23 Sep 2019

Interesting news over the past week, with independent publisher Mike Sebastian, of the Asia Pacific Golf Group, announcing that his annual golf summit had established a permanent home base at Mission Hills in China.

For the past 13 years the Asia Pacific Golf Summit has moved from city to city and country to country. Organisers have previously trumpeted the benefits of a region-wide, knowledge-sharing event that connects all areas of the industry, and to various established and establishing golf markets. Such aims are no longer relevant, given the deal with Mission Hills will, according to Sebastian, “take APGS to a whole new level and after fourteen years, the time has come to enlarge both its scope and size to better cater to and address the needs of the multi-billion dollar golf industry in the Asia Pacific.

For Mission Hills Vice-Chairman Mr. Tenniel Chu, the association between his golf resort and the APGS is a significant milestone for Hainan Island, given its special mandate to help promote golf tourism into the country. Said Chu, “It is hoped that through this initiative, the world can be introduced to the spectacular tourism attractions of Hainan and to also be given a first-hand insight to the world class golf courses and golfing facilities on the island.

On top of hosting the APGS, Mission Hills will, by extension, also host the annual Asian Golf Awards, touted by Sebastian as the industry’s “Oscars” and celebrated for such memorable moments as 2013 when Royal Melbourne (West) pipped DLF (India) and Sunrise Golf & Country Club (Chinese Taipei) to finish as the 7th Best Championship Course in the Asia Pacific, behind such heavyweights as Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Royale Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur Golf & CC and Mission Hills (Blackstone).

Mission Hills will be a strong favourite to win several awards next year, and to perhaps improve upon the 2018 results where it won or finished Top 5 in the following categories – Best Golf Resort in Asia Pacific, Best Golf Course in China, Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific, Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific, Best Maintained Course in Asia Pacific, Best Pro Shop in Asia Pacific, Best Locker Room in Asia Pacific, Best Golf Club Experience in Asia Pacific, Best Driving Range in Asia Pacific, Best Golf Academy in Asia Pacific and The Zenith Zone (a special award to recognise distinguished golf clubs and permanently enshrine these clubs in a hallowed class all their own).

Mission Hills was also recognized last year as having the Best Food & Beverage Manager Of The Year and the 2nd Best Professional Golf Coach in Asia Pacific.

Aside from the regular awards handed out each year at the APGS, are “Honorary Awards” that recognise special achievements in the game of golf, or perhaps strong sponsorship support for the Asia Pacific Golf Group – or maybe both. Mission Hills will be hard pressed to improve upon recent recognition within these special award categories. In 2013 and 2018 the Mission Hills Group was awarded the “Asia Pacific Custodian of the Environment” title. In 2015 it won the “Global Jadeite Golf Award” and in 2014 the “Asia Pacific Vision Award”, in recognition of its development on Hainan Island. In 2017 Tenniel Chu was recognised with the “Asia Pacific Leadership Award for Junior Golf Development”, to go with his 2009 “Asia Pacific Golf Personality of the Year” gong. In 2016 his brother Dr. Ken Chu was inducted into the newly created “Asia Pacific Golf Hall of Fame”.

We understand that Tenniel Chu is an early favourite to join his brother in the Hall of Fame next year – which, it was announced this week, will now be permanently housed at the Mission Hills Resort in Shenzhen.

According to a news report, the permanent display for the Asia Pacific Golf Hall of Fame will be established at the Dr. David Chu Golf Museum on the grounds of Mission Hills, Shenzhen. Dr. David Chu was the founder of the Mission Hills Group that his sons now control, and one section of the Museum, which was originally his family home, will be given to the Asia Pacific Golf Group to display their many awards.

Mike Sebastian, CEO of the APGG, was delighted to be able to give his “Hall of Fame” an actual physical location. “We are honoured to be granted the use of such a historic venue to serve as the permanent exhibit hall for the Asia Pacific Golf Hall of Fame – before the end of the year we should have the tributes to the inductees proudly place on display for the public to view,” said Sebastian, who added “This is history in the making and we have Mission Hills to thank for providing such a grand venue to honour the great men and women of golf.”

The 2019 APGS and Awards will be held in India next month.

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