International qualifier for U.S. Women’s Open and EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open are just the start of an 18-month schedule that will see the Club host leading amateur and professional events.
From humble beginnings in Happy Valley to its famous home today in Fanling, Hong Kong Golf Club is a sporting institution with an illustrious past and an exciting future.
Over the next 18-months, the esteemed club – which celebrates its 130-year anniversary in 2019 – will stage an impressive series of elite international tournaments, culminating in the World Amateur Team Championships in October 2020.
This Sunday 5 May, the club will host one of four international sectional qualifiers for the 74th U.S. Women’s Open. Held on the Club’s Old Course, the 36-hole tournament will see 48 players compete for a place in the US$ 5 million purse tournament – the second Major of the year – in Charleston, South Carolina at the end of May.
Teeing off on Friday 10 May on the same course, the Club will then stage the fifth edition of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. The tournament was inaugurated by the Club in 2015 with the aim of providing a platform for Hong Kong’s talented young amateurs to compete with professionals from around the world.
The first ladies event in Hong Kong to offer World Ranking Points, the tournament met its initial objective in just the second year, when Tiffany Chan’s win propelled her to the Olympic Games in Rio where, competing as an amateur, she came a very respectable 37th in the 60-player field.
The 2019 edition sees 123 players representing 14 nations compete over three rounds on the Old Course for a share of the USS$ 150,000 purse and is expected to draw crowds of several thousand back to the stunning surroundings of the famed Old Course.
Reaching its own 60-year milestone in 2018, the Hong Kong Open is widely recognised not only as the jewel in the crown of tournament golf in Asia but also one of the premier events on the European Tour’s international schedule. Attracting over 49,000 spectators in 2018, the event has been contested by many of the true greats of the game and has been won on 14 occasions by a Major champion. A four-time winner of the tournament, Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain aptly summed up his views of the club following his low round of the tournament in 2017: “I’m going to find my cigar and I’m going to have a bottle of wine on the terrace because this is maybe not the most beautiful terrace in the world but it’s the best terrace in the world.”
In October 2020, the World Amateur Team Championships returns to Hong Kong, with the Espirito Santo Trophy (Ladies) being played on Hong Kong Golf Club’s Old and New Courses and the Eisenhower Trophy (Men) on the Club’s Composite Course and at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. The competition is recognised as the pinnacle of amateur team golf and will see players from 80 countries travel to the S.A.R.
Together with the Hong Kong Golf Association, the club continues to be the driving force of golf development in Hong Kong. In addition to an elite talent development programme utilising Club coaches and facilities, the Club provides golf lessons to pupils from schools in the Northern District of Hong Kong as part of their school curriculum.
One of the latest additions to the tournament schedule is the Hong Kong Inter-Secondary School Golf Championship which returns to Fanling on 20 May. Introduced in 2018 and supported by the Hong Kong Schools Sports Federation and HKGA, the second edition of the tournament will see teams representing over 20 schools compete across three age group categories.
And it’s not just the golf community that benefits. From staging the equestrian cross-county for the Beijing Summer Olympic Games and annual Inter-school Cross Country Competitions, to preserving ancestral graves dating back hundreds of years and enabling children participate in tree climbing activities, the club continues to make a positive and valuable contribution to the community around it.
Speaking about the Club’s forthcoming schedule, William Doo Jr., Captain designate of Hong Kong Golf Club said: “The U.S. Women’s Open qualifier and the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open kick off a very busy period for Hong Kong Golf Club as it celebrates its 130-year anniversary. The next 18 months will see the Club stage numerous professional and amateur tournaments and continue to drive golf development in Hong Kong while also making the Club’s facilities available to the community at large.
“2019 sees the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open reach its own five-year milestone, with competitors from 14 countries coming to Hong Kong to compete in this fantastic tournament. Inaugurated by the Club in 2015, the event continues to go from strength to strength, offering Hong Kong players a true test of their skills against international competition and a wonderful day out for families and the golf community.”