Combining Talents

Alex Jenkins talks to Sunny Kang, the lady captain at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club and a world-renowned clarinetist.

Some people are lucky enough to take to golf like a duck to water but even so, Sunny Kang's rise is by anyone's reckoning little short of amazing.

Setting foot on a course for the first time in 2006, Sunny reached a single-figure handicap at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club within the space of just two years, winning numerous tournaments along the way. Such has been her progress and commitment to the game that she is now the club's lady captain.

"Although Koreans are crazy about golf I thought the game was just for old people, says Sunny, who was born in Seoul but studied and subsequently lived full time in the US before moving to Hong Kong. "Golf just wasn't within the realms of my thinking."

That all changed after her husband joined Clearwater Bay and, attracted by the picturesque setting of the seaside course, she thought she'd give it a try. It didn't take long for her to become hooked. "Golf has become my second passion," she affirms. "Every time we return to Hong Kong after a trip the first thing we do is go to Clearwater Bay. It's so beautiful and I miss playing there when I'm away."

Sunny's first passion is classical music, an art in which she has excelled. After learning to play the clarinet at the age of 12, Sunny graduated from the Eastman School of Music and then completed a master's degree and artist diploma programme at Yale University, where she tutored by a number of the genre's greats. Touring extensively – from the Hollywood Bowl to Osaka's Symphony Hall – Sunny was selected in 1990 as one of three clarinetists to represent the United States in the American-Soviet Youth Orchestra World Tour, which took her to Moscow and to venues throughout Europe. In 2000, Sunny released her debut album, Brava, to critical acclaim having previously been acknowledged by San Francisco-based classic radio station KDFC as one of the top 30 classical stars under the age of 30.