Doing the rounds

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 May, 2004, 12:00am

Hong Kong may have more outlandish sights for each square kilometre than most cities on the planet, but just when you think you've seen them all along comes another bizarre addition to the ranks of desiccated lizards on sticks, gold-plated houses and urinals with vertiginous vistas of Kowloon.

Step forward Quarry Bay's very own golf course, which occupies a chunk of hot property big enough to accommodate at least two more shimmering towers of Mammon. The god of money must have been on vacation the day it was built, because instead of inflated rents the course attracts only $20 a player for each round of nine holes - and players are scarcer than vegetarians in a pie factory.

Okay, so it isn't a real course: there are no fairways, bunkers or water hazards, no caddies and no clubhouse. But its putting greens of varying length, contour and difficulty are designed to vex the inevitably competitive and amuse the more compos-ed player taking a mildly fantastical break from office reality nearby. The extensive rough, meanwhile, is cunningly positioned to engulf forever the ball kicked away in disgust after yet another crude hack.

The Astroturf course sits conspicuously in Via Fiori, Taikoo Shing, and opens from noon to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and from 11am to 8pm at weekends and on public holidays. No special shoes or equipment are required and putters, balls and flags are provided by the gatekeeper. Make sure you have the correct money: he will not be carrying change.