Golfing on Hong Kong's Only Public Course
Kau Sai Chau is Hong Kong’s only public golfing venue. It has three 18- hole courses. It is located on an island. You have to take a twenty- minute ferryboat ride to get there. The legendary Gary Player designed two of the Kau Sai Chau courses in 1995. A third course was added in 2006. The scenery is stunning. I had my camera along and took dozens of pictures. Each hole seemed to offer a more breath taking view than the one before. Many of the holes hug the ocean shore or are set against the panorama of the mountains and the South China Sea. I appreciated the beauty of the course even more when I learned that prior to 1995, Kau Sai Chau Island, the fifth largest of Hong Kong’s 235 islands, was used for military training. Artillery shelling and bomb deployment had caused massive environmental damage. The golf course has encouraged the re-growth of vegetation and returned the island to a more beautiful natural state. The Hong Kong Jockey Club, which funded the building of the golf course, received an Audubon Society award for turning the barren landscape of Kau Sai Chau into a lush green space. The Jockey Club owns and operates two horse racing venues and funnels its profits into projects that make Hong Kong a better place to live.
Kau Sai Chau has different species of butterflies, turtles, deer, boar and porcupine. It is home to three kinds of cobras and the Burmese Python. There are egrets, herons and eagles. On one fairway the birds were so noisy they distracted us while we were trying to make our shots. We encountered four of the island’s many mild mannered wild dogs on the tenth tee box. Kau Sai Chau has a tiny fishing village with ten homes and a temple. In the past many people were buried on what is now golf course property. The course designers have respectfully planned around the graves. We came across several tombs on our 18 holes.
Kau Sai Chau is the only place where visitors to Hong Kong without access to a private course can golf. Getting a reservation at Kau Sai Chau can be tough especially on a weekend. However the course managers are a stickler for punctuality. If you head out to Kau Sai Chau and are willing to wait for awhile, someone is sure to have missed the ferry boat and their tee off time and you will be able to slide into their slot. The clubhouse is a very comfortable place to wait and offers spectacular views of the course. Kau Sai Chau offers a challenging and scenic game of golf and your wait will be worth it.
Published on 12/22/09