Nicklaus Design takes top course honors in China, Korea, Taipei and Indonesia
NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla.—For the second straight year and the third time in seven years, the readers of Asian Golf Monthly magazine have named Nicklaus Design as “Golf Course Architect of the Year in Asia Pacific.” The honor was announced last week on the closing eve of the 2009 Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and capped a night during which Jack Nicklaus was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award before a record number of close to 500 delegates from around the world.
As Asia is being celebrated as golf’s new frontier and arguably the most important player in the game’s future, Nicklaus Design is being lauded for its impact on golf’s past, present and future there. The gala not only recognized the top course architect, but honored the top courses in different countries and regions throughout Asia. Among the winners was the 1997 Jack Nicklaus design of the Mountain Course at Spring City Resort in Kunming, which repeated as Best Golf Course in China. Nicklaus Design’s Shadow Creek, which opened just last year in Beijing and has already received acclaim not only for its design but impeccable playing conditions, was named second runner-up.
For the second year in a row and just two years after opening, The Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club was named Best Golf Course in Korea. Located in Incheon, this Nicklaus Design layout, which played host last week to the LPGA’s Hana Bank • KOLON Championship, was also voted No. 4 on the list of the Best Courses in the Asia Pacific Region.
The Best Course in Chinese Taipei went to Miramar Linkou Golf & Country Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course that opened in 1994. The top honor in Indonesia went to Bumi Serpong Damai Course at Damai Indah Golf & Country Club in Tangerang. This 1992 design by Jack was also named No. 5 on the list of the Best Championship Courses in Asia Pacific.
“Nicklaus Design is pleased and honored to win Asia’s Golf Course Architect of the Year, and we want to thank everyone associated with Asian Golf Monthly, not the least of which are the readers, for recognizing us again,” said Paul Stringer, Executive Vice President for Nicklaus Design. “Having the support and confidence of the golfers in Asia is a tribute to Jack Nicklaus and to our designers in Asia. We are also very proud that countries that are growing the game the fastest, particularly Korea and China, have recognized Nicklaus Design by applauding our work in their respective countries.
“Our Nicklaus Design team has done a tremendous job in providing great customer service and quality design for our Asian clients. This is tremendous recognition and inspires our team to continue to create great golf experiences.”
Beginning with this year’s honorees, the geographic reach of the Asian Golf Monthly Awards was extended to include Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands. Other Nicklaus Design courses recognized by the Asian Golf Monthly Awards included: Classic Golf Resort, which was voted No. 4 in India; Sherwood Hills Golf & Country Club, which was voted No. 4 in the Philippines and No. 4 among the Best Maintained Courses in Asia Pacific; and Mission Hills, which was named the Best Golf Resort and Best Pro Shop in Asia Pacific.
Nicklaus Design opened its first course in Asia 36 years ago in Japan, and now has no fewer than 75 spread throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim, including 14 courses in the vibrant and burgeoning golf market of China. Nicklaus Design’s first course in China was Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club in Zhongshan City, Guangdong, which opened in 1993. Jack’s ground-breaking design of the World Cup Course at Mission Hills then followed in 1994. The World Cup course and was named last year by LINKS Magazine as one of the 10 Most Influential Designs in Golf History, as it set the bar for golf in China and sparked a boom at Mission Hills, which now boasts a world-record 12 courses at the facility.
Nicklaus Design Asia, with offices or representation in Hong Kong; Beijing; Seoul, Korea; and Manila, Philippines, has 10 courses under construction in Asia, including five in China, three in Korea and courses in Cambodia and India. The firm also has another 29 signed and active projects spread throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim, representing China, Korea, Vietnam, India, Jakarta, Papua New Guinea and Australia.