Fi­nal Shot

The for­mer Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Hong Kong Land talks to Charles McLaugh­lin about his best ever round and the most mem­o­rable mo­ment on a golf course.

HK Golfer - - Contents - In­ter­view by Charles McLaugh­lin

James Robin­son, for­mer Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of Hong Kong Land talks about his best ever round and the most mem­o­rable mo­ment on a golf course.

When did you start play­ing golf and where?

I was prob­a­bly 9 or 10 years old when my fa­ther gave me some sawed-off golf clubs and taught me how to hit plas­tic whif­fle­ball type golf balls in our back­yard in Lake Bluff, a northern sub­urb of Chicago. At the same time, I was tak­ing up my num­ber one sporting passion, ice hockey (or just “hockey” to my Cana­dian friends) which also re­quires ex­cel­lent hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion in striking with force and ac­cu­racy a sta­tion­ary ob­ject to­wards a tar­get. My younger brother Harry (who was and still is a much more ac­com­plished golfer than my­self) and I were for­tu­nate in mid­dle school and high school in that the highly-re­garded Lake Bluff Pub­lic Golf Course was opened in 1968, only a 5-minute bike ride from our home. Our sum­mers were al­ways spent play­ing golf, while my winters (and later year-round) were spent play­ing com­pet­i­tive ice hockey in the Chicago area.

How of­ten do you play?

I came to Hong Kong as a young ar­chi­tect/ engi­neer in 1978, car­ry­ing one suit­case, my ice hockey equip­ment duf­fel bag, and a set of my fa­ther’s golf clubs (Wil­son Staff irons as I re­call). I im­me­di­ately joined The Amer­i­can Club and it’s well-or­gan­ised Amer­i­can Club Golf­ing So­ci­ety which held reg­u­lar golf matches against other lo­cal Clubs. A few years later in 1987, I pur­chased a golf deben­ture at Dis­cov­ery Bay and also put my name down on the wait­ing list for The Royal Hong Kong Golf Club. I joined the lat­ter in 1997 (1st July to be ex­act) and now play most Satur­days at Fan­ling with friends, the Jimmy’s Kitchen Golf­ing So­ci­ety, and some­times on Sun­day af­ter­noons with my wife Yuni who also loves to play golf.

What’s been your best ever round?

My best round of golf was a nifty 75 at the orig­i­nal 18-hole course at Dis­cov­ery Bay, the chal­leng­ing Di­a­mond and Ruby Course. I was play­ing with one of my best friends in a morn­ing match, how­ever, be­cause of a ferry de­lay, I could only join the game on the 2nd hole. Then magic struck, and I com­pleted the long par-5, 18th hole at just three over par; as I re­call, three birdies and six bo­gies.

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