It was a Thursday afternoon in April at Mission Hills Dongguan and the star attraction was golfing legend Annika Sorenstam — in town to host a junior clinic as well as to tee off the Annika Invitational.
Sorenstam spent time with 70 girls, imparting insights into the game with Chinese youth.
This a vision that she shares with Ken and Tenniel Chu, who are running Mission Hills Group. The brothers are continuing their late father's mission to promote golf in the mainland, and as part of that, to nurture the next generation of sports superstars in the country.
Famous names like Sorenstam are just some of the professional golfers that Mission Hills has brought to its greens, and the credit for that goes to Tenniel, who is vice chairman.
Ken, who is Chairman & CEO, said: "My brother's blood is green. He is really into sports and golf… and he's excelling in all (of) the sports development for Mission Hills."
Their father, the late David Chu, broke ground on a former wasteland between Shenzhen and Dongguan in 1992, and built the world's largest golf complex — Mission Hills Shenzhen. He wanted to promote the sport to the population of over one billion.
The Hong Kong entrepreneur had made his fortune in paper and packaging, but when the Chinese government opened up the South to development in the 1990s, he decided to change course.
Daughter Catherine, the company's executive director, who is one of Chu's six children, described the sentiment when he made that bold move.