Global Edition

 

The ‘Father’ of China Golf

12.30am 18th November 2009 - People - This story was updated on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

David Chu Chairman Mission Hills Group

Mission Hills China’s founder and chairman, Dr. David Chu, has been honoured by the PGA TOUR with an award created by the PGA TOUR’s Board of Directors.

The award recognizes Dr. Chu’s outstanding contributions to the growth of golf in China. Dr. Chu is considered by many the father of golf in China. Dr. Chu founded Mission Hills in 1992, confident in his belief that China’s thriving economy would give rise to a domestic golf and leisure industry. Little more than 15 years after breaking ground, Mission Hills has grown into the world’s largest golf club and is leading the golf boom gripping China.

The award itself is an 8 cm x 8 mm bronze medal bearing Dr. Chu’s likeness and featuring text in English and Chinese on either side. It is anticipated that in future years the award will be given in Dr. Chu’s name to other worthy recipients who have been instrumental in developing golf in China.

“Dr. Chu’s legacy is one of a pioneer, visionary and philanthropist,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, who was on hand today at Mission Hills Golf Club to present the award. “Thanks to his efforts, Mission Hills has provided a platform for golf in China to take root, grow and flourish — the effects of which are certain to exceed all expectations in the years to come. We are grateful for our continued partnership with Dr. Chu and Mission Hills, and we are proud to honor him with this award.”

“It is a tremendous honor to be receiving this award, and a reward that I humbly accept on behalf of everyone who has put their passion and energy into making Mission Hills the cradle of golf in China and bringing this wonderful sport to the Chinese people,” said Dr. Chu at the awards ceremony. “I thank the PGA Tour and stand committed to its vision to make this honorable award an instrument to motivate and recognize those whose dedication to golf produces a lasting legacy and positive results for the sport in China.”

Recognizing the importance of bringing the world’s best to China to spark public interest in golf, Dr. Chu’s positioning of Mission Hills as a venue for world-class events began when he secured Mission Hills as the site of the 1995 World Cup of Golf. The event marked the first time golf was televised live in China. In doing so, the tournament set in motion golf’s exploding popularity as the number of golfers rose from 50,000 to 250,000 within two years. More importantly, the country proved it was eager and ready to use sports — golf in particular — as a vehicle to bring the world to China and China to the world.

In 2001, Dr. Chu invited Tiger Woods to Mission Hills for a tournament in his honor during his first trip to China. While matching Woods against China’s best professional golfers, Mission Hills demonstrated in inspiring fashion that golf in China was taking root.

In 2004, Mission Hills was recognized as the world’s largest golf facility by the Guinness World Records. The club’s record-setting pace of course construction — which had brought its overall number of courses from five to ten within a 14-month period — did not end there. In 2007, its 11th and 12th courses were added to celebrate Mission Hills’ 12-year anniversary.

Dr. Chu soon turned his attention to junior golf development. He brought in the world’s leading golf instructors and touring professionals to a new generation of Chinese players. In 2006, Mission Hills became home of the Faldo Series Asia, and 2008 saw Jack Nicklaus partner with the club to create the Mission Hills Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship. Earlier this year, The Masters and The R&A chose Mission Hills to become the inaugural host of the Asian Amateur Championship.

In 2007, the International Federation of Golf Tours sought a home for the World Cup in a region that held significant promise for the sport’s future development. An unprecedented deal was reached, naming Mission Hills as the long-term host of the event. Fulfilling this role for the third consecutive year in 2009, Mission Hills will host the 55th World Cup of Golf, November 26-29.

As Strategic Advisor to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Bid Committee, Dr. Chu played a crucial role in securing the Games for China. He is also Vice-Chairman of the China Football Association, China Tennis Association, China Volleyball Association and China Golf Association.

A reputed philanthropist, Dr. Chu has donated over US$75 million to charitable causes, including disaster relief efforts and the promotion of education and sports. After the 2008 Sichuan earthquake disaster, he established “Dr. David Chu’s Care Fund for Orphans” and donated more than $US3 million to help cover the future living expenses and educational needs of those orphaned by the tragedy.

The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. Its primary purpose is to expand the PGA TOUR domestically and internationally so as to substantially increase player financial benefits while maintaining our commitment to growth in charity and integrity to the game. In 2009, the three Tours will compete in 102 events for more than $350 million in prize money. Tournaments will be held in 10 countries outside the U.S. and in 35 states.

In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, TOUR events also generate significant funds for local charities. In fact, the three Tours have surpassed the $1 billion mark in overall charitable contributions. The PGA TOUR’s web site address is www.PGATOUR.com, and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

Mission Hills China www.missionhillschina.com

       

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