27 Nov 2023 | Clubs and Facilities | Participation |
Connection and collaboration | Kunlun Golf Club bridges the gap for Chinese golfers
by Andrew Young
The Kunlun Mountain range is a symbol of divinity in Chinese mythology.
It has come to represent friendship and connection in Australian golfing circles of late, as the Kunlun Golf Association and partner Kunlun Golf Club are acting as a pathway to make golf more accessible to the Chinese community than ever before.
First started in South Australia in April 2022, the Association expanded to Victoria last month with great success, as golfers are embracing the concept and the chance to play more golf.
“We started from South Australia, but we are trying to make it an Australia-wide community, to encourage more Chinese people to come and play golf,” said founding committee member, Jinsong Li.
“The idea started during Covid, when golf became more and more popular.
“A lot of Chinese people were stuck here and couldn’t go home, so it was a chance to make this Association. As more and more Chinese people started playing golf, we wanted to get them together and give a social outlet.”
Having started life as the Kunlun Golf Association South Australia Incorporated, Jinsong and the committee went through the formal process of registering as the Kunlun Golf Club in July 2022.
“We thought if we were going to do this (create a network for Chinese golfers), we wanted to do it formally and with some structure, so we applied to become a registered golf club through Golf Australia,” Jinsong explained.
“So now we have our own handicap system, we run competitions and give golfers the chance to play anywhere as registered members of the Kunlun Golf Club.”
Following the initial success in South Australia, where 65 members played in the opening round at West Lakes Golf Club, Kunlun has expanded to Victoria.
92 members played in the first Victorian competition at Heritage Golf and Country Club last month, and Jinsong believes it is the continuation of something special for Chinese/ Australian golfers.
“We understand that the golf population and appetite for the game even just in the Chinese community in Melbourne is very large,” he said. “By expanding to Victoria, it is a great opportunity for Kunlun to connect golfers all over the nation, enhancing engagement and communication in different states.
“Ultimately, we want to expand from a Chinese-based golf club to a multicultural place. We want to embrace everyone into the club and committee and make it a bridge to connect the Chinese community with other cultures.”
In a practical sense, Kunlun Golf Club offers members organised Stableford competitions, managed through the club’s own MiClub system. With four competitions set to run before the end of 2023, the second one in Victoria is at Yering Meadows Golf Club next week.
Thereafter, events are set to run once per quarter, giving members the chance to develop and maintain social connections.
Additionally, Kunlun will hold a State of Origin style Grand Final between members of the South Australia and Victoria branches, as part of an effort to continue developing communication and connection of the club around the country.
Off the course too, Kunlun Golf Club is taking the chance to help members build up business networks. Having already secured eleven sponsorships in South Australia and one in Victoria, the committee recognise they have a real chance to engage with local business.
“We try to attract not only Chinese businesses, but local businesses who want to expand in the Chinese community, Jinsong said. “As we continue to grow, we are looking to attract more and continue to work within the community.”
A powerful reminder of golf’s ability to bring people together, Kunlun Golf Club and their committee are doing wonderful work fostering a sense of community.
“Ultimately, it is an avenue for Chinese people to understand Australian sporting culture and vice-versa,” Jinsong smiled.
“We want to attract more people to the game and help them enjoy it.”
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