The last weekend in October was a big weekend for the golf industry in the Asia Pacific as Hua Hin hosted the 10th Asia Pacific Golf Summit 2016 (APGS). This was a gathering of the best minds, visionaries and industry leaders in the business of golf. Delegates included the owners and managers of golf courses, course designers, golf equipment manufacturers, golf tour operators as well as those who specialise in the marketing and service delivery in an industry which has a major impact on tourism in the region. Our thanks to Mike Sebastian, the Singapore based CEO of the APGS, who invited Hua Hin Today to participate in the Summit as well as to local hosts; the Black Mountain Golf Course (General Manager Harald Ellison), Banyan Golf Course (General Manager Stacey Walton) and the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin (General Manager Christian Wurm) for their hospitality and access to the range of international luminaries and delegates. Highlights of the Summit finale included inductions into the Asia Pacific Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievements Awards as well as recognising the best of the best in the Asia Pacific by country and overall in relation to golf course management, clubhouse, pro-shop, staff and maintenance amongst just a few of the categories apart from recognising the best golf courses.
A ‘Better Way To Play Golf
The weekend started with joining a Junior Golfing Clinic at Banyan conducted by David Leadbetter; arguably the most renowned golf coach of all time. Regional
juniors and aspiring professional golfers had the opportunity to tune up their thinking about the game apart from stroke making and course management. There was also a message for the parents in attendance; young golfers need a rounded sporting and educational background to achieve their ambitions, it’s as much about life as hitting the little white ball.
A Fine Day of Golf
Next was the Inter-Club Golf Tournament, 18 holes at Black Mountain followed by a welcome reception with David Leadbetter as the guest of honour with more words of wisdom from this golfing guru after a fine day of golf (no rain) on one of the region’s finest courses.
The final day was a jam-packed seminar at the Hyatt with the key-note speaker, Dr Ken Chu, chairman and chief executive of the giant Mission Hills Group setting the scene. This is the world’s largest golf resort with 22 golf courses in China. Dr Chu built his presentation on a living example – his sprawling US$10 billion complex on Haikou, Hainan and in Shenzhen, China.
We also heard the insights of John Solheim, Chairman and CEO of the Ping Corporation as well as marketing, communication and customer service experts all delivering their message with animated passion and informed personal insight. Special focus was also brought to bear on the challenge of making the game of golf relevant to younger generations like the “Millennials” and generations like “Gen Z”, the new emerging generation.
A Gala Affair
The Gala Banquet with Awards presentations was a grand evening of glamour and a celebration of the golf industry. Once again Hua Hin golf courses featured strongly; showing that the region really is at the forefront of world golf.
At award time, the top awards went to four great luminaries of the golf industry.
2016 Asian Golf Hall Of Fame inductees
Dr. Ken Chu, group chairman and chief executive of the Mission Hills Group in China Mr. John Solheim, chairman of the PING Corporation 2016 Asia Pacific Life-Time Achievement in Golf Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, Chairman, BRG Group