ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Fanling Golf Course Recognised by UNESCO

The Hong Kong Golf Club’s Fanling Golf Course has been recognised by UNESCO.

Hong Kong SAR, China: The Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC) has hailed the announcement that the Fanling Golf Course has been recognised with the Award of Distinction in the 2023 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The UNESCO Jury, consisting of seven international conservation experts and one Jury Chair, said: “The multi-disciplinary effort of the Fanling Golf Course project has strengthened the socio-ecological commitment and ‘people-nature-culture’ relationship of Greater China’s oldest championship golf course, establishing a welcome precedent for conserving a unique typology of landscape heritage, one located amid increasingly urbanised surroundings and subject to larger developmental pressures.”

Comprising three acclaimed golf courses – the Old Course (opened in 1911), the New Course (1931) and the Eden Course (1970) – as well as a heritage cluster of historical buildings including the Clubhouse (1914) and Old Course Halfway House (1916), the Fanling Golf Course has been commended by UNESCO for enhancing heritage interpretation, its environmental stewardship, landscape conservation and community outreach endeavours.

“The Fanling Golf Course thus represents a major advancement in the promotion of an inclusive conservation management approach for cultural landscapes in both Hong Kong and the larger region,” the Jury added.

Andy Kwok, Captain of the HKGC, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, said: “We are thrilled by this award and our utmost thanks to UNESCO for this incredible recognition. But this really is an award for the whole of Hong Kong and our city’s efforts in preserving important cultural heritage sites.

“We very much look forward to the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) conducting its own assessment of the heritage value of the entire Fanling Golf Course landscape.”

HKGC Captain Andy Kwok with the famous Fanling clubhouse behind him.

The Fanling Golf Course is one of only two sporting venues that have been recognised in the history of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. The other is Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur, the site of the formal declaration of independence of the Federation of Malaya in 1957.

Other Hong Kong projects that have been recognised at the Awards include Lai Chi Wo Rural Cultural Landscape (2020), Tai Kwun – Centre for Heritage and Arts (2019), the Blue House Cluster (2017) and the Tai O Heritage Hotel (2013).

Following the 62nd edition of the Hong Kong Open, Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event, last month, the Fanling Golf Course will once again be in the international sporting spotlight from March 8-10, 2024 when it hosts LIV Golf Hong Kong for the first time.

“We very much look forward to hosting golf’s best players and bringing yet another truly world-class event to Hong Kong’s sporting calendar,” added Kwok.

In March 2023, the venue played host to the World City Championship, while October 2023 saw the inaugural Aramco Team Series – Hong Kong, featuring the finest women golfers in the game, also contested at Fanling.

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