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Hong Kong Junior Close Championship in Review









Managed and serviced by The Old Course Hotel Ltd


HK Golfer Issue 124

June 2017

34 On the Cover:

Taichi Kho has been rising through the ranks of Hong Kong junior golf in the last fifteen months. By winning the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship, Taichi lives up to his Chinese/Japanese name - the number one dragon. Photo by Daniel Wong



34 | Hong Kong Junior Close Championship

12 | Divots

Taichi Kho and Virginie Ding won their respective divisions, both in playoff drama at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. By Louie Chan

36 | 2017 U.S. Open Preview

42 | Notes from the Asian Tour

26 | Events

The PGA Tour is now expanding into Korea, Japan and even global domination on the cards with minimal resistance offered and it’s bad for golf in the Far East. By Mike Wilson

AFP/Getty Images

54 | A Major Marking Issue


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

21 | Tee Time

48 | Bunker Mentality


14 | In Focus

The muscular nature of the Erin Hills course, reaching close to 8,000-yards could play into the hands of the big hitters, perhaps positioning defending champion Dustin Johnson in the box seat. By Mike Wilson India’s Shiv Kapur may not quite be the Roger Federer of golf but the 35-year-old certainly celebrated a great comeback story. By Chuah Choo Chiang


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

Rolex is introducing the new version of its Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona, fitted on the innovative Oysterflex bracelet in elastomer. By The Editors The participating golfers had successfully made their way to the MercedesTrophy Hong Kong 2017 through the qualifying tournaments held by the HKGA. By The Editors

32 | Around the HKGA

James Honey, Lead S&C Coach for HKGA, talks about the benefit of Strength and Conditioning Training on the National Team, Elite Junior and even amateur golfers. Interview by Louie Chan

Spotting a ball is not rocket science and especially so on a short putt… By the Kilted Caddie

76 | Crossword

60 | Simply the Best

78 | Final Shot

Having opened its doors just ahead of the global financial crisis, Finca Cortesín, the Andalucían golf, boutique hotel and spa resort held its nerve and is now reaping the benefits. By Mike Wilson

This issue: 2017 US Open – Head For the Hills! By Dr Milton Wayne Mark Mossip, Class A member of the PGA of Canada and HKPGA, talks about the current junior golf scene in Hong Kong. Interview by Daniel Wong 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 10 Mailbag 12 Divots 14 Global Focus 16 Asia Focus 18 China Focus 21 Clubhouse 31 Around the HKGA 42 Notes from the Asian Tour 48 Bunker Mentality 54 The Kilted Caddie 60 Golf Travel

Images courtesy of Finca Cortesin

76 Crossword 78 Final Shot

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 Phone (General): +852 2504-8659 Fax: +852 2845-1553 Phone (Handicaps): +852 2504-8197 Fax: +852 2504-8198 Email:

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



HK Golfer Mailbag

No Ifs, No Puffs

As a Member of the Hong Kong Golf Club since the 1960s, and a Member of Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club since its first year of opening, I would like to applaud Mike Wilson’s long-overdue article in the April issue on the poor health image of golfers due to their and their caddies’ cigarette smoking in front of crowds.  It would be marvelous if Hong Kong could lead the way to make all golf tournaments in Hong Kong smoke-free events.  The golf club areas in Hong Kong are now substantially smoke-free, there are no cigarette vendors at the clubs, tobacco sponsorship of golf has now been banned (I think totally) - so why not encourage HK golf to be ‘a more vibrant, health-conscious and contemporary sport’ and declare our Hong Kong golf tournaments smoke-free events (like the Olympic Games).  This is especially important as more and more of Hong Kong youth are taking up golf, and attending the


AFP/Getty Images

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.



tournaments. Seeing golfers and caddies puffing away is hardly presenting a good role model to them. Prof. Dr Judith Mackay OBE, SBS, JP, MBChB (Edin), FRCP (Edin), FRCP (Lon) Director, Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control Via email

Yes, He Did!

Sergio Garcia had played 73 previous majors and seven-eighths of this one, and people were laughing at him. It was on the 11th hole at Augusta National Sunday. He pulled his drive on 11 into the pine straw. He addressed his ball, walked into the fairway to get another look at the green, then walked back and addressed the ball again… and then stepped back again. The laughter at Amen Corner was immediate and cutting: There goes Sergio again. Scared. Can’t handle the pressure. The 37-year-old Garcia has been one of the best players of his generation and a Ryder Cup star. But he had not done what he knew he could do. He had not won major. In the end of the day, he surprised the people who have seen him lose so many majors and waggle his club over the ball a dozen times before hitting and publicly say that maybe he wasn’t cut out to win majors. He is the Masters champion now. He has learned how hard this is, but also how much it should be enjoyed. Sergio is such an inspiration to all golf-lovers! Kenneth KC Lee Mid-Level



Central Vietnam Becoming Next Great Golf Destination

The growing interest in central Vietnam’s potential to become the world's next great golf destination was on display last month when the first of two major conferences scheduled for Danang this year took place in and around the budding beach resort.  The 6th Asia Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC) attracted a record 600 golf tour operators and golf travel suppliers from 37 countries for a series of seminars, meetings and networking opportunities including a tournament at Ba Na Hills Golf Club, a Luke Donald design that was voted ‘World’s Best New Course’ at the 2016 World Golf Awards.  Opened in March 2016, Ba Na Hills is one of four courses in the Danang area to come online in the past decade with a legend of the game attached to it. The others are Greg Norman’s BRG Danang Golf Resort (formerly Danang Golf Club), Nick

Faldo’s Laguna Lang Co and Colin Montgomerie’s Montgomerie Links. A course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. who conceived U.S. Open venues Chambers Bay and Cordevalle - is currently in development and expected to open in 2019.  “This is as strong a foursome of courses as you’ll find anywhere in the world,” said Donald, who designed Ba Na Hills in collaboration with IMG. “Our course is different from the other three in that it’s set inland and at the foot of a spectacular mountain range, but all have stunning features and are championship-caliber.”  Danang will attract another large golf audience later this year when the 11th Asia Pacific Golf Summit comes to town for the first time, set for November 14th -16th.

PGA TOUR Releases First Emoji Keyboard App

Top: The par-3 12th hole at Ba Na Hills Golf Club

The PGA TOUR today released PGA TOUR Emojis - a fun iMessage sticker and emoji keyboard pack containing over 20 animated stickers and GIFs, all designed to create a deeper level of social engagement for PGA TOUR fans and players. The PGA TOUR emojis and stickers, which were developed by mobile messaging company Snaps, represent many aspects of a golfer’s lifestyle, illustrating key catchphrases like I'll see you on the 19th hole, Bogey, Who's Your Caddie and 59 Watch. There's also an emoji for various situations or reactions on a golf course including a fist pump and golf clap. A unique feature of this sticker pack is the ability to drag and drop directly into an iMessage conversation. The emojis and sticker pack can be updated with new content anytime through the Snaps platform. "There are over one billion people using iMessage every day,” said Christian Brucculeri, CEO of Snaps and 12


mobile messaging expert. “With this sticker pack, the PGA TOUR has a new way to connect with its fans on the most popular social messaging app.” Available for free, the PGA TOUR Emojis keyboard app is available for download on iOS in the App Store, while Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store. HKGOLFER.COM


The 1st UPP Cup Outdoor Golf Tournament UPP Golf Club, Hong Kong’s first golf bar, held their first outdoor golf tournament in late May at Phoenix Golf Club, Dongguan, Shenzhen. Over 100 Hong Kong golfers participated in competing for prizes in four divisions. UPP a l so i nv ited t he Z e t la nd G ol f Society to have team competition in stroke play format. Philip Wong and Dick Lee were the winners for the gross and net division, while Zetland overcame the UPP team in a close affair. UPP features golf simulators for Hong Kong golf-lovers to practice a nd e x p er ienc e c h a mpion sh ip golf courses all over t he world such as Hong Kong Golf Club, St Andrew's, Mission Hills and Pebble Beach Aside from golfing facilities, they also feature a fully functional gym, changing rooms, and a trendy restaurant and bar where guests can relax with friends and family during happy hours.




Global Focus Kim Makes Players History Kim Si-Woo, at 21, has become the youngest champion in Players history. Kim has endorsed his prodigious talent by turning professional back in 2012 and winning the Wyndham Championship last year, but the world No.75 was hardly a general fancy. This season Kim had had rounds of more than 80 three times, missed seven cuts and been forced to withdraw from four events because of injury trouble. Courtesy of a bogey-free 69 on Sunday which secured a threestroke win at 10 under par, Kim has collected US$1.89m and earned a batch of exemptions which will elevate his career. Going by such a calm approach - Kim made nine straight pars on the back nine on Sunday - further glory awaits. On a TPC Sawgrass course where anything can go wrong without notice, Kim was the only player to go bogey-free Sunday and closed with a 3-under 69 for a three-shot victory in golf's biggest tournament this side of the majors. Photo by Getty Images/AFP

Asia Focus Local Sensation Crowned Young Thai Rattanon Wannasrichan completed a sensational wire-to-wire victory at the Thailand Open, closing with a four-under-par 67 to win by two shots for his maiden Asian Tour success on Sunday. "I waited five years (since turning professional in 2012) for this win. I am proud of myself. I finally proved that I could do it,� said Rattanon. The baby-faced 21-year-old, who held a one-shot lead heading into the final round, kept his composure to return with a round of five birdies against one bogey and a winning total of 21-under-par 263 at the Thai Country Club. Despite stumbling with a bogey on the last, Rattanon managed to hold off the combined challenges from Indian duo Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who settled for second place, in the US$300,000 event, which returned to the Asian Tour schedule this week following an eight-year lapse. The Thailand Open, inaugurated in 1965, is also the first leg of the newly launched Panasonic Swing, which provides a bonus pool across five designated tournaments. Photo by Asian Tour

China Focus Levy Wins in Dramatic Play-off Alexander Levy clinched his fourth European Tour title of his career by beating overnight leader Dylan Frittelli in a play-off at the RMB 20 million Volvo China Open in Haiurou, Beijing. With Levy in the clubhouse, Frittelli would have won in regulation with a birdie on the last, but a disappointing par by the South African meant the two went back to the par-five 18th for a play-off with Levy taking the title thanks to a birdie four that Frittelli was unable to match. For Levy, who carded a final round 67 (-5) to Frittelli’s 74 (+2) to finish at 17-under par, it meant a repeat of his 2014 Volvo China Open win making him the first two-time champion in the event’s 23-year history. Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal took third place one shot behind on 16-under. “It’s fantastic - I’m really happy as the 2014 Volvo China Open was when I got my first win on the tour so the event means a lot to me and I enjoy playing in China,” said Levy. Photo by Richard Castka/

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Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME


Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in 18 ct yellow HKGOLFER.COM



The monobloc Cerachrom bezel in high-tech ceramic offers a number of advantages: corrosion resistant, virtually scratchproof and unaffected by UV rays 22


O Y S T E R P E R P E T U A L C O S M O G R A P H bezel also offers an exceptionally legible tachymetric scale, thanks to the deposition DAYTONA Created by Rolex in 1963, the Oyster Perpetual of a thin layer of 18 ct gold or platinum in the Cosmograph Daytona is a watch born to numerals and graduations via a PVD (Physical race. It has established an extraordinar y Vapour Deposition) process. The monobloc track record in the world of motor sports Cerachrom bezel is made in a single piece and holds the crystal firmly in thanks to its reliability place on the middle case, and per formance. Known simply as ensuring waterproofness. Known simply as the the “Daytona”, it has The new Cosmograph “Daytona”, it has risen D a y tona version are to the rank of an icon risen to the rank fitted with an Oysterflex as o n e o f t h e b e s tof an icon as one of the bracelet, developed and known chronographs best-known chronographs patented by Rolex. This in the world. special bracelet combines An essential part of in the world. in a singular way the the model’s identit y robustness and reliability is the bezel engraved with a tachymetric scale for measuring of a metal bracelet with the flexibility, comfort average speeds of up to 400 units of distance and aesthetics of an elastomer strap. At its core - miles or kilometres - per hour. The monobloc lies a superelastic metal blade overmoulded Cerachrom bezel in high-tech ceramic offers a with a high-performance black elastomer, number of advantages: it is corrosion resistant, a material that is particularly resistant to vir tually scratchproof and the colour is environmental effects and very durable. The unaffected by UV rays. This extremely durable Oysterflex bracelet fits with an 18 ct yellow, HKGOLFER.COM

The Datejust 41’s solid-link, 904L steel bracelets benefit from the new concealed attachment system beneath the bezel

white or Everose gold Oysterlock safety clasp that prevents accidental opening. OYSTER PERPETUAL DATEJUST 41 Datejust is the archetype of the classic watch thanks to functions and aesthetics that never go out of fashion. Launched in 1945, it was the first self-winding waterproof chronometer wristwatch to display the date in a window at 3 o’clock on the dial, and consolidated all the major innovations that Rolex had contributed to the modern wristwatch until then. T he Datejus t 41 e quips with calibre 3235, a new-generation movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. This self-winding mechanical movement is at the forefront of the art of watchmaking. A perfect demonstration of Rolex technology, with 14 patents, it offers precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability. It incorporates the new Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with excellent dependability. Made of nickelHKGOLFER.COM

The crystal, with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date



phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic interference. The new Datejust 41 is available on an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet. Both these solid-link, 904L steel bracelets benefit from the new concealed attachment system beneath the bezel, which ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case. They are equipped with a folding Oysterclasp and also feature the original Rolex-patented Easylink rapid extension system that allows the wearer to increase the bracelet length by approximately 5 mm, for additional comfort in any circumstance.

Oyster Perpetual SkyDweller, a technological masterpiece protected by 11 patent

OYSTER PERPETUAL SKY-DWELLER An elegant watch for world travellers, the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller is a compelling timepiece of revolutionary design that blends to perfection technological sophistication and ease of use. Rolex is introducing the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller for the first time in a choice of yellow Rolesor or white Rolesor versions - combining 904L steel and 18 ct yellow or white gold. The dials now feature rectangular index hour markers and longer hands, as well as a Chromalight display with long-lasting luminescence, which enhances legibility. The Sky-Dweller’s Oyster case, guaranteed

Rolex is introducing the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller for the first time in a choice of yellow Rolesor or white Rolesor versions - combining 904L steel and 18 ct yellow or white gold.

The Sky-Dweller provides the information travellers need to keep track of time easily

waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 fe et), is a p ar agon of rob us tn ess . T h e characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of 904L steel. Its fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. T h e w ate r p ro o f O y s te r c a s e p ro v i d e s optimum protection for the Sky-Dweller’s high-precision movement. All Rolex watches are covered by the Sup erlative Chron om eter cer tif ic ation redefined by Rolex in 2015. This exclusive designation testifies that the watch has successfully undergone a series of tests conduc ted by Rolex in its laboratories according to its criteria, which exceed watchmaking norms and standards.





SEVEN HK GOLFERS QUALIFIED FOR MERCEDESTROPHY ASIAN FINAL The ninth MercedesTrophy Hong Kong 2017 at the Hong Kong Golf Club

The 2017 edition of the MercedesTrophy Hong Kong was hosted by Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Limited on 12 May at the Hong Kong Golf Club. This is the ninth year for this prestigious golf tournament in Hong Kong and a total of 124 golfers participated to compete for prizes in four divisions as well as six special hole awards including the Hole-in-One award. The participating golfers had successfully made their way to the MercedesTrophy Hong Kong 2017 through the qualifying tournaments held by the Hong Kong Golf Association. On the day, great weather conditions allowed the players to perform at their best. On site, multiple Mercedes-Benz models were displayed on the golf course, including C 200, E 350 e, E 400 Coupe, GLC 43 Coupe and the “Hole-in-one” award car, GLA 200. The seven winners have qualified for the MercedesTrophy Asian Final, which will be held in August this year in Sanctuary Cove, close to Gold Coast in Australia. Of those seven Hong Kong representatives entering the MercedesTrophy Asian Final, the top-scoring Mercedes-Benz owner will represent Hong Kong to compete with golfers from all over the world in the MercedesTrophy World Final in October in Stuttgart, Germany.

The participants honoured the competition with fabulous performance

Several Hong Kong representatives will enter the MercedesTrophy Asian Final 2017 26



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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. An investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise.You may get back less than the amount invested. For further information, or to request your complimentary guide to wealth management, contact:

AGOST A.MAKSZIN Partner T: +852 28241083 E: Web:


The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Members of the St. James’s Place Partnership in Hong Kong represent St. James’s Place (Hong Kong) Limited, which is an authorised insurance broker by being a member of The Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers CIB, a licensed corporation with the Securities and Futures Commission and registered as an MPF Intermediary with Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority. St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc Registered Office: St. James’s Place House, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1FP, United Kingdom. Registered in England Number 4113955.

Long-term financial security

The quest for wealth

The path to long-term financial security is strewn with uncertainty and complexity. Agost A. Makszin, Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management explains the five principles which can help keep you on track. There was a time when saving and investing for the future was considered a relatively uncomplicated affair that felt many steps removed from the intricacies of finance and global economics. Progress in recent decades – from the sophistication of everyday technology to the ready availability of round-the-clock services – has simplified many parts of our lives. But it has brought more complexity too, particularly in matters of personal finance. Research consistently shows that many people find the decisions they need to make on saving and investing difficult, despite the profusion of information available.The paradox is that this confusion has deepened as financial services have modernised. The real danger is that people disengage from the process of how to create the wealth they need for their future. While many things have changed, there are a number of constant principles on which investors should base their strategy to help fulfil their financial aspirations. The key rules that investors should follow in their quest for wealth are simply: 1.

Make sure you have sufficient money on deposit for your short-term needs.


Guard against inflation.


Invest for the longer term.


Diversify your investments.


Find the very best managers.

Old habits All over the developed world, savers are enduring the lowest returns on cash for centuries; but many remain wary of stock markets, despite their recovery from 2009 lows. Instead, many continue to accumulate cash; perhaps, overwhelmed by choice, it is easier to cling to old habits. But disappointing rates are expected to endure and the eventual rise will be slow and low. In such an interest rate environment, those who wish to achieve meaningful returns will need to reassess their savings on deposit. However, cash does still play a vital role in an investment strategy, and enough should be kept on deposit. As Chris Ralph, Chief Investment Officer of St. James’s Place, says: “If you maintain adequate liquidity, you should avoid the need to sell long-term investments at a bad time. As a guide, you should have enough to be able to sleep at night, and cover both expected needs and unforeseen emergencies.” Loyalty’s return Investors who hold enough cash can ignore passing market

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it is important to diversify as widely as possible across different investments that can protect against inflation. “The trick is to ensure that the selection of assets won’t react in the same way to market events or economic changes,” says Ralph. “Just as investments will not rise at the same pace or time, you should ensure that they do not fall at the same time either.” Shares, bonds and commercial property are examples of assets that can provide growth. Investing in funds rather than individual investments also ensures that money is more widely spread. And by investing in a selection of funds that diversify across different shares, sectors and regions, as well as asset classes, investors will be better placed to withstand shifts in economic and financial conditions and achieve above-inflation returns over the long term. Pathfinders Different managers have different styles and assets; but many invest in the same way, so variety is no guarantee of diversity. There are a large number of fund managers to select from; some are excellent, some are very good, and some are not. “It is critical to have an investment approach that gives the best chance for your money to be with good managers,” advises Ralph. “Understanding how your adviser researches, selects and monitors the fund managers should be high on your list of priorities.” There are no paths for investors that are risk-free and there probably never were. Making an informed and confident choice is not an easy task. The key to building long-term wealth is a realistic

Agost A. Makszin Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management Tel: +852 2824 1083 / +852 5588 2212 Email: Web:

assessment of needs and goals that reflects a level of risk that feels comfortable. Individuals are often reticent about reviewing their approach to wealth creation; but advice is the key for a planned, long-term investment strategy and for peace of mind. The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise.You may get back less than the amount invested. Equities do not provide the security of capital associated with deposit accounts subject to the Deposit Protection Scheme. To receive a copy of The Investor, the magazine produced by St. James’s Place Wealth Management, please contact me at or to arrange an obligation-free meeting please call me on 2824-1083 / 5588-2212. DISCLAIMER: The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Members of the St. James’s Place Partnership in Hong Kong represent St. James’s Place (Hong Kong) Limited, which is an authorised insurance broker by being a member of The Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers CIB, a licensed corporation with the Securities and Futures Commission and registered as an MPF Intermediary. St. James’s PlaceWealth Management plc Registered Office: St. James’s Place House, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1FP, United Kingdom. Registered in England Number 4113955.

Artigolle Clinches UK National Title

Top: Intercollegiate Tour Players’ Champion 2017, Yannick Artigolle from Loretto Golf Academy; Above: Yannick sinks the final putt to clinch victory HKGOLFER.COM

players completed two rounds in warm and breezy conditions. Yannick got off to good starts by shooting level par in the first round to be placed second in the boys’ category. The afternoon saw the wind pick up making scoring conditions tougher. However, Yannick followed up with a round of 73 to maintain his position. At the close of day one, Yannick was one shot behind the lead in the boys’ event with a two-round total of 144. The final round was played in bright conditions with the wind picking up through the day to challenge the players on the back nine. Lou Tan improved on his day one performance with a score of 73 - one of the best scores of the day - to help him climb the leaderboard. Starting one shot behind the lead, Yannick birdied his opening hole to take a one-shot lead after a bogey at the first hole for the lead. He played steady golf through the front nine, maintaining his lead and narrowly missing a birdie chance on 12 to double his lead. A birdie on 13 saw Yannick back tied for the lead, but a well-played 14th saw him regain his one-shot advantage with four holes remaining in what was going to be a nervy finish. Another par on 15 maintained Yannick’s one shot lead, but a hooked approach from the fairway on 16 resulted in a penalty drop and a double bogey, brought him back into a tie at the top. However, a good tee shot on 17 to the heart of the green and a well-played two-putt, earned him a one-shot lead playing the last. After a good drive and his approach finding the middle of the green, Yannick had two putts for victory which he was able to do in style. The Intercollegiate Tour was established to provide a high-quality golf competition for student golfers and college golf teams at the growing number of colleges running golf academies in the UK. An important part of the educational programmes (e.g. AASE) run by these golf colleges includes tournament preparation. It is therefore an essential component of the education of these golfers to have golf competitions that all the student golfers can access their courses. HK GOLFER・JUN 2017

Loretto Golf Academy


annick Artigolle, Hong Kong A m a t e u r Champion and Faldo Series Hong Kong Champion, shot a final round 75 for a total of 219 to take the victory and become the 2017 Intercollegiate Tour Players’ Champion in the UK. Following a very competitive season of qualifying in the North region of the Intercollegiate Tour, Loretto Golf Academy pupils, Yannick Artigolle and Lou Tan, both are 17 years old and from Hong Kong, qualified for the National Finals at the historic Moortown Golf Club near Leeds. Day one proved to be a test of both skill and endurance as the


Golf Specific Strength and Conditioning Intervention HKGA Junior team golfer Julius Yang training for hip strength

Louie Chan: What is Strength and Conditioning (S&C) Training? James Honey: A Strength and Conditioning Coach is an individual who works with athletes with two goals in mind: 1. Athletic development for sports performance, and 2. Reduction of injury risk during training and competition. Strength and Conditioning as a profession is a scientific pursuit of optimal human performance, combined with interpersonal coaching skills to elicit the desired result in the athlete or client. By definition, today’s scientific approach to performance will assist every type of athlete and individual looking to improve, by using objective markers of screening and testing to ensure optimal development. Strength and Conditioning is, therefore, an essential component of every athletic development and sports performance programme, and can also apply to any individual with a health and fitness related goal in mind! Daniel Wong

LC: What is the significant difference of S&C intervention for golf against other sports? JH: There are a few key components when 32


designing an S&C inter vention for golf at hletes. The at hletic requirements for golf are specific, and can be defined as follows: Mobility - the capacity to reach certain movement standards with control. For instance, touching your toes. Motor Control - the ability to apply the technique to the mobility that is present. For instance, sequencing together a full drive swing. Strength - the foundation of all movements. Power Generation - the ultimate aim is to perform a technicallyoptimised swing, with maximised movement speed. All athletes are different with different strengths and weaknesses, so whilst the foundations of a program may contain similar elements and endgoals, the steps taken may be vastly different between individuals. LC: How do you apply S&C Training to the HKGA golf development programme? JH: The Elite Junior and National Team golfers in Hong Kong have benefitted from their S&C interventions across the past two years. Critically, many of the athletes are in the midst of adolescence, and so appropriate guidance and training on movement competency have aided largely in ensuring the athletes secure a strong foundation for movement and strength first and foremost. Working with each on their specific requirements has allowed each to optimise their development, learn and establish good training and recovery habits, and improve their golf game in all aspects through moving more efficiently and with more strength. The programming is largely focused on establishing a strength foundation, whilst enhancing movement capacity and body awarenes. HKGOLFER.COM

LC: Can you brief ly describe the S& C Training p r o g r a m m e y o u a r e w o r k i n g w i t h t h e H KG A squad members? JH: We currently have the main squad training with us onsite for one coached session per week, and all athletes have their home-based training programming which they can perform using the equipment from their Pinnacle Kit Bags. All of the athletes are screened quarterly via our Pinnacle Golf Screening protocol, and the programming is subsequently individualised for each athlete based on their primary weaknesses and priorities as highlighted by this, and in discussion with the HKGA golf coaching staff. The programming largely focuses on establishing a strength foundation.

HKGA Junior team golfer Zesen Hu training for strength

LC: Why would HKGA choose Pinnacle Performance to be responsible for their S&C Training programme? JH: At Pin nacle, we specia l ise in St reng t h a nd Conditioning for sports performance. We are a local company with a dearth of experience. We provide the HKGA with individualised and objectively screened S&C interventions, a productive and energetic training environment, and coaching from our experienced and highly accredited coaches. All of the athletes are currently adding to and improving both their golf game and their overall athletic and healthy lifestyle development at a crucial age. LC: Does Pinnacle Performance provide S&C Training to amateur golfers as well? JH: Pinnacle Performance aims to provide all of the benefits of a professional S&C setup to regular gym members. Our mission is to provide S&C for performance, athletic and recreational enthusiasts alike. We currently offer a Golf specific 12-week training package for all levels of golfer, inclusive of all of the service that the HKGA and professional golfers would receive. This package is inclusive of regular Screening, 1-on-1 S&C sessions, coaching consultations and full support. LC: Is Pinnacle also running other S&C Training pro grammes with other sp or t s asso ciation in Hong Kong? JH: Alongside our regular gym membership, we also have programmes with other elite and professional sporting teams in Hong Kong. In addition to the HKGA, we are working with the HKFC Women’s and Men’s Rugby Teams, the HK Football Association, the HK Cricket Association, the HK Lawn Bowls Association, the HK Baseball Association, The Harry Wright Institute (Swimming). And we also serve many amateur and elite individual athletes alongside this. James Honey is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Pinnacle BL ACK . For enquiries, please contact or visit the website at www. HKGOLFER.COM

HKGA Junior team golfers (left to right): Back; Alex Zhuo, Maurice Leung, Andrea Au, James Honey (Lead S&C Coach), Zesen Hu; Front; Julius Yang, Ka Jun Yu, Lincoln Lau HK GOLFER・JUN 2017



Kho And Ding Crowned in Play-off Dramas Photography by Daniel Wong

Taichi Kho (left) and Virginie Ding (right) receive their Hong Kong Junior Close Championship trophies from Sue Sue Tong, Clubhouse Manager of the Hong Kong Golf Club


aichi Kho and Virginie Ding won their respective divisions, both in playoff drama at the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling. Winning a playoff is nothing new for the 16-year-old Taichi, who won his first Hong Kong Junior Open title on the third extra hole last August. Taichi and close friend Kevin Wu Sho Wai were neck and neck after 54 holes, both finished 217. When the pair started to tee-off on the first extra hole, heavy rain arrived. Taichi needed only a two-foot tap-in putt for par to win, while Kevin three-putted for bogey. “It’s the 1st hole of the New Course and I didn’t want to be aggressive and just played it smart. So, I took my 3 Wood and made sure I hit the fairway. The second shot left me 176 yards to the pin.  I hit 175 and missed on the left. When I saw, Kevin leaving it just on the green, I knew he would have a tough putt. I chipped to two feet but unfortunately Kevin 3 putted.” explained Taichi. It was also a close affair in the girls’ division, which saw Virginie sink a 40 foot putt against Chloe in the second play-



off hole to clinch her title. Virginie and Chloe could not be separated over 54 holes to tie at 225 with exactly the same scores for 3 rounds (76-74-75). “I felt the first extra hole (15th of the New Course) was the hardest one for us. We both had bad experiences there on the first day and in the play-off we both took bogey 5s so we needed to go to the 16th. It’s an interesting hole and we were both in the same situation in the right-hand bunker after 2 shots. We both got out but I had a longer putt but with some luck, it fell in. It was a good fight against Chloe and we had a good laugh about it. We have played against each other for 3 consecutive years now and we have become very good friends,” added Virginie. In addition to taking home the championship silverwares, Taichi and Virginie were one of the 10 players to receive division honours for the 2016 HSBC Junior Order of Merit.  Leading final scores:   Boys’ Division: 217 - Taichi Kho (76 69 72), Wu Sho Wai (74 71 72); 224 - Ku Lung Hei (75 76 73); 227 Alex Zhuo (74 81 72), Darren Choi (77 77 73). Girls’ Divisions: 225 - Virginie Ding (76 75 74), Chloe Chan (76 74 75); 229 - Hu Jing (75 78 76); 230 - Selina Li (79 78 73); 239 - Stephanie Wong (84 75 80).


Swing in the rain

From left to right, Taichi Kho, Dickson Ku and Wu Sho Wai

Rivalry and friendship

Let’s celebrate with a big smile!


Virginie Ding, Overall Girls Champion




U.S. Open for the



Picture courtesy of Erin Hills Golf Club

With a prize fund of US$12m, this month’s U.S. Open will see the winner bank the first-ever US$2million champion’s cheque, as the event tops the ‘Majors’ money list, ahead of the Masters, the Open Championship and the USPGA Championship. As Mike Wilson writes, the muscular nature of the Erin Hills course, reaching close to 8,000-yards could play into the hands of the big hitters, perhaps positioning defending champion Dustin Johnson in the box seat.





victories, includ ing back-to-back WG C titles, plus two top-three finishes, just the one halfway cut missed, and that ’s why DJ is the clear favourite to win the 117th U.S. Open Championship. Favourite he may be, but, if history is to be believed, the odds are stacked against him; only five times in the 122-year history of the event has the US Open title been succe ssf u l ly de fended by t he reig n i ng champion and only twice, by Ben Hogan in 1950 and 1951 and Curtis Strange in 1988 and 1989 since World War II. Winning t he US Open is clearly one thing, but the pressures of coming into mid-June and the USGA setting the golf course up to demand the best and protect it s i nt e g r it y a n d d o it a l l ove r a g a i n t he following year is clearly somet hing many great past cha mpions have found all too tough. Greats of the game such as Walter Hagen, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Lee Trevino,

Dustin Johnson poses with the winner's trophy after winning the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club last year; Rising Spanish star Jon Rahm (far left), who was still an amateur by the time, is in the form of his life this season HK GOLFER・JUN 2017

AFP/Getty Images


rin Hills is everything a U.S. Open Championship should be, an authentic examination of the best players in world golf, testing their physicality and mentality in solving the many problems and questions this course poses, using every club in the bag and shot in their armory, and, as a bonus, whether watch i ng at home on T V or for t u nate enough to be amongst the 35,000-strong daily galleries, it’s naturally scenic, wild but spectator friendly. Having examined the scale and nature of t he t a sk at ha nd , pick i ng a w i n ner looks every bit as tricky as the Milwaukee course itself. Defending champion Dustin Johnson has been, for various reasons - primarily injuries this time around - what they would call in horseracing parlance, ‘Lightly-raced,’ this term, just 10 appearances up to the Players Championship; it’s been a matter of quality over quantity, three successive


Picture courtesy of Erin Hills Golf Club

The muscular nature of the Erin Hills course, reaching close to 8,000-yards could play into the hands of the big hitters 38


Tom Watson, Andy North, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, and even Tiger Woods all won the US Open on more than one occasion, but a successful title defense eluded them. L ook i ng for a prospect ive US Open Cha mpion sh ip w i n ner i n pa r t ic u la r is never easy, especially wit h 14 d ifferent cha mpions over t he past 14 years, but, given t he sheer leng t h a nd dema nd i ng nature of the course, together with the physical and mental demands of closing the deal on the biggest stage of all, one could be forgiven for thinking that the longest hitters – like Dustin Johnson - will be at a distinct advantage. Hitting the green in regulation (GIR) could be key to winning the event too, DJ is up top too for GIR at 75.21%, followed by Jordan Spieth (73.89%), García (73.15%), M at s uya ma (7 1. 2%), R a h m (70. 58%) and Rose (70.14%), these ‘Steady Eddies,’ with length on their side too are likely to be in the mix. But , acc u rac y of f-t he-tee is of ten as

important as length; Johnson is always long but often wayward, finding the fairway just 58.31% of the time. Factor in GIR from over 200-yards and Johnson’s prospects, perhaps surprisingly, take a turn for the worse, hitting the green just 53.33% of the time, his single putt percentage below 40%; DJ has been known to get the jitters over those vital putts, often par-saves from 5ft – 10ft, and he’s way off the scale as the 188th best on the PGA Tour, not much better from 15ft – 20ft, putts often for birdie in 118th place, and 87th in holing-out from between 20ft – 25ft. If not DJ, who admittedly rates highly i n t h e o n l y s t a t i s t ic s t h a t u lt i m a t el y cou nt , scori ng average (69.19), money won (US$6,0 06,60 0) a nd w i ns (t hree-from-eight) t he t hen who might inherit the crown? Statistical analysis can be about as reliable as a mystic reading tea-leaves, but the 2017 U.S. Open Championship winner, who will have earned every cent of his US$2m first HKGOLFER.COM


Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama has the game and the temperament, rising Spanish star Jon Rahm is in the form of his life and 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell is, at last, showing some signs of a renaissance. But, having looked at t he Erin Hills course a nd exa mined t he stat ist ica l credentials of t hose who hope to reign supreme in the late afternoon of the final Sunday before mid-summer’s day, clutching at straws is the last resort. T h ree t h i ng s have made M i lwau kee famous, first, it’s the home of the Miller Brewing empire, second, the HQ of the iconic Harley-Davidson motorcycle is in the city and, third, the 1969 hit song, ‘What made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me) ‘; but, without a Miller, Harley, Davidson, Lee or Lewis in the bounds of possibility, I’m playing it safe and going for a European winner, a toss-up between Justin Rose and Jon Rahm.

Justin Rose looks to the heavens in acknowledgement of his deceased father after putting on the 18th hole to win the U.S. Open in 2013. Can he win it again?

AFP/Getty Images

prize (which, generous though it may be compares unfavourably with the US$3.5m on offer to the men’s and women’s singles champions at tennis’s U.S. Open) around a course that is quite different to those the PGA Tour pros play over week-in, week-out. The champion is going to be the player who brings his best a l l-rou nd ga me to an Erin Hills course that will test every component part of his game; thus, players who rank above average in all parts of the game are likely to prevail and who can cope with both pressure, the unexpected and the physicality of an atypical PGA tour course are most likely to be in contention going down the stretch. Having got the monkey off his back by winning the 2017 Masters, Sergio García could go well, as could those who have been there before, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Hen ri k Stenson, Ju st i n Rose a nd Martin Kaymer. Of those without a ‘Major’ win to date - let alone a U.S. Open Championship -



AFP/Getty Images




Kapur’s Great Comeback Story

Losing form or confidence is all part and parcel of sports as many will attest. In our generation, the greatest tennis player of all time, Roger Federer, recently endured and overcame his inner demons with such grace and grit that it served only to further illuminate his illustrious and trophy-laden career. As Chuah Choo Ching writes, India’s Shiv Kapur may not quite be the Roger Federer of golf but the 35-year-old certainly celebrated a great comeback story.



E Photo Courtesy of Asian Tour

At the inaugural Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei - an event which he initially did not enter – Shiv Kapur charged through the pack with a final round of eight-under-par 64 to lift his long-awaited second career title in Asia 44


ver y now a nd t hen, we are privileged and fort unate to witness great comeback stories in sports. Watching an athlete overcome adversity through determination, guts, skill and perseverance is often a thrill for those who follow sports and serves also as an inspiration to others who aspire to excel in the game. On the opposite end of the spectrum, many of us are rooting for Tiger Woods, who was once the all mighty golfer who swept all before him but is now struggling to tee up following yet another surgery to ease pain in his now fragile back. Twelve years ago, it seemed destined that Kapur would become a golfer very much in the mold of Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, who hold a combined 22 Asian Tour titles and five Order of Merit crowns. As a 23-year-old, Kapur won the 2005 Volvo Masters of Asia, then the season-ending tournament on the Asian Tour in Bangkok and was subsequently named Rookie of the Year. With what looked like a technically sound golf game and a level head on his shoulders, many expected him to reel in multiple wins in Asia and beyond. He did play his way onto the European Tour and attained some measure of success

but the second big career victory always eluded him despite some close shaves. Two triumphs on the European Challenge Tour were scant consolation to a man who seemed to have it all at his feet. Throughout t he barren years, Kapur went down the route which most golfers are accustomed to do - he tinkered with his game in search of something better. Being slightly built, he tried to add more distance in his drives to keep up with the long-hitters but in doing so, he sacrificed his trademark left-to-right shape shots which was often his go-to shot when under pressure. With his form not striking hot, worse was to come for him as Kapur was stricken with sickness in 2016. Originally thought to be a viral fever, the Indian was eventually diagnosed with abscess in his liver, which required surgery last September. It laid him off for three months. Lying in his hospital bed, he often fought with his demons and wondered if he had already missed the bus towards stardom. “It took a lot of time to heel,” he said at the start of 2017. “Afterwards, the rehab process followed and as you spend a month on the bed, the body doesn’t feel the same. When you make a comeback after such a period, there is a lot of frustration and a lot of anxiety.” His results in the first few months of the HKGOLFER.COM

It seemed destined that Kapur would become a golfer very much in the mold of Jeev Milkha Singh (as shown in the picture) et al., who hold a combined 22 Asian Tour titles and five Order of Merit crowns


Shiv Kapur hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay

AFP/Getty Images

2017 season was topsy-turvy to say the least, with a best of tied 12th in Malaysia followed by three consecutive missed cuts. But like all good comeback stories, Kapur finally enjoyed his day in the sun once again, some eleven years and four months to be exact after his maiden Asian Tour victory. At the inaugural Yeangder Heritage in Chinese Taipei - an event which he initially did not enter - Kapur charged through the pack with a final round of eight-under-par 64 to lift his long-awaited second career title in Asia. The relief and joy was there for all to see. “This win means a lot to me. It has been a frustrating last couple of years so it is nice to be back where I belong. There are so many good talents on the Asian Tour and it is getting harder to win each year. To win the way I did is just very satisfying,” he said. “It has been such a long wait but you tend to appreciate it more. You will have questions and doubts from yourself and other people but I answered those questions more to myself than anybody else with this win. After you haven’t won for so long, you might think that the best is behind you.” Shiv Kapur, take a bow and enjoy your ret u r n i nto t he exclu sive A sia n Tou r ’s winner’s club. It’s been far too long but truly and well deserved.












PineCreek Golf Property Holdings Ltd does not provide Hong Kong properties


PGA Tour’s Far Eastern Forays Are




Getty Images/AFP

Having muscled its way into Asian Tour territory with the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, before setting-up the PGA Tour China Series, as Mike Wilson reveals, the US-based circuit is now expanding into Korea, Japan and even global domination on the cards with minimal resistance offered and it’s bad for golf in the Far East. 48



The CIMB Classic provides a convenient and highlyprofitable stopover for PGA Tour professionals en route to the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai in late October





AFP/Getty images

Taking advantage of the US$750,000 CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi over four years and someone else’s sponsor, the PGA Tour announced the CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES would have no place for the Asian or KPGA Korean Tours, a 78-man field and an eye-watering prize fund on US$9.25m 50


h en t he PG A Tou r muscled its way into t h e A s i a n To u r ’ s CIMB Classic in late 2 010 , t h e d ie wa s cast, a signal was sent from the weak to the strong that the rule of the jungle, survival of the fittest was the name of the game. And now the avaricious PGA Tour and its older brother, the Champions Tour have bulldozed their way into Korea and Japan respectively, whilst the PGA Tour - China Series is even boasting of its own expansionist tendencies with a three-year-agreement to stage the first PGA Tour China Series outside the PRC mainland, in Hong Kong in early November. But, despite the Asian Tour, the Japan Tour, the KPGA Korean Tour and the China Golf Association all being members of the International Federation of PGA Tours (IFPGAT), an organization in which all members are - in theory at least - equal and which exists to protect the collective and individual interests of its member Tours,

it seems powerless - or unwilling - to reinin what is the golfing neocolonialism of the PGA Tour. At least wit h t he CI M B Classic, which again provides a convenient and highly-profitable stopover for PGA Tour professionals en route to the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai in late October, was given a fig-leaf of respectability with the Asian Tour given co-sanctioning status and 10 of the 78 places available in a US$7m tournament with no halfway cut, meaning everyone is assured of a pay-day. But, as the USA has found to its cost in more serious overseas incursions - those of the military variety - even the very best of intentions have ultimately and inevitably led to ‘Mission creep,’ and it’s no different in sport. Taking advantage of the foundations laid by a legitimate and authentic Asian Tour event, t he US$750,000 CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi over four years, coercing an ambitious - and someone else’s - sponsor prepared to trade up big, the PGA Tour made its move, announcing the CJ CUP @ HKGOLFER.COM


said diplomatically, “We have expressed our disappointment to the PGA Tour for the noninvolvement of the Asian Tour and Korean PGA and hope to find an amicable solution in due course,” whilst a spokesman for the KPGA Korean Tour said his organization, which has over 6,000 members, Tour players and teaching professionals, was, “Extremely disappointed because [the] PGA Tour did not make an approach to the local PGA in first place, adding, “We have not been consulted by the PGA Tour.” But a senior Asian Tour player who did not wish to be named was even more forthright t ha n h is CEO, com mented, “ The PGA Tour is all-powerful and seems to believe it can stage events anywhere in the world, without any regard for the home circuit and its members,” adding, “They are not only depriving Asian Tour members of playing opportunities and earning potential, but this also diverts sponsorship income and media exposure away from Asian Tour events.” The organization supposedly established to represent the interests of its members, the International Federation of PGA Tours (IFPGAT) is seemingly unwilling to carry out its responsibilities on behalf of member organisations, the Asian Tour and the KPGA Asian Tour, clearly implying that all its members are equal, but one - the PGA Tour is more equal than the others. This article will continue in the next issue.

Josh Burack, CEO of the Asian Tour expressed his disappointment diplomatically to the PGA Tour for the noninvolvement of the Asian Tour and Korean PGA HK GOLFER・JUN 2017

Photo Courtesy of Asian Tour

NINE BRIDGES, all on its own, no place for the Asian or KPGA Korean Tours, a 78man field and an eye-watering prize fund on US$9.25m. Another fabulously-profitable pay-day for those PGA Tour pros as they make their way east along the modern-day Silk Road, less than a month after competing for US$50m in the four FedEx Cup final events and bonus pool. E xcept t hat , i f t he C I M B Cla ssic is anything to go by, PGA Tour big-hitters tend not to t u r n-up; to d ate no more than two of the OWGR top-10 each year have played in KL, the roll of honour unfortunately deprived of an Asian winner thus far - singularly uninspiring, not a single household name or global star taking the US$1m-plus first prize. Such is t he imba la nce of power t hat the Asian Tour, which operated a schedule based on the calendar year is prohibited by the PGA Tour from listing the CIMB Classic until the US organization is ready to announce it’s 2017-2018 schedule, which runs from October to September. The PGA Tour, “Respectfully declined,” the opportunity to answer a number of key questions such as, ‘Was the host member of t he I FPGAT, t he A sia n Tour or t he KPGA Korean Tour, consulted over this initiative, and if so, in what manner, at what stage and what was the Asian Tour’s reaction to the proposal?’ Josh Burack, CEO of the A sian Tour







AFP/Getty Images

I was fascinated by the marking issue with the lass Lexi Thomson when she eventually got a four-shot penalty, after someone on TV seemingly phoned in to highlight her waywardness. She eventually lost in a playoff and basically throw away a major over the marking of a 2-foot putt. 54


Lexi Thompson walks off the 18th green, as Korean So Yeon Ryu celebrates with her caddie after Ryu defeated Thompson in a playoff during the final round of the ANA Inspiration




Getty Images/AFP

"Viewers at home should not be officials wearing stripes. Let’s go @Lexi, win this thing anyway." Tiger Woods 56


ow t h is is i nterest i ng. Spot t i ng a ba l l is not rocket science and especially so on a short putt. You put the marker dow n b eh i nd t he ba l l in line with the hole. Now for a two foot putt this is a very basic and straightforward procedure. OK it doesn’t help the situation now that markers resemble 50 buck pieces f r o m d ow n t ow n L A c a si n o s , b u t t h e principle and simple procedure is still there. The room for error in this is very small. So, for there to be ambiguity and such a resulting incident over this operation leaves me dumbfounded and then highly suspicious. It’s not as if this is a novel thing

for a golfer of this calibre. I mean these guys mark balls hundreds of times each week. You are going to get good and accurate at it. Just like a surgeon gets better at incisions I would think. The eye is a pretty amazing and accurate piece of optical kit. In reaction to this incident some people, notably Tiger Woods and golf writer Ian Carter, are up in arms that a TV viewer has had the power to change the course of a championship. They claim it should be left to the referees. Sorry Tiger and Mr Carter, but no. Look at these referees. They were obviously out for tea. A nd t hen when I read t he jud iciou s words of the said golf writer that ‘it was less than an inch’ I stand in disbelief. That’s like saying in an air investigation near miss it’s ok it was under a 100-metre or in the High Court case I followed when in summing up the QC tried to get the chap off attempted murder by saying ‘the knife was going away from the vital organ so there was no intent to kill.’ I mean, heaven on earth, do you think the accused was taking due care to miss and go away from a vital organ as he plunged a knife into the guy’s upper chest? Sorry that’s nonsense. And besides, the jury can see the accused looks like he doesn’t know what an organ is, let alone if it is vital. Some facts should just not be used in defence as they can look ridiculous. And I’m sorry but the ‘less than an inch’ here is poor, poor stuff Mr Carter. Moreover, t he new fad d imension of markers a lready a l luded to t hrow up a f u r t her p oi nt . Now I ’m no Sherlo c k , b u t it s t r i ke s m e r a t h e r f o r c ibl y a n d poignantly that the actual distance of the erroneous marking was actually more, and significantly more, as the ball effectively got replaced round the circumference of the rather too large marker. Yes, we have to watch the way our game is going. It’s beginning to get out of hand on many levels. The introduction of ‘metal’ woods was the start of a very slippery slope for me. And then we had the ridiculous looking long shafted putters which guys and girls put under their chins and into their bellies and goodness knows where else. I mea n who ever a l lowed t hat to happen. It just looks very silly and is not the game I grew up to love. And as for that adjustable head driver nonsense. No please no. Enough is enough. Let’s at least get back to old fashioned marker size for goodness sake. Probably would have saved Lexi Thomson on missing out on winning a major. HKGOLFER.COM

“I think we've seen some stuff in the past year that is not making the game look very good at all. There's no other sport where people can call or email in or contact officials regarding an issue. I mean, there's plenty of circumstances in plenty of other sports where a call could go a completely different way, and these decisions are left up to officials. " - Rickie Fowler




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First Amongst Equals - Finca Cortesín has invested in every aspect of its offer and richly deserves the accolades now coming its way 60



Simply the Best

Having opened its doors just ahead of the global financial crisis, there were those who doubted its ability to weather the storm, but as Mike Wison writes, Finca Cortesín, the Andalucían golf, boutique hotel and spa resort held its nerve and is now reaping the benefits. Photography courtesy of Finca Cortesín HKGOLFER.COM



All in the Name - Finca Cortesín has become the watchword for understated opulence

Low-key check-in - Finca Cortesín's subdued reception area sets the tone for your stay


inca Cortesín was recently voted best golf resort in Europe ahead of stiff opposition from much larger establishments such as Trump Turnberry and Gleneagles in Scotland, the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily, the Terre Blanche Resort in France, Costa Navario in Greece and the Vedago Palace in Portugal. The battle for supremacy amongst the aristocrats of luxury golf resorts in Europe has never been more intense, like the game itself, often coming down to small margins, key performance indicators such as the size of suites and how well-appointed they are, fine dining, spa treatments, the celebrity status of the course designer, all calculated to provide high-net-worth individuals with the luxe-de-luxe quality they can readily afford and invariably demand.



But, when battling it out for top dollar by offering sumptuous style on a grand scale, there is something intangible, impalpable that takes Finca Cortesín up and beyond, making it first amongst equals. And that commodity is its discreet imperceptible ambience, what the French would call, ‘je ne se quois,’ an almost effortless excellence where understated opulence is omnipresent, but without the gushing grandiloquence some topend resorts dispense, an arrogance of their own eminence, ensuring clients are reminded they are in the presence of greatness. Not so at Finca Cortesín, where the word ‘Resort’ barely does justice to what set out as a dream for a wealthy Spanish art dealer, and, like the works of art its founder Javier Lopez de Madrid is an expert in, beauty really is best left to the eye of the beholder, quality seeping seamlessly throughout the estate, where ‘discreet’ is the watch word. Diametrically-opposed to the art deco design of a Trump Turnberry in Scotland or the ostentatious kitsch to be found in a Mission Hills resort, Finca Cortesín can be interpreted in different ways by different visitors and even in contrasting shades and tones by regular guests, because, quite often, what you think you see is not always what you get, and this Andalucia masterstroke will never disappoint. Located close to the Andalucía costal village of Casares, and, at 90km - one-hour on the HKGOLFER.COM

"The outside world is airbrushed out in favour of a sense of being embraced by an old friend and led to a better life"

Autopista del Mediterráneo - from Málaga airport and well beyond the somewhat frenzied tourist traps of Marbella, Torremolinos and Fuengirola, driving under the white archway which announces one’s arrival at Finca Cortesín, the outside world is airbrushed out in favour of a sense of being embraced by an old friend and led to a better life. First impressions on arrival at Finca Cortesín are inevitably pleasurable, sensual almost, a simple reception hall with discreet desks eschewing the normal glitzy resort check-in facilities - not a chandelier in sight - the welcome is warm but reserved, because this place is all about the guests, the architecture, interior design, facilities fixtures and fittings all more than capable of doing the resort’s bidding. Whilst many golf resorts rely on the economies of scale, being bigger and better than anywhere else, Finca Cortesín’s unique selling point is its reliance on bespoke quality ahead of quantity. Set in a fraction over 200ha of what was rugged, rolling Andalucia scrubland, the developers, Single Homes had spent a reported US$5m before work in earnest began, a decision to demolish unsightly electricity pylons and bury power cables beneath ground, then a meandering switchback of five-tonne natural stone blocks, retaining wall for the real estate that was ultimately to underwrite what was always going to be an ambitious project. Rather than opting for a big-name course HKGOLFER.COM

Suite Surrender - each bespoke suite at Finca Cortesín has its own unique character and ambiance

designer in the mold of Greg Norman, Nick Faldo or Ernie Els, the developers commissioned the understated design values of Cabell B Robinson, an American with considerable experience in Spain – the award-winning Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus is another of his projects – who has chiseled a tough, verdant championship standard golf course into some of the most roughhewn land imaginable. Speaking to the somewhat shy atypical golf course designer around ahead of the 2009 Volvo World Match Play Championship, the soft-spoken American revealed an instruction to his construction team not to truck what little top soil existed off site during construction, thus minimizing the environmental HK GOLFER・JUN 2017


Long Drive, Next Stop - North Africa!

Food for Thought - All tastes are catered for at Finca Cortesín

footprint and protecting the interests of the natural flora and fauna that had been there long before the Rules of Golf had even been thought of. Restrictions on space preclude a full appraisal of the Finca Cortesín course, suffice to say, it’s a tough test of both golf and stamina, huge variations of elevation making a buggy a prerequisite, a course from whichever tee one plays from challenges the player’s vision, imagination and shot-making ability. Former World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, a man who knows a thing or two about golf courses and can well afford to stay in the best hotels on earth, said during the Volvo World Match Play Championship, “Finca Cortesín is sensational, the hotel, the golf course, the hospitality, the entire package is quite simply superb.” Finca Cortesín is, compared to many resorts, relatively lightly-played, in the 64


order of 15,000 rounds per year when most rival ‘Resorts,’ squeeze twice that and more, resulting in the tees, greens and fairways invariably being in immaculate condition. Both the clubhouse, which looks out over the practice range and into a dramatic backdrop framed by the rugged Andalucia mountain, and the hotel were new-builds, but one would never know that; both exude the sense that they have been in situ since time immemorial. Designed by the renowned architects Roger Torras and Ignacio Sierra, the 67-suite boutique hotel was inspired and influenced by the architecture of traditional Spanish fincas (small estates), creating the impression that it was built more than 100 years ago. The spacious rooms, hallways and public areas are finished with marble, antiques, goblins and decorations originating from Spanish, Portuguese, French and Belgian monarchial castles, monasteries and stately homes, and if the architects created bricks and mortar with the highest design values, interior designers (the late) Duarte Pinto Coelho and Ana and Cristina Calderon set their work alight with vision flair and exceptional taste. When not golfing, there is, in truth, no need – indeed little point – straying far from Finca’s facilities; the ambience around the hotel is cool in every sense of the word, from the understated elegance of the reception area to the capacious atrium, which leads to delightfully tended gardens, arguably the best spa in Europe (including indoor and outdoor pools and Spain’s only ice cave) and the 67 individually-decorated bespoke suites on two levels overlooking an oriental style courtyard garden. Eating and drinking at Finca Cortesín is very much in keeping with the ethos of the resort – elegance, refinement and service, from the flagship Kabuki Raw Japanese restaurant to Don Giovanni, a less formal Italian themed option. Breakfast al fresco in El Jardin de Lutz, cooked or continental is, I promise you, in the top 10 in the world. Meanwhile, for a pre-prandial drink or a relaxing nightcap, the Blue Bar, like every space at Finca Cortesín, individually and tastefully decorated and appointed but without a hint of fussiness or over-design, is the second best place – after the ice cave – to chill out. Unlike many up-scale golf resorts requiring real estate to underpin the economics of their project, Finca Cortesín’s masterplan has avoided the misjudgment of too many properties and too close not only to each other, but also to the golf course. The Reserve is developing organically, the property portfolio of spacious Mediterranean villas in the order of 420m2, all south facing HKGOLFER.COM

Outside In - Indoor & Outdoor Pools at Finca Cortesín are a Sea of Tranquility with private garden, individual swimming pool and four en-suite bathrooms, with access to the full range of Finca Cortesín’s facilities, a concierge service and the option of having the property let and managed on the owner’s behalf. One of the later – and very well-received additions to the Finca Cortesín stable is the magnificent Beach Club, a haven of tranquility overlooking the Mediterranean, the option of a cooling dip in the Med or the 35m pool, an outdoor alternative to the hotel’s exceptional spa. Of course, Finca Cortesín does not come cheap, either for golf only, the hotel or on-site property, but nor would you expect it to be and the owners and operators are to be commended for holding their nerve – and their prices, because, at the top end of the market especially, one only gets what one pays for.


Leading Courses, a reviewing website used by hundreds and thousands of golfers, has placed the Casares golf resort, Finca Cortesín, at the top of its European rankings this year. The ranking is based (50%) on the rating from  concerning the resort itself and (50%) on the ranking of the golf club overall (so including the courses, facilities etc.) on 




A Club Like No Other Just north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge is what may be California’s most beautiful, diverse and enthralling county – Sonoma. Some of the world’s rich and famous are known to have their own hideaways here. Highway 1 winds its way through, along which you can see beautiful scenery and surging waves. Sea lions and otters bask in the sunlight on the beach and the sunset looks gorgeous and amazing. Near Healdsburg, the cozy country town that is the jewel of this Wine Country, is a private club as unique and beguiling as the region itself – Mayacama.

The Club and the vast private land, protected by the terraced hillside, making it a secret Eden hidden from the public




Mayacama’s commanding Clubhouse overlooking the 18th


If you have not heard of Mayacama, it is because management and members of the club had made a deliberate effort to keep it private. Membership is by invitation only, and you’ll have to be in the elite crowd of business and political influence to hear of it. The club was founded in 1999 after developer David Wilhelm and his partners purchased 675 acres from Marv Soiland and Peanuts cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz, to create a Jack Nicklaus signature 18-hole golf course. To ensure privacy from the public eye, the club is nestled into a terraced hillside and overlooks the rich emerald expanse of the golf course. From the public road and the public eye, one can only see a set of inconspicuous gates bearing the club’s logo; upon entering the private road it is another five-minute drive before you arrive at Mayacama’s gate proper, and from here on, another eight minutes before one can catch the first glimpse of its clubhouse. Members fly in from various parts of the US and the world, typically on their private jets, and disappear into the club for the weekend.


Mayacama’s centerpiece is the 40,000-square foot clubhouse inspired by the grandeur of Old World Mediterranean estates. With exposed timbers, rustic trusses, hand-plastered walls, fireplaces and fine art at every turn, sweeping verandas and vine-draped courtyards, the clubhouse’ each space also maintains a sense of intimacy with its cozy furnishings. Mayacama is above all things a vibrant social lifestyle, that centers around golf and fine wine - an idyllic home away from home.

A hint of Mediterranean welcome at the courtyard HKGOLFER.COM





Golf holes 4 and 5; along terraced hillsides and sprawling fairway

When golf is played at Mayacama, the game returns to its time-honored origins as a walking course following Scottish tradition. Woven into the hillsides and valleys, the Jack Nicklaus Signature course is unequivocally one of his finest. Guided by caddies, golfers take to the meticulously groomed, 6,761-yard layout. Consistently ranked among Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Courses in America”, the soul of the club is the camaraderie – from the annual MemberGuest tournaments to the “Sip ’n Swings” to the interclub challenges against the leading clubs in the US and around the world. Of the 200 courses that carry his name, this is among Jack’s very best, where deep green fairways snake though golden valleys and oakstudded hills. Tees or greens, and sometimes both, are elevated. Mayacama is not a course where power prevails, but one where a deft touch and patience pay off. It is that truly rewarding Members’ course — one where every round is anticipated, where each is an invigorating challenge, and perhaps best of all, where the stakes are not dollars but wine, and winnings are happily shared.

Playground offered by mother nature, the unspoiled landscape takes you in 70




The wine program at Mayacama is extraordinary and immersive, as one might hope in a place where country roads in every direction are lined with vineyards. It is a location that gives Mayacama access to the very best Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel vineyards on the continent. Indeed, wine culture is so woven into the lifestyle at Mayacama that wine lockers for Members outnumber golf lockers – a revealing fact. Bets on the course and courts are happily settled with a favorite vintage. Significant tasting events throughout the year are an important part of the culinary and social calendars. Most top Californian wines are sold through their private client list, some of the world’s finest wines never make it to the store shelf; but members of Mayacama get ready access to these impossible to find wines. This is because top wine makers, in their bid to become members at Mayacama, have committed a sizeable allocation of wine for members to purchase. We’re talking the likes of Fisher Vineyards, Harlan Estate, DuMOL, Wren Hop, Boich Family Cellar, and Tor Wines – just to name a few of the 36 vintner members. The club has several classes of memberships each bestowing varied levels of access. For those of us without the deep pockets, and with no access to the club, these pictures are as far as our eyes can pry. A glimpse into the world of exclusivity and taste. Please write to or call us on +852 3590 4153.

The Club Cellar is worth a fortune in itself

A common scene at the club, where members sip and converse in private corners of their choice

Wine locker room for the members to store their stash HKGOLFER.COM



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

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7 bedrooms Cinema room 2 Swimming pools Stables

Guide Price £19,000,000

Garaging Tennis Court 32 acres Wild flower meadow

Alex Newall

Sebastian Newall

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7884 262 774 E:

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7716 860 571 E:

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

Alex Newall

Sebastian Newall

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7884 262 774 E:

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7716 860 571 E:

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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Swimming pool Landscaped gardens Wine display room

Guide Price £23,000,000

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3.77 acres GEA 22,087 sq ft (2,052 sq m)

Alex Newall

Sebastian Newall

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7884 262 774 E:

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7716 860 571 E:

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

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7 bedroom suites 4 principal reception rooms 20m swimming pool Cinema

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Guide price £7,500,000

6 underground garage Passenger lift 22,252 SqFt / 2,067 Sq M 6 acres / 2.4 hectares

Alex Newall

Sebastian Newall

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7884 262 774 E:

T: + 44 (0) 207 935 5797 M: + 44 (0) 7716 860 571 E:


©2017 Dr Milton Wayne




3. See 12A

1. See 4A

4. (& 1D) Defending champ

2. See 6D

7. (& 22D) 2016 runner-up, lost a 4-shot lead 8. (& 13D) Only man who can win Grand Slam!

3. (& 14A) Only player to win three consecutive US Opens

10. See 24A

5. See 9D

11. (& 23D) Augusta legend, most amateur wins

6. (& 2D) Youngest ever winner of US Open

12. (& 3A) Former World #1 with the largest margin of victory 9. (& 5D) Hoping to reclaim his Chambers Bay crown 11. (& 28A) Legendary “Wee Ice Mon”, 4-time winner 14. See 3D 18. (& 15D) “Golden Bear”, first pro win was a US Open

13. See 8A

19. (& 27A) Only German winner, in 2014

15. See 18A

20. (& 16D) 6 times a bridesmaid!

16. See 20A

21. Nearby city, famous for beer!

17. (& 25D) Paternal commemoration on Sunday of tournament

24. (& 10A) This year’s host course 26. 2017 Host state 27. See 19A 28. See 11D



22. See 7A 23. See 11A 25. See 17D


WIN "THE GOLFERS" PRINT To enter, complete the crossword and send a scan or photo of the completed grid to, with “June Crossword” as the subject. Remember to include your name, address and contact number. Entries close on 15 July 2017.

A luxury print, measuring 38” x 26”, has been produced and is available exclusively in Asia through the HK Golfer. Each print is accompanied by a printed key identifying each of the characters, and makes the perfect gift for any golfer. Yo u m ay a ls o v isi t H KG o l f e r Sh o p. co m, w r i te to or call us on 3590 4153 if you wish to purchase a print for only HK$888 (inc. free delivery).


ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THE CORRECT ENTRIES. Congratulations to W.L. Wong of Mong Kok who won the April crossword.

Hill & Adamson, “The Golfers” HKGOLFER.COM




Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, Vancouver

Mark Mossip Daniel Wong talks to the Class A member of the PGA of Canada and HKPGA about the current junior golf scene in Hong Kong. Taichi Kho recently won the Junior Close title. As his coach, can you tell us how Taichi has progressed since becoming your student? Taichi has been doing exceptionally well and is a great talent to work with. We started working together about 6 years ago and we have always worked hard on his short game. His father Victor asked me to work not just on his swing, but also on his mind game. Now I see that one of his greatest assets is his confidence and belief in himself. As golf coaches, we must realize we have the power to not only shape a young golfer’s swing, we can also have a big influence on the development of the whole person.

Profile - Daniel Wong; Course - Bob Huxtable and Margaret Barr

Besides Taichi, there are a lot of up and coming young golfers in Hong Kong. What is your take on the current junior golf scene in Hong Kong? Junior golf in HK is getting stronger and stronger. We had our first golf Olympian - Tiffany Chan - last year. Many ‘kids’ have gone overseas on golf scholarships to further their education. The HKGA is running great programmes to promote and develop the next wave of junior golfers. The golf clubs and practice facilities have been providing more access for the juniors to play and practice. You are good friends with the Khos and you play with them a lot at Hua Hin. Would you say Hua Hin is your favourite course? Golf in Hua Hin is great. I love playing at Springfield and Banyan. But I would say that Shaughnessy in Vancouver is my favourite course. 78


Who would be in your dream fourball? My Dad, Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan. Golf and wine often come together. What is your favourite wine? I am partial to new world wines with the Penfolds RWT way up on my list. Mark Mossip teaches at Discovery Bay Golf Club and the SCAA in Causeway Bay. He can be reached at +852 91038558 or HKGOLFER.COM