Shenzhen club's global alliance offers access to top courses

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 August, 1999, 12:00am

Mission Hills Golf Club has been accepted to join an association which will provide its members with a unique opportunity to play some of the most famous courses.

The 72-hole, Shenzhen-based club has joined a new global golfing association called The Finest Golf Clubs of the World (FGCW). The British-based organisation provides an extension to regular memberships allowing reciprocal play at courses on five continents and special hospitality benefits at the British Open, US Open and PGA Championship.

At GBP10,000 (HK$120,350), payments are staggered over 10 years. For golfers who like to travel, the courses FGCW offers are impressive with many hosting the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour and European PGA Tour events. Clubs which have hosted the US Open are well represented on the list. The Olympic Club in San Francisco hosted the event four times including last year's victory by Lee Janzen.

Pinehurst, the biggest course in the world with 144 holes and one that Mission Hills is clearly modelled on, is also on the list. The club hosted this year's Open won by Payne Stewart.

PGA Championship courses are also prevalent including the Crooked Stick layout won in 1991 by a then-unknown John Daly, and Cantebury, the Cleveland course where Jack Nicklaus won in 1973.

While most of the clubs are in the US, Europe is well represented with 42 courses in 14 countries.

The list is weak on Asian clubs but includes Blue Canyon in Phuket, Formosa in Taiwan, Ocean Dunes and Dalat Palace in Vietnam, and Royal Calcutta in India.

The offer is available from January.