Commentary: Is golf dying in Singapore?

While the closure of golf courses to make way for the high-speed rail project presents short-term problems, the sport in Singapore may have other major issues to deal with as it wrestles with an uncertain future. 

SINGAPORE: The first proper golf course that I’d ever swung a golf club on was Raffles Country Club (RCC). A friend had snuck me on. We were teenagers – he a top junior, and me a hanger-on just starting to fall in love with the game. We zoomed round the course in our buggy, laughed at my duffs and tops, finished as dusk fell, and by the time we were done, I was hooked.

It must have been around 1988 or so, when the club had just opened. With the news now emerging that the Government has acquired the land on which the club sits, it’s almost poetic that I too found my love affair with golf coming to an end.

 On Wednesday (Jan 4), RCC’s July 2018 date with destiny was announced, just days after golfers played their last rounds on Jurong Country Club. Both will make way for the Singapore-KL High-Speed Rail project, and this comes on top of news in recent years that other leases will lapse. In time, Keppel Club, Marina Bay Golf Club and Orchid Country Club will go. The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), Tanah Merah Country Club and National Service Resort and Country Club will see parts of their courses reduced in size as well.

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