For decades, it's been described as one of Asia's finest finishing holes. Indeed, few who have tackled it would deny that equal measures of skill and courage are required to safely negotiate the 18th of the Hong Kong Golf Club's Eden Course. But why exactly is it that this par-four is so widely acknowledged as being a great golf hole? Is it based on the premise that it's a brute because there is precious little margin for error either with your drive or the knee-trembling approach shot over a lake? With it's strategically placed bunkers and tree-lined, rolling fairway, perhaps it's the aesthetic appeal which helps to distinguish it. Or maybe it's the fact that it's steeped in history and tradition, having been the scene of so many dramatic Hong Kong Open moments. To many amateurs, the above may be minor considerations. For them it's more likely to be a special personal memory such as a monthly medal-winning par or even a double-bogey six to break the magical 100 barrier for the first time. No matter how long and hard the topic is discussed at the 19th hole, there is not a definitive answer to the question of which ingredients make up a great hole. With Par 2000 - the quest to select the 'Best 500 Holes in Golf' - in full swing, the debate about great golf holes is currently high on the agenda on golf club verandahs and in spike bars around the world. Unlike most such polls, the outcome will not be determined by industry experts. It's club golfers whose opinions are being sought and whose nominations will count. It's not just because the results will be revealed in the first month of the new millennium that the project is called Par 2000, but also due to the fact that when the list is completed it will include 125 par-threes, 250 par-fours and 125 par-fives - making a total par of 2000. A shortlist of 750 holes will be nominated. Based on the distribution of golf courses worldwide, the geographic breakdown will be as follows: 300 - US-Mexico-Caribbean; 100 - Great Britain-Ireland; 100 - Continental Europe; 50 - Africa; 50 - Asia; 50 - Australia-New Zealand; 50 - Canada; 50 - South Africa. The brainchild of America's GOLF Magazine, the global project is being organised in conjunction with a dozen international golfing publications. The final list will be compiled at next month's British Open where representatives from each of the participating publications will present the results from their regions at a meeting attended by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club's Sir Michael Bonallack and David Fay of the United States Golf Association. With the assistance of golfing journalists and Asian professionals, Asian Golf Monthly published a list of 100 holes from the region in its June issue. No fewer than 16 countries and territories are represented - Brunei, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. In addition to the 18th at the Eden Course, three other Hong Kong holes are featured: the 14th at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club; the fifth at Discovery Bay Golf Club's Diamond Course and the 14th on the North Course at Kau Sai Chau. Local golfers will also be familiar with the par-three 17th at the Macau Golf & Country Club as well as many of the 12 holes from mainland China that make the list. But neither are golfers necessarily expected to agree with the selections, nor are they restricted to voting only for those that have been published. As well as casting their vote for a maximum of 10 of the holes that are listed, they are also entitled to add a further three entirely of their own choice. A voting form has been posted at the Asian Golf Monthly Web site, which can be accessed at www.asiangolfmonthly.com . Alternatively, you may fax your votes to 2621-3573. So put on your thinking caps and play your part in determining the region's finest golf holes.