25 Mar 2013

A recent press release from China caught my eye. It appeared on Colin Montgomerie’s own web site, and was picked up by a number of ‘respected’ news agencies across Asia, all of whom regurgitated the article verbatim.

The full press release can be viewed here.

The article covers the story of Montgomerie traveling to China earlier this month to officially open his course at Imperial Springs Golf Club, in Guangdong Province. This is the same Imperial Springs Golf Club that created headlines in 2011 when it pulled out of hosting an LPGA event at the last moment. We understand that members have been golfing on the course for more than 18 months.

Regardless of when the course was actually finished and open for play, what’s telling about the recent Montgomerie visit was the generosity, and originality, of some of the language used by the ‘designer’ to celebrate the occasion.

Clearly impressed by what his design team had achieved at Imperial Springs, Monty gushed that, “After coming back and playing Imperial Springs I am very happy with the end result! Not only is this golf course world class, but the entire Imperial Springs project is very impressive and unique not only to China, but to all of Asia.”

What appears, on the surface, to be mere hyperbole is, in fact, much worse. Back in December 2009, when Montgomerie made his last site visit to Imperial Springs, he was similarly effusive in his praise of the place. Eerily so.

Back then he remarked that, “after seeing the site and walking all 27 holes over 2 days I am very happy with the construction progress to date. Not only will this golf course be world class, but the entire Imperial Springs project is very impressive and unique not only to China, but to all of Asia.”

It continues. In March 2013 Montgomerie stated, “this natural site was truly unique and the best I have been involved with in China. The blend of hills, winding valleys, and a river, all helped to create so many enjoyable and instantly memorable golf holes.”

In 2009 he held comparable views, commenting that, “this site is truly unique and the best I have been involved with in China. The blend of hills, winding valleys, and a river, all help create so many enjoyable and instantly memorable golf holes.”

Not sure who has help(ed) Montgomerie with his Public/Media Relations over the last few years, but economy of language does not simply mean repeating the same lines over and over again. It’s different to signature design. Not being able to come up with anything original to describe a new course you supposedly designed is surely an indictment on the work (you’ve?) apparently done.

While hardly likely to surprise those who dismiss signature design for the fraud that it is, Montgomerie should still be pulled up on accepting plaudits for a course built between his site visits. A lot can change in three and a half years…just apparently not the PR dribble.

Those who want to read the 2009 press statement can find it here –

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China Golf, colin montgomerie, Australia