Ken and Tenniel Chu, Asia’s top-ranked power brokers host Tiger & Rory for The Match at Mission Hills, Oct. 28.
The two most influential men in Asian golf will play host to the game’s two most recognizable competitors when Tiger Woods duels Rory McIlroy in The Match at Mission Hills, an 18-hole, mano-a-mano affair to be played round the Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Haikou on Oct. 28.
Hosts Ken and Tenniel Chu are the brothers who run the Mission Hills Group. They own and administer the Blackstone Course, nine more tracks at Mission Hills Haikou, 12 more at Mission Hills Shenzhen, plus a host of far-reaching real-estate, commercial and entertainment properties taking shape at both venues.
Recently, Golf Inc. acknowledged the scope and ambition of the Mission Hills Group when the magazine issued its annual ranking of Asian golf power brokers: The Chus shared the #1 ranking — no insignificant laurel considering that Asia is where the game, its purses, its course and player development, a new generation of golf-centered real estate investment and the Group’s tourism-related business expansion are all growing faster than anywhere on Earth.
Golf Inc. had just issued its ranking of world golf power brokers, and the Chus ranked 10th — the highest ranked non-Americans, along with R&A Secretary Peter Dawson.
Slowly but surely, the seats of golf power continue to move East. In 1880, few British would have believed that, in just 50 years, American influence would so strongly assert itself. Fifty years from today, perhaps sooner, it’s not difficult to see Asians taking their seats at the same table.
Earlier this year, in another move that signified the growing influence of Asian golf, in general, and the Mission Hills Group (MHG) in particular, The R&A extended membership to MHG Vice Chairman Tenniel Chu, who heads the group’s golf operations. He is the first Chinese invited to join this ancient and august administrative body.
"Golf has proved an ideal catalyst in bringing the world to China and, in turn, bringing China to the world," said Tenniel Chu. "The golf world is growing, especially here in Asia —in another sense, it’s getting smaller! The game benefits from this dynamic in many ways. If my brother and I have contributed to this effort, then we have fulfilled the wishes of our father and laid the groundwork for more Chinese to do the same."
A Hong Kong native, patriarch Dr. David Chu was one of the first entrepreneurs to invest in mainland China during the late 1970s. After building a corrugated paper conglomerate, he founded Mission Hills Shenzhen, in 1992, as a place where the nascent Chinese golf movement could gain a foothold. 
Some 20 years after its founding, MHG will host not just The Match at Mission Hills, but a Skills Challenge featuring Woods, McIlroy and teen phenom Guan Tianlang, plus a major junior tournament prior to The Match, Oct. 26-27.
"That’s three generations of golfers in one place — proof that our family’s vision of Mission Hills spearheading the growth of golf and leisure in China, and the region, is coming to fruition," said Dr. Ken Chu, the Mission Hills Group Chairman who leads the development of MHG’s championship golf courses, its fully-integrated family resorts and spas, and its high-end residential developments in Southern China. "We are thrilled to receive this recognition from Golf Inc., especially given the caliber of people in the global golf industry. China in now the fastest growing golf region in the world and this prestigious honor certainly acts as an incentive for Mission Hills to continue in its efforts to develop the sport in China and beyond."
The last 12 months have been busy ones for MHG, all rankings aside. The Group has hosted the WGC HSBC World Championships and World Ladies Championship. MHG has staged some 36 junior golf tournaments, embarked on a new course (designed by Ian Poulter and US Open champion Justin Rose), and held a second World Celebrity Pro-Am, an event which combines the spheres of golf, entertainment and sport.
The Match at Mission Hills and the World Celebrity Pro-Am may strike some as mere exhibitions — the Silly Season at its most glamorous. But they both represent the "golf and more" philosophy that has catalyzed MHG’s tourism-related business expansion.
Mission Hills Centreville, in Shenzhen, and Mission Hills – Lan Kwai Fong – Haikou — both scheduled to debut in 2014 — are family-friendly, metropolitan leisure complexes. Their sheer size and ambition (240,000 square meters at Centerville; 930,000 square meters at Lan Kwai Fong) dwarf anything now planned in world golf development. Designed as hubs for business, leisure, wellness and entertainment, their massive footprints include more than 1,000 international anchor brands ranging from the finest fashion, jewelry and watches to the trendiest restaurants, cafes and bars. There will be state-of-the-art multiplex cinemas, real ice skating rinks, bowling alleys and auto showrooms. A total of six hotels are showcased in these two developments, among them Hilton International, Marriott International’s Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance brands and Hard Rock Hotels.
In 2014, the Group will also bring its established branding and golf management services to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Yunnan, Chongqing and other destinations.
"Our vision for Mission Hills Group is to become the preeminent conglomerate in the sports, tourism, leisure and entertainment industry," said Ken Chu. "The Match at Mission Hills is part of this vision, as are the development of Mission Hills Centreville and Lan Kwai Fong. All of these initiatives illustrate the Group’s commitment to support the growth of junior golf, as well as the development of the game in China and throughout the region.
"We’re delighted that Tiger and Rory will come to play together at Hainan for the first time. We look forward to creating another golfing spectacle for the world to enjoy."
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