- HKGC was founded in 1889 with the original course and clubhouse being located within the race course in Happy Valley. Work on the Old Course at Fanling started in 1911 with the first tee shot being struck in December 1913. It was followed in 1931 by the opening of the New Course and in 1971 by the addition of the Eden Course. All three are 18 holes, internationally acclaimed championship golf courses.
- The clubhouse at Fanling was constructed in 1911 and is a Grade II Heritage Building. The Pavilion on the Old Course was opened in 1918 and is a Grade III Heritage Building. The Fanling Lodge was built as a residence for the former Governors of Hong Kong in 1934 and is used to this day as a residence for the Chief Executive. It is a Grade I Heritage Building.
- There are 68 ancestral graves and more than 74 urns located throughout the three courses at Fanling. Some of the graves date back several hundred years to the Qing and Ming dynasties. The graves are the ancestral burial places for the five clans of indigenous villagers that still live in the communities surrounding the Club.
- HKGC, the host venue of The Honma Hong Kong Open in November 2018, was voted by the professionals as the Asian Tour Tournament of the Year and the Golf Course of the Year. The dual accolade further cements HKGC’s position as one of the top tournament-grade golfing venues in Asia and an important part of Hong Kong’s golf legacy.
- In 2015 HKGC was selected by an international panel of journalists and industry experts as being a ‘Platinum Golf Club of The World’ with a ranking of 71 out of the top 100 golf clubs in the world. Only four other clubs in Asia achieved a higher ranking. In 2017 the list was updated with the Club moving up to a ranking of 67 out of the top 100 clubs in the world. This rare and treasured distinction underlines Hong Kong’s status as ‘Asia’s World City’.
- In 2008 the Club was honoured to host the equestrian cross country event of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games. The course was laid out over the New and Eden Courses at Fanling. Several of the jumps have been retained for posterity’s sake.
- The Club’s facilities are open to the public from 7am to 10pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays) throughout the year.
- In 2018, a total of 116,744 rounds of golf were played on Fanling’s courses. 51,775 or 44.3% of the total rounds played were played by non-members.
- For the last four years 6 events a year have been held at Fanling providing members of the public access to play for a green fee of only HK$125 and golfers aged 16 – 21 play for free. In 2019, to mark the Club’s 130th anniversary, HKGC will stage a further 6 events with a green fee of only HK$130, while those aged 16 – 21 again play for free.
- HKGC and The Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) run a Junior Golf Development Scheme whereby 30 talented juniors have been identified and provided full access to practise and play at both Deep Water Bay and Fanling. This is in addition to HKGA squad games and amateur tournaments regularly held at the Club involving hundreds of juniors. In 2018, the HKGA ran 40 local and international tournaments for amateurs and 17 of these events were played on HKGC’s courses at Fanling and Deep Water Bay. No green fees are charged for participants in these events which represents a cost saving of over HK$10 million a year for the HKGA.
- In 2013, HKGC initiated a golf development programme for the schools in Fanling and Sheung Shui, followed by an offer of golf training to underprivileged students under the InspiringHK Sports Foundation. A total of 14 schools currently send students for weekly classes conducted at the driving range and on the courses at Fanling.
- In 2017, an “introduction to golf” programme was offered to physical education (PE) teachers from schools in the North District. In 2018, HKGC provided venue and golf coaches to support HKGA in conducting training for PE teachers recruited from local primary and secondary schools through the Education Bureau. 30 PE teachers from 20 schools throughout Hong Kong attended the last training conducted at HKGC.
- The access to practice facilities and playing opportunities at HKGC has been a major factor in the recent individual and team successes of Hong Kong’s growing group of talented young golfers. The results achieved by these young players have opened the door for academic opportunities including full scholarships at universities in the USA. Recent notable achievements include the following:
- At the 2017 UBS Hong Kong Open (HKO), local amateur and international squad member Leon D’Souza made the halfway cut, shot a brilliant 65 in the 3rd round and finished in 41st position in a world class field of 120 professional players. This was only the second occasion that an amateur player has made the halfway cut since the Hong Kong Open became a European PGA Tour sanctioned event in 2000.
- At the 2018 Honma Hong Kong Open, talented local amateur and tournament qualifier Mathew Cheung made the halfway cut to compete in the final two days of the event.
- In early December 2017, HKGC member Tiffany Chan achieved a first for any Hong Kong player by placing 2nd overall at the LPGA Tour’s Qualifying School in the USA to earn a full card for the 2018 season and take her place among the very best lady professionals in the world. Tiffany passed the Qualifying School again in 2018 and has earned a full card for the 2019 LPGA Tour.
- In May 2018, HKGC hosted the first Hong Kong Inter-Secondary School Golf Championship. Supported by the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation and the HKGA, the inaugural event included teams from 20 local and international schools throughout Hong Kong. The second edition of the event was staged in May 2019, once again over the Old Course.
MAJOR INTERNATIONAL EVENTS
- The first HKO was played in 1959. HKGC & Augusta National Golf Club are the only two clubs in the world that have hosted the same professional tournament for more than 50 years. The HKO celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2018 and achieved a record attendance of over 49,000 spectators. The tournament was also broadcast live to over 400 million households around the world, putting Hong Kong firmly on the map of global golf. Some of the best players in the world to have ever played the game have competed in the HKO and the event has been won on 14 occasions by a major champion. The HKO is played on the world renowned Composite Course comprising selected holes on the New and Eden Courses.
- At the 2017 HKO, HKGC worked with Formula-E and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) to collaborate in the international promotion of the HKO, Formula-E Hong Kong and the International Horse Races. These three mega events happen on consecutive weeks in Hong Kong and collectively provide a unique opportunity to promote international tourism and enhance Hong Kong’s reputation as ‘Asia’s World City’.
- The first ever Hong Kong Ladies Open (HKLO) was played on the Old Course at Fanling in June 2015. The event provided a platform for Hong Kong’s talented young amateurs to compete with professionals from around the world. This was the first ladies event played in Hong Kong in which the participants earned Rolex World Ranking Points. The 2016 HKLO was won by Tiffany Chan while she was an amateur player. The Rolex World Ranking Points won by Tiffany at the event ensured her qualification to represent Hong Kong at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro where she was one of only three amateurs participating in the event.
- The 5th HKLO was played on the Old Course in May 2019 with 123 players from 14 countries and territories participating. The event was title-sponsored by EFG Bank AG (for the third consecutive year) and tri-sanctioned by China LPGA, Taiwan LPGA and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour. HKGC’s Old Course uses turfgrasses and drainage that are designed to maintain the playability of the course in Hong Kong’s very hot and humid summer conditions and is the only golf course in Hong Kong that can host a major international event in the summer months. China’s Liu Yan claimed victory on a dramatic final day of action, while Tiffany Chan received the Leading Hong Kong Player Trophy. Approximately 5,000 spectators attended the event.
- In 1984, HKGC hosted the World Amateur Team Championship (WATC). This event comprises of the Eisenhower and Espirito Santo Trophies and is the pinnacle of international amateur team events in the world with men’s and ladies’ teams from 80 countries travelling to a different international venue every two years. Hong Kong has been selected to host the 2020 WATC with the Espirito Santo Trophy (Ladies) being played over HKGC’s Old and New Courses and the Eisenhower Trophy (Men) being played on HKGC’s Fanling Composite Course and at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. The WATC has been played biennially since 1958 and HKGC is only the second club to have hosted this major international event more than once.
CHARITABLE & COMMUNITY SUPPORT
- The Club hosts more than 200 non-member outings a year. These events include charity golf days, corporate events, golf competitions that are open to the public and golf society days. In 2018 HK$19.64 million was raised for charities at events hosted by the Club. Fundraising events include HKGC’s own ‘Cup of Kindness’ which in 2018 raised over HK$4 million for local charities.
- At the 2015 UBS Hong Kong Open, a Charity Cup event was launched to raise funds for local charities. One of the beneficiaries was InspiringHK Sports Foundation, a charity that supports children from underprivileged backgrounds by introducing them to regular sports instruction provided by professional instructors. 25 students were selected from two schools in North District and all receive 3 hours of professional instruction per week provided by HKGC professionals at the Club’s facilities. The event has continued to benefit local charities following the 2016, 2017 and 2018 HKO’s.
- In December 2018, organized by ISA Hong Kong Chapter, the Club hosted the first Tree Climbing Championship cum Arbor Fun Day on the Old Course. The event was open to the public and attracted more than 2,000 Hong Kong citizens participating on the day.
- 40 members from the Starian, an academic society set up by various universities in Hong Kong and China and majoring in historical studies, visited the Club in early January 2019 for a trees, graves and heritage tour.
- In late January 2019, Caritas Hong Kong celebrated their 65th Anniversary and held a charity walkathon event at the Club. They succeeded in breaking the Guinness World Record for the most participants in a three-legged race. More than 2,000 people participated on the day.
- HKGC employs over 400 full time employees and 300 caddies. Most of these employees come from the surrounding communities in the northern New Territories. Many families have been working at HKGC for 3 or 4 generations.
- HKGC’s Old Course is the venue of an annual charity fundraising walk organized by the North District Hospital Charitable Foundation to raise funds for the North District Hospital. The 2017 event raised over HK$3 million for the Foundation.
SUPPORT DIVERSIFIED SPORT DEVELOPMENT
- Since 1979 the Old Course has been the venue of the Hong Kong Schools Cross Country Championship. More than 3,500 runners from 154 schools and the local running clubs participated in the 2017 event. In December 2017, the Club also hosted the Asian Schools Cross Country Championship, with over 165 boys and girls from 9 Asian nations participating in the event, run by the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation.
- In December 2018, the Club hosted the Inter-school Cross Country Competition, the Hong Kong Jing Ying Cross Country Tournament and the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association’s Cross Country Championship on the Old Course. A total of about 1,400 runners participated in the above events.
- In September and October 2016, the Club hosted the Ching Ho Chinese National Day Cup, a junior 5-a-side football tournament, for over 1,500 juniors from clubs throughout Hong Kong and Guangdong Province. The event was held on the Club’s multi-purpose sports courts located on the Old Course. The Club hosted another event for over 600 local football players on 24 December 2017. The Club continued to host the Ching Ho 5-a-side football tournament in December 2018 with 350 juniors participating.
- In January 2019, the Old Course was the venue for the 3rd HKGC-sponsored Ultra-Marathon. The event was attended by 1,200 participants and raised funds for the Hong Kong Single Parents Association. Besides a 24-hour race, there were also races for schools, corporations as well as a families and a pets race.
OLD & VALUABLE TREES (OVTs)
- The Fanling property, with 44.3% of the site covered by trees, is estimated to have a minimum of 409 potential OVTs (minimum DBH of 1,000mm or above). If registered as OVTs, the Fanling property would be home to 46% of the total number of OVTs in Hong Kong which would be the greatest concentration of OVTs per hectare in Hong Kong. The 409 potential OVTs include 114 that are rare and protected species, and others which would qualify as OVTs based on their age, height and their DBH.
- HKGC has registered for the golf courses at Fanling to become Audubon Cooperative Golf Sanctuaries (The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses (ACSP) https://www.auduboninternational.org). The guidelines for the ACSP break down environmental management practices into six areas: Environmental Planning; Wildlife and Habitat Management; Chemical Use Reduction and Safety; Water Conservation; Water Quality Management; and Outreach and Education. Full certification is expected in mid-2019.
- The golf courses at Fanling are maintained to world class standards without taking a drop of water from Hong Kong’s potable water or ground water supplies. Since 1985 HKGC has pumped partially treated sewerage effluent to the Club along a 3km pipeline built and maintained by HKGC from the Drainage Services Department’s Shek Wu Hui Sewerage Treatment Works. The water, which would otherwise have been discarded into the Shenzhen River, receives a final treatment before it is used to irrigate the golf courses at Fanling.
- The Fanling property is also home to a huge variety of birds, insects, reptiles and other wildlife including a resident colony of Common Birdwing butterflies – Hong Kong’s only protected insect species – and the globally endangered Reeve’s terrapin. Other rare and endangered species recorded during the faunal surveys conducted at HKGC include:
• Brown Fish Owl
• Reeve’s Terrapin
• Somanniathelphusa zanklon (a fresh water crab that is endemic to Hong Kong)
• Masked Palm Civet
• Small Indian Civet
• Common Rose Butterfly
• Red Muntjac Deer
• Chinese Water Snake
• Leopard Cat
- Properly supervised and professionally guided nature trail tours are conducted at HKGC for communities from all over the city to educate people about the diversity and environmental importance of Hong Kong’s indigenous flora and fauna.