St Andrews Links Trust has announced plans to license its first-ever overseas Golf Academy in China.
The move will harness the town’s reputation as the Home of Golf and seek to grow the sport by creating a presence in the heart of one of the sport’s biggest emerging markets.
The project will see the creation of a St Andrews Links branded Golf Academy in Simapo Island, Hainan, China.
The Links is working in partnership with White Horse Holdings, who are developing a golf complex on Simapo Island, to deliver an innovative facility with the latest technology and an expert team of PGA qualified instructors.
St Andrews Links Trust chief executive Euan Loudon said: “St Andrews has a long-standing reputation of introducing others to its values and expertise, those fundamental to the game of golf itself, around the world.
“In the 19th and 20th Century competition, caddies, golf equipment manufacturing, greenkeeping techniques, which were all born and evolved over hundreds of years in St Andrews, were shared with the wider world and the popularity of the game grew and grew, culminating in it becoming the global sport we see today.
“As we look forward to this exciting new venture we wish to build on those traits by harnessing our renown and reputation as the Home of Golf, with values so intrinsic to St Andrews and golf, and sharing them in a country where passion and interest in the game is at the beginning of a very exciting era.”
The Trust’s golf academy has built a reputation for expert instruction and innovation, linking the values of the past with state-of-the-art technology of the present to position itself in the vanguard of instruction.
This approach has ensured it has welcomed some of the best young talent in Scotland, such as amateur champion Bradley Neil and the University of St Andrews Golf Teams.
Mr Han Zi Ding, chairman of White Horse Holdings and chief executive of Golf Channel China, said: “I have been blessed to visit these great St Andrews Links on many occasions, each time I believe luck and fate has been leading us towards this day. The golf academy on the island carries our mutual dream to share and promote the values of the Home of Golf to China.”