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