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PEOPLE

Taikoo Place Insiders: Jeffrey Wang and Tony Yu of Hi Tee Golf

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Jeffrey Wang and Tony Yu have always loved golf–as a teen, Jeffrey was captain of the Hong Kong International School golf team. Now they’ve parlayed their passion for the links into a winning concept: Hi Tee Golf, a state-of-the-art virtual golf studio in Taikoo Place’s Cambridge House. The gorgeous new facility covers an entire floor and boasts 4 golf studios and 3 premium golf rooms where you can sharpen your skills between meetings, or gather for some healthy fun with friends, family and colleagues. The co-founders of Hi Tee Golf take some practice swings at our questions, and explain why virtual golf is set to be a game-changer for golfers, as well as a terrific addition to the Taikoo Place community.

 

Team player or solo sportsman?

Jeffrey: I’m more of a solo sportsman. If I want to shoot a low round of golf, my success depends on me, and how I meet the physical, technical and mental challenges. Off the course, however, I’m a team player.

Tony: Both! When playing team sports I love the feeling of doing my part well and not letting anyone down. But I love golf because you can play by yourself whenever and as much as you want.

 

Describe the most important decision you’ve made in your career… and tell us how it worked out.

Jeffrey: I used to be an accountant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers–I’ve been a CPA since 2010. But I could never sit still and slave away at a desk. In 2011, I decided to quit accountancy and work towards a career as a touring professional golfer. I spent 3 years overseas in rigorous elite golf programmes. Although I didn’t turn professional, I was able to reduce my handicap from 3 to +3. I have been representing the Hong Kong Golf Club for over 10 years and I still actively compete.

 

Simulation vs. real life – which do you prefer?

Tony: Real life without question. Out on the course is where you learn how to handle real life situations. But the fastest way to improve your swing is on the simulator with precise ball and club data, and instant video feedback. It's so important when I am working on my swing to be able to see every swing in instant playback.

 

Hi Tee Golf taps into Hong Kong’s love affair with the sport. Why do you think golf is such a winning activity in HK, and why did you decide to bring it to the Taikoo Place community ?

Jeffrey: There are more than 100,000 golfers in Hong Kong–but only 5 golf clubs. The demand for golf is huge in Hong Kong, but we’re limited by our available land and space. Thankfully, golf simulation technology has improved tremendously, making it extremely attractive to enjoy golf in an indoor simulated setting. And at Hi Tee, golfers can choose to play their favourite golf courses without leaving Taikoo Place!

 

Our favourite golf courses in the world (and in Hong Kong) are….

Jeffrey: Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. The course was magnificent, the scenery mind boggling. My favourite Hong Kong golf course is the Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling. It opened in 1911 and is Hong Kong’s first 18-hole championship course. Each hole is surrounded by lovely tree lined fairways and the landscape is gorgeous.

Tony: I enjoy Pattaya Country Club in Thailand, and my father plays at Horton Park in Surrey, where I sometimes join him. My Hong Kong favourite is the old course at Fanling, but I also love the water and dramatic setting of Clearwater Bay.

When we’re not on the links, you’ll find us…

Jeffrey: Mostly at Hi Tee Golf! You’ll find me there practising my shot game with different in-game programmes. I also enjoy bowling, tennis and table tennis.

 

Favourite place to have lunch in the Taikoo Place area?

Jeffrey: The newly opened KIN Food Halls on the 2/F of Devon House. There’s a huge variety of cuisines to choose from, freshly made with the best ingredients.

 

Coffee, tea, Pocari Sweat or…

Tony: English Tea. Otherwise, water or Oolong tea. Love the occasional can of coke.

Jeffrey: Having a cup of coffee 30 minutes before a golf game keeps my mind focused for a good 9 holes of golf. Then I’ll switch to a bottle of beer at the halfway-house station, to stay relaxed and not overthink the rest of the game.

 

The sports star poster I’d pin up on my bedroom door (if I was still living in a bedroom in my parents’ house)

Jeffrey: Tiger Woods: The best golfer on the planet.

Do you need to be a golfer in the real world to enjoy the virtual version at Taikoo Place?

Tony: In Korea, many people play a lot of virtual golf without ever playing the real thing! There’s a social aspect to virtual golf–it’s an activity you can participate in to have a good time with friends and colleagues.

Jeffrey: In recent years, many professional virtual golf leagues have emerged around the world. Many of the top players are not professional golfers in the real world, but can compete on par, or even better at virtual golf.

Tell us more about virtual golf – what is it, and why should we try it out? Do you need to be a golfer in the real world to enjoy the virtual version?

Jeffrey: Today, many beginners choose to start golf at simulation centres. A few perks include learning the game of golf at weatherproof venues, practice free from unwanted spectators, and getting accurate and immediate feedback on each shot. Starters can improve their skills dramatically before walking onto a real golf course.

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