The Royal Hong Kong Golf Club was formed on Friday 10th May 1889 by “thirteen golfing enthusiasts”. This group had difficulty finding any open land suitable for golf, but eventually obtained permission to play at Happy Valley. This area was used for football, polo, hockey and military parades, so the golfers had to take their turn at using the ground.
By 1891 the membership had grown to over 100, so a small shed was built as a Clubhouse where refreshments were served. Due to the “crowded conditions”, from 1896 ladies were only permitted to play golf on a very restricted basis.
As the pressure on starting times grew, the Captain and Club officials were forced to find an additional location. They found Deep Water Bay, which besides providing an area for a small course also provided perfect bathing.
The first lease for the land at Deep Water Bay was agreed with Government in September 1898. A Clubhouse was erected in this same year. Members used to ride round to the course in boats or ride ponies over Wong Nai Chong Gap, whilst the caddies walked carrying the clubs and picnic supplies.
In 1903 Happy Valley was turned over exclusively to the Golf Club, except for Wednesdays and Saturdays when soccer and cricket were played. Ladies were only allowed to play on Sundays.
In 1911, thanks to the foresight of men such as E.R. Halifax, the District Officer North (Taipo) negotiations took place with the Government and local farmers to secure sufficient land in Fanling to build a full 18 holes. The Old Course was laid by the end of 1911 and additional land was acquired in the late 1920’s for the New Course which was opened for play in November 1931.
The end of the War saw the Club virtually bankrupt with the courses at Fanling and Deep Water Bay in very poor condition. However, things moved ahead with strong support from members and local companies, to the extent that a third course, the Eden Course, was added in 1970.
The quality of The Hong Kong Golf Club is such that it has been the home of The Hong Kong Open since 1959.
The Club celebrated its Centenary in 1989 and has entered its second hundred years recognised as one of the leading golf clubs worldwide. In 1996, at the Annual General Meeting of the Club, the Royal nomenclature was dropped. The Club is now known as The Hong Kong Golf Club.
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