Singapore: ‘The Champions Grove’, a legacy project celebrating the Sentosa Golf Club’s dedication to sustainability and hosting of the inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship (WAAP), has been unveiled.
First ground was broken by Korean Cho A-yean and China’s Liu Wenbo, who are among the favourites to become the maiden WAAP champion over the New Tanjong Course at Sentosa, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
As well as making history, the winner will earn a place in the field for two Major championships – the 2018 ANA Inspiration and Ricoh Women’s British Open – as well as next week’s HSBC Women’s World Championship, also at Sentosa.
Joining Cho and Liu for the ceremonial planting of five Pulai trees, native to Singapore, positioned adjacent to the seventh hole were Andrew Johnston, Sentosa Golf Club’s General Manager and Director of Agronomy, and Dominic Wall, The R&A Director, Asia-Pacific.
Growing upto 40 metres tall, these trees will be a prominent feature on the course for years to come, highlighting the club’s status as one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly venues and complementing its recently-launched #KeepItGreen campaign.
Introduced at last month’s SMBC Singapore Open, #KeepItGreen reflects Sentosa’s approach to club operations, which prioritises sustainable golf course agronomy practices and growing the game in the region.
Environmental protection was integral to the New Tanjong redesign, completed in November 2016. Through the installation of six inter-connected lakes across the course, the club has become completely self-sufficient when it comes to irrigation.
Among other impactful measures, Johnston and his design team also embarked on a tree-saving initiative, in which over 300 different species were extricated from the Old Tanjong, kept in an on-site ‘tree nursery’ throughout the project and then replanted on the New Tanjong.
Growing the game has also been a crucial focus for Sentosa in recent times. The SMBC Singapore Open saw the club give away 52 free rounds of golf to local juniors, matching the 52 Greens in Regulation hit during tournament week by #KeepItGreen ambassador and 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Gavin Green.
Also an active supporter of local amateurs, Sentosa has adopted an ‘open door’ policy for both male and female members of the Singapore National Team, who have been invited to use its facilities ahead of 2018s high-profile amateur events. Sentosa will also host the men’s 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in October.
Of the campaign and the relationship between Sentosa and The R&A, which has its Asia-Pacific headquarters at the club, Wall said: “Sentosa’s dedication to golf’s most important matters makes them the perfect partner for The R&A. Being headquartered here enables us to work together on addressing key issues within the game of golf, not just in Asia, but across the globe.
“The #KeepItGreen campaign continues to address both environmental sustainability and golf participation, which is exactly what today’s activity was designed to highlight. The Champions Grove will stand here for the years to come as a symbol of its efforts, and is an activity The R&A is delighted to be part of.”
Johnston, said: “It is with great pride that we were chosen as host venue for the inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship, and so wanted to celebrate in a way that memorialised this landmark while also championing our #KeepItGreen campaign.
“We could think of no better way than by creating The Champions Grove which will become a symbol of two very important issues right at the heart of the club and serve as a reminder of this momentous occasion for the years to come.”