The Forecaddie: Hong Kong Golf Club in jeopardy of being wiped out for apartments


One of the world’s most exclusive golf clubs – where some of the game’s biggest stars have been crowned champions – is in danger of being plowed under to make way for apartment towers.

The Forecaddie learned that Hong Kong Golf Club finds itself under threat while perusing the South China Morning Post (The Man Out Front is widely read, you know!). The club has played host to the Hong Kong Open since 1959, whose winners have included Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Tom Watson and Greg Norman. Nick Faldo also won the Johnnie Walker Classic there in 1990.

It seems a government-appointed task force formed to address the Hong Kong housing crisis is eyeing the club’s famous fairways in Fanling. Hong Kong G.C. moved to what was then a remote location in 1911, but rapid development has since surrounded its three courses. A recently built development – constructed on the club’s former turf nursery – forced a repositioning of the 17th hole on the New Course.

The task force claims that more than 5,000 apartments could be built on the first eight holes of the Old Course and the club’s car park. A club spokesman told the newspaper that there have been no negotiations with the government over its future, though locals see the loss of at least one course being inevitable.

“We made a conscious decision (not to comment) because responding to every negative comment will only fan the flames and snowball into a war of words,” the spokesman said.

The club rents its expansive 420 acres from the government for HK$2.4 million a year. That is about $306,000 annually, a meager sum that doesn’t generate much sympathy for well-heeled members hoping to save their course from developers. In 2017 Hong Kong was ranked the most expensive housing market in the world for the seventh consecutive year.

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