David Chu, 1950 - 2011

David Chu, known by many as the grandfather of golf in China, passed away at the age of 61 after a long battle with nasal cancer.

The Hong Kong native, who picked up his first set of golf clubs on a Toronto course in the late 1980s, was inspired to scoop up a piece of land shortly after in an area north of Shenzhen. The first course of his on that land, designed by Jack Nicklaus, hosted the World Cup in 1995. Nearly two dozen golf courses later, he has built what is now the largest golf club in the world known as Mission Hills.

At his request, a low-key funeral was held in Chu’s honor in Hong Kong late last month.

There are currently a dozen courses at Mission Hills Shenzhen and 10 more at the Haikou complex, which debuted in 2010 on volcanic terrain of Hainan Island. The World Cup will be played at the Haikou resort next month. The resorts also contain a slew of hotels, education facilities and tennis courts.

As host of the inaugural Asian Amateur Championship, Chu successfully lobbied for its winner to receive a Masters invitation for the first time ever and has been a leader in the Olympic golf movement.

China used to be a desolate area when it comes to golf, but thanks to Chu’s successful gamble, the country now boasts 400 courses that were built up in the past 15 or so years. Chu has been on Golf Inc.'s list of the Most Powerful People in Golf for the past five years. He reached his highest position at No. 4 this year, sharing the position with his son Ken, who has been running the operation due to David's deteriorating health. 

Ken is vice chairman, CEO, and head of the property development group, driving the company into an expanded role in the lifestyle space in China.

Tenniel, vice chairman, is the Mission Hills face to the golf industry and maintains relationships at many levels, ranging from the R&A, PGAs, and all industry purveyors and service providers.

He also serves as executive director of all golf and sports-related matters at both the Shenzhen and Haikou properties.

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