| 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.

HK Golfer - - Contents - In­ter­view by Louie Chan

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.

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