Feb 05, 2018

The Game of Kings - Golf

A cry rends the air as a small, pock-marked ball flies from on high to the smooth green. Men and women in sports uniforms unlike any other stand together in small groups on rolling green lawns. Gleaming clubs. Shining white golf carts. The glint of light on water traps. The sun warming the grass as players move from hole to hole across vast acres of open land.

 

 

There’s something very addictive about golf, a fun stick-and-ball sport that has endured the test of time. A historical sport has evolved into today’s modern golf, the player who holes his ball in the fewest strokes wins, which means that to play golf is to take on a series of distance and accuracy challenges. The World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida, houses the history of the sport.

Golf’s addictive, simple gameplay rewards distance control, pitch and accuracy, and means that it appeals to people across spectrums of nationality and sporting ability!

 

History

 

The modern game of golf is considered to be a Scottish invention, developed in the Middle Ages, when it was played with a stick and leather ball. The Gutty, or modern golf ball, was later developed – and given that it is cheaper to mass-produce and more durable than the feather-filled leather balls previously used, it aided in the rapid growth of popularity of the game.

Golf was played at the Paris Olympic Games for the first time in 1900.

 

“Your next shot is a new experience. It might be the best shot you ever hit in your life.”

– Harvey Penick

 

 

 

Game Play

A modern golf course consists of eighteen holes, with a teeing ground set by two markers showing the bounds of the tee area. The ball is struck from the tee area to a predetermined hole, which is located upon a putting green.

Every part of this iconic game has a purpose. Tees, small wooden or plastic pegs, hold the ball up. This is so that, when hit by the club, the ball travels as far as possible.

The putting green is an area of closely trimmed grass on relatively even ground surrounding the hole, that allows players to make precise strokes on it.

The initial shot from the tee towards the green, commonly known as the drive, is intended to move the ball long distances, as much as about 200 m. Once the ball comes to rest, the golfer can strike it again using different strokes, where he or she then ‘putts’ the ball into the hole. The person who completes the course with the fewest strokes on each hole ultimately wins. Don’t forget to play the ball where it lies!

Worried this seems too easy? Don’t fret! Not only is golf much harder than it sounds, as anyone who’s ever picked up a club knows, there are also water and sand traps that make it that much harder to get the ball from point A to point B.

 

“It was a morning when all nature shouted "Fore!" The breeze, as it blew gently up from the valley, seemed to bring a message of hope and cheer, whispering of chip-shots holed and brassies landing squarely on the meat. The fairway, as yet unscarred by the irons of a hundred dubs, smiled greenly up at the azure sky; and the sun, peeping above the trees, looked like a giant golf-ball perfectly lofted by the mashie of some unseen god and about to drop dead by the pin of the eighteenth.”

– P.G. Wodehouse

 

Why Not Take a Break in Style? Take a Golfing Break!

 

The Hong Kong Golf Club             

 

Founded in 1889, there are two branches of this premier Golf Club – one in Fanling, New Territories, and one in Deep Water Bay. The three-course Club in the New Territories also boasts a night-time driving range, which is open till 10pm. The Deep Water Bay Club sees an extremely popular nine-hole course. While members are welcome at any time, visitors are accepted only during specific hours on working days, so do call ahead before a visit. The Fanling Course hosts the annual Hong Kong Open golf tournament, usually in November every year.  Prize money is up to US$2,0M with professional members from the Asian Tour and PGA European Tour, with a starting field of over 130 players.  The tournament is initially played over 72 holes (4 rounds) and cut to the leading 65 players after 36-holes have been played.  Australian, Wade Ormsby was the winner of 2017 UBS tournament.

 

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Shek O Country Club

 

 

Strictly restricted to members and their guests, Shek O Country Club, founded in 1919, is one of the oldest courses in Hong Kong, and indeed in Asia. Less blue-blooded, more casual and laid-back (and perhaps also less spectacular) than some of the other Clubs on this list, Shek O is located on the south-east side of the Island. So if a member invites you to Shek O, say yes!

 

The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau

 

 

This is one of the finest golf courses in Asia, designed by the famous Gary Player and managed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club on behalf of the Government to relieve some of the unfulfilled demand for golf in Hong Kong. The Jockey Club is the only public golf Club in Hong Kong, located on an undulating coastline island, called Kau Sai Chau and is home to three eighteen-hole golf courses. This sprawling natural paradise sees an intermingling of animals, birds and golfers. The 250 hectare Club is home to many challenging holes that you won't tire of quickly.

 

Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club

 

 

This Club is perfectly located, with a fantastic cliff top setting on a peninsula that juts out into the South China Sea. This in itself makes the course fun and very interesting to play. This Club is open only to members!

 

Discovery Bay Golf Club

 

 

Located on Lantau Island, in Discovery Bay, the Discovery Bay Golf Club is one of south-east Asia's premier golfing venues. The club offers three nine-hole courses. The original 18-hole course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is spectacular and difficult, challenging golfers of all skill levels. Discovery Bay Golf Club possesses spectacular scenery from its space, nestled 230 metres above sea-level with panoramic views of Victoria Harbor, Sunset Peak and the South China Sea.

 

Indoor Golfing

Some are interested in taking on this sport, but it can seem a little hard to get all the way out of the city for a half or full day of sport. Why not try out a golf simulator instead?! Golf Hideaway (Quarry Bay) and UPP (Sheung Wan), golf lounges, feature golf driving simulators, providing game play on international golf courses, courses and training.

Strokes (Causeway Bay) and EpicLand (Discovery Bay) offer a super fun, light-hearted game of mini-golf, or ‘putt-putt’ golf, a relaxed game that welcomes players of all ages. Children and families especially love this sport!

 

So take the day or an hour, take your family, friends, or go it alone. Take your time. Take a chance. Try your hand at a new sport. Take on a challenge that brings new passion to players of all ages.

 

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