Beijing’s Bayhood No 9 Golf Club houses the PGA Golf Academy which includes a two tier driving range, custom-fit studios and extensive practice facilities featuring a short game area complete with a par 3 course and two putting greens.
The academy will be managed by PGA Golf Management and staffed by PGA instructors and will help bring the game to thousands of newcomers including many juniors. It marks a significant step for the De Vere Belfry-based PGA which is committed to growing the game both nationally and internationally.
”There is a huge boom in golf in China and the Far East and through such PGA branded projects we’re ensuring the PGA is at the forefront of the game,” said Robert Maxfield, PGA director of property and development.
Keith Haslam, PGAGM operations director, added, “The quality and range of the academy facilities being developed, the technology that will be available and importantly the PGA instructors and coaching methods will ensure the PGA Golf Academy at Bayhood No.9 will be at the forefront of coaching in China.”
Golf’s popularity in the Far East continues to soar, reflected by the fact that in 2006 China hosted six European Tour events – more than any other country. And while the likes of Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington take star billing, it is the PGA’s members who are leading the way as coaches, directors of golf and other managerial roles in the many courses sprouting up across the country.
To date more than 20 PGA professionals are employed in China and nearby Hong Kong, working at an impressive array of clubs including Harbour Plaza, Mission Hills, Shenzen, Macau G&CC and Yalong Bay.
PGA pro Richard Ivens, who has spent 10 years in the Far East, said, “The first thing to say for golf pros and golfers alike in the UK, is that golf courses in China are of an exceptionally high standard and also come with wonderful clubhouses and excellent facilities. But China isn’t just about golf – it’s got a rich history with some great attractions and it’s something any golf pro or golfer should experience if they can.”
The PGA also has branded facilities at the following:
Gleneagles, Scotland – PGA Centenary
The De Vere Belfry, England – PGA Centenary and PGA National Golf Academy
Palmerstown House, Ireland – PGA National
Formby Hall, England – PGA National Residential Golf Academy