13 reasons to play at the world-leading Hong Kong Golf Club
I love playing at the Hong Kong Golf Club. It’s one the many privileges of living here in Hong Kong – whenever I walk any of the courses – either at Fanling or Deep Water Bay, I feel like I am surrounded by history – from the days of the original 13 founders who created the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club in 1889 to the many great players who have graced this course in the years since. So, with those original 13 pioneers in mind, I thought I’d give you 13 good reasons to come and play a round here at this world-renowned course.
- The greens are a real challenge. They’re small and fast, and a round of any of the three 18-hole Fanling courses or the 9-hole Deep Water Bay course is a great way to brush up on your short game. The grain on them makes them particularly tricky, so you’ll need to study them carefully.
- The Fanling Clubhouse is the ideal place to relax and unwind after a round. The Verandah in particular is the perfect spot for something to drink as the sun goes down. The food is great too – I highly recommend sampling your favourite Chinese dish at the resort.
- The courses are all beautifully maintained. The New Course, the Old Course and the Eden Course at Fanling are all in fantastic condition, with fast, true greens and perfectly manicured fairways. There are also some unique features, such as the burial mounds that dot the course – there are 110 graves of indigenous people here, and their ancestors are still allowed to play here for free to this day.
- You’ll be following in the footsteps of legends. Some of the greatest golfers of all time have played at the Hong Kong Golf Club, from Bernhard Langer to Miguel Ángel Jiménez and José Maria Olazábal. The Hong Kong Open is a part of the European Tour and still attracts some of the world’s top talent.
- It’s easy to turn up and play at Fanling if you’re a visitor. You can play Monday to Friday – the only times you’ll be turned away are public holidays and weekends. The courses are an important part of any golfing holiday itinerary, and it’s definitely worth taking the time to visit. Just make sure you ring and book a place before you turn up.
- The setting is truly stunning. There are around 100 different species of tree on the Fanling course, including paperbark and eucalyptus – the Club even runs tree trails for local school children to help them to learn more about their environment.
- There’s a great choice of courses, for all abilities. At Fanling, you’ll find three 18-hole courses, while at Deep Water Bay there’s a short but challenging 9-hole par 56 course. You’ll find something to suit you, whatever your level – and there will always be plenty of people on hand to offer you some advice if you need it.
- The driving range is one of Hong Kong’s finest. The driving range and practice area is by far the best in Hong Kong with floodlit facilities, real greens to aim at on the range and a short game area that is second to none.
- If you’re a Hong Kong resident, you get discounted prices during certain days in the summer. Locals get a fantastic 93% saving on selected days, making this a truly community-minded club.
- People have been playing golf in Hong Kong for over 100 years. The Hong Kong Golf Club is one of the oldest in the world – so you really are enjoying a piece of history when you take to the course.
- It even has royal approval. Queen Victoria herself gave the club its ‘Royal’ prefix in 1889, but the name was quietly dropped in 1996 before the transfer of Hong Kong to China.
- You’ll get to use every club you have in your bag. All of the courses at Fanling have their own peculiar challenges, and you’ll need to have a good grasp of the course – and the tools you have at your disposal – to record a decent round.
- Get a taste of what the pros take on. The Hong Kong Open has been held here since 1959, most recently on a combination of the New and Old Courses. It’s relatively short – at 6,699 yards – and it’s also old-fashioned and challenging in that it demands more than just raw driving power.