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HK Golfer Issue 127

September 2017

30 On the Cover:

Justin Thomas’ season was already stellar – with three PGA Tour victories, including a 59 in his win at the Sony Open, and then a recordtying 63 at the US Open, his USPGA Championship title gave him the most wins out of all major winners this year. Photo by Montana Pritchard/ PGA of America



27 | Interview

10 | Divots

Joanne McKee, the newly appointed Asia-Pacific team captain of the 2018 Patsy Hankins Trophy, will lead a team of 12 talented lady amateur golfers to play against the Europe team to defend the title. Interview by Louie Chan

28 | HK Junior Open Championship Review

Yannick Artigolle clinched his national Junior Open title with an impressive round of 66 in windy conditions at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club. By Louie Chan

30 | USPGA Championship Preview

The infamous “Green Mile” at Quail Hollow was no match for Justin Thomas, who pushed out his horizons in Sunday’s fading light to win his maiden Major. By Louie Chan

44 | The Presidents Cup Preview

The 12th staging of the Presidents Cup will not only be another victory for the Stars & Stripes but also a high profile for the current Commander in Chief. By Mike Wilson

50 | Rise of the Chinese Dragons

A new breed of young and ultra-talented Chinese golfers is now bursting on the global stage with much bravado. By Chuah Choo Chiang Daniel Wong

56 | The Hole in One

28 6


The hole in one can raise an ordinary golf club member to God like status in a stroke… The Kilted Caddie

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

12 | In Focus

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

19 | Tee Time

Rolex is introducing a new model in its Cellini collection, the Cellini Moonphase, featuring an exclusive display of the lunar cycle. By The Editors

62 | Golf Travel

Niseko, Hokkaido, a region renowned for skiing, has now become a great golf destination in its own right. By Louie Chan

70 | Golf Fitness

The S&C Coach at Pinnacle BLACK continues to track the progress of our Managing Editor’s strength and conditioning training programme. By James Honey

76 Crossword

This issue: “Game of Kings” By Dr Milton Wayne

78 Final Shot

Yannick Artigolle, the 2017 Hong Kong Junior Open champion talks about his junior golf career, plan to play college golf in the US and dream of turning Pro. Interview by Louie Chan 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 Divots 12 Global Focus 14 Asia Focus 16 Local Focus 19 Clubhouse 27 Around the HKGA 50 Asian Angle 56 The Kilted Caddie 76 Crossword

Photo Courtesy of Hanazono Niseko Resort Japan

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:

CORRECTION: In an article about the 2017 Mid-Summer Classic on page 27 in the previous issue, there’s a mistake in the image caption that the gentleman standing second from left to right should be Andrew Tsui, instead of Andrew Lee Jr. HK Golfer apologises for the mistake. 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




McIlory & Garcia Become Astronauts at the USPGA Championship

Omega, Official Patron of the PGA of America, combined their passions for golf and space in a unique on-course activity at the 2017 USPGA Championship. Omega’s Speedmaster timepiece was launched in 1957 and its official space legacy started in 1965, when NASA qualified it for use on its piloted missions. Since then, it has been worn on all six lunar landings and earned the nickname “the Moonwatch.” As part of the Speedmaster 60th Anniversary, top-ranked golfers and Omega Ambassadors Rory McIlroy and Sergio

Garcia donned astronaut suits and took turns driving a lunar rover to start USPGA Championship week at Quail Hollow Club. McIlroy Garcia dressed up in “non-traditional golf attire” and surprised fans during the practice day. Throughout the week, the lunar rover has been moved around Quail Hollow, challenging guests to find its daily location and offering a unique photo opportunity.

Jason Hak Lands First Professional Win in Yunnan

CGA Tour

Jason Hak streamed to a 10-shot victory at the CGD Yunnan Championship in Kunming on the China Tour. The landmark win at the 1.35 million-yuan (HK$1.58 million) event should see the 23-year-old improve on his current world ranking of 1,115. Prior to this win, his best performance had been a runner-up finish at last September’s Chongqing Jiangnan NewTown KingRun Open. Hak built on an overnight lead of six shots with a seven-under par round that included nine birdies with just one double-bogey. A professiona l since 2013, Ha k f inished t he tourna ment 22-under for one of t he most impressive victories on the China Tour. Hak’s impressive victory on Sunday made amends for a frustrating 11 months since he was in similar position to take out his maiden victory. He led the Pingan Bank Open in Beijing by one stroke going into the final round only to falter and share fourth place. 10




Bluffs Ho Tram Makes Different Kind of Sand Save


The Bluffs Par4 8th hole

Tom Eubank

Members of Greg Norman Golf Course D e si g n a n d t h e m a i n t e n a n c e c r e w a t T he Blu f fs Ho Tra m St rip i n Viet na m a re work i ng to br i ng a key feat u re of the acclaimed, coastal course back to the forefront. Since construction began on The Bluffs in 2012, vegetation has overtaken some of the dunes, diminishing the natural, sandy look the links-style layout possessed when it opened to great fanfare in 2014. “We’re clearing some of that vegetation, which will also help with air-f low onto the greens and, in turn, improve how the putting surfaces play,” said Daniel Grassi, a senior design and projects manager for Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) interests in Asia and the Middle East. G NG C D a nd Blu f f s repre sent at ive s are also removing the 419 bermudagrass bet ween and around many of t he cou rse’s tee boxes. Si nce debut i ng less t h a n t h r e e ye a r s a g o , T h e Blu f f s h a s s u c c e e d e d i n g a r n e r i n g t h e at t e nt io n of player s , jou r na l i st s a nd major gol f organizations alike.



Global Focus First Major Victory Eludes Matsuyama The Japanese star had a high chance to claim his first Major after 54 holes at the USPGA Championship. But he fell off the pace during a turbulent back nine that included five bogeys - including one on the 16th in which his par putt lipped off the left edge of the cup. “The course played tough,” Matsuyama said. “The pins were receptive, though, more than yesterday. I was just disappointed the way I played.” “The last major of the year and I was in contention,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter. “All I can do is just try harder next time.” Kevin Kisner, who led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds, wound up in in a tie for seventh place. Matsuyama finished one stroke better than Kisner, in a tie for fifth place, after sharing the 36-hole lead and starting the final round one stroke back. Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Asia Focus Poom Brings the Boom Poom Saksansin of Thailand completed a convincing wire-towire victory after defeating home favourite Khalin Joshi by two shots at the inaugural TAKE Solutions Masters in India.  The 24-year-old Poom never lost his lead on the last day as he returned with a four-under-par 67 to claim his second Asian Tour title with a winning total of 16-under-par 268 at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) Golf Course.  Joshi, who hails from Bengaluru and grew up playing golf at KGA, battled tooth-andnail before settling for second place following a round of 67. Three bogeys in a round of seven birdies dashed his hopes for a first Asian Tour title.  Ajeetesh Sandhu (66) of India finished a further shot back in lone third place on 274 while Rory Hie of Indonesia, Divyanshu Bajaj and Abhinav Lohan of India settled for fourth at the US$300,000 Asian Tour event.  Poom’s lead was only briefly threatened when Joshi birdied his opening hole, but the Thai held his nerve and claimed a sensational victory after posting five birdies. Photo by Asian Tour

Local Focus Winning and Losing Yannick Artigolle (left) shot an impressive 66 in the final round to win the Hong Kong Junior Open Championship. His national teammate Taichi Kho (right) had a not so lucky day, carding a 72 in windy conditions at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club. When asked about his key to victory, Artigolle said: “I played against, instead of with, the wind to make the ball stay straighter.” Kho, despite losing the championship, showed respect to his good friend and commanded the latter’s performance. Their battle throughout the three-day tournament serves as a good reminder to all junior golfers that winning and losing are inherent parts of the game. When the scores came in during the final round, our editor overheard a parent console his child, “Some days you win, some days you lose. You can’t expect to have everything go your way all the time.” Photo by Daniel Wong


Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME


Rolex Cellini Moonphase HKGOLFER.COM



elegance of traditional timepieces with a CELLINI MOONPHASE The Cellini Moonphase has a white lacquer contemporary touch. It combines Rolex’s high dial with a blue enameled disc at 6 o’clock standards of perfection with an approach that showing the full moon and the new moon, heightens watchmaking heritage in its most the former depicted by a meteorite applique timeless form. The lines are sober and refined, and the latter by a silver ring. The moonphase the materials noble, the finishings meticulous. is read via the indicator set at 12 o’clock on Every detail respects the codes of the art of watchmaking. the subdial, as the Like all Rolex watches, the full moon and new The Cellini collection new Cellini Moonphase is moon rotate through celebrates the eternal covered by the Superlative the lunar c ycle. T he elegance of traditional Chronometer certification Cellini Moonphase also redefined by Rolex in 2015. displays the date around timepieces with a This exclusive designation the circumference of contemporary touch. testifies that the watch has the dial, via a centre successfully undergone a hand with a crescent moon at its tip. This new model is driven by a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own self-winding mechanical movement entirely laboratories according to its own criteria, which manufactured by Rolex, whose patented exceed watchmaking norms and standards. moonphase module is astronomically accurate for 122 years. It is fitted on a brown alligator OYSTER PERPETUAL YACHT-MASTER 40 The 39mm Cellini Moonphase is leather strap with a folding Crownclasp in 18 ct Rolex is also introducing a gem-set version offered in 18ct Everose gold and of the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40, its Everose gold, a first for a Cellini model. featuring an exclusive display of emblematic nautical watch. In 18ct Everose The Cellini collection celebrates the eternal the lunar cycle 20



The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 features a bidirectional rotatable bezel adorned with multi-colour sapphires

gold with a black gloss finish dial, it features a bidirectional rotatable bezel adorned with multi-colour sapphires, green tsavorites, and a triangular diamond at 12 o’clock. Waterproof, precise and reliable, the Yacht-Master 40 embodies the privileged ties between Rolex and the world of sailing that stretch back to the 1950s. This version is equipped with the innovative, elastomer Oysterflex bracelet developed and patented by Rolex. T h e Ya c ht- M a s te r 4 0 ’s O y s te r c a s e, guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100m (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness. Its characteristically shaped middle case is crafted from a solid block of 18ct Everose gold. Its fluted case back is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The winding crown is protected by a crown guard that is an integral part of the middle case. Fitted with the Triplock triple waterproofness system, the crown screws down securely against the case, providing watertight security akin to a submarine’s hatch. The crystal, with a HKGOLFER.COM

The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master 40 is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015



Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the Yacht-Master 40’s highprecision movement. The Yacht-Master 40 is equipped with calibre 3135, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. OYSTER PERPETUAL YACHT-MASTER II The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II is built for yachting competition and performance. It is a regatta chronograph dedicated to experienced sailors and yachting enthusiasts alike. For the Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II, Rolex devised a new and unique horological complication: a programmable countdown with a mechanical memor y and on-thefly synchronization designed specifically for the start sequence of regattas. The technical complexity of the Yacht-Master II is masked by its simplicity of use and its excellent legibility, now enhanced by a new dial and new hands characteristic of Rolex Professional models. The complex challenges were addressed in such a way as to ensure legendary Rolex reliability and preserve the distinctive aesthetics of the Oyster collection. The first technical challenge posed by the Yacht- Master II was to devise a countdown display that remains legible at a glance in the heat of the action at the start of a regatta. The Yacht- Master II displays elapsed seconds via a centre hand, as on a traditional chronograph. The minutes of the countdown are indicated by a red-triangle-tipped hand on a scale graduated from 10 to 0 (with markers for the half minutes); this display occupies threequarters of the circumference of the dial. The second challenge lay in the fact that the duration of an official regatta countdown can vary from race to race. Therefore, the watch countdown must also be adaptable. Rolex engineers devoted 35,000 hours to developing this complication, which took the form of a new movement, calibre 4161. Based on the chronograph calibre 4130, developed in 2000 for the Cosmograph Daytona, the 4161 includes an additional, innovative mechanism that enables the countdown to be reprogrammed with a choice of duration from 10 minutes to one minute. This programming can, furthermore, be mechanically “memorized”, so that at reset the hand returns to the same duration for the next countdown. 22


Rolex devised a new and unique horological complication for the new Oyster Perpetual YachtMaster II

The Oyster Perpetual Yacht-Master II is a regatta chronograph dedicated to experienced sailors and yachting enthusiasts alike HKGOLFER.COM

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e focus solely on providing face-to-face advice and offer a dedicated, personal wealth management service to build long-term, trusted relationships. Together, we would look to create a working plan, providing you with a clear direction towards meeting your financial goals. This includes clarifying your objectives and researching all of the options available to you. As a Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, a FTSE 100 company with over £79 billion client funds under management, we have access to a wide range of products and services that can be tailored specifically to your needs making it easier and simpler for you to manage your wealth. We have the experience to help you successfully secure and enhance your financial future by offering specialist advice in a wide range of areas including: Investments | Retirement planning | Estate planning | Education fees planning | Family protection 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 copy of The Investor magazine, please contact:

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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.

Understanding Inheritance Tax

Dispelling myths

There are some common misunderstandings about Inheritance Tax. UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax levied on the estate (money, property and possessions) of a person who has died – or in certain circumstances where lifetime gifts have been made, as outlined in myth 4 below. It affects anyone who is deemed domiciled in the UK and / or owns non-excluded assets in the UK. As you may or may not be aware, some changes have been announced recently to the way IHT will be calculated. A new main residence nil-rate band of £100,000 has been introduced from April 2017, increasing each year up to £175,000 in 2020. Whilst this move will come as a relief to a good many individuals, eligibility will depend on individual circumstances and not all will be able to benefit from it. IHT remains a threat to many estates and it is a tax about which there remain many misconceptions. Myth one: UK Inheritance Tax doesn’t apply to me now I’ve moved abroad UK InheritanceTax is applicable to your worldwide estate if you are deemed domiciled in the UK, even if you are no longer living there. Two special rules apply to those who have emigrated from the UK: the three-year rule, and the 15 out of 20 rule. If an individual’s permanent home was in the UK at any time in the three years before they died, or if that individual had been resident in the UK for at least 15 of the 20 tax years up to their death, then, in most cases, they would be treated as domiciled in the UK for purposes of Inheritance Tax. These rules are expected to be confirmed in the finance bill. HMRC only recognises a change of domicile if there’s strong evidence that someone has permanently left the UK and intends to live abroad indefinitely. Even if the individual remains non UK resident, they will revert to their domicile of origin if they become resident in another country. Myth two: UK Inheritance Tax doesn’t apply to me as I am not a British citizen If you own assets in the UK (except excluded assets), regardless of your residency, nationality or domicile, your estate will be subject to UK Inheritance Tax on your death, or on gifts made during your lifetime. Myth three: There is only one tax rate for UK Inheritance Tax – 40% Actually, there are three rates applicable to the estate: 40%, 36% and 0%. The 0% rate, or ‘nil rate’ (which is different to an exemption), applies up to £325,000 per person, a level which the government has frozen until April 2021. UK IHT is

a cumulative tax, so all gifts made in the seven calendar years preceding an event (normally death) count towards this total. Once you breach that ‘nil-rate band’, you will pay 40% on the remainder. The Budget in 2011 added a new band. If the deceased leaves 10% or more of their net estate to charity, then the tax rate is 36% above the nil-rate band (and after deductions for UK IHT exemptions and reliefs). The government introduced this to encourage charitable giving and to support the voluntary sector. Myth four: UK Inheritance Tax is only paid on death Actually, UK IHT must be paid on some gifts while the donor is still alive. There are three types of gift for tax purposes. First, there are those that are exempt, where an immediate charge to UK IHT will never be due. Next, there are those that are ‘potentially exempt’, where a tax may arise if the donor dies within seven years – and where the cumulative value, of such gifts together with the value of the donor’s estate on death, exceeds the donor’s nil-rate band. Finally, there are gifts that are ‘chargeable’ or taxable.The most common form of chargeable gift arises when a discretionary trust is set up. The tax rate applicable to such gifts is 50% of the death rate and is immediately payable, though tax only becomes due once the total value of chargeable gifts made by the donor within the last seven years exceeds their nil-rate band. Gifts to bare trusts and disabled trusts are exempt. Myth five: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” Benjamin Franklin’s renowned quote was making the point


that the new United States Constitution, however solid it looked, was not guaranteed to hold; not as certain as it is that one’s wealth will be taxed. However, in the case of UK IHT, it is generally only extreme wealth or, more likely, poor planning that makes payment inevitable. From charitable and party political donations to gifts made to spouses and civil partners, there are many ways to save your heirs an IHT bill. In the UK, there is an annual gifting exemption of £3,000 that can be carried forward if it wasn’t used in the previous tax year, providing the potential for a married couple to remove £12,000 from their joint estate immediately. In addition to gifts out of so-called ‘excess income’, there are more esoteric exemptions, such as gifts for maintenance of a dependent relative. The availability of these exemptions and the suitability of their use will, of course, vary based on individual circumstances.

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 part of the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group and is 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 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. To receive a copy of The Investor magazine produced by St. James’s Place Wealth Management, please contact us at

The level and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.

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


Hong Kong Pride - Joanne McKee Louie Chan talks to the newly appointed Asia-Pacific team captain of the 2018 Patsy Hankins Trophy to be held in Doha. Captain McKee will lead a team of 12 talented lady amateur golfers to play against the Europe team to defend the title. Lo u ie Chan: Co n gratu l atio ns o n yo u r appointment to be the Asia-Pacific team captain of the 2018 Patsy Hankins Trophy. What does the appointment mean to you? Joanne McKee: It is an honour and privilege to be appointed captain of the 2018 Patsy Hankins Trophy. Needless to say, I am very excited to be involved in such a prestigious event. LC: The Asia Pacific team took victory in the inaugural match in 2016. Are you confident to defend the title? JM: Admittedly, there is a little extra pressure on us because we won the inaugural match away from home last year, but when I look at the pool of talented players we have to choose from, I feel quietly confident. LC: How beneficial is your extensive career in HKGA committees (i.e. HK National Team Captain 2014 Asian Games experience) in leading the Asia-Pacific team? JM: I have been fortunate to be involved with the HKGA since 2004. I was appointed national team captain in 2012 and since that time I have had experience with our national team overseas at the 2014 Asian games in Korea, as well as the World Amateur Team Championships in Japan in 2014 and Mexico in 2016. I’ve learnt that understanding your team, how the tournaments work, keeping moral high and creating good team spirit is very important.

Daniel Wong

LC: What are the criteria for players to be picked for the Asia-Pacific team? JM: World amateur golf rankings will play a


major part in the selection process and a maximum of two players can be selected from each country. LC: The Patsy Hankins Trophy ha s a si m i la r for mat a s t he Ryder Cup. How will you pick t he players accord ing to t he match play format? JM: Ryder Cup is my favou r ite gol f i ng event. I have a lways t hought t hat t h e c h e m i s t r y b e t we e n t h e players i s ver y i mpor t a nt. I will be looking at different personalities, and how the players interact. Obviously there will be players from different countries conversing in different languages, so this will also be a major factor. LC: Tiffany Chan was the only HK player in the Asia-Pacific team last year. Are you planning to choose more players from Hong Kong in 2018? JM: Tiffany is such a wonderful role model, and played a significant role in the victory in 2016. Sadly, she won’t be eligible in 2018 as she has now turned professional. We have some great players following in her footsteps, Isabella Leung, Mimi Ho and Michelle Cheung, are currently our highest ranked players. I will be meeting at the end of this month with the other members of the selection committee and we will be looking closely at all the players and their recent achievaements. I would love to see Hong Kong once again represented in this tournament. The Patsy Hankins Trophy is played between two teams of twelve lady amateur golfers representing Europe and Asia-Pacific. There will be three days of play. The first two days will comprise five foursomes matches each morning and five four-ball matches each afternoon. On the final day, all twelve team players will compete in singles match play. Please go to for more information. HK GOLFER・SEP 2017


Artigolle Wins Junior Open Title in Windy Conditions Overall boy’s and girl’s champion – Yannick Artigolle and Inara Sharma


Daniel Wong

s the leading local player, Artigolle will also experience the World Golf ChampionshipHSBC Champions in Shanghai later this year, courtesy of the Hong Kong Golf Association’s Exclusive Banking Partner, HSBC. The 17-year-old was at the second place when he tee-off with Taichi Kho, the overnight leader and defending champion, for the final round. Kho shot an impressive 66 in the second round to have a 2-stroke advantage. However, the final day saw the wind pick up making scoring condition at Clearwater Bay a lot tougher. “The fact that I go to school in Scotland (Loretto Golf Academy) is basically always windy there. It did help a lot,” Artigolle adds, “I played against, instead of with, the wind to make the ball stay straighter. I just went for the middle of the green and made shots that I know how to play. I think that was the key to success.” Artigolle finished with a total of 205 to take the victory. And this is his second champion in two weeks – he defended his Faldo Series Hong Kong Championship title at Kau Sai Chau in late July. The 17-year-old also became the Intercollegiate Tour Players’ Champion in the United Kingdom back in May and qualified for the UK National Finals at the historic Moortown Golf Club near Leeds. Artigolle topped a field that featured 82 junior golfers, 24 of whom were from overseas. The 48th edition of the championship also featured on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Hong Kong’s Inara Sharma was crowned girls’ champion, 28


finishing with a final round 72 for a total of 215. She will join Artigolle for the final two days of the World Golf Championship-HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on October 28 and 29. There they will get an inside-the-ropes look at how a World Golf Championship event is staged and be treated to a coaching clinic with one of the world’s top golfers. The younger aged group (7-10) of the Hong Kong Junior Open Championship took place at Hong Kong Golf Club Deepwater Bay. Cyril Leung claimed the Boy’s 9-10 division with scores of 63 points, while Zoie Chan won the girl’s same age group with 69. Jamie Lee and Leung Hei-tung claimed the boy’s and girl’s 7-8 division with 74 and 103 respectively. Leading final scores: Overall boys: 205 – Yannick Artigolle (HKG) 71-68-66; 209 - Taichi Kho (HKG) 71-66-72; 215 – Yue Yin-ho (HKG) 76-67-72; 217 – Alex Zhuo (HKG) 73-71-73; 219 – Issac Lam (HKG) 79-73-67; 220 – Chou Po-yueh (TPE) 71-76-73; 221 –Brandon Han (SG) 81-71-69; 223 – Kaito Kitazoe (JPG) 72-7883.  Overall girls: 215 – Inara Sharma (HKG) 74-69-72; 218 – Chloe Chan (HKG) 70-76-72; 220 - Jing Hu (HKG) 72-75-73; 221 – Virginie Ding (HKG) 75-76-70, Selina Li (HKG) 75-74-72, Cheng Hsiang-hua (TPE) 72-77-72, Stephanie Wong (HKG) 7173-77; 226 – Chou Yi-ting (TPE) 72-75-79. Please go to for more information about the Hong Kong Junior Open Championship 2017 (Aged 11-17) result. HKGOLFER.COM

All winners of 2017 Hong Kong Junior Open Championship

Artigolle shot 66 in the final round

Yue Yin-ho finished third HKGOLFER.COM

Taichi Kho lines up his putt

Same outfit, old rivalry HK GOLFER・SEP 2017



Coming of Age on the

Green Mile

Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

The infamous "Green Mile" at Quail Hollow, a brutal stretch of closing holes where players try to hang on with pars, had been a scoring graveyard in the whole week of 2017 USPGA Championship. But it was there that Justin Thomas pushed out his horizons in Sunday’s fading light to win his maiden Major, writes Louie Chan.




Justin Thomas poses for photo with the Wanamaker Trophy on the 18th green at Quail Hollow




Justin Thomas hits his tee shot on the 3rd hole during the final round of the 99th USPGA Championship

Montana Pritchard/PGA of America


Chris Stroud’s final round 76 left him to tie for ninth 32


he Green Mile is as challenging as advertised - Numbers 1618 at Quail Hollow gave up only 88 brides in the whole week of the 99th USPGA Championship, and exacted 464 bogeys or worse. In Sunday’s final round, the 12 players that finished inside the Top 10 played the Green Mile in a collective 11-over par. Graham DeLaet, who tied for seventh, was the only player in the Top 10 to play that stretch under par. Chris Stroud had the most difficult time navigating the Green Mile. He played the three holes in 4-over with bogeys on 16 and 17 and a double bogey at the 18th to tie for ninth at 1-under. But it was time for Justin Thomas’ rite of passage. The Green Mile was waiting. “I was a lot more comfortable and calm than I thought I would be,” he would say later. “Just kind of going through those holes knowing that I’ve done these a million times. I know that’s a cliché, and everyone says it.” First, there was a saved par on 16, after he missed the fairway and hit into a bunker. Then, a 15-foot birdie putt on 17, after a fearless 7-iron, with the water sitting there, staring him in the face, perfectly able to swallow his chances. “That was one of the best golf shots I’ve probably ever hit in my life,” he HKGOLFER.COM

said. “That shot, I’ll never forget that vision in my head.” On his way to the 17th green, he tried to wolf down a quick snack. “I started coughing, and I was like, ‘Am I really going to choke? Is this the sign to come?’” No, it wasn’t a sign. By 18, with a three-shot lead and the crowd chanting “J.T! J.T!” the work was nearly done. He finished with a play-it-safe bogey for a 68. The young man who once got a Jack Nicklaus autograph now has his name on the same trophy. Thomas’ victory at Quail Hollow is the latest chapter in a golf business family. Thomas became the eighth PGA Champion who is the son of a PGA Professional. His father, 57-year-old PGA Master Professional Mike Thomas, is the PGA Head Professional at Harmony Landing Golf Course in Goshen, Kentucky. Justin’s grandfather, Paul, is an 85-year-old retired PGA Life Member who lives in Columbus, Ohio. Paul joined the PGA of America in 1956. “I can’t put it into words,” Thomas said about his PGA of America heritage. “I wish my grandpa could be here for it. It’s so special to get it done. I’ve glad we have a trophy now.” In fact, Mike Thomas kept every golf ball from every tournament his son has ever won. HKGOLFER.COM

Top: Scott Halleran/PGA of America; Below: Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

Thomas’ parents watch the Awards Ceremony

Kevin Kisner chips onto the 18th green during the final round He wound up in a tie for seventh HK GOLFER・SEP 2017


Francesco Molinari hits out of the bunker on the 18th - He finished tied second at 6-under

Scott Hallern/PGA of America

Hideki Matsuyama’s chance of winning the maiden Major wilted with five bogeys on the back nine



He has 131 of them. So, did he get the ball Thomas used on Sunday? “You mean this one?” Mike Thomas said as he reached into his pocket and pulled it out. The week began with Jordan Spieth’s quest for a career Grand Slam, and it never got out of the gates. Youth is taking over the highest level of golf, and there were times Thomas felt left behind. Rory McIlroy already had four majors when he was 25. Jordan Spieth, a close friend since they were 14, won his third major at the Open last month to give him three legs of the career Grand Slam. “Frustration probably isn’t the right word,” Thomas said. “Jealously definitely is. I wanted to be doing that, and I wasn’t.” Indeed, Sunday at Quail Hollow was his moment. Starting the final round two shots behind the clubhouse leader, Thomas closed with a 3-under 68 for a two-shot victory to capture the last Major of the year. It required a little bit of luck - his tee shot bounced out of a tree and into the fairway on the par-5 10th, which ended with his 8-foot putt teetering on the edge of the cup for 12 seconds before gravity finally took over, and the ball dropped for birdie. He seised control on the back nine with a chip-in for birdie from 40 feet on the par-3 13th. Above all, it required plenty of grit, and HKGOLFER.COM

Top: The young man who once got a Jack Nicklaus autograph now has his name on the same Wanamaker Trophy Bottom: Omar Uresti (Center), PGA Club Professional, is on the first tee with Vijay Singh during the final round – Uresti went on to win the Low Scoring Trophy


LEADING FINAL SCORES 1 Justin Thomas 2= Francesco Molinari Louis Oosthuizen Patrick Reed 5= Rickie Fowler Hideki Matsuyama 7= Graham DeLaet Kevin Kisner 9= Jason Day Matt Kuchar Jordan L Smith Chris Stroud

United States Italy South Africa United States United States Japan Canada United States Australia United States England United States

73 66 69 68 73 64 74 67 70 67 71 70 69 73 69 67 69 70 73 67 70 64 73 72 70 73 68 69 67 67 72 74 70 66 77 70 71 74 70 68 73 69 63 75 68 68 71 76

276 278 278 278 279 279 280 280 283 283 283 283


Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

Thomas showed plenty of that. Among those waiting for Thomas alongside the 18th green were his father and Spieth. Spieth and Thomas first became close when they played the Junior Evian Masters in 2007. Thomas won the 36-hole event and got to play the pro-am the next day with LPGA great Juli Inkster. Spieth caddied for him. Ten years later, they have won consecutive Majors. And Thomas finally emerged from the shadow of a longtime friend to take his place among the young elite in golf. Thomas won by two shots over Francesco Molinari (67), Patrick Reed (67) and Louis Oosthuizen (70), none of whom was a serious threat as they played the 18th. His real challenge was Hideki Matsuyama playing next to him, and Kevin Kisner, the 54-hole leader in the group behind him, both spent a lot of time atop the leaderboard during the week. Kisner, who led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds, wound up in a tie for seventh place. Matsuyama finished one stroke better than Kisner, in a tie for fifth place, after sharing the 36-hole lead and starting the final round one stroke back. But the day was not for Kisner, whose sound-as-granite game finally wavered, with four bogeys and a double. Not for Matsuyama, whose chances wilted with five bogeys on the back nine, as the whole Japan mourned.



Welcome on Board

“Aqua Terra” was the Latin name Omega chosen for the original models of its Seamaster collection, which were known for their reliability both on water (Aqua) and on land (Terra).

The Seamaster Aqua Terra Gents’ Collection – the famous teak pattern on the dial now runs horizontally





n 2002, Omega introduced a bold new range of timepieces to its famous Seamaster family. With 40 models offered in four different sizes (41mm, 38mm, 35mm and 28mm), the first Aqua Terra line delivered a “refreshing contrast” of style and innovation that could easily fit an active lifestyle. The minimalist design worked perfectly for business days, and social nights yet the watches remained 100 percent Seamaster at their core, with a performance that was backed by anti-shock technology and 150m/500ft water resistance. Omega’s Seamaster Aqua Terra has always provided the per fec t balance bet ween sophistication and ocean spirit. In its new collection, some of the most popular features have been enhanced or subtly transformed. The most notable changes include the teak pattern on the dial which now runs horizontally, as opposed to vertically, as well as the cleaner aesthetics and the symmetrical case. Certified as Master Chronometers, the collection also takes the Aqua Terra to new heights of precision and performance. To maximise symmetry, the date window has been moved from 3 to 6 o’clock. Some 41 mm models feature a rubber strap, new to the Aqua Terra, which is integrated into the case by an additional stainless steel or 18K Sedna™ gold link. And the metal bracelets have also been redesigned to achieve a better integration with the case. The new Seamaster Aqua Terra Ladies’ Collection features 30 new models in three dif ferent sizes. Even within the refined cases, Omega has managed to give the timepieces several design twists and, in most models, a Master Chronometer upgrade that offers impressive levels of precision and performance. The clean and crisp dials feature mother-of-pearl and 14 different colours, and the symmetrical cases have been redesigned to achieve a seamless integration with the feminine-styled bracelet. The patented screw-and-pin bracelet itself has been updated with re-proportioned and domed links that give a more feminine appearance. The crown has changed too. Now, it is conical in shape with waved edges and is much easier for delicate fingers to manipulate. The “water-resistance” wording on the dial has been taken away and engraved on the caseback instead. The caseback features a wave-edged design with sapphire-crystal through which you can see the Omega Master Chronometer calibre 8800, used in both of the HKGOLFER.COM

The Seamaster Aqua Terra Ladies’ Collection – all models come with diamond indexes

The caseback features a wave-edged design with sapphire-crystal



A sapphire crystal central dial with a hand-crafted enamel world map

larger watch sizes. This movement, along with each watch, has reached the highest level of certification for precision and performance as approved by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). This year, the Swiss brand is proudly presenting its first Worldtimer - another spledid example of craftsmanship at its finest. A genuine beauty of this new Seamaster Aqua Terra watch can be found on the dial. The exterior section is sand-blasted platinumgold and features 18K yellow gold indexes and hands that are coated in Super-LumiNova. There is also a circle of global destinations printed in red (GMT), black (+1h in summer) or blue (places without daylight savings). For a special touch, these destinations include the city of Bienne at GMT+1, Omega’s home in Switzerland. In vibrant colour, there is also a sapphire crystal central dial with a hand-crafted enamel world map. A 24-hour indication surrounds this exquisite view over the North Pole. The 43mm symmetrical case is made from platinum-gold and includes a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. On the reverse side, there is a waveedged design and several engravings including each unique Limited-Edition number. The timepiece is water resistant up to 15 bar (150m / 500ft) and comes presented on a brown leather strap with a platinum-gold foldover clasp. 40


Only 87 editions of the Seamaster Aqua Terra Worldtimer Master Chronometer has been produced


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










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All the

President’s Men

AFP/Jung Yeon-je

Mike Wilson looks ahead to the 12th staging of the Presidents Cup, which will take place at the Liberty National GC in New Jersey and predicts not only another victory for the Stars & Stripes but also a high profile for the current Commander in Chief. 44



Anirban Lahiri of International Team watches his tee shot during the final round singles matches at the 2015 Presidents Cup at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, west of Seoul HKGOLFER.COM




AFP/Getty Images

2017 Presidents Cup Captains - Steve Stricker (Center) and Nick Price (Far Right) will lead the US and International Team respectively



taged biennially in non-Ryder Cup years, the Presidents Cup between the USA and an International team is said by some insiders to be preferred by some of the PGA Tour players to the more traditional event against Europe. Perhaps t h i s i s b ec au se cont ra r y to received wisdom, PGA Tour players enjoy the remuneration they so clumsily - and unsuccessfully - demanded from the Ryder Cup. Or because the USA enjoys the sort of domination it no longer has to Europe. Conceived and created by the PGA Tour, the biennial Presidents Cup has handed the fingerprints of the Big-3 - Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player all over it. The triumvirate captained the two teams on a combined eight occasions and staged at Muirfield Village, owned by the Golden Bear and his eponymous golf club at Incheon, South Korea on successive occasions, 2013 and 2015. Two great Australians, Peter Thomson and Greg Norman skippered the International Team five times between them. Zimbabwean Nick Price captain for the third successive time this year, going up against US captain Steve Stricker. Historically, the International Team, the restof-the-world minus Europe has only managed to lay a blow on their American cousins once with a convincing 20½–11½ victory at Royal Melbourne in 1998 - to where the event returns in 2019 - that team comprising this year’s non-

playing captain Price, Joe Ozaki, Craig Parry, Vijay Singh and Greg Norman. The International Team also secured a tie against the USA over the fearsome Fancourt Links in South Africa in 2003. Otherwise, it’s been nine American victories in 11 meetings, and it’s hard to make a case for any reversal in fortunes at the end of the month. Like the Ryder Cup, the Presidents Cup mimics in almost every way, strength in-depth is vital, especially when it comes down to the Sunday singles. And, although the top three in the International Team, Hideki Matsuyama and Jason Day are in the top 10 on the OWGR, with Adam Scott inside the top 20, the top two Americans Johnson and Spieth and six in total in the top 15 of the OWGR with eight more in the top 30. A nd, whilst t he t hree Sout h A frican International Team probable - Oosthuizen, Schwartzel and Grace are all redoubtable performers, especially in match play, Australian Marc Leishman, Korean Si Woo Kim, South A mericans Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) and Emiliano Grillo (Argentina) are neither individually or collectively likely to strike fear into American hearts. Especially on home soil with huge jingoistic galleries fired up for what they will see in the US versus the rest-of-the-world. A nd t hat ’s t he sma l l mat ter of t wo captain’s picks. Stricker has at his disposal the man with


Tiger Woods hits his second shot on the 12th during the final round of The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club in 2013


course, which sits in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and the towering Manhattan skyline have three Par-4 holes close on 500-yards – the fourth is a Par5 measuring 611 yards, favouring the big-hitters of the PGA Tour. And there is both water and sand aplenty to punish anything remotely off the line. Designed by former PGA Tour star Tom Kite and renowned golf course architect Bob Cupp, at 7,353 yards and Par-71, Liberty National is a golf course on steroids and more than enough to strike fear into the hearts of a talented - but limited - International Team. Opened for play in 2006 at a reported cost of US$250m, Liberty National has already hosted the Barclays, the-then pre-FedEx Cup event in 2009 and again in 2013, won by Heath Slocum and Adam Scott respectively. So, honours are even on that if no other score. Then there is the Presidential question; at each event, whether in the USA or elsewhere, there is a tradition of a sitting president affiliated with the event as a quasi-ambassador, Barack Obama - a huge golf fan - twice in 2009 and 2013. Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea when the event was staged at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, where no doubt, knowing the modus operandi of recently retired PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem, the foundation stones of this year’s controversial CJ Cup at Nine Bridges would have been laid. 2017, close to New York City and his Trump Towers HQ in the Big Apple, the 12th Presidents Cup will form the perfect stage for the 45th President of the USA, Donald J Trump. Never to miss an opportunity for self-promotion and political point-scoring, Trump, himself a keen golfer and owner of a large portfolio of golf resorts including nearby Bedminster and the Blue Monster at Doral will be all over the event like a rash. No doubt using it to his political gain whilst wheeling-anddealing to have the 2029 Presidents Cup, the next available on US soil after Quail Hollow in 2021 and TPC Harding Park in 2025. But then the 2023 overseas venue has yet to be announced, what chance is the Trump Moscow Resort rumoured stepping forward to host the event, with his close friend Vladimir Putin as the Presidential ambassador? Surely not!


AFP/Don Emmert

the best Presidents Cup record of all time; Phil Mickelson has made the most appearances, the most overall points as well as the best return in foursomes and fourballs. Stricker then has one to pick from Patrick Reed, Brian Harman, Jimmy Walker, Brandt Snedeker, Billy Horschel, Ryan Moore, Bubba Watson, JB Holmes, Webb Simpson et al., a veritable embarrassment of riches. For his part, International skipper Price can add a Korean spine to his team with Byeong Hun An, (#65) and Jeunghuan Wang (#72). Or create a Japanese heart by adding Hideto Tanihara (#52) and Yuta Ikeda (#68) to Shooin Matsuyama, but, beyond that, his options are limited. Alternatively, he may opt for experienced Canadian Adam Hadwin and/or the ever-steady Graham DeLaet (or even Austin Connelly), or look to Asia for the fearless young Chinese star Li Haotong following his third place in the Open Championship. Adding Danny Lee to a strong Australian presence, take a chance of Anirban Lahiri or go for outright experience with Thongchai Jaidee. And, as if the odds were not high enough against Nick Price’s 12-man team, the venue, Liberty National GC in New Jersey is nailed-on certain to suit and be set up for the USA. That’s the name of the game in Ryder Cup, and the Presidents Cup is no different. Both the front-nine of this dramatic urban



Rise of the


AFP/Andy Buchanan

As Chuah Choo Chiang writes, a new breed of young and ultra-talented Chinese golfers is now bursting on the global stage with much bravado.



Li Hao-tong watches his drive during the 146th Open Championship - He finished third followed by an impressive eight-under-par 63 in the final round at Royal Birkdale HK GOLFERăƒťSEP 2017


AFP/Getty Images; Asian Tour/Paul Lakatos

D Liang Wen-chong’s T8 at the 2010 USPGA Championship was the previous best finish in a Major by a Chinese golfer



uring the Masters To u r n a m e n t i n 2 0 0 8 , A r n ol d Pa l m e r ’s e ye s glistened after learning that China’s Liang Wen-chong was i n t he el ite f ield at Augusta National. The American golf legend took great pride in the fact that Liang was a product of China’s first modern-day golf course, the Zhongshan Hotspring Golf Club, which Palmer designed and launched in 1984. “I think it ’s wonderful,” said Palmer of Lia ng ’s presence t hen at t he fabled tournament. “I think we are only seeing the beginning of what is going to happen in China and Asia. I think it is going to be tremendous. I know that when I built the first modern golf course in China, that was it. And now there are hundreds of golf courses over in China, and

that means millions of people there will have the opportunity to play golf.” Pa l m e r ’s w o r d s a r e p r o v i n g t o b e prophetic. While Liang and Zhang Lian-wei have blazed the first trail for the professional game in China through their exploits on the Asian Tour, a new breed of young and ultra-talented golfers is now bursting on the global stage with much bravado. A few years ago, 14-year-old amateur Guan Tian-lang made heads turn by becoming the youngest player to survive the halfway cut at the Masters Tournament. Fans should now remember two other Chinese names - Li Hao-tong and Dou Ze-cheng. In what has been a summer to remember, Li and Dou, aged 22 and 20 respectively, delivered groundbreaking performances that pundits believe will provide another push towards Asia’s dream of heralding a second



"It's going to be pretty big. We've been talking to the Chinese media this year about a Chinese player potentially getting on to the PGA Tour. 'How soon will they get their card?'… I just did it!” - Dou Ze-cheng

Dou Ze-chen wrote another slice of history by becoming for the first mainland Chinese golfer to earn a PGA Tour card through the Tour PGA Tour. ‘How soon will they get their card?’… I just did it!” The late Palmer would certainly be smiling from the heavens with the latest emergence of Li and Dou. Chuah Choo Chiang is the Senior Director, Communications of PGA Tour and based in TPC Kuala Lumpur


AFP/Don Emmert

Major cha mpion fol lowing Y.E. Ya ng ’s triumph at the 2009 PGA Championship. Li, who is a product of the China Golf Association-HSBC Junior Golf Programme, finished an impressive third at The Open Championship following a barnstorming eight-under-par 63 in the final round at Royal Birkdale. In 2015, the likeable Li finished T7 at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions on home soil, tying the likes of Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed to signal his immense potential on the big stage. The remarkable round, which included four closing birdies, may have been one shot higher than Branden Grace’s incredible 62 which now stands as the lowest score in a Major. However, Ernie Els, who played alongside the young Chinese in the final round, put Li’s effort into context. “That’s not the same number as Gracie, but that’s as good a round,” said Els. “You could see he was not backing off. The wind was picking up too. 63 in a final round is an unbelievable round. Obviously, Branden has the record. What he did yesterday broke every record in the book. But today’s round for what it is as good as a round. It’s not the same number, but it’s the same quality golf.” S e v e n d a y s a f t e r L i ’s h e r o i c s , t h e bespectacled Dou wrote another slice of history by becoming for the first mainland Chinese golfer to earn a PGA Tour card through the Tour. Dou, who hails from Henan, broke into the top-25 of the money list after claiming a life-changing first US victory at the Digital A lly Open where he shot 15-under-par over the last two rounds. “ It ’s a big honor to represent China and come play in the United States,” said Dou. “Playing and learning from the best, competing and earning my Tour card, it feels amazing right now.” Like Li, Dou also cut his professional teeth on the PGA Tour China Series. Last year, he won four times en route to lifting the Order of Merit title which rewards the winner with playing rights on the Tour. He believes his game has improved and credited the PGA Tour China Series for shaping his early career. “That was everything,” said Dou about his time on PGA Tour China Series. “As an amateur, I was playing on PGA Tour China in a couple of events. Just trying to grow my confidence and work on my skills while learning. “It’s going to be pretty big. We’ve been talking to the Chinese media this year about a Chinese player potentially getting on to the



The in



AFP/Getty Images

For the hole in one has mystical and magical resonances. As the Kilted Caddie writes, it is our Dead Sea Scrolls, and can raise an ordinary golf club member to God like status in a stroke…



Andy Sullivan celebrates with Emiliano Grillo after hitting a hole in one on the 4th hole during the Par 3 Contest before the start of the 2016 Masters




AFP/Getty Images

Andrew Magee made the only hole in one at a Par 4 in the entire history of the PGA Tour, which happened on the 17th at TPC Scottsdale in the 2001 Phoenix Open 58


his is basically the philosopher’s stone of golf. It is as desired as Dragon’s gold, but highly elusive and hovers h ig h. It is t he eag le , t he albatross, the condor miracle. Some people never find it in their long and life-consuming searches. However, it does not allay their desire for it. I have had one, and I have caddied for a lovely young man who had one. Mine was a perfect 5-iron to the third green at Mortonhall on a beautiful summer’s evening long ago in the dreamy days of my youth. The young man I caddied for likewise hit a perfect shot, but into one of the most stunning golf holes in the world, the 17th on the St Andrews Castle Course, the signature hole. Now that was a class act. In fact, he almost finished off incredibly when his 20-foot putt on the Par 5 last slid by for an eagle two. I remember how proud my Dad was on my achievement, and in true Scottish tradition bought a bottle of whisky to put behind the bar at the club for other members to share in the celebration. In some countries, this has got a bit out of control, and I do believe in

Australia there is pressure to throw a party instead. And to this end, there is even holein-one insurance. Now, this is going a tad far. A bit of the modern lark of saving for your funeral costs. I shall certainly be dead when they try and bill me for that. A good friend at my club, Al, reached heavenly status when as a 16-year-old junior, he holed in one on the Par 4 sixteenth. This was the first known hole in one at a Par 4 in the club’s history and elevated his status considerably. Just a pity for him that it was a predominantly man’s game at that stage because I’m sure this feat would have helped him pul l a few crackers at t he su mmer ball. For there is surely a phallic dynamic in golf, like in owning a Ferrari. And this was certainly a coupe at the top end of Testarossa levels. In the entire history of the PGA Tour, there has only been one such hole in one at a Par 4. It happened on the 17th at TPC Scottsdale in the 2001 Phoenix Open and was performed by Andrew Magee. It was marvellous the way he executed it though. Not being a big hitter, he played while the group in front were still on the green, as one would. However, maybe through anger at just having had a double bogey, he melted a ball down the middle towards and onto the green whereon stood Jack Nicklaus’s son Gary, Steve Pate and Tom Byrum. The latter was lining up his putt when Magee’s ball came rolling up, through his legs, hit his stationery putter and ricocheted into the hole! Byrum’s caddie, Rusti Uresti, could simply not resist the rather fabulous and amusing quip: ‘That’s the first putt Tom’s made all day’. At the Martini International in 1971, an English journeyman Pro John Hudson holed in one on the Par 3 twelfth and picked out his driver on the Par 4 next, hitting into the hole again, for the only recorded consecutive hole in one. Quite a feat. There have been five recorded holes-inone on Par 5’s by all accounts and most at dog legs. However, at these accomplishments, I stand in absolute awe and with a marginal degree of incredulity. And for certain, if any human can carry a drive across St Andrews Bay and into the hole on the Par 5 last at the Castle Course in St Andrews, then I would have to call that most ghostly, if not Lordly. In fact, I would name a car after it - A McLaren Testirustiuresti. But I am now getting carried away! Please write to if you have any comments HKGOLFER.COM


Sergio Garcia celebrates his hole in one on the 17th with Adam Scott during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass HK GOLFER・SEP 2017



Golfing in the

North Country

Niseko Hanazono Resort Japan

Louie Chan samples the summer delight in Niseko, Hokkaido, a region renowned for skiing, has become a great golf destination in its own right.

Mount Yotei forming a breathtaking backdrop on many of the holes at Hanazono Golf 62






Mount Yotei, aka “The Mount Fuji of the North”

The 14th hole of Rusutsu River Course

G Rusutsu Resort

olfing in Japan is about the highest quality: beautifully maintained courses, outstanding food, generally great weather, perhaps the world’s highest standards of service. But some may question if it’s really worth the effort and cost. Well, the summer thaw in Hokkaido reveals a slew of standout courses that have been hibernating under a blanket of snow and, unlike those elsewhere in the country, await those keen to experience the game without the drawbacks of the usual slow play and high prices.



The Australian entrepreneur Peter Murphy started SkiJapan in 1996, having witnessed the stunning amount of dry snow deposited around the iconic Mount Yotei, aka “The Mount Fuji of the North”. Having conquered the ski market, the effervescent Murphy has now determined that golf in the area is as underappreciated as skiing was two decades ago and has established Yotei Golf, a dedicated travel company based in the shadow of its namesake. Leveraging the superb accommodation, leisure businesses and bars and restaurants constructed for the winter visitors, and having built relationships with a growing number of first-class courses in the area, Yotei Golf now offers complete stay and play packages for any golfer wishing to visit the region. Once largely private, the boom and bust of the late 1980s to early 1990s led to many of the courses in Hokkaido opening to the public and prices plummeted. While painful for the developers, it has made the region a golfer’s paradise. Having such a breadth of facilities available in the most sparsely populated area in the country means tee times are readily available and at bargain prices. Golf courses here open from May through October. The weather is perfect for golf at that time, and unlike elsewhere in Japan, 36 holes in a day is easily possible - although a leisurely 18 followed by a visit to the onsen (hot baths) is a delightful alternative. HKGOLFER.COM

Water comes into play on many of the holes

This 7,003-yard championship course in Hanazono is a stunner, and is the most soughtafter course in the Niseko area. Excellent facilities, superb conditioning and memorable holes, with Mount Yotei forming a breathtaking backdrop on many of them. The wind plays an important part here and the four par-5s can make a mockery of the stroke index if the breeze is coming from an undesired direction. The 16th, in particular, is a spectacular beast when played into the breeze. The par-3s here are also memorable features - all four are challenging - especially the 17th, which from the elevated tees looks longer than its 177 yards. The green is narrow, and a lake protects the front. With the wind comes straight towards the player (as it was the day we played) a par here is a great result. Water comes into play on many of the holes, and, with no two consecutive holes playing in the same direction, you couldn’t stop keep asking yourself questions on the tee.

The Rusutsu Resort – Riverwood Courses There are two Rusutsu golf facilities and be careful not to mix the two! The Jumbo Ozakidesigned course by the resort funfair and ski lifts can be safely bypassed, and instead making your HKGOLFER.COM

The wind plays an important part at Hanazono Golf

way to the superb Riverwood facility, just over half an hour from Niseko. It features two Curtis Strange designs - not-so imaginatively called River and Wood - and a superb chalet-style clubhouse. The clubhouse is renowned locally for its “Genghis Khan Barbeque”, which takes place on a huge wooden deck and is cooked on a hotplate in the middle of your table. Icecold beer, which is poured from the taps on the deck itself, makes for a great finish to a highly

Niseko Hanazono Resort Japan

The Hanazono Golf



Rusutsu Resort

Top: The picturesque 2nd of Rusutsu Wood Course is an early wake-up call; Above: The clubhouse of Rusutsu Riverwood is renowned locally for its “Genghis Khan Barbeque” 66


enjoyable 36-hole day here. The River Course compensates for its shortness by being ill tempered if not treated with respect. Narrow fairways with steep run-offs on either side would be painful enough. That the run-offs often lead to out-of-bounds makes this a tricky track to master. As the name suggests, water plays a part on many holes and it’s best to keep the big stick in the bag and plot your way around here. This is especially true on the par-5s, which are all short enough to reach in two, but all feature narrow landing areas. Overshadowed by the elegant Wood Course, nevertheless, this is a very fun course indeed, with the 208-yard par-3 17th and the brilliant risk-reward 18th - measuring less than 280 yards providing a nerve-tingling finish to any close match. The Wood Course here is undoubtedly one of the best in the region. A more forgiving layout than the River, this is nevertheless no pushover. The picturesque 2nd is an early wake-up call: rated handicap index one, this is a tree-lined monster at 454 yards; accept a bogey and move on. As with every course in this area, the scenery is breathtaking and makes it difficult to concentrate on keeping the ball in play. As ever, the wind is a factor, made more challenging due to the sheer number of trees that shield its presence from the tees. Overall, a delightful combination of beauty and bother, you will want to come back to play again and again. HKGOLFER.COM

The Kamui Niseko - A stunning new five-star accommodation opened and operated by SkiJapan


Big Fight Matsumoto is a can’t miss for fly fishing fans

Please write to YOTEI GOLF at info@ to book for your stay and play golf package in Niseko

WHERE TO STAY THE KAMUI NISEKO (www.kamui-niseko. com) - A stunning new five-star accommodation opened December 2016 in Annupuri area. An exceptional premium property, thoughtfully designed to capture the essence of the beautiful natural surrounds. There is an on-site Michelin Star Sushi Restaurant, SUSHI-SHIN ( and the master chef Miyakawa-san was awarded the pinnacle of excellence and recognition, three Michelin stars and offering world class Edomae Sushi.

HANAZONO GOLF 1 Aza Hanazono, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0084 BIG FIGHT MATSUMOTO 52-4, Aichi-cho, Otaki-ku, Date-shi, Hokkaido 044-0441 +81 136 33 6106 (Only in Japanese) Yotei Golf

RUSUTSU RESORT/ RUSUTUS RESORT GOLF 72 Izumikawa 13 Rusutsu, Hokkaido, 048-1711 Japan







HK Golfer Pinnacle BLACK

James Honey, an S&C Coach at Pinnacle BLACK, continues to track the progress of Louie Chan, our Managing Editor’s strength and conditioning training programme to improve his golf game.


key area that many amateur golfers lose control and power from is their shoulder. Having the flexibility to move into a full back swing position, and the strength to guide the club head through a complete and powerful drive is paramount. It is therefore a great idea to work on both the flexibility and the strength of your shoulders to benefit your game. This month, we are focusing on strength. A healthy rotator cuff is the first stop when looking at the strength of a golfing shoulder. This quadruplet of small muscles controls stability at the shoulder, and allows all internal and external rotation to happen. For golf, this directly impacts club head position and swing plane, the ability to produce and control power, and to generate stability through club head impact. Easy to see why elite golfers must have elite level strength in their rotator cuff, and the ability to employ it thousands of times per week to cope with the stress of the game. Budding golf athlete Louie has been working hard to strengthen his shoulders and rotator cuff muscles. One of the two exercises we started with, and a great beginner tool, is what we term the ‘Prone Cobra’ and ‘Prone Dumbbell Row’. Louie has been making fantastic progress with his shoulder strength and control, utilising these simple exercises among many others. Next month, we will delve into the importance of flexibility in the shoulder, and how to create a more mobile swing so that you can utilise the strength you generate here.

Daniel Wong

James Honey is an S&C Coach at Pinnacle BLACK, and also the Lead S&C Coach for Hong Kong Golf Association. Contact him today for a complimentary Pinnacle Golf Screening session and trial week at Pinnacle BLACK! Please write to or visit their website at




PRONE COBRA PURPOSE: The exercise aims to generate significant strength through the important rotator cuff, whilst also teaching strong movement control of the shoulder blades themselves. HOW: 1st position - Lying face down on a bench, with elbows at shoulder height and bent at 90 degrees; 2nd position - External rotation of the shoulder, bringing the hands to ear-height whilst retaining the same elbow position; 3rd position - Pushing the hands forwards until the elbows are straight, whilst retaining the hand height. The movement is then reversed back to the second and then third positions to be restarted. PRESCRIPTION: 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions to start.

PRONE DUMBBELL ROW PURPOSE: Aims to put the shoulder through a large range of motion, primarily strengthening the muscles between the shoulder blades such as the rhomboids and lower trapezius. HOW: Prone on the bench, with arms outstretched and holding dumbbells on the floor. Lifting the weights up to the bench height, whilst squeezing the shoulder. Holding for 2 seconds at the top, and then slowly lower to the start position. PRESCRIPTION: 3-4 sets of 12-15 repetitions to start.




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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 • Guide Price £23,000,000

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"GLORY'S LAST HOPE" - THE USPGA ©2017 Dr Milton Wayne




1. They keep your stance steady 4. See 29D 6. These covers save clubs 8. (& 2D) “The Black Knight” 9. (& 13D) Carmel’s Finest! 10. Home of the Hong Kong Golf Club 12. See 28D 14. See 31A 17. (& 19A) “The Great White Shark” 18. Wooden peg and the place you use it 19. See 17A 23. Stroke also used in baseball? 26. Best-selling drivers 30. (& 7D) Speciality bunker club 31. (& 14A) Home of the 19th hole 33. See 34D 35. Shot used in Macau? 36. See 27D 37. The #1 wood

2. See 8A 3. It’s usually graphite or steel 5. Gets you home and dry 7. See 30A 11. Where to be “in regulation” 13. See 9A 15. The home of golf (2,7) 16. Top of club, where tacky is good! 20. Arnie’s TV outlet, “The Golf ...” 21. Home of first 6 Open Championships 22. One under par 24. #1 ball in golf 25. Alias for the putter: “...stick” 27. (& 36A) Home of the Masters 28. (& 12A) Place to practice 29. (& 4A) “The Golden Bear” 32. Karsten Solheim’s equipment co. 34. (& 33A) Elderly Morris from 15D! (Pic)



WIN "THE GOLFERS" PRINT To enter, complete the crossword and send a scan or photo of the completed grid to, with “September Crossword” as the subject. Remember to include your name, address and contact number. Entries close on 15 October 2017. ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THE CORRECT ENTRIES.

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).


Congratulations to Alice Chow of Mongkok who won the July crossword.

Hill & Adamson, “The Golfers” HKGOLFER.COM




The Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club

Yannick Artigolle Louie Chan talks to the 2017 Hong Kong Junior Open champion about his junior golf career, plan to play college golf in the US and dream of turning Pro. When did you start playing – and where? I start playing when I was 6 at Kau Sai Chau.

College seems promising but I’ll have to put on a good show in order to get an offer.

How often do you play? In Loretto Golf Academy (Scotland), I practice about 4 to 5 times a week for two hours.

Have you thought about turning Pro? Turing pro has been my dream ever since I started playing seriously. But I plan to finish college first before thinking about turning pro.

What’s been your best ever round? My best rounds have been in Scotland where I shot 8-under at St Andrew’s Eden Course. I also shot 8-under at my home course in Scotland - Craigielaw Golf Club. Both were only a few months apart around 4 months ago. Also, both were in tournament conditions which is a plus! How would you describe your junior golf career so far? I have to say my career is doing well. I’ve really been working on my mental game and I feel that it’s been helping me loads. One achievement I have this season is not losing a single match play! I am also pleased with myself that I haven’t shot in the eighties in a while.  Daniel Wong

What would be your next step? I am looking to play college golf in the US. I’ve recently looked at the area of Chicago. Northwestern and Boston 78


Do you have a favourite course? Clearwater Bay is probably the best course in Hong Kong by far. With its view, quality and maintenance, it performs far out than all the other courses. But my favorite course has to be Peachtree in Atlanta.  Who would be in your dream fourball? Henrik Stenson, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Jason day - the power house of golf. It would especially be great to play with Day because he grew up with a very tough childhood. I can learn a lot from him. Stenson has been my favorite since day one. Rory is just raw power, I’ve stood next to him before and when he hits a shot you can really feel his strength, I’ve always admired that. Of course, Tiger would also be in my flight just because the guy is a legend! HKGOLFER.COM