Hong Kong: After ‘five wonderful years’ as Group Executive Director of Mission Hills in China, respected golf professional Iain Roberts is leaving to take on new challenges.
Roberts will now spend more time in his role as coach to top women’s player Suzann Pettersen and as mentor to his son, Oliver, who has recently turned professional.
Additionally, he is looking to expand his Iain Roberts Golf School, which is currently based at Mission Hills, to other clubs in Asia and beyond.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my tenure at Mission Hills. It has been five wonderful years, but it is a good time to move on and embrace fresh challenges,” said Roberts.
“I wish to express my sincere thanks to Ken and Tenniel Chu, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Mission Hills respectively, for the opportunity they have given me. The experience I have gained has been immense and will stand me in good stead in the next phase of my career.
“I will continue to be based in Hong Kong but will be travelling to the US more frequently to work with Suzann on the LPGA Tour and also to Europe, where Oliver is playing his first season on the Alps Tour.”
United Kingdom-born Roberts, a former European Tour player, arrived at Mission Hills in 2011 after 15 years as Head Professional at Hong Kong Golf Club.
His multiple achievements included overseeing many elite tournaments, including the 2011 World Cup, the 2012 HSBC Champions, five editions of the World Ladies Championship and the 2012 and 2014 editions of the World Celebrity Pro-Am.
In addition, he supervised the world’s largest golf academy – spread across Mission Hills’ two giant resorts in Shenzhen-Dongguan and Haikou – ran the sport’s biggest junior development programme and increased the number of Mission Hills’ reciprocal clubs from just a handful when he arrived to more than 600.
His outstanding contribution to golf was given the ultimate recognition last year when the Professional Golfers’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland awarded him Master Professional status – a rare honour that has been granted to just 38 of the organisation’s 7,800 members.
Roberts, whose last day at Mission Hills was yesterday, added: “I’m proud of my contribution to Mission Hills’ continuing expansion and the development of golf in China. I’m leaving with a treasure trove of memories.”
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