come the afternoon of Sunday 9th April, but the longer the Northern Irishman goes without laying the ghost of 2011, when he blew a

four-shot final round lead with an eight-overpar 80, the more the continuing absence of a Green Jacket will prey on his mind. I t ’s a l s o w o r t h b e a r i n g i n m i n d , pa r t ic u l a rly w it h Ti ger Wo o d s eit her indisposed through injury or bang outof-form for the best part of a decade, that McIlroy, for all his promise and undoubted talent still has only four, ‘Majors’ to his name, no Masters title and two USPGA Championships, considered by many to be the junior partner of the four flagship events. It took until 1961 for a non-American to don the Green Jacket, when South African Gary Player prevented a successful Arnold Palmer defence, but the Stars & Stripes have far from had it their own way since. New world number-one Dustin Johnson enjoys a decent record without ever truly contending at the Masters, tied fourth last year, tied sixth the year before, somehow one just senses his booming long game and lack of subtlety and doesn’t square with the nuanced demands Augusta National poses, HKGOLFER.COM

whilst Spieth, the pre-tournament favourite has to deal with the demons from last year when he capitulated on the final day. There is still a sneaking suspicion, despite a lack of clear evidence, that there remains a ‘Major’ in Phil Mickelson’s locker, and that the Masters may well be that golden opportunity; ‘ L ef t y ’ has been bu i ld i ng i n form a nd confidence leading up to Augusta, with a top-10 finish at the WGC event in Mexico, and only a fool would fail to recognise the inspired shot-making and putting that has brought him three Green Jackets, an Open Championship and two USPGA titles. Somehow, a Mickelson win at Augusta this month, which would make him the oldest man ever to wear the Green Jacket, might not send the shock waves through the game that Jack Nicklaus did when he won his sixth and final Masters crown at the age of 46; perhaps Mickelson’s Masters credentials are confirmation of America’s profligacy of home grown, world class talent. Rickie Fowler, fresh from his win at the prestigious Honda Classic is fast-approaching 30 but has yet to record a ‘Major’ win, perhaps a contender for the most unwanted moniker in golf, ‘the best player never to win a ‘Major.’ Ju st a sk C ol i n Mont gomer ie , L e e Westwood and Sergio García. Sca n n i ng t he upper echelon s of t he Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) for the possible identity of the man who will be entitled to wear the iconic Green Jacket for the rest of his life, other than the usual suspects above, it’s tempting to go left field, but, before doing so, there is one man who looks to not only have the credentials, but also the talent and the temperament to make Sunday 9th April 2017 a red letter day. Hideki Matsuyama is that man, and what a shot in the arm it would be for Asian and Japanese golf were he to be able to win the Masters; although it both broke Asia’s ‘Majors’ duck and signalled the presence of a vulnerability never before seen from Tiger Woods, YE Yang’s 2009 USAPGA Championship win has, to date felt like something of a false dawn. 25 -ye a r- old Mat suya ma wa s a l l-but unstoppable at the start of the 2016 / 2017 PGA Tour season, second in the CI MB Classic in Kuala Lumpur in October, before becoming the first Asian player to win a WGC event, t he HSBC Cha mpions t he following week. Matsuyama finished the season by winning the Hero World Challenge came out of the traps at pace early in the current calendar HKGOLFER.COM

year, finishing second behind Justin Thomas in the SBS Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, before winning the Phoenix Open, a fourth PGA Tour title. T h e m a n f r o m Ja p a n h a s e xc e l l e n t credentials for Augusta, both the game and the temperament; witness how he shruggedoff a penalty stroke for slow play on debut in 2011, fifth in 2016 and tied for seventh last year, fully justifying his odds as third favourite behind Johnson and McIlroy. Jason Day too has form at the Masters, t hree top-10 f inishes in f ive outings at Augusta National, but he’s failed to sparkle so far this season, just one top-10 finish in five, and a single ‘Major’ title, the 2015 PGA Championship, but 12 top-10 finishes (including six in the top three) in 23 ‘Major’ starts could point to an inability to close the deal on the biggest of stages.

New world numberone Dustin Johnson has won twice already on the tour this year but never truly contending at the Masters before





Truly Made in


S.S.P Chawrasia successfully defended his Hero Indian Open title in early March by seven-shot. As Chuah Choo Chiang writes, the slightly built Chawrasia proves that the old cliché ‘drive for show, putt for dough’ is always right.

S Getty Images/AFP

tanding at a mere 1.65m and weighing 67kg, S.S.P Chawrasia cer t a i n ly pu nche s ab ove h i s weight in a game t hat is fast becoming all power and strength as epitomized by current world number one golfer, Dustin Johnson. Chawrasia ranks a lowly 168th out of 174 golfers in driving distance on the Asian Tour with his average of 270 yards - a distance probably matched by club amateur golfers while on the European Tour, the 38-yearold is presently dead last amongst 233 golfers with 265 yards next to his name. In contrast, Johnson leads the PGA Tour driving stats with 316.2 yards!  But like the old cliché ‘drive for show, putt for dough’, the slightly built Chawrasia is proving that golfing success is not just all about driving the ball a mile but also rewards



those with a midas touch with the irons and around the greens. And after all these years, he has finally earned the recognition of being one of the most gifted and greatest golfers to emerge from India.  Despite five previous victories on the Asian Tour, including three which were cosanctioned with the European Tour on home soil, Chawrasia’s name has often been left out of discussions amongst pundits and golf fans whenever it touched on Indian golf.  Of course, the names of Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa and A n irba n La h iri, a l l former A sia n Tour number ones, are often mused as the subcontinent’s flagbearers and rightly so too due to the amount of success they have achieved.   T h i s a l l c h a n g e d w h e n C h aw r a si a successfully defended his Hero Indian Open HKGOLFER.COM

S.S.P Chawrasia holds up the national flag after winning his first European Tour Indian Opent title on home soil in 2016 HKGOLFER.COM



Getty Images/AFP

Standing at a mere 1.65m and weighing 67kg, Chawrasia proves that golfing success is not just all about driving the ball a mile 44


title at the ultra-demanding DLF Golf and Country Club’s Gary Player course in early March by romping to a majestic seven-shot victory. Hosting its f irst men’s international competition following a total revamp of its course, the eye-catching Player design measured at a beastly 7,373 yards on the tournament scorecard, and that too with tournament officials opting to not use all the championship tees due to the severity of the design, which included tough and penal driving holes, elevated and undulating greens.  After his first practice round, Chawrasia, who had won most of his titles at the Delhi Golf Club, shook his head in disbelief at how challenging the golf course was but he took it all in his stride, probably adhering to Player’s advice via a tweet which said “patience will be rewarded.’   Indeed, Chawrasia showed all his traits to earn a sixth Asian Tour win and fourth European Tour title, which he emulated the total European wins held by Singh. He also became the first Indian to successfully defend a title on the European Tour and only

the third to do so in the tournament’s rich history. With only seven golfers breaking par throughout four days of brutal golf, which saw scores soaring into the 80s, Chawrasia stood tallest amongst the men, and despite the disadvantage of being a short hitter, he won by using his guile, touch and patience to prevail in such convincing manner that his peers took to twitter to pay tribute.  Belgian Nicolas Coelsarts tweeted his admiration. “I don’t think people understand how good S.S.P. Chawrasia’s performance was last week, was demanding of everyone’s game and even more for him.”   S p a n i a rd R a f a C a b r e r a B el l o , t h e highest ranked in the field that week, wrote: “Congrats to SSP for a superb performance in a very challenging track and winning again on home soil!” while the legendary Player also extended a congratulatory tweet by saying: “Wonderful, hard fought win at DLF G&CC to go back-to-back #hio2017. Title defense is the best defense! Congratulations. GP”  The local media were truly in awe of Chawrasia’s heroics, remembering that he HKGOLFER.COM

Chawrasia’s name has often been left out of discussions amongst pundits and golf fans whenever it touched on Indian golf had grown up in such a simple manner in Kolkotta to a father who worked as one of the greenskeeper at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. The boy who once climbed over the club walls to sneak in a few holes and used torch lights to help him practice his chipping and putting in the dark is now one of India’s golfing heroes. And Singh, a double Asian Tour number one, was amongst those who is now pushing for Chawrasia to be recognised with the nation’s Arjuna Award, which is one of the highest accolades given to sportsmen.  Singh also took to twitter to message the country’s Prime Minister. He wrote: “Dear Mr PM @narendramodi - how about some message for Indian Open champion @SSP_ Golf - truly Made in India and world-class.”  Indeed, Chawrasia is truly Made in India and worthy to be called a world-class golfer. Chuach Choo Chiang is Director, Communication of the Asian Tour and is based in Malaysia. HKGOLFER.COM

Italian Matteo Manassero (in the picture) shared third place with Scotsman Scott Jamieson, eight behind the winner HK GOLFER・APR 2017


Getty Images/AFP


Miguel Angel Jimenez smoking a cigar during a practice round prior to the start of the 115th U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay

No Ifs,

No Butts, Stub It

Out Both print and TV outlets routinely carry images of golf players and caddies with a nicotine-addiction smoking openly at work. As Mike Wilson explains, this presents entirely the wrong image for a sport already with its issues and losing out to more vibrant, health-conscious and contemporary sports.




AFP/Getty images

Henrik Stenson's caddie Gareth Bryn Lord (centre) smokes as golfers play during the first round of the 78th Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta 48


ow here’s a sports trivia question to test the best. How many Olympic sports permit t heir pa r t icipa nt s to smoke during competition? Could Usian Bolt take a quick drag on a fag before settling on his blocks for the Men’s World Championship100m final, or a leading goalkeeper having a puff to calm his nerves before a vital penalty shoot-out? What about the cox in the Rowing 8 lighting-up as he steered his team to gold, or Roger Federer relaxing with a cigar in his chair at the change of ends? Maybe a couple of you ng scou nd rel ball-boys having a crafty fag behind the Wimbledon scoreboard, or Chris Froome lighting a tab to go with his celebratory glass of Champagne on the final stage of the Tour de France? Of course not, don’t be so stupid. Even bar room ‘Sports’ such as snooker or darts no longer allow smoking during play, they packed that in decades ago.

Ah, but yes, there is one Olympic sport in which competitors can enjoy a fag, maybe even calm the nerves ahead of a pressure shot that could make the difference between gold and silver. A nd it ’s golf, the Royal and A ncient Game. Royal, perhaps, Ancient, most definitely, when one considers the more antediluvian practices the game not only tolerates but, in some cases, actively supports. Men (and women) only clubs, jackets and ties must be worn in the clubhouse, no shorts or collarless shorts may be worn and, shamefully, until not so long ago, at certain clubs, like Augusta National, no blacks. However, there is one arcane custom still routinely practice still rooted in professional and amateur golf, being permitted to smoke during play, but the days of the smokefilled committee rooms and cigars being smoked in the clubhouse are thankfully long since gone. Yet, for a sport defined by its rules, the 600-plus pages of the R&A Decisions on HKGOLFER.COM

the Rules of Golf has a rule for almost every eventuality, from, ‘14 -3 A rtif icial Devices and Unusual Equipment; Abnormal Use of Equipment,’ to, ‘12b, Searching for or Identifying Ball Covered by Loose Impediments in a Hazard,’ nothing is left to chance. T hen t here ’s t he whole t h i ng about etiquette, for players, and spectators, who, at the Masters at Augusta are prohibited from running, where the caddies are required to wear ludicrous all-white and the winner gets to choose the menu for the subsequent preevent champion’s dinner. Yet, nowhere in the reams of paperwork pro duced by t he R& A - i n 2016 t hey produced a 76-page Pace of Play Manual - does the governing body for the entire world other than North America and Mexico mention smoking during play. All the R&A had to say on the matter is, “Smoking hasn’t been an issue at our events but we do remind competitors to show courtesy to their playing partners,” hardly a resounding condemnation of one of the world’s major public health problems or bold leadership over an issue that frames golf firmly in the past. Why, when golf, like other sports, was forced to quit the habit of having tobacco brands as sponsors, the last event to go up in smoke, the Benson & Hedges International at the Belfry in 2003, won by Paul Casey? “Smoking is not permitted in enclosed public facilities during tournaments, this includes tented areas, hospitality facilities and grandstands, where separate designated smok ing areas wil l be created nearby,” explained a European Tour official, adding, “However, in keeping with golf tournaments around the world, smoking is permitted on the golf course.” And the media is far from blameless; both print and TV outlets routinely carry images of players such as 2018 Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn, his predecessors Darren Clarke and Sam Torrance sauntering up the fairway smoking a cigarette as evidence the stress they are under. Or Miguel Á ngel Jiménez puff ing on a celebrator y Hava na cigar fol lowing a sporting victory and caddies, many with a nicotine addition smoking openly at work, surely t his presents ent irely t he wrong image for a sport already with its issues and losing out to more vibrant, healthconscious and contemporary sports such cycling and triathlon. Neither the International Golf Federation HKGOLFER.COM

“Neither the IGF or the IOC had any protocols in place to prevent players and caddies smoking in Rio last year, revealing how short a distance the game has progressed culturally during its 112-year hiatus.”

(IGF) or t he I nter nat iona l Oly mpic Committee (IOC) had any protocols in place to prevent players and caddies smoking in Rio last year, revealing how short a distance the game has progressed culturally during its 112-year hiatus. Golf, at least at the elite end of the game had better clean-up its act, or, with a rapid decline in participation already underway, risk the entire sport going up in smoke.

Paul Casey watches his penultimate putt prior to winning the Benson & Hedges International Open in 2003. The tournament ceased in 2003, following the introduction of a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship of sporting events by the British government. HK GOLFER・APR 2017


Getty Images/AFP




Jack Nicklaus (left) gives American publisher Marvin Shanken a lesson




Lesson The Kilted Caddie reminisces about an unlikely 40-second lesson that fixed his golf swing woes, which had haunted him for 40 years‌ HK GOLFERăƒťAPR 2017


I AFP/Getty images

A gentleman called Sean from Ohio who as a youngster had played alongside (and beaten) Zach Johnson, turned out to be the philosopher’s stone of the golf swing for the Kilted Caddie 54


was probably like most amateur golfers in being frustrated, perplexed a n d u t t e rl y f l u m m oxe d by a n inability to master the dynamics of the golf swing. In fact, I would say at one time this frustration went to the core of my being and caused deep and permanent psychotic and behavioural issues. For as we all know it is an exasperating, bewildering and confusing thing. And all the while the golf swing should be a natural, free flowing and unencumbered action. Like a good baseball hit. Fundamentally, without any thought. Now, I am not trying to pretend that I have any David Leadbetter status here, but I do know that I have been through an almost 40-year search for the holy grail of the golf swing and may I say, that I think I have found it. But some history first. I was a fanatical golfer as a kid and would be on the course all summer long from dawn till dusk trying to master the game. I was absorbed and blinded by my passion for it. It coloured my teenage

years. The problem was that I had a hellish loopy swing which made Jim Furyk and that Irish fellow Eamon Darcy look like models of orthodoxy. Talk about Furyk’s swing looking like an octopus falling out of a tree, my swing was like an octopus falling out of a tree and undergoing severe epileptic seizure. It was awful. My nickname was ‘Loopy Lou’ and it got into my soul. It challenged my person. Freud would have had a field day with me. But I lived with this all summer long and throughout my most formative years. I will add that I did surprisingly manage to get down to a three handicap with this technique but that was just down to sheer hard work and a fortunate degree of natural hand-eye coordination. I even somehow won my Junior Championship, got into the St Andrews University first team and once in a club match (to his utter dismay) hammered the future Scottish team captain Scott Knowles 7 and 6 over his home course. However, my game was massively erratic and I do believe honestly, that it underlies a highly HKGOLFER.COM

charged and whimsical aspect of my nature. Although I am not truly sure what gave rise to what? At the core of me though I believe is simply poor golf coaching. For a couple of decades, I read up on tech nique a nd went t hrough nu merous te acher s. I mu st have b e en a s e qu a l ly frustrating to them as their lessons were to me. I had (still have!) nightmares about the principle of the ‘one piece takeaway’. But it was no good. I spent hundreds, thousands on lessons and to no avail. It was desperate and my game went through troughs and peaks which made the Tour de France look like a cycle in the Fens. I have had more swing thoughts and changes than deleted Hilary Clinton emails. The funniest thing was that I actually got a job teaching golf for Club Med one summer. Funny on two levels because I had to teach it in French and because I had no real idea or understanding of what I was doing. I feel very guilty about this. So, if you do happen to come across a French national with a weird and wonderful swing you could mention Marbella 1992 and this may elicit a very surprised look. Please don’t give my whereabouts though. So, this has gone on throughout my entire 40-year golfing career and most of my life. Until one day last summer that is. Now this is what happened. I was caddying on The Old Course for a lovely gentleman called Sean from Ohio who turns out to be a teaching pro and as a youngster had played alongside (and beaten) Zach Johnson. However, he was in no way a priggish or arrogant chap at all but the humblest lovely gentleman. He was out with his delightful wife and brother in law who were walking around and they had paired up with another chap who owned a successful cigar business in Nicaragua. Now the chap who owned the cigar business was obsessed with golf and told me he came here annually to play. The trouble was he had an awful swing along the one piece takeaway taught method. I felt deep sympathy for him and watched him agonizing his way round, moving the club back in a manner which was, I dare say, the synthesis of reading overly on technique and paying far too many subscriptions to Golf Digest. It was painful to watch and needless to say he hit the ball very badly and with little power whatsoever, for a man with a great physique. And then Sean stood up and effortlessly hit the ball about three hundred yards down HKGOLFER.COM

“If Jim Furyk’s swing looks like an octopus falling out of a tree, my swing was like an octopus falling out of a tree and undergoing severe epileptic seizure.” - The Kilted Caddie

the fairway. In fact, he caught me off guard as a caddie on the first hole as into a stiff wind I put him into the Swilcan Burn! Lucky he was an excellent dude. He played brilliant golf. Anyway, the end of this story came on the thirteenth fairway when I emptied my soul to Sean and explained my golf swing woes. I said I had a huge issue with the wrist hinge and the take away. Something that had haunted me for so long. And what he said moved the earth from under me. ‘Oh, I don’t worry about that and just set my wrists immediately’. He had repudiated all received wisdom in a single line and set me free. The philosopher’s stone of the golf swing for me in a lesson of forty seconds and for which I had waited forty years. I should simply hinge my wrists immediately and then make a big turn and hit the ball. I rushed to the driving range next day and yes it had transformed my striking and swing. I could finally swing the club naturally. I was hitting the ball over the fence at the back of the driving range onto the 16th green of the Old. Very naughty but may I say but how immensely satisfying. I was like a kid with a new toy. And a lovely man called Sean from Ohio is to blame. HK GOLFER・APR 2017





“The Golfers” by Charles Lees is perhaps the most iconic golf painting in the world. Our resident historian Dr Milton Wayne researches the remarkable story behind the image. Photography by Antonia Reeve

National Galleries of Scotland

Golf’s Greatest Artwork?


Peter Howson, “Hacker”; Lee Wybranski, “Open 2012”



olfers the world over are renowned for their willingness to invest in new equipment, lessons, accessories and even clothing in a search for any improvement in their performance. This has now progressed from the links to the living room and in recent years there has been a huge upsurge in the market for golfing memorabilia and especially golf artworks. These range from works like the original etchings by world famous modernist Peter Howson to the limited edition prints produced by Lee Wybranski for each of the Majors and Ryder Cups. However, in terms of historical artworks, the most iconic (and most expensive ever) is surely Charles Lees’ masterpiece “The Golfers” from 1846. Now in the National Gallery of Scotland, the original reportedly cost over HK$30mm when purchased in 2002. To give it it’s full title “The Golfers: A Grand Match Played over the Links of St Andrews on the Day of the Annual Meeting of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club”, the picture is far more than a unique interpretation of a critical moment on the links. It served as a “Who’s Who” of golf in the 1840’s, and the story of “The Golfers” creation is a fascinating one. It’s fame comes not merely from age – the first known painting of golf in St Andrews dates from over 100 years earlier – but from the craftsmanship and historical relevancy of the subject, and the bridge it formed with the nascent development of photography. The artist Charles Lees was born in 1800 in Cupar in Fife and studied under Sir Henry Raeburn in Edinburgh. He gained a strong reputation for portraiture as well as sporting paintings, but “The Golfers” is his undoubted masterpiece. Upon completion, the painting was sold to Alexander Hill for £400, a large sum at the time. Then as now, given the relative expense of original oil paintings, prints made from the paintings were hugely popular, and as a publisher and printmaker, Alexander Hill may have commissioned Lees to create the work with this in mind. Hill occupied a unique position at the confluence of the worlds of poetry, publishing, printmaking, portraiture and photography and through him we have the connections to all the elements which combined to make “The Golfers” so unique. As a publisher, Hill had produced a very successful small book of poetry by George Fullerton Carnegie called “Golfiana - or Niceties Connected with the Game of Golf”. This featured verbal sketches of the eminent golfers HKGOLFER.COM

of the day, and it is surely no coincidence that twenty of those characters were subsequently featured in the Lees painting. Perhaps even more intriguing is that Alexander’s younger brother was none other than the artist David Octavius Hill, who with his partner Robert Adamson became legendary pioneers of photography in Scotland. Inspired by William Henry Fox Talbot, Hill and Adamson began recording likenesses for use in subsequent portraiture, but then raised photography to an art form with their fantastic images of everyday people and events. This included the earliest known photograph of golf at St Andrews, taken in 1845. This shows a “golfing match in progress” and is unquestionably the inspiration for the central structure of “The Golfers”. Indeed, Lees may have commissioned the photograph as a “sketch” for his painting. Ironically, the photograph features a young “Old Tom” Morris, aged just 24 at the time, but surprisingly Lees chose not to feature him in the finished painting. There are two preliminary oil sketches extant which show how the work developed from the Hill & Adamson photo and evolved as more elements were added. In addition, there are studies of many of the characters (now in the R&A collection), and a full length drawing of Allan Robertson. Once the painting was completed, one of the preeminent engravers of the day, Charles E. Wagstaff, was engaged to create the artwork and the subsequent prints were a huge success for Hill. HKGOLFER.COM

The painting shows a tension filled moment from a match featuring Sir David Baird and Sir Ralph Anstruther competing with Major Hugh Lyon Playfair and John Campbell of Glensaddell. Baird has left his chip hanging on the edge of the hole, and Playfair has just putted and his ball is dead on line. But will it drop? With the exception of Anstruther, all were gold medal winning, outstanding golfers of the day. In addition, Baird was R&A captain in 1843 and Playfair became captain in 1856. Indeed, Playfair was instrumental in dramatically improving the town and links of St Andrews and making it the golf mecca it became and remains to this day. His caddie Allan Robertson was not only one of the first ever golf professionals, at the time he was declared the “Greatest golfer who ever lived”, and was reputed to have never lost whilst playing for money. His playing ability aside, Robertson’s impact on golf cannot be overstated. He was the premier club and ball maker of his generation, mentored Old Tom Morris, designed much of Carnoustie, and created the iconic double greens at St Andrews. It is little known that it was actually Robertson’s death that directly led to the creation of the Open Championship. He was known as “The Champion Golfer” and after he died of jaundice in 1859, a competition was arranged in Prestwick the following year to identify his successor. In fact, the man who arranged that first Open was James Ogilvie Fairlie, who is shown standing behind Playfair in the painting.

Hill & Adamson, “The Golfers”



Charles Lees, “Oil Sketch” Charles Lees, “Allan Robertson”

The match is taking place during the Annual Meeting of the R&A and those playing are surrounded by many of the members, caddies and other local personalities. Each character is identifiable and would have been immediately recognizable to many at the time. It’s no exaggeration to say that most of the people featured would warrant a book in their own right - and many have. This is a fantastic work on so many levels. It has relevance across portraiture, sport, drama, history, landscape and even the birth of photography. “The Golfers” richly deserves it’s exalted position in the world of golf artworks.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER A luxury print, measuring 38” x 26”, has been produced and is available exclusively in Asia through the HK Golfer for only HK$888 (including free delivery). Each print is accompanied by a printed key identifying each of the characters, and makes the perfect gift for any golfer.

Please visit, write to or call us on 3590 4153. 60



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Trevose 4th Green 64



Cornwall: In the footsteps of giants… (Part 2)

Continuing his search for the hidden gems created by the designers of the Golden Age, Charles McLaughlin heads for deepest Cornwall. Photography by Charles McLaughlin, couple by Stuart Morley




Trevose Dusk

Tricia Davies, Trevose’s starter


e left south Devon behind as we made our way across Dartmoor, en route to the far south west and the delights of Cornwall. This beautiful corner of England has been an escape for the great and good for centuries, seeking a quieter and slower paced lifestyle, and it remains so to this day. Several years ago, some of the top tracks on the coast from Cornwall to Somerset via north Devon got together and formed the aptly named “England’s Atlantic Links”. Their efforts have been instrumental in raising awareness of the heritage and sheer quality of the courses in this criminally overlooked part of the global golfing map. As is often the case, a fair amount of driving is required to get from track to track, but given the beauty of the scenery it’s no great hardship.


Playing this Harry Colt gem from 1925, located on the rugged north Cornish coast at Constantine Bay, is an exhilarating experience, especially if the wind is up. Situated just outside the charming fishing village of Padstow - home of super chef Rick Stein - this is potentially the perfect spot to be based whilst visiting the area. The super accommodation on the course itself seals the deal, and the quality of the food & beverage available in the clubhouse makes it a no-brainer. The sheer numbers of locals making 66



Clive Thomas, host at Trevose

their way to the Constantine restaurant tells a tale. In addition, under the watchful eye of host Clive Thomas, the main bar is always busy and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset. This is a very popular course, and prebooking of tee times is highly recommended. While Tricia Davies rules the roost as starter, the heart of the club remains the Gammon family, who have owned the club since 1941. Current managing director Nick Gammon is the third generation and took over in 2002. A fine player in his own right, scratch golfer Nick and assistant manager David Cowan are out on the course most days, and are currently working on a multiyear plan to setup the course and facilities for the next generation and beyond. While some links courses are noted for their blind holes and exceptionally penal rough, Trevose offers a kinder introduction to those unfamiliar with the nuances of the “bump and run” game, thanks largely to the generosity of the fairways. As such, time spent looking for wayward shots in kept to a minimum. The rollicking front nine, which affords some magnificent coastal views, gets off to a testing start with the 440-yard par4 opener. But the beauty of Trevose, aside from its consistently quick and true greens, lies in its variation. This is far from being a slog. From the members’ white tees, three of the four par-5s are potentially reachable in two on a calm day for competent golfers, and the par- threes, which are a delightful set of holes, won’t see you pulling off your fairway wood head covers unless it’s really HKGOLFER.COM

St Enodoc 8th green with Himalaya bunker behind



blowing a gale. Whilst there are some brutish par-4s on the card, there are plenty of chances to make amends should you falter. This links really is a lot of fun and warrants a couple of rounds at least on any visit.


St Enodoc 16th looking over to Padstow (Photo Courtesy by Stuart Morley)



Debate rages in 19th holes across Cornwall as to which is the better course: Trevose or St Enodoc? It’s understandable as the two courses are only a few miles apart - St Enodoc can be found across the Camel Estuary from Padstow in the royal sailing town of Rock, home of Doombar beer - and both offer a tremendous golfing experience. But they are in truth quite different. While laid-back Trevose is a fullyfledged resort, St Enodoc is very much more of a private members’ club in the traditional sense of the term. The wonderfully named GM, Tuck Claggett, is an ex-pat Yank and runs a tight ship. Set amidst towering sand dunes clad with wild sea grasses, the front nine of the James Braid designed Church Course here is a breathtakingly magnificent run of holes and affords a number of fine coastal views. The pick of the bunch and one of the most wonderfully quirky holes anywhere - is the sixth, a mid-length par-four which features a blind drive and requires the approach shot to be played over a mammoth dune called “Himalayas” some 100 yards from the green. “Himalayas” is rumoured to be the biggest bunker in Europe - and at 75 feet high it almost certainly is. The back nine isn’t as linksy

as the front and while it has some memorable moments - the closing three holes provide a superbly challenging finish - the meadowland nature of some of a few of the early holes prevent St Enodoc from being rated higher. The course is named after a small church that stands to the right of the tenth green, which is the final resting place of John Betjeman, the Poet Laureate, who penned his famous poem Seaside Golf after a rare birdie at the thirteenth. This is a taxing walking course, with the opening stretch among the toughest in the area. Strong golfers will love it, us mere mortals need to grind through the first four holes then enjoy what is a magnificent test of golf. Bring plenty of balls, and allow enough time to sample the fare in the large and well maintained clubhouse. For those wanting to spend more time in Cornwall, there are numerous tracks around worth visiting with the James Braid links at Perranporth a must-see. Also, track down the delicious Padstow Windjammer - another fantastic local beer. Hugging the coastline, we headed northeast back into north Devon and back a century or two… When talking about the “footsteps of giants” none come bigger than those of Old Tom Morris and he designed our next port of call.


England’s oldest course - and the oldest links outside Scotland - Royal North Devon, known locally as Westward Ho!, is the complete antithesis HKGOLFER.COM

St Enodoc Clubhouse to the modern style of layout so favoured by developers in Asia - and a must-visit for anyone who considers themselves a true aficionado of the game. Established by Old Tom in 1864, then tweaked by Herbert Fowler and other local sons, RND is links golf at its most raw. There is scarcely any definition to the fairways, which are classified as common land and are more often than not populated by sheep and horses (leaving “evidence” of their presence dotted around), and the greens merely follow the natural contours of the land. But herein lies its brilliance. The best holes are down by the shore and take advantage of crumpled terrain. It’s along this stretch that you encounter huge clumps of the infamous sea rushes - a tall, spiky marine vegetation that can be even more hazardous to your score than the majority of the deep sleepered bunkers that punctuate the course. However, you wouldn’t want to stray into “Cape” bunker, one of the biggest in the land, that gobbles up underhit drives at the par-four fourth. RND’s most famous son is J.H. Taylor, the five-time Open champion, and a large part of the atmospheric clubhouse-cum-golfing museum is dedicated to his achievements. At Westward Ho! you really are following in the footsteps of champions. Opinions on this course varied more than any other during our trip, and whilst the golfing aficionados will delight in this legendary tracks’s idiosyncrasies, others may find the lack of definition and the wandering animals frustrating. HKGOLFER.COM

Royal North Devon 4th Cape bunker



Royal North Devon Clubhouse

Whatever one’s opinion, this is a must-see course, absolutely no pushover and certainly memorable. On that note, it’s essential to allow enough time to take in the memorabilia on display, it’s breathtaking. (To be continued)

WHERE TO STAY TREVOSE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB Constantine Bay, Padstow PL28 8JB +44 1841 520208 THE ROYAL & FORTESCUE HOTEL Barnstaple EX31 1HG +44 1271 342289

MORE INFORMATION ENGLAND’S ATLANTIC LINKS +44 1637 879991 GOLF TOURISM ENGLAND +44 7876 476655 The Horses: Immovable Obstructions at RND 70



An Arts and Crafts masterpiece of exceptional quality, located in fine Surrey countryside, close to London Kingsmead, Farnham, Surrey, UK

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Guide Price £19,000,000

Garaging Tennis Court 32 acres Wild flower meadow

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A beautifully finished family home, set on a quintessential Chelsea side street 22 Smith Terrace, Chelsea, London, UK

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3 bedroom 3 bathrooms 2 reception rooms Newly built home


Bespoke Boffi kitchen Lutron lighting system NHBC Warranty 1,844 SqFt / 171 Sq M

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A supremely elegant and classically styled mansion of natural Bath stone construction on this internationally renowned private estate Westbourn, Wentworth, Surrey, UK

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6 bedrooms 2 staff flats Garaging for 8 vehicles

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Guide Price £23,000,000

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Available with planning permission to create an architecturally pure masterpiece Sandylands Park, Englefield Green, Surrey, UK

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©2017 Dr Milton Wayne





2. See 28A 4. (& 29A) Joint lowest score holder, won in 2015

1. See 14D

8. (& 13A) South African, 1st non-US winner

5. See 27D

9. See 21D

6. See 9D

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

7. See 3D

12. (& 30A) He hit the “Shot Heard Around The World”

9. (& 6D) Famous clubhouse driveway

13. See 8A

11. Record lowest score

15. (& 24D) First ever winner

14. (& 1D) Masters home course

19. See 18D

16. Fun nine hole competition on Wednesday (3,5)

20. Home state (and Ray Charles song!)

17. (& 26A) Grumpy co-founder

22. See 25D

18. (& 19A) Six-time winner

23. See 19D

19. (& 23A) 3-time English winner

26. See 17D

21. (& 9A) Legendary designer

28. (& 2A) Has biggest winning margin (5,5)

22. See 31A

29. See 4A

24. See 15A

30. See 12A

25. (& 22A) To the winner the spoils!

31. (& 22D) Legendary co-founder

27. (& 5D) Current Chairman


3. (& 7D) Reigning champ


WIN A SIGNED LEE WYBRANSKI POSTER! To enter, complete the crossoword and send a scan or photo of the completed grid to, with “April Crossword” as the subject. Remember to include your name, address and contact number. Entries close on 15 April 2017. ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THE CORRECT ENTRIES. Congratulations to William Leung of Mid-Levels who won the February crossword PREVIOUS ANSWERS





Rules official at the Masters


HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PROPOSED RULE CHANGES: ELIMINATION OR REDUCTION OF “BALL MOVED” PENALTIES: There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; and a player is not responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is “virtually certain” that he or she did so.  RELAXED PUTTING GREEN RULES: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.  RELAXED RULES FOR “PENALTY AREAS” (CURRENTLY CALLED “WATER HAZARDS”): Red and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.

AFP/Getty images

RELAXED BUNKER RULES: There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty. Relying on player integrity: A PLAYER’S “REASONABLE JUDGMENT” WHEN estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance



will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong; and elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged. PACE-OF-PLAY SUPPORT: Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of “ready golf” in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play. SIMPLIFIED WAY OF TAKING RELIEF: A new procedure for taking relief by dropping a ball in and playing it from a specific relief area; relaxed procedures for dropping a ball, allowing the ball to be dropped from just above the ground or any growing thing or other object on the ground. The online release of the preview begins a six-month feedback and evaluation period during which all golfers worldwide can learn about the proposed changes and provide input before they are finalized in 2018 and take effect January 1, 2019. Golfers are encouraged to review the proposed changes and submit feedback online via worldwide survey technology that can be accessed at  or  from now until August 31, 2017.  The feedback will be reviewed by the USGA and The R&A in establishing the approved final version of golf’s new Rules. These are due to be released in mid-2018 ahead of a January 1, 2019 implementation. Social media fans can also follow the discussion using #GolfRules2019.


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