Golf’s high achievers were recognised and celebrated in the 2018 Malaysian Golf Awards.
Jointly organised by ParGolf and the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA), the nation’s only industry-wide awards are presented by Tourism Malaysia and Club Car, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Held at Acappella Suite Hotel & Residences in Shah Alam, the awards recognise individuals, golf clubs, companies and other bodies for their achievements and contributions in the preceding year.
This year’s eighth edition saw various awards presented to 17 deserving recipients as selected by a 50-plus strong panel comprising MGA committee members, ParGolf editorial personnel and selected golf industry leaders.
Describing the awards gala as an ‘occasion of joy’, MGA President Admiral Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said: “It goes without saying that the awards ceremony is amongst the most treasured occasions of the MGA as it provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the preceding year, address the whole community and share the achievements, success and plans of the industry stakeholders for the days to come.
“On this important occasion, we get a chance to publicly celebrate the success achieved through the sheer hard work and perseverance of all the nominees.”
Suzannah Gun Palmer, Publisher of ParGolf, noted that the Malaysian Golf Awards provides a benchmark for the golf fraternity by acknowledging achievements across all facets of the game.
“All the winners and nominees deserve to be congratulated for leading the way and we hope their achievements will spur others on to strive even harder to match or surpass them,” she said.
A new Courage Award was introduced this year to recognise individuals who overcome great adversity and misfortune to continue to serve golf whether as a player, administrator or through any other channel.
The inaugural recipient was Shaaban Hussin, who was one of Malaysia’s top professionals until a motorcycle accident in March 2016 saw him lose his left leg. Shaaban underwent rehabilitation and, fitted with a prosthetic leg, returned to golf as a coach later that year and now helps run the junior development programme at Seri Selangor Golf Club.
The other individual award winners were Ervin Chang (Malaysian Amateur Golfer of the Year – Male), Loy Hee Ying (Malaysian Amateur Golfer of the Year – Female), Feirish Nor Feizal Nor (Malaysian Junior Golfer of the Year – Male), Zulaikah Nurziana Nasser (Malaysian Junior Golfer of the Year – Female), Gavin Kyle Green (Malaysian Professional Golfer of the Year – Male, second successive year), Ainil Johani Bakar (Malaysian Professional Golfer of the Year – Female), Arie Irawan (Comeback Golfer of the Year – 2017 Maybank Players Championship), Nicholas Fung (Breakthrough of the Year – 2017 Queen’s Cup) and Danny Chia (Outstanding Performance of the Year – 2017 Japan Golf Tour Qualifying).
Three awards were presented for Outstanding Contribution to Golf; for the corporate sector, the award went to the CIMB Group who have been the title sponsor of the region’s only PGA Tour event, the CIMB Classic, since its inception in 2010. CIMB has also been a staunch supporter of junior golf development and sponsored Malaysia’s top lady golfer Kelly Tan for two years from 2015.
For golf clubs, the Outstanding Contribution recipient was Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Golf & Country Club which has hosted numerous prominent amateur events over the last few years, including the Selangor Amateur Open, Malaysian Junior Open and Malaysian Amateur Open.
The club is an ardent proponent of junior development and has taken a few promising young golfers under its wing.
The final Outstanding Contribution to Golf award went to YAM Tunku Puteri, Tunku Puan Sri Dato’ Seri Jawahir Binti Almarhum Tuanku Ja’afar, the long-serving President of the Malaysian Ladies Golf Association (MALGA).
A respected figure in Asian golf, Tunku Puteri Jawahir has helmed MALGA with great vision for almost 25 years during which the association played a key role in accelerating the growth of the ladies’ game in Malaysia.
The golf club awards meanwhile went to The Els Club Desaru Coast – Valley Course (Best New Golf Course), Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Golf & Country Club (Most Improved Golf Course), Kota Permai Golf & Country Club (Best Maintained Golf Course) and The Els Club Teluk Datai (Best Overall Golf Experience).
It was the eighth successive year that Kota Permai won the Best Maintained award while The Els Club Teluk Datai picked up the Best Overall Golf Experience award for the third time following previous successes in 2015 and 2016.
Kota Permai and The Els Club are both are Golf Course Facility Members of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.