• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 12:59pm
CommentLetters

Hong Kong Golf Club has proud tradition

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 September, 2013, 3:53am

The century-old Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling has been the cornerstone of the development of golf, by offering international-class facilities for professional and amateur players, enriching Hong Kong as a world-class city.

Paying a market rent of HK$1.9 million and rates of HK$3.2 million in 2012 in accordance with our lease, the self-financed club operates on private funding from our members and is accessible to the general public on weekdays and non-public holidays with walk-in or advanced bookings. In 2012, over 30 per cent of the rounds were played by non-members, including local and international visitors (excluding indigenous village golfers).

Regarding membership transactions, individual memberships are not transferable and only nominee memberships for companies are transferable. Although the club has not issued any new nominee memberships since 1986, companies who have bought nominee memberships can subsequently sell them on the open market where the price is determined by the buyers and sellers themselves and not by the club.

The club also supports the development of young elite golfers on a weekly basis by partnering with the Hong Kong Golf Association. The coaching and tuition provided by the scheme help to train up top amateur golfers who represent Hong Kong in international competitions.

Moreover, the Fanling courses are the only possible venue in Hong Kong able to host the prestigious international tournament, the Hong Kong Open, which will celebrate its 55th anniversary this year. Apart from the Macau Grand Prix, this event is the only world-class sporting event with a history of more than half a century in the region, and is one of the select few golf competitions held annually in the world at the same venue. Every year, the tournament receives spectators of all ages from diverse backgrounds, both locally and from overseas.

Hongkongers can rightly be proud to have such wonderful facilities fit for staging this international sports event. Acclaimed top golfers such as Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Rory McIlroy are among the renowned talents who have played in the Hong Kong Open in the past.

It took the Hong Kong Golf Club many years and a huge amount of effort and resources to establish the enviable reputation we have today. Should we give up on this sporting heritage that is now very much a part of Hong Kong?

Keith Williams, general manager of Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling

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This article is now closed to comments

pbhawk
Yes you should
impala
[Should we give up on this sporting heritage that is now very much a part of Hong Kong?]

Oh yes. Gladly. I'll wrap it up for you in pretty paper and add a nice ribbon if you wish. Take home or eat here?

I only see two options when your lease expires in 2020.

Either your club starts paying a rent that is commensurable with the alternative, much more socially, economically and culturally desirable possible uses of the land. We can quibble over the precise amount, but it will be at least a double-digit multitude of the alleged HKD 1.9m you say you are paying now. Probably a triple digit multitude actually.

Should we, as a city, put some value on the intangible benefit of you hosting the Hong Kong Open, being some kind of heritage site and so on? Sure. Some value. But certainly not a value that justifies a discount of the rent to near-nothing. Because HKD 1.9m for 170 hectares of prime land really is near-nothing.

Or you don't. Then we close the course and end its shameless rent-seeking at the cost of common land, which is only possible because of its colonial legacy. We redevelop the land to unlock its value for society as a whole. Maybe a third or half will be used for housing. We keep a lot of the green, most of the trees for a unique, lovely public park where people can walk, cycle, roller-skate, lie on the grass. And we build some sport facilities that are not as crazily space-itensive as golf.

Which option would you like it to be?
pslhk
One man’s meat is another man’s Sh iT
Keith Williams’ so-called proud tradition is worst than rubbish
Ask garbage foragers what’s worthy of their efforts,
dirty used cartons or the “reputation “ and “heritage”
that the club has wasted huge amount of effort and resources to establish
-
the club has not issued any new nominee memberships since 1986?
That was before (12 words deleted)
As RC ex bar stool counsels
Delete the sentence you like most
Or it will get you into trouble

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