Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei (December 13): Mission Hills added another chapter to one of the most memorable years in its history by taking centre stage in the 2012 Asian Golf Monthly Awards.
The club that has led the way in putting China onto the global golfing map over the past two decades swept a slew of top awards at a gala dinner in Brunei at which winners of this year’s Asian Golf Monthly Awards were revealed.
Into its 13th year, the Asian Golf Monthly Awards are widely regarded as the region’s premier annual poll of golfing establishments in the Asia Pacific with votes being cast in a total of 28 categories.
Among the notable attendees at the lavish gathering at the Empire Hotel & Country Club were pioneering Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, who received an Asia Pacific Lifetime Achievement Award, and famed golf course architect Ron Fream, who was inducted into the Asia Pacific Hall of Fame.
Colin Montgomerie also received a Lifetime Achievement Award while the inaugural Asia Pacific Golf Group Global Legacy Award was bestowed upon Jack Nicklaus. Both Montgomerie and Nicklaus recorded acceptance videos.
While The Club at Nine Bridges on Korea’s Jeju Island was voted Best Course in Asia Pacific for the first time, Thailand’s Banyan Golf Club clinched Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific and Siam Country Club’s Plantation Course retained its title as the region’s Best Maintained Course, it was China’s best-known golfing establishment that dominated proceedings.
Two months after staging the World Celebrity Pro-Am at its Hainan Island site and six weeks after its Dongguan facility hosted the WGC-HSBC Champions, Mission Hills once more stole the limelight.
While the sprawling Mission Hills Haikou development was named Best Golf Resort in Asia Pacific, Mission Hills Shenzhen was honoured as Best Pro-Shop in Asia Pacific.
Accolades also came the way of the Brian Curley-designed Blackstone Course in Haikou which not only was nominated as the Best Course in China, but also Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific.
“We are honoured to have won these awards,” said Iain Roberts, Mission Hills’ Executive Director. “Mission Hills has been the major driving force behind the sports and leisure industry in China and these accolades further underline our efforts to grow the game in China and Asia,” he added.
Between them, Mission Hills’ three world-class integrated leisure and wellness resort destinations – Shenzhen, Dongguan and Haikou – boast a total of 22 courses that have hosted more than 100 international tournaments.
Additional evidence of the island of Hainan’s reputation as one of the region’s most active areas for golfing development and prime golfing getaways was provided when Shanqin Bay Golf Course was named Best New Course in Asia Pacific with the Shadow Dunes Course at Mission Hills Haikou taking second place.
Designed by Bill Coore in partnership with two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, Shanqin Bay, on the southeast coast of Hainan, is a welcome addition to the China golfing landscape featuring cliffs, ocean, hills, coconuts palms, and natural undulations.
In other Best in Asia Pacific categories, for the second year in succession Schmidt-Curley Design was named Best Course Architect in Asia Pacific while Scotland was voted Best Golf Destination outside Asia Pacific and Thailand reigned in the Best Golf Destination in Asia Pacific.
In past years, results were based purely upon on-line votes of readers and subscribers of Asian Golf Monthly – the only global golfing title with an Asian perspective.
For 2012, however, a 24-strong panel of industry stalwarts located around the region and with a vast knowledge of the golfing facilities within their respective geographic areas contributed. Their combined input accounted for 50 per cent of the overall voting.
ASIAN GOLF MONTHLY AWARDS 2012
Best Golf Destination in Asia Pacific
1, Thailand; 2, Indonesia; 3, China
Best Golf Destination outside Asia Pacific
1, Scotland; 2, United States of America; 3, Ireland
Best Course in Asia Pacific
1, The Club at Nine Bridges (Korea); 2, Black Mountain Golf Club (Thailand); 3, Nirwana Bali Golf Course (Indonesia)
Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific
1, Blackstone Course, Mission Hills Haikou (China); 2, Serapong Course, Sentosa Golf Club (Singapore); 3, National Course, Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Best Golf Resort in Asia Pacific
1, Mission Hills Haikou (China); 2, Empire Hotel & Country Club (Brunei); 3, Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali (Indonesia)
Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific
1, Banyan Golf Club (Thailand); 2, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (Malaysia); 3, Thai Country Club (Thailand)
Best New Course in Asia Pacific
1, Shanqin Bay Golf Course (China); 2, Shadown Dunes Course, Mission Hills Haikou (China); 3, Vinpearl Golf Club (Vietnam)
Best Maintained Course in Asia Pacific
1, Siam Country Club, Plantation Course (Thailand); 2, Suzhou Jinji Lake International Golf Club (China); 3, Oxford Golf & Country Club (India)
Best Pro Shop in Asia Pacific
1, Mission Hills Shenzhen (China); 2, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club (Abu Dhabi); 3, Black Mountain Golf Club (Thailand)
Best Golf Course Architect in Asia Pacific
1, Schmidt-Curley Design; 2, JMP Golf Design Group; 3, GolfPlan
Best Value for Money Experience in Asia Pacific
1, Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort (Thailand); 2, Orchid Country Club (Singapore); 3, Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort (Malaysia)
Best Course Renovation in Asia Pacific
1, Senayan National Golf Course (Indonesia); 2, Xili Golf & Country Club (China); 3, Jurong Country Club (Singapore)
Asian Golf Personalities of the Year
Ken Chu and Tenniel Chu
Best Course in Australia
1, Royal Melbourne Golf Club (West Course); 2, Kingston Heath Golf Club; 3, New South Golf Club
Best Course in China
1, Blackstone Course, Mission Hills Haikou; 2, Mountain Course, Spring City Golf & Lake Resort; 3, Luxehills Golf & Country Club
Best Course in Chinese Taipei
1, Sunrise Golf & Country Club; 2, ‘A’ Course, Miramar Golf & Country Club; 3, East-Central Course, Ta Shee Golf & Country Club
Best Course in India
1, DLF Golf & Country Club; 2, Oxford Golf & Country Club; 3, Eagleton Golf Resort
Best Course in Indonesia
1, West-South Course, Royale Jakarta Golf Club; 2, Nirwana Bali Golf Course; 3, Ocean Course, Ria Bintan Golf Club
Best Course in Japan
1, Hirono Golf Club; 2, Fuji Course, Kawana Resort; 3, West Course, Kasumigaseki Golf Club
Best Course in Korea
1, The Club at Nine Bridges; 2, Pine Beach Golf Links; 3, Ocean Course, Sky 72 Golf Club
Best Course in Malaysia
1, West Course, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club; 2, Kota Permai Golf & Country Club; 3, Horizon Hills Golf & Country Club
Best Course in the Middle East
1, National Course, Abu Dhabi Golf Club; 2, Yas Links; 3, Majlis Course, Emirates Golf Club
Best Course in New Zealand
1, Cape Kidnappers; 2, Kauri Cliffs; 3, Jack’s Point Golf Course
Best Course in the Philippines
1, East Course, Wack Wack Golf & Country Club; 2, Makiling Course, Sta Elena Golf Club; 3, Palmer Course, Orchard Golf & Country Club
Best Course in Singapore
1, Serapong Course, Sentosa Golf Club; 2, Garden Course, Tanah Merah Country Club; 3, Marina Bay Golf Course
Best Course on the Sub-Continent
1, Royal Colombo Golf Club; 2, Victoria Golf & Country Resort; 3, Gokarna Forest Golf Resort
Best Course in Thailand
1, Black Mountain Golf Club; 2, Banyan Golf Club; 3, Thai Country Club
Best Course in Vietnam
1, Dunes Course, Danang Golf Club; 2, The Montgomerie Links; 3, Dalat Palace Golf Club