David Chu Shu-ho, the mastermind and visionary behind China’s Mission Hills Golf Club, has passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer. Showered with honours and accolades and widely described as the ‘father of golf’ in the world’s most populous country in recognition of his immense contribution to the game, Chu was aged 61. (text from Asia Pacific Golf Group)
Chu, who suffered from nasal cancer, built Mission Hills into the world’s largest golfing facility and recently turned his attention toHainanIsland, where an even bigger complex is taking shape in Haikou. According to the South China Morning Post, the tycoon also controlled two listed companies inHong Kong– Hsin Chong Construction Group and Synergis Holdings. He resigned as chairman of both companies in February as his health declined further and his eldest son, Ken, was appointed his successor.
Chu kept a low profile in his final years and one media report said he requested a simple funeral which took place in Hong Kong last week.
In 2008, Chu broke into the top-10 figureheads worldwide in Golf Inc’s list of the ‘Most Powerful People in Golf’. The rankings are based on the ability to influence the development of courses and communities, the operation of courses, the equipment used by golfers, and the rules and administration of the game.
“It is probably no exaggeration to say Chu is the man most responsible for China’s golf boom,” Golf Inc said. “In addition to the 12 courses, residential and resort amenities at Mission Hills, Chu spearheaded the agreement to hold the World Cup tournament for the next 12 years.”
Occupying 20 square kilometres between Shenzhen and Dongguan, the club’s 12 courses – bearing the names of some of the game’s most famous professionals, including Nick Faldo, Ernie Els and Jose Maria Olazabal – combined to make Mission Hills the largest club in the world, according to Guinness World Records. Chu sealed a deal to bring the World Cup to Mission Hills in 2007 and the tournament has now been moved to the new complex on Hainan.
A Hong Kong native, Chu was one of the first entrepreneurs to invest in the mainland in the late 1970s.
A firm believer in cross-cultural education programmes for academic advancement, he supported many institutions of higher learning on the mainland, in Hong Kong and overseas. In 2008, he established Dr David Chu’s Care Fund for Orphans in response to the Sichuan earthquake, raising more than US$3 million for victims.
Mission Hills Group www.missionhillschina.com
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