Stakeholders have embarked on a fresh campaign to save the Hong Kong Golf Club, which is home to the prestigious Hong Kong Open.
The Hong Kong Open – which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours – has been running since 1959.
The European Tour, as part of its global expansion, got involved at the turn of the century.
However, everything that has been achieved with Hong Kong golf, now hangs in the balance as authorities start earmarking private facilities for other land use.
The chief campaigner for the survival of the Hong Kong Golf Club is Danny Lai, chief executive of the Hong Kong Golf Association. He believes the destruction of this venue could be detrimental for the game in the entire region.
The Fanling facility was established in 1889 and is now home to four courses – Old Course, Eden Course, New Course and Deep Water Bay.
“The clubs have been providing all the training facilities for our players, especially the Hong Kong Golf Club and this is pivotal to the future of golf development in Hong Kong,” Lai told the Post.
“We are now a tier B programme at the Sports Institute and we are working hard to gain tier A status like the elite sports such as cycling, badminton and swimming,” added Lai.
The thing about the Fanling venue is that most of the land there is leased from the Hong Kong government. That places the club in a precarious position, especially after it has invested so heavily in the entire enterprise.
“We will be trying to send players to major multi-sport games such as the Asian Games, Olympic Games, China National Games and World University Games to help achieve our target of reaching the required benchmark. We have appointed a top coach from the United States, Gary Gilchrist, as the Hong Kong team head coach to help the players,” explained Lai.
“At grass roots level, we staged the inter-school competition for secondary schools for the first time this year which will be extended to primary schools under our plan.
“At international level, we will be staging more competitions, including the 2020 world amateur team championships featuring 80 teams from all over the world at a budget of more than HK$10-million. All these plans need the support of facilities.”
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