Chief marshal Liu mixes business with pleasure

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 November, 2007, 12:00am

The boy in Davy Liu simply didn't want to miss out on playing a game but it was the young man in him who recognised the moment as a business opportunity.

Twenty years ago, as a novice in the garment trade, Liu was working away at his desk when a major customer came into his office, put down a pile of plans, and took off for the golf course.

What a great way to spend the day, Liu thought - initially, at least. After a moment, it dawned on him.

'I thought, if I could join that game, for sure it could help my business,' Liu recalls.

That passing thought helped turn golf into Liu's passion - not to mention how much it helped his business - and this month he achieves his crowning glory in the game.

When the World Cup tees off, Liu will take up his place as the tournament's chief marshal, using all of the knowledge he has gained over the past 20 years to keep the event flowing - and to make sure everyone is kept happy, especially the players.

And that means cracking down on Asia's number one golf course pest.

'The greatest challenge,' Liu says, 'is to make sure there are no telephone rings during the game.'

Liu was one of the volunteers called to arms when Mission Hills hosted its first World Cup back in 1995 and he has seen the many changes the complex has gone through - when he first joined as a member there were two courses, now there are 12.

And having played the courses many times, he has a bit of advice for the field as they face up to the challenge presented by the Olazabal layout - stay out of the sand.

'The Olazabal is one of the most challenging courses at Mission Hills, there are bunkers up and down all the fairways,' he says.

'Golfers must play safe. Avoid the bunkers, or you're in trouble.'

And while Liu knows he won't have much time to himself over the weekend, there'll be at least a few moments when he looks around and reflects on how the game has affected his life - and of course, his business.

'Today, many of my customers not only come with their orders, they also bring along their own golf sets when visiting me,' he says.