Patience, connections and pots of money are more valuable than a perfect swing for those hoping to join a private golf club - unless you're the Chief Executive. Visiting Japanese businessmen have been known to spend $12 million on second-hand memberships to the prestigious Hong Kong Golf Club, but rules were recently altered so an honorary membership could be offered to Tung Chee-hwa. He is the latest in a line of dignitaries dating back to Sir William Des Voeux in 1889 to accept honorary membership - although soccer is more his style. Sir William Robinson, Sir Henry May, Sir David Trench, Chris Patten and Lavender Patten all wandered the green oasis, overlooked by the official governor's retreat in Fanling. Mr Patten was said to have been more at home holding a drink in the clubhouse than a putter on the green, once describing the game as 'more an essay in psychiatry than an enjoyable walk'. The best honorary golfer was Sir David Trench, who was working on his handicap in Fanling when rioters shook the gates of Government House during protests in 1967. A secretary for Mr Tung, when questioned about the Chief Executive's handicap, replied: 'I cannot answer you. He does not play golf.'