November 13, 2008 – Any spectator born in 1959 will be admitted free to next week’s UBS Hong Kong Open as the tournament celebrates its 50th edition.
The offer is one of a string of initiatives to mark the US$2.5 million showpiece’s historic milestone.
Other attractions include a photo exhibition of the tournament down the years, “Golden Hour” parties in the public village and an artist painting 1950s-style portraits of fans.
The inaugural Hong Kong Open was staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling in 1959 – it has been held every year since and always at the same venue.
The 50th tournament takes place from November 20-23 and to underline the unique nature of the occasion, anyone with a Hong Kong ID card or passport showing they were born in 1959 will be granted free entry each day.
After play finishes on both Saturday and Sunday, a “Golden Hour” party will be held in the public village with a live jazz band and special offers on food and beverages from sponsors Heineken, JW Marriott, Ballantine’s and Jebsen Wines.
Star players will also be appearing in the public village for autograph sessions – with times to be advertised each day.
In addition, spectators will have the chance to take part in the UBS golf simulator challenge or receive lessons from teaching professionals at the Game Improvement Zone.
Outright beginners and youngsters can try their hand at Snag Golf – great fun and the perfect way to learn about the game – while face-painting will be another attraction for kids.
Before the UBS Hong Kong Open tees off, some of the star players will be appearing in Central as the tournament goes downtown.
Major winners Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and José María Olazábal, past Hong Kong champions Miguel ángel Jiménez and José Manuel Lara and top Chinese players Liang Wenchong and Zhang Lianwei will be guests at the “Chater Garden Public Launch” at 19:15 on Tuesday (November 18).
Fans will be able to meet the stars and watch them go for the green for Operation Santa Claus, pick up free tournament merchandise, have their photo taken with the UBS Hong Kong Open trophy and get the chance to win an exclusive one-on-one clinic with Faldo.
The Chater Garden “urban golf experience” – open from 10:30 to 20:00 daily from this Saturday (November 15) to next Thursday (November 20) – will feature free golf lessons, miniature golf and a UBS Hong Kong Open photo exhibition.
For the tournament itself, organisers are once again offering free shuttle bus services.
?A shuttle will operate from Sheung Shui KCR station to the Hong Kong Golf Club throughout the tournament. Departures will be every half hour from 07:00 to 18:00 on Thursday and Friday; and every 15 minutes from 08:00 to 19:30 on Saturday and Sunday.
In addition, a free shuttle bus to the Hong Kong Golf Club will operate on Saturday and Sunday from Admiralty (outside Admiralty Centre) and Kowloon Tong (at the To Fuk Road exit at Kowloon Tong KCR Station).
Departure times from Admiralty and Kowloon Tong: 09:00; 09:30; 10:00; 10:30; 11:00; 11:30; 12:00; 12:30.
Departure times from the Hong Kong Golf Club: 15:00; 16:00; 16:30; 17:00; 17:30; 18:00.