Yet as Hong Kong feels more and more divided between wealthy and poor, the talk surrounding the golf course speaks to extra elementary questions on the way forward for this metropolis, and whether or not it is going to be reasonably priced to all, or simply a playground of the wealthy.
Some of probably the most vocal opponents of the course are younger social activists who name land possession the largest dividing line between Hong Kong’s haves and have-nots.
Yam Chun, 24, a group organizer for the Concerning Grassroots’ Housing Rights Alliance, sees the golf course because the epitome of inequitable use of land.
Born to a working-class household, she mentioned she grew up in cramped subdivided flats and outdated tenement buildings whereas her household sat on a lengthy ready checklist simply to get into public housing.
“When my family and I were still waiting for public housing, I thought to myself, does Hong Kong really not have enough land?” she mentioned. “Now that I’ve grown up, I realize that the real problem is the unfair distribution of land.”
Some consultants say that whereas the dispute has uncovered deeper anxieties attributable to Hong Kong’s financial rise, the golf course just isn’t sufficiently big to unravel the housing challenge.
“The golf course problem is just pure political populism,” mentioned Richard Wong, professor of economics on the University of Hong Kong. “The golf course is peripheral, completely peripheral, to the solution to this problem,” he added. “It’s symbolic.”
Still, symbols may be vital, and a few argue that eliminating the golf course would harm Hong Kong’s competitiveness.
“As an international financial city you do need to balance housing needs with sporting needs,” mentioned Mr. Wong, the membership captain. “You can’t have a walled city of just concrete, with no facilities, no attractions to other investors, foreigners, expats, people of different backgrounds.”