Golf club could become UNESCO site

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 10, 2023 14:11

Hong Kong Golf Club has applied for a UNESCO heritage conservation award.

If successful, it would mean its Fanling golf course would be protected amid a government plan to build public housing on a nine-hectare plot of the site.

Club captain Andy Kwok said in a press release that the course would “enhance people’s appreciation of this unique dimension of Hong Kong’s sporting and cultural history.”

Kwok added that submissions for the 2023 UNESCO Asia Pacific Cultural Heritage Conservation Awards would be evaluated on cultural value, contribution to sustainable development and contribution to the long-term development of social and cultural heritage.

The results of a club-commissioned cultural landscape research and assessment of the course showed it had “outstanding value ratings in terms of history, course design, nature conservation, sustainability, and quality of architecture,” Kwok said.

The Fanling course at Hong Kong Golf Club

The Environmental Protection Department in May gave conditional approval to the plan to build an estimated 12,000 flats for 33,600 residents on a nine-hectare plot of the Fanling course — part of a larger 32-hectare plot slated to be resumed by the government on September 1.

“We very much want to preserve [the Fanling course] — a living heritage site full of vibrancy — for Hong Kong’s next generation,” Kwok continued.

“As part of our efforts to tell the good stories of Hong Kong, we hope that the value of [the course] as a cultural landscape will be established and recognised and that it will continue to thrive in a sustainable manner so that it can become another unique landmark of this wonderful city.”

Hong Kong would not be the first golf club to be a UNESCO site.

Golf Club St. Vigil Seis in Italy resides in the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for example, while several golf courses around the world have at least part of their course on protected land.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 10, 2023 14:11
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