HAIKOU, China — Mission Hills continues its dynamic role at the forefront of the golf boom in China with the launch of the Mission Hills Star Trophy, a ground-breaking Celebrity Pro-Am tournament featuring several of the biggest names in entertainment and sports and the richest individual prize in Asian golf.
Headlining the inaugural event, to be played from October 28-31 at the newly launched Mission Hills Resort Hainan, will be international movie stars and celebrity golfers Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey.
Two-time Open Championship winner Greg Norman, China’s multiple Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Li Ning and Japan’s No. 1 comedian and talk show host Akashiya Sanma will serve as Host Ambassadors for the Mission Hills Star Trophy.
The professional segment of the event will feature 20 male and female professional golfers competing for a “winner takes all” prize of US$1.28 million, the richest individual prize in Asian golf.
Norman and China’s golfing trailblazer Zhang Lian-wei, both of whom attended today’s launch, will participate in the Mission Hills Star Trophy, along with the 2010 Ryder Cup captains for both Europe and United States, Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin, respectively.
The professional field will also include two of the game’s biggest female superstars, Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak.
Norman said both fun and serious golf will be part of the Star Trophy experience. “The time is right for Asia to create an event that combines golf and entertainment. The world sees the importance of the China market to their future and looks forward to coming to the Mission Hills Star Trophy.
“As a golfer, the ‘winner takes all’ of a US$1.28 million first-place check will ensure that the event is both exciting and features high-caliber golf,” he added.
Bringing together Hollywood’s “A-list,” international stars and leading professional golfers, the tournament is destined to be Asia’s leading annual entertainment event.
Said Tenniel Chu, Executive Director, Mission Hills China: “Since the founding of Mission Hills in 1992, we have led the way in the development of China’s luxury golf and lifestyle culture. The creation of the truly unique Mission Hills Star Trophy at our new Hainan development is the logical extension of that commitment and expertise.
“Bringing together the stars that we will announce in the coming months, in Asia’s premier lifestyle event is another indication of our determination to help grow Hainan into an exciting leisure destination,” added Chu.
The exclusive Celebrity Pro-Am will be played at the Mission Hills Group’s world-class new golf lifestyle development, Mission Hills Resort Hainan, which recently opened on the tropical island of Hainan.
The Mission Hills Star Trophy is one of the first major events supporting a government-led initiative to make the island a leading international tourism destination in the coming years and reaffirm Mission Hills Resort Hainan as the world’s most memorable golf resort.
McConaughey, who has played off a handicap as low as four in the past, said: “Join me, Matthew McConaughey, on the lava fields of Hainan Island, China this October for golf’s latest amazing adventure, the Mission Hills Star Trophy. See you on the links.”
Added Grant, who plays off a single-digit handicap: “Join me this October in China at the Mission Hills Resort in Hainan for a golfing experience beyond your wildest dreams.”
The superstar participants will be part of a field that includes 20 celebrities, 20 professionals and 120 amateurs at the four-day Mission Hills Star Trophy. Amateur teams of three will play with a celebrity or professional golfer on the first two days of the event in a team scramble format.
The weekend play will then be in four-ball stroke play format between 20 teams consisting of a celebrity and a professional, with a 36-hole individual professional event running concurrently with the US$1.28 million prize.
The Mission Hills Star Trophy announcement came as part of the inaugural Haikou Golf & Tourism Forum, currently being held at Mission Hills Resort Hainan. Featuring golfing industry heavyweights Greg Norman, Peter Dawson and Peter Walton as keynote speakers, the first-time gathering welcomed hundreds of delegates and media representatives to the Mission Hills Group’s new flagship resort property.
Other high-profile Forum speakers include Dr. David Chu, Chairman of the Mission Hills Group; Luo Baoming, Governor of Hainan Province; Shao Qiwei, President of the China National Tourism Bureau; and Xu Jing, Director of the World Tourism Organization Asia Pacific Section.
Mission Hills Hainan occupies a vast lava rock-strewn landscape of undulating terrain punctuated by ancient trees and sweeping wetlands near Haikou, and is the sister facility to the world-renowned Mission Hills Shenzhen.
About Mission Hills Star Trophy
The Mission Hills Star Trophy is a dynamic new event that brings together Hollywood’s A-list elite, international entertainment stars and leading professional golfers at Asia’s most memorable golf resort, Mission Hills Resort Hainan. The tournament is one of the first major world events that support a government-led initiative to make Hainan a leading international tourism destination in the coming years, a campaign in which golf will play a central role.
About Mission Hills Resort Hainan
Mission Hills Hainan lies in the volcanic region of exotic Hainan Island, China. The resort sets a new standard in leisure, recreation and wellness experiences. Nestled amid lush, green gardens, the resort caters to golf enthusiasts and comprises specially-designed golf courses, each one incorporating the native lava rock formations. Other state-of-the-art features include 525 tastefully-appointed guest rooms and suites, a three-story clubhouse, meeting facilities, 12 world-class restaurants, a fully-equipped sports and recreation center, Hainan’s only aquatic theme park, therapeutic natural mineral springs, a spa oasis, and a shopping arcade. A magnificent addition to Hainan’s tropical island paradise, Mission Hills Hainan is poised to be the island’s premier sanctuary, attracting visitors from around the globe.
Conveniently located in Haikou city, the administrative and legislative hub of Hainan, Mission Hills Hainan is just 15 minutes from the city centre and Haikou Meilan International Airport.
About Mission Hills Group
The Mission Hills Group, owner and operator of Mission Hills Shenzhen and Mission Hills Resort Hainan, is a key player in the country’s fledgling sports and leisure industry.
The 12-course Mission Hills Shenzhen is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest golf facility. It has hosted hundreds of professional and amateur golf tournaments and is home to the Faldo Series Asia, Mission Hills Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship and the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.