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Asia Pacific Golf Summit Is a Success


Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player produced rousing peformances to bring down the curtain on the third edition of the Asia Pacific Golf Summit (APGS).

Delivering keynote addresses at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, the two legendary figures wowed an audience of almost 500 movers and shakers from the global golfing industry.

During a 45-minute fireside chat, Nicklaus, an 18-time major champion and voted "The Most Powerful Man in Golf" for the past six years, predicted a boom for golf in Asia following the announcement of the game's inclusion as an Olympic sport.

Meanwhile, Player, winner of nine majors, received a standing ovation following a stirring presentation that wrapped up the biggest industry gathering of its kind. Player spoke with typical passion and enthusiasm about how golf has changed, how China and Asia will become dominant forces in the years ahead and how more must be done to conserve water on golf courses.

Both Nicklaus and Player also called for authorities to take action to reduce the distance that the golf ball travels, citing the extra costs being incurred to build new golf courses that stretch beyond the 8,000-yard mark.

The closing day of the three-day Summit also included speeches from golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Tenniel Chu, executive director of the Mission Hills Group. There were also video interviews with Arnold Palmer and Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A.

The Summit opened November 2 by five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson, while other prominent speakers and panelists included Max Garske, chief executive officer of the PGA Tour of Australia, Mark Woodward, chief executive officer of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, and Wong Khen Jee, president of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

Nicklaus and Player both hailed the staging of the Summit, saying it was crucial for the game's power brokers to meet to exchange ideas.

Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, owner of the Mines Resort and patron of the APGS, said: "It was a wonderful gathering that brought together many of the people who are shaping the future of golf."

Mike Sebastian, managing director of Asia Pacific Golf Development Conferences, the owner and organizer of the Summit, said: "It was an honor and a privilege to have individuals of the quality of Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Peter Thomson with us.

"I don't think there has ever been a golfing event in Asia that has included people who have won a combined 32 major championship titles."

This story originally appeared in Asian Golf Business (www.asiangolfbusiness.com). For more information about golf in Australasia, visit www.golfindustrycentral.com.au.