History of The Hong Kong Golf Club

The Royal Hong Kong Golf Club is formed by “thirteen golfing enthusiasts”. The group has difficulty finding any open land suitable for golf in Hong Kong, but eventually obtains permission to play at Happy Valley.

Membership passes the 100 mark at Hong Kong’s first golf club; a small shed is built as a Clubhouse where refreshments are served. Due to “crowded conditions”, from 1896, ladies are only permitted to play golf on a very restricted basis.

As the pressure on starting times grows, the Captain and Club officials are forced to find an additional location. A lease for the land at Deep Water Bay is agreed with Government, and a Clubhouse is erected the same year.

Happy Valley is turned over exclusively to the Hong Kong Golf Club, except for Wednesdays and Saturdays when soccer and cricket are played. Ladies are only allowed to play on Sundays.

Following protracted negotiations with Government and local farmers, sufficient land in Fanling is secured to build a full 18 holes. The Old Course at Hong Kong Golf Club is laid by the end of the year.

The New Course in Fanling is opened for play on additional land acquired in the late 1920’s by the Hong Kong Golf Club

With war clouds gathering, Government terminates the Club’s tenancy of Deep Water Bay, converting the Clubhouse and course for use as a supply depot for the armed forces, signifying the end of golf in Hong Kong for the next four years.

The Hong Kong Golf Club convenes its first Annual General Meeting since 1940. The Club hands over its Happy Valley property over to Government in view of the lack of open spaces in Hong Kong. Despite limited financial resources, the Club commences the rehabilitation of the Fanling course, a mammoth and costly undertaking that will continue for more than a decade.

The Club hosts the first Hong Kong Open, which it continues to do to this day, over the years boasting international Champions such as Peter Thomson (1960, 1965 and 1967), Lu Liang-huan (1959 and 1974), Tom Watson (1992) Jose-Maria Olazabal (2001).

The Fanling Development Scheme, authorizing extension of the Clubhouse and the issue of debentures to cover the cost, is approved at an Extraordinary General Meeting.

Arnold Palmer stages a clinic and exhibition match at Fanling. Lu Liang-huan, the winner of the first Hong Kong Open in 1959 and a former resident professional at Fanling, scores 70 versus Palmer’s 68.

The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club agrees to lease some 30 acres of land at Beas River to the Club for the development of the Eden Course in Fanling into a full-length 18-hole championship course.

The new Eden Course opens for play.

The Hong Kong Golf Club celebrates its Centenary, and enters its second hundred years recognised as one of the leading golf clubs worldwide.

The first Johnnie Walker Classic in Asia is played at the Club. Nick Faldo wins after shooting a course record 62. Not to be outdone, Bernhard Langer shoots a 63 to win the Hong Kong Open the following year.

At the Club’s Annual General Meeting, the Royal nomenclature is dropped, and henceforward the club is known as The Hong Kong Golf Club.

To book tee times at Hong Kong Golf Club, please contact www.golfinhongkong.com