The Official Home for Asian Golf Awards
The prestigious and much sought after Asian Golf Awards programme is now enshrined in its own dedicated web site. This virtual museum in cyberspace is devoted to recognising and honouring the best in the Asia Pacific Golf industry – men and women and clubs that collectively help deliver a world class experience for golf! It is widely regarded as the “Oscars” of the Asian golf club industry. The programme has just finished its 19th year and winners in over 50 award categories were recognized during the staging of the Asian Golf Awards in Bangkok, Thailand. 

ASIA’S COMMUNITY OF EXCELLENCE GROWS!
 

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The cream has risen to the top and the moment has almost arrived when the most popular golf clubs in the Asia Pacific will be unveiled at the glitzy 2018 Asian Golf Awards during the staging of the 2018 Asia Pacific Golf Summit at the brand new five-star Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit in Thailand on November 3, 2018. The polling for this year’s awards has smashed all previous records. The polls, run over three months, pulled in more than 200,000 votes from golfers throughout the Continent and once again, the crème de la crème of the best of the best in Asia have emerged based on the most number of valid votes received.

The Mission Hills Group regards the awards as one of the most prestigious awards in the golf industry across the Asia Pacific Region,” is how Dr. Ken Chu, Chairman of the Mission Hills Group and the most powerful man in Asian golf describes the programme.

Planning for the annual awards normally commences early in the year and the voting is conducted on-line for a period of three months each year. The number of votes cast, especially for the 2018 awards, has been unprecedented. “We know that the programme is sought after by the golf club industry in the Asia Pacific but the number of valid votes received this year just goes to show how popular the programme has become,” explained Alice Ho, coordinator for the Asian Golf Awards on-line poll.

There are a total of 46 categories and for 2018, two new special categories have been introduced. These categories are what can be considered the “plum” awards of the Asian Golf Awards. The first is the Asia Pacific Order of Zenith, the highest and most prestigious award reserved for a select few golf clubs in Asia.

Given the long and impressive history of the Asian Golf Awards, it was generally felt that the time had come for the creation of a special award that would seek out and honour the absolute best amongst the best. A unique award designed to recognise distinguished golf clubs and permanently enshrine these clubs in a hallowed class all their own. Hence, the creation of the Asia Pacific Order Of Zenith.
Commenting on the special award, Mike Sebastian, chief executive officer of the Asia Pacific Golf Group, the owner and producer of the programme said, “Asia needs to develop a benchmark to measure excellence and the best way to do this is to create a peer group of clubs renowned for their commitment to excellence to serve as the yardstick for others.”

To kick-off the programme, a total of thirteen golf clubs have been carefully selected to be the initial inductees and all the organisations have been successful in past Asian Golf Awards polls.
The first batch of golf clubs to be honoured with this very distinguished award include the following:
Anvaya Cove Golf & Sports Club (Philippines)
Banyan Golf Club (Thailand)
Black Mountain Golf Club (Thailand)
BRG Kings’ Island Golf Resort (Vietnam)
DLF Golf & Country Club (India)
Hirono Golf Club (Japan)
Long Thanh Golf Resort (Vietnam)
Mission Hills Golf Club Haikou, Blackstone Course (China)
Ria Bintan Golf Club (Indonesia)
Sentosa Golf Club (Singapore)
SKy72 Golf & Resort (South Korea)
Thai Country Club (Thailand)
TPC Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Each of the premier clubs on the award list has distinguished and excelled itself in terms of operating a golf club noted for the quality of its golf course, its club house facilities and services and its commitment to deliver a quality golfing experience to both members and guests alike.

The second new award category is the “Legion Of Leaders” which is a special tribute designed to single out outstanding men and women in the golf club management industry for the exemplary role they have played and continue to play in promoting all-round excellence in the club industry.

This new award category is an extension of what has always been a keenly contested battle for the Best Club General Manager Of TheYear. Over the years, this prestigious award has been granted to an elite group of general managers and it is now felt that the time has come to install a select few in a permanent award category.

Once anointed to this level, the honourees will not be voted upon again in the annual Asian Golf Awards as the “Legion Of Leaders” award will serve as the ultimate recognition of Asia’s Best! 
The first batch of golf club general managers to be honoured with this very distinguished award include the following:

John Blanch – Thai Country Club (Thailand)
Stacey Walton – Banyan Golf Club (Thailand)
Tang Meng Loon – Kota Permai Golf & Country Club (Malaysia)
Vishal Bharti – DLF Golf & Country Club (India)
Harald Elisson – Black Mountain Golf Club (Thailand)
Mark Holland – Bali National Golf Club (Indonesia)
Steven Thielke – TPC Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Andy Johnston – Sentosa Golf Club (Singapore)
Han Zhishan – Mission Hills Golf Club Dongguan (China)

The Asian Golf Awards enters its nineteenth year in 2018, with the last twelve being conducted on a grand scale. “The Asian Golf Awards are the pre-eminent awards for the golf industry in the region. Having been involved with many clubs in many different countries in the region I know that each one of those club’s holds success in these awards above all others,” said John Blanch, general manager of the hugely successful Thai Country Club in Bangkok. “At Thai Country Club each award is cherished as the industry gold standard and it is a very tangible validation of how our club and course is viewed both by golfers and our peers,” he added.

Some of the top facilities in Asia are up for multiple awards like the Black Mountain Golf Club of Hua Hin in Thailand. “We at Black Mountain regard the Asian Golf Awards as the best and most credible in the region. The fact that they have been in existence for 19 years is testimony to their importance and stature in the golf industry in Asia Pacific,” said Harald Elisson, the club’s managing director. He continued, “They provide a benchmark for golf clubs throughout the region. Winning or being placed in one of the categories is not only a great achievement and honour, but provides each recipient with great recognition that is of considerable benefit to their business,”

The group that has always done well at the awards is the Mission Hills Group of China, the world’s largest golf resort with operations in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland and Haikou on the island of Hainan. “We are thrilled to be nominated for as many as seven categories at the highly regarded Asian Golf Awards. The Mission Hills Group regards the awards as one of the most prestigious awards in the golf industry across the Asia Pacific Region. It brings honour to the award winning organization, and this especially encourages much more initiatives to be created to enhance the golf industry developments,” said Tenniel Chu, vice-chairman of the Mission Hills Group.

The Asia Pacific Golf Group also owns the Asia Pacific Golf Hall Of Fame and Asia Pacific Golf Personality Of The Year awards. 
For 2018, two exceptional men will be inducted into the Asia Pacific Golf Hall Of Fame. The first is Greg Norman, a great legend and one of the industry’s most successful entrepreneurs.  Popularly known as the “Great White Shark”, Norman will be inducted into the 2018 Asia Pacific Golf Hall Of Fame on November 3 during the award presentation at the 2018 Asian Golf Awards Gala Dinner. 
Norman dominated the golf world for much of the 1980s and early 1990s with his aggressive game and charismatic demeanour. He is globally renowned as one of the most recognisable sports figures whose professional career produced 86 international victories, including two British Opens.

Norman topped the World Ranking for a total of six years and he represented his country Australia in three Presidents Cups. Norman was born in Mt. Isa, Queensland, Australia on February 10, 1955. At age 15 he tagged along with his mother who was a golf club champion. He quickly grew attached to the game. Norman’s first taste of golf instruction came from golf legend Jack Nicklaus’ book, Golf My Way.

Norman won 20 times on the PGA Tour and was the first to surpass the US$10 million mark in career earnings. 
The second inductee to the 2018 Asia Pacific Golf Hall Of Fame is Kim Young-Chan, the founder and chairman of GOLFZON. He started GOLFZON in the year 2000 and rapidly grew it into a power-house in the highly competitive golf simulator industry. Under two decades, he has grown GOLFZON into a multi-million dollar industry giant who business spans the entire world today.
As he puts it, his mission from the outset was to make golf more enjoyable for everyone. “At GOLFZON, we’re growing the popularity of golf through our products, services and technology. GOLFZON’s simulators have made the playing of indoor “screen golf” a sensation in South Korea. Young people are flocking to the game, and GOLFZON cafés have become social hubs and after-hours meeting points for workers of all ages,” he said.
Statistics show that approximately 50 million people around the world are playing screen golf at least once a year. Since its founding in 2000, GOLFZON has grown annual sales by leaps and bounds and additionally, some 40,000 workers are employed in the screen golf industry.

Mr. Aakash Ohri is being honoured with the Asia Pacific Golf Personality Of The Year award for 2018. If there is one man who personifies the standard of excellence that is the mark of the award-winning DLF Golf & Country Club in India, it has got to be Aakash Ohri. He has been associated with the club from its early days and he is the man who ensured that the vision of the owner to have a club that was “better than the best” was realised. For his sterling work and leadership.