Asia’s finest golfing facilities were honoured at a glittering gala dinner to commemorate the eighth year of the Asian Golf Monthly Awards.
Widely regarded as Asia’s golf course ‘Oscars’ and the industry benchmark for excellence, prominent golf course developers, owners, club general managers and golf course architects gathered in the Grand Ballroom at Singapore’s Meritus Mandarin Hotel.
Among the big winners were Mission Hills Golf Club and Spring City Golf & Lake Resort in China, Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club and the Thai Country Club on the outskirts of Bangkok.
Mission Hills, host of the US$5 million Omega Mission Hills World Cup, was voted the Best Golf Resort in Asia. Ken Chu, vice chairman of the world’s largest golf club, was on hand also to collect the award to the recently-opened Pete Dye Course as the Best New Course in Asia.
Another China coup was delivered by the Jack Nicklaus-designed Mountain Course at Spring City in Kunming, winning the accolades as Best Course in Asia and Best Course in China.
The Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club, venue for the US$4 million Barclays Singapore Open at the start of November, also had cause for celebration, winning the categories for Best Championship Course in Asia and Best Course in Singapore.
Meanwhile, Thai Country Club, which will stage next month’s Volvo Masters Asia, was another two-time winner, retaining its titles as the Best Course in Thailand and Best Clubhouse in Asia.
Thailand’s reputation as a haven for golfing tourists was further enhanced with the Kingdom once more topping the standings in the category of Best Golfing Destination in Asia.
Robert Trent Jones Jnr, one of the world’s best known course architects, was honoured for his outstanding work in the region spanning more than quarter of a century, capturing the award for the Best Golf Course Architect in Asia for the third year in succession. Schmidt Curley Design was runner-up with Nicklaus Design in third place.
In the country-by-country categories, the following clubs emerged triumphant: Ria Bintan Golf Club (Indonesia), The Club at Nine Bridges (Korea/Japan), Saujana Golf & Country Club (Malaysia), Sta. Elena Golf Club (Philippines), DLF Golf & Country Club (Sub-continent), Sunrise Golf & Country Club (Taiwan) and Dalat Palace Golf Club (Vietnam).
As in previous years, voting in Asia’s premier golfing poll was determined by readers and subscribers of Asian Golf Monthly. The one difference this year was that, for the first time, voting was conducted purely on-line at www.asiangolfmonthly.com
Mike Sebastian, publisher of Asian Golf Monthly, said, “Since the re-launch of the Asian Golf Monthly website at the start of the year, traffic to the site has increased tremendously and we have been ranked as the 17th most visited golfing website in the world by Yahoo!
“With a large proportion of the region’s golf clubs also having an on-line presence and the vast majority of golfers being computer savvy, we felt the time was right to further raise the profile of the Asian Golf Monthly Awards by going on-line.”
Befitting its stature as the most comprehensive poll of Asia’s golfing facilities, the awards were handed out to category winners at a lavish gala dinner at the conclusion of the inaugural Asia Pacific Golf Development Summit.
Georgina Wong, president of Asian Golf Monthly, said, “It was a fitting way in which to acknowledge the best of the best in the Asian golf course industry.”
The top-10 in each category will be published in the January 2008 edition of Asian Golf Monthly.