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LCQ17: Golf sports
     Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Regina Ip and a written reply by the Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr Kevin Yeung, in the Legislative Council today (December 7):
     There are views pointing out that the outstanding performance of Hong Kong athletes in various international competitions in recent years has become the pride of Hong Kong citizens, and has highlighted the effectiveness of the Government in realising the three major policy objectives of promoting sports in the community, supporting elite sports development and making Hong Kong a centre for major international sports events. However, as a sport with a long history, golf is still mistaken by a few people as a niche sport since its development, and has not been given adequate promotion by the Government. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) whether it knows the current number of standard 18-hole golf courses in Hong Kong, and how such number compares with that in Singapore;
(2) whether it has compiled statistics on the number of users of various public and private golf courses and golf driving ranges in Hong Kong in the past five years; and
(3) of the Government's plan to support various local golf clubs to continue to nurture local young athletes and take part in international competitions, with a view to enabling local golfers to reach international standards and win glory for Hong Kong?
     My reply to the questions raised by the Hon Mrs Regina Ip is as follows:
(1) At present, there are a total of eight 18-hole golf courses in Hong Kong, namely the Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course (3 courses), the Fanling Golf Course of Hong Kong Golf Club (3 courses), the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club (1 course) and the Shek O Country Club (1 course).
     As far as we understand, there are altogether 14 18-hole golf courses in Singapore.
(2) At present, public golf courses and golf driving ranges include the Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course and the golf facilities under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD). 
     As for private golf courses and golf driving ranges, they involve four sites granted by way of Private Recreational Leases, namely the golf course of the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, the Fanling Golf Course and Deep Water Bay Golf Course of the Hong Kong Golf Club as well as the golf driving range of the South China Athletic Association. 
     The usage of the above facilities over the past five years are set out at Annex.
     This bureau does not possess the usage information of other privately-run golf courses and golf driving ranges.
(3) The Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI) is a delivery agent of the Government's elite sports training system. In 2022-23, the Government allocated $737 million from the Elite Athletes Development Fund to the HKSI for the development of elite sports. The HKSI provides support to eligible elite sports under the Elite Vote Support Scheme. Currently, there are 20 Tier A and 13 Tier B high performance sports at the HKSI. Golf is one of the Tier B sports and has received $2 million programme funding in 2022-23 for elite athletes training.
     In addition, the Arts and Sport Development Fund (Sports Portion) has all along supported the development of golf in Hong Kong, including providing golf athletes with funding for their preparation for and participation in the National Games, Asian Games, and Olympic Games, as well as allocating grants to the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) in organising major international golf events in Hong Kong.
     Apart from the above, the LCSD administers a Sports Subvention Scheme which provides subvention to the "national sports associations" for promotion and development of sports in Hong Kong. Subvention is provided to the HKGA on a yearly basis, subject to its submission of the annual programme plans, to support its organisation of school sports promotion campaigns, training programmes and local competitions etc., with a view to nurturing young athletes for the Hong Kong team. Such subvention also supports the HKGA in providing training for the Hong Kong team and allowing the latter to participate in international competitions to enhance their performance. The amount of subvention provided to the HKGA in 2022-23 under the Sports Subvention Scheme is about $5.61 million, among which around $1.14 million of funding has been allocated to the athletes of the Hong Kong team for their participation in 32 international competitions across the globe. The LCSD will continue to proactively discuss with and encourage the HKGA to step up efforts in training the local young athletes to participate in international competitions and provide the HKGA with financial support in light of actual needs.
Ends/Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Issued at HKT 15:10
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