| Final Shot
Peter Brannan, HK Office Director of Arquitectonica, talks about his best ever round, favourite course and who would be in his dream fourball.
When did you start playing and where?
That takes me back. I must have been about six years old when my dad pulled out his old canvas golf bag and gave me a hickory shafted mashie and a putter. Both had rusty heads that needed constant polishing. The bristly door mat was put down at the edge of the back green for chipping with the mashie - only the putter was allowed on my dad’s sacred green. I was taught to chip and putt to the clothes poles at each corner of the green. We spent many days and summer nights chipping and putting trying hard to avoid the greenhouse. The back green progressed to the local football field where we played the corner flags and from there to the municipal pitch and putt courses. I would have been about 13 or 14 years old when I was able to move on to playing the various 18-hole courses on the Ayrshire coast. These included a host of beautiful, challenging courses over the years of my youth, like Bogside, Barrassie, Gailes Links, Turnberry, etc. Golf seemed a lot easier then!
How often do you play?
Approximately once per month. I would dearly like to play more often, but living and working in Hong Kong limits the ability to play regularly, especially at the weekends.
What’s been your best ever round?
My best ever round was 78 at the Bali Handara while on holiday with my family. It would be about ten years ago, but hard to forget. I played with a good friend, who also played well that day. I don’t know why, but everything just clicked. I only wish it would ‘click’ more often! The course is probably the highest in elevation in Bali and locates within the caldera of an ancient volcanic. The temperature was cool and pleasant, and the course was beautifully manicured. Tall poplar trees framed the greens, and bright red flaming trees were in full bloom everywhere. The beauty of the location must have helped my game.
Do you have a favourite course?
Hong Kong has some great courses, and it is hard to say which one is my favourite. I would start with the North Course at Kau Sai Chau, because it is probably the most natural course you will find in the region. It would be followed closely by Clearwater Bay and Shek-O, which are both tight and challenging and contain much beautiful scenery. The Bali Handara would be my favourite in Asia. My world favourite would take me home to Bogside or Old Prestwick on the Ayrshire coast, where the bunkers are as deep as the gorse, and the typhoon conditions teach you humility first among many other lessons.
Who would be in your dream fourball?
Lee Trevino, Chichi Rodriguez, John Daly and Rory McIlroy. I saw Lee Trevino and Chichi Rodriguez many years ago at Royal Troon when I was a lad. They were giving a demonstration to the crowd on a beautiful warm and sunny evening after their day’s golf. The shots they played and the tricks they performed were a master-class in golf. That was made all the more enjoyable due to their humour and approachability. John Daly would be a dream to play with, simply to witness that awesome, elegant, tremendous swing. Rory McIlroy is, for me, the most accomplished golfer of our time. He possesses great range and skill in addition to a gentlemanly attitude that exemplifies how golf should be played.