What do The HKGC and Augusta National Golf Club have in common?
Founded in 1889, The Hong Kong Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in Asia, and, as noted on their website, is celebrating their 130th anniversary in 2019. The Club has 2 locations, Fanling and Deep Water Bay, and sits high on our list of courses to play. But, due to the Hong Kong Sevens Rugby Championships, tee times on the Fanling Course weren’t available while we were in Hong Kong, so we’ll have to play it another time. But we had the pleasure to play 18 holes at Deep Water Bay.
Also located on the south side of Hong Kong Island, the course at DWB has 9 holes, but with 2 sets of tees, it allows you to play 18. Coming in at 3216 yards, there are 8 par 3’s and one par 4 that are played over a beautiful piece of land that sits in a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides, and the South China Sea on the other.
Both locations offer weekday morning tee times that are open to the public, so Menekse and I made our way to DWB to join a friend. The Club simply oozes with history, and you can feel it when entering the stately white clubhouse. After checking in, we warmed up with some putts on the perfect speed putting green, and then went to the first tee eager to play.
The first hole is an 89-yard par 3 that plays 105 yards on the back nine. There is a bunker well short of the green which makes the hole look shorter than it is. We both made bogies and were ready to see more.
Both of us enjoyed the fifth through seventh holes, a stretch of par threes that take you into the deepest part of the valley and then turns back towards the sea. It was back here that you notice how quiet the Island of Hong Kong can be. Other than the majestic white Egrets flying silently above us, we were all alone. You also can’t help but notice how the ‘other half’ live, because the mansions here are enormous!
After playing the eighth, the only par 4 on the course, you reach the last hole, and you better be ready. At 241 yards, I don’t know how this hole isn’t considered a par three and a half! After putting out on eight, you walk up some steps, turn around and hit your tee shot over the 8th green. The first round, I hit 3 wood and pulled it quite left. Walking up, I found it on the 4th green, which is obstructed from view of the tee box by a small maintenance building. Luckily there were no other players, because I had no idea that that green was within play (it wouldn’t be if you would just hit the ball straight!) To be safe, I hit a 4 iron the second time around, and absolutely drilled it just short of the green.
There must be something about playing golf in Hong Kong that appeals to Menekse. I wrote earlier that she played really well at The Shek O Country Club. But it was at HKGC that she had both her best 9 and 18 score ever!
After our round, we found our way to the beach located just across the street and rewarded ourselves by relaxing on a bench and watching the small waves rolling quietly in. All while having our clubs!
The Fanling Course is home to the Hong Kong Open. And one historical note that I found extremely interesting from their website is that HKGC and Augusta National are the only two clubs in the world that have hosted the same professional golf tournament at the same golf course for more than 50 consecutive years.
Thank you HKGC, you will see us again!!