Dear Fellow Golfers,
Following a difficult period of several months, during which our everyday lives have been challenged by COVID-19, the golf courses in Hong Kong reopened in the second week of May and so I hope you have since had the opportunity to reconnect with your swing.
Due to the virus and related governmental prevention measures, all local tournaments were either postponed or cancelled since the Ladies Close Amateur Championship in February. All major overseas tournaments such as the Queen Sirikit Cup, the Nomura Cup and the World Amateur Team Championship (which were to be restaged in Singapore) were also cancelled. Nevertheless, locally, with the reopening of our courses and the kind cooperation of the host Clubs, we rebooted promptly with the HKGA Spring Mens and Ladies Tournaments at Fanling on May 18. In addition, a major 3-day event, the Hong Kong Senior Close Amateur Championship was held from June 10-12 at the Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club.
All the junior and HKGA squad training sessions have fully resumed and on the junior front, there was practically an event every other day on average for different levels of juniors during the month of June.
It is worth noting that although the HKGA squad training was interrupted between February and May, the morale of our coaches and players remained high. Together we overcame the hurdle of facility closures and shortages by conducting online training that included course management, sports psychology, home physical fitness and skills training. Our Head Coach Gary Gilchrist was actively involved, sending training videos and conducting regular video calls with our players on a weekly basis. With most of our best players in town, we shall also be organising more local tournaments and squad competitions throughout the summer so that they will be fully match fit when scheduled competition resumes.
I am mindful that it is July and our very own Tiffany Chan should have been playing in the Olympics, having accumulated sufficient world ranking points due to her steady performance in the LPGA Tour in 2019. Tiffany has been in Hong Kong over the past few months and could be back in the U.S. for the resumption of the LPGA by the time this letter is published. Let’s wish her the best of luck with her tournaments and in qualifying for the rescheduled 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Another positive piece of news to share is that Hong Kong has just been admitted to take part in the National Golf Championship In China in September. The China Golf Association has been pushing our case due to our increased cooperation on all fronts. The National Golf Championship is the highest level of competition in China, played by all the top professional and amateur players, and it also serves as a qualifying event for the National Games for all the provinces of the PRC. Last year’s winners were Zhang Weiwei in the ladies event and Wu Ashun in the mens, names that underscore the importance of this event. It is truly a great honour for our players to be involved and let’s hope that travel restrictions will be lifted by then.
Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders in the local golfing community for doing their utmost to satisfy the high demand for tee times and practice facilities. Both our courses and facilities were already very well utilised before the effects of the pandemic. With the travel restrictions that currently prevent our fellow golfers from playing in China in particular, there is obviously a shortage of facilities in Hong Kong. At the HKGA, we are very mindful of this and will endeavour to work with the Government of the HKSAR to provide more resources for our beloved sport.