Women's Sport: Singapore Open furthers Hana Financial Group's commitment to women's golf in Asia

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Plans to create an Asian women’s golf series and ranking system have been bolstered by the news that Korean firm Hana Financial Group will title sponsor a new women’s tournament in Singapore.

Hana has historically focused on women’s golf in the region and is looking to increase its previous levels of investment in the game particularly in the Asian market.

Under the banner of the Asian Golf Leaders Forum, Hana has formed the Asian Ladies Professional Golf Series with the aim of building the platform for female players in Asia. The series will include five previously existing tournaments including Hana Financial Group Championship in Korea, the Korea Women’s Open, the Taiwan Women’s Open, the Asian Airline Open in China, and the Hyosung Championship in Vietnam.

The ALPGS will also feature a new competition as the inaugural Singapore Open is set to go ahead on 6th November at the Tanah Merah Country Club and will involve some of the top women’s players in Asia. Working alongside Hana is Mediapro who have been assigned the task of selling commercial rights for the new Singapore Open.

Speaking to SportBusiness, Paul Park the director of sports marketing at Hana Group said the new series would look to support already existing competitions in the women’s game and not detract from them.

“The new series is envisioned to be similar to the Rolex series on the European Tour in Asia. The series schedule will not interfere with most major tournaments sanctioned by Asian golf associations and will continue to be adjusted as we search for the optimal schedule for the progress of professional Asian women’s golf.

“The AGLF has a very important role in listening to and finding a compromise between all parties concerned with the development of golf in Asia.”

Increasing the platform for players in Asia

Hana has emphasised its clear desire of increasing the platform available to women golfers in Asia in order to develop the sport in the region.

Lars Heidenreich, Mediapro Asia’s managing director, believes this is what distinguishes Hana’s project from other golf series across the world.

“I think our approach and the Hana approach is fundamentally different…the real focus is to promote women’s golf and Asian women’s players in this part of the world, rather than have the other tours come in with their own agendas.”

One way Hana is trying hard to promote women's golf in Asia is through the allocation of 16 slots in the Singapore Open to Singaporean players. This shows a clear dedication to increasing opportunities to Asian players and showcase the talent the region possesses.

According to Paul Park, the Singapore Open marks just the beginning for Hana’s plans for women's golf in Asia. Looking ahead Park believes Hana will be able to expand and add tournaments to the ALPGS in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

“We are in active discussions with the golf associations of Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, but talks are in their early stages. In addition, the Asia Golf Leaders Forum is in the process of establishing new relationships that can take the project forward,” Park said.

Clearly Hana Financial Group and its partners at Mediapro are looking to expand the opportunities available to female players in Asia and have a long-term outlook to help them achieve this.

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