The Future of Golf in Sanya, new guys in town emphasize the basics
The Future of Golf in China is so bright we have to wear sunglasses! Just ask 9 year olds Angel Zhang and her friend Betty Zhou, both students at the new Future of Golf training program, recently opened at the respected Luhuitou Golf Course driving range (top floor) in Ban Shan Ban Dou. Both girls, also students at the Canadian International School, have fallen in love with the game and train three times a week under the tutelage of four professional golfers and certified teachers recently arrived from both the US and Canada to help train the next generation of golfers in China.
Four professional golfers and certified teachers recently arrived from both the US and Canada to help train the next generation of golfers in China.
Recently, Angel, already an accomplished fencer and athlete posted on the social site WeChat. “I now have a new dream and that is to be a fine golfer.” Betty recently told her instructors. “I think this is the best game in the world.” Given their interest and natural talent their instructors all concur that these girls are establishing a firm foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment in this most challenging sport.
“There is a strong surge of interest about golf in China”, says Dr. Ronald Cruickshank, President and Co-Founder of Future of Golf Limited. “Interest has been growing strongly in China for the last several years as we now have almost 600 courses in China and over three million players. Conversely, due to the shortage of courses and the associated costs, the sport has not been available to the masses and especially to youth in China.” Dr. Cruickshank says. “The Future of Golf hopes to change all that.”
In a recent press interview, the CEO of Future of Golf, Mr. Stephen Xu added. “We felt the time for golf in China and particularly Sanya was now. Since the inclusion of golf as an Olympic sport, the interest in golf has exploded within the middle class. It has become is a bright spot for the growth of the game globally.” Mr. Xu continued. “Given that the government has made Hainan an official golf destination site, today we have over forty (40) golf courses on the island and over ten new courses expected by 2020.
Luhuitou Golf Course driving range
This growth serves the residents, tourists and the local island economy immensely. Most of the courses on Hainan are located in Districts around Haikou and Sanya with additional courses being developed along the eastern border all the way to Wannan and its classic Dunes course near the Sheraton Resort. This makes a round of golf accessible and the local courses offer a broad range of prices and services. Dr. Ron adds. “Also, this is a ‘green’ type business, and it adds to the overall ecological attractiveness of the island. This is a destination resort island, with millions of visitors each year that come here to escape the bitter winters of Beijing and the pollution plaguing the large cities. It can only add to our attractiveness to keep the island ecologically wholesome and golf courses are a big part of that scenario. ”
Stephen Xu added. “In my view, there is nothing more peaceful than a golf course as you can escape the world’s noise and pressures while enjoying nature and your friends. Once you learn how to play the game, it can be a great source of exercise, social engagement and plain fun as the handicapping rules of golf allow for players at all levels to play on an even basis.”
Dr. Cruickshank continued enthusiastically. “One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “why did you come to China?” It is literally the other side of the world from North America, the language barriers are formidable, living conditions strange for westerners and other than the occasional ex-pat Canadian the population has never heard of your company or this method you teach called the single plane swing. Good question.
First, a little history and background said Dr. Ron. “We teach a bio-mechanically advantaged golf swing that we call the single plane swing. It is based on the swing movements of Canadian golf legend Moe Norman as he won over 68 professional tournaments, shot three rounds of 59 and became recognized world-wide by top golf pros like Tiger Woods and Lee Trevin as unarguably the greatest ball striker in history. This movement basically has few moving parts and is easier to learn.”
Cruickshank continued. “Our parent company, Graves Golf in the US, has spent the last 20 years developing the knowledge, training aids and methods to insure that we can teach anyone the basics of a sound golf game. By working with thousands of students, we know that if people do what we ask them to do… they get better rapidly and develop a sound and repeatable golf swing.”
Dr. Ron referenced back to our original question of ‘why China’. “The real answer to the question of why we came to China is personal and values based and the same for all our professional staff. This is the largest virgin major market left for golf in the world AND the game is brand new here in China. We see this fact as a major advantage for us because there are almost no old golfers in China. Hence, there exists a lack of traditional and institutionalized models of how the game is ‘supposed to be played’ or how a golf swing ‘should look’. If it works, the practical Chinese will embrace it. We love this circumstance because it frees up people’s minds from preconceived ideas as to how the golf swing should look. Virgin market, virgin minds and virgin swing patterns. This is a dream come true for a dedicated teacher.”
CEO Xu continued. “Another key motivator for our presence in China is the age of our students. In North America our average student is over 55 and seeks us out due to frustration and a desire for consistency in their game. Here, the average age of our students is currently around 9 years old. Yep, you heard that correctly. We have the opportunity to train an entire generation of kids how to play the game using the proven single plane swing and to achieve what we call ‘the feeling of greatness’. At core, that is really why we are here.”
Cruickshank went further and made a bold statement. “Given the level of interest and dedication to the game we are already seeing from our kids here I fully expect that within a decade we will see Olympic champions in golf from China and a level of play that will rival many countries. My personal goal is to see an entire Olympic team fielded who are all swinging using our advanced methods.”
"Won’t that be fun?” He added with a grin. “We find great energy and fulfillment in teaching a generation of kids and adults to play the game we all love, and to do it in a way that will give them a lifetime of enjoyment and pain free participation in the greatest game on earth.”
In an earnest voice Dr. Cruickshank added. “For the good of the game and whether you come to see us or another qualified instructor, please tell all your readers to go a get a lesson and some quality instruction if they want to take up the game. The game will be very rewarding and enjoyable once you learn the fundamentals properly.”
If you are intrigued by the Future of Golf offerings they will be happy to have you come by their state of the art facility on the Second Floor of the Luhuitou Golf Course Driving Range. For English talk with Dr. Ron at 185-6669-5713 and for Chinese talk with Stephen Xu at 185-6669-7848. They can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
For additional information on how to participate in this emerging sport in Sanya, check our listing of available golf courses in Sanya.
SOURCE: WOS Team