Shenzhen, China: Three Chinese golf legends, including Olympic bronze medallist Feng Shanshan, were on hand to help Mission Hills Golf Club celebrate the opening of their country’s first golf museum.
The 27-year-old Feng, fresh from her win at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, was joined at Mission Hills in Shenzhen by Li Haotong, the reigning Volvo China Open champion, and Zhang Lianwei, who in 2004 became the first Chinese golfer to compete in the Masters Tournament.
“We have created China’s first golf museum to showcase world golf but also to celebrate the history of the game in our country,” said Dr Ken Chu, Chairman and CEO of Mission Hills Group.
“We are honoured that Feng Shanshan, Li Haotong and Zhang Lianwei should join us for the official opening – they have done so much to put Chinese golf on the world map since Zhang became the first Chinese golfer to win on the European Tour in 2003.”
Tenniel Chu, Vice-Chairman of Mission Hills Group and mainland China’s first member of The R&A, added: “As a proud R&A member I am honoured to work with golf’s governing body to help grow the game around the world.
“In addition to running more than 40 junior events each year here at Mission Hills, we will be opening the museum to juniors and golf-lovers free of charge to further showcase this wonderful sport to the people of China.
“Also, it is fitting that we should open the museum in the year that golf returned to the Olympics, where Feng Shanshan, who trained at Mission Hills as a junior, won a bronze medal for China. She inspired a new generation of Chinese golfers and we want to help do the same with the golf museum.”
Feng, who won bronze for China at the women’s golf event in Rio this summer when the sport returned to the Olympic Games for the first time since 1904, said: “We thank and congratulate Mission Hills on continuing to help grow the game of golf in China with the opening of this golf museum.
“We are all proud of the heritage of Chinese golf and also how far it has come in recent times, so to showcase this in a museum and share this with the public is a wonderful initiative by Mission Hills.”
The Golf Museum at Mission Hills features a number of unique exhibits and artefacts from world golf, including the famous ‘Claret Jug’ trophy, which is awarded annually to the winner of The Open Championship, golf’s oldest Major, and has been loaned by The R&A.
The museum also celebrates the life of the late Dr David Chu, the founder of Mission Hills Group, and traces his contribution to the sport in China since creating what is now recognised as the world’s largest golf club in 1992.