St Andrews receives Chinese funding19th June, 2013 by Emma Williams
A Chinese golf complex has committed a six-figure sum to fund the development of an archive of golf photography in St Andrews in Scotland.
Mission Hills Golf Group in China, the world’s largest golf facility, is donating the money to the University of St Andrews to make its images, which cover the development of golf from the 19th century onwards, more accessible. The archives include the Lawrence Levy collection of more than 250,000 images – including a world-famous picture of Seve Ballesteros celebrating his victory at the 1984 Open – and the collections of photographer George Cowie.
In return, St Andrews and Mission Hills Group will work to strengthen Scottish-Sino golf links and will promote academic ties through scholarships for Chinese and Scottish exchange students.
The two bodies will also collaborate on displays for a golf museum in China that will commemorate David Chu, the founder of Mission Hills Golf Club.
The support is a welcome boost to the university, which this summer is celebrating its 600th birthday, and has been fundraising for the creation of museum-quality display space, secure storage facilities and dedicated teaching rooms.
St Andrews’ vice-chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson, said: “Scotland and China – notwithstanding the extraordinary difference in scale – share a centuries-old passion for golf and an enduring commitment to the value of education. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Mission Hills Group to preserve the heritage of the game here in St Andrews and in China.
“We hope that our joint enterprise will not only strengthen cultural connections, but allow scholars, golfers and the public in both our countries to explore the history and heritage of golf.”
Tenniel Chu, vice-chairman of Mission Hills Group, added: “It’s a great honour for Mission Hills to be the only golf club in China to be partnering with the University of St Andrews. We are dedicated to promoting golf development around the world and with golf’s return to the Olympics and China’s potential to be the world’s largest golfing market, our association with the University of St Andrews and their extensive golf archive within their special collections is a very special partnership for us with great potential.”