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Golf clubs: Golfers mull next steps as club membership prices could fall

Published on Feb 17, 2014 7:14 PM
 
Golf club brokers say their phones have been ringing off the hook, a day after the Government announced its decision on the fate of nine golf clubs in Singapore. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Golf club brokers say their phones have been ringing off the hook, a day after the Government announced its decision on the fate of nine golf clubs in Singapore.

Some of these clubs, all of whose leases will be expiring over the next decade, were granted lease extensions up to 2040, though a few will have their courses reduced in size as the Government needs part of their land for infrastructure developments.

Keppel Club and Marina Bay Golf Course will not have their leases renewed once expired, as the land they sit on is also needed for other, more pressing, developments such as housing. Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) is set to lose one course.

In the next few months, brokers expect prices of the affected clubs to fall, though only by about 5 per cent or so. Nonetheless, the picture may change.

Brokers say they expect that on the whole, membership prices for those clubs with lease extensions will rise gradually as there will be fewer golf clubs.

Golf club broker Lee Lee Langdale of Singolf said: "Those clubs who will have some land taken away, such as Tanah Merah Country Club, will see their membership prices come down temporarily, but these will eventually go back up again because there will be fewer private golf courses in Singapore, while demand will certainly still be there, especially as a lot of members from Keppel Club will want to join another private club."

Many golfers who have been looking to purchase a club membership now want to know whether this is the right time to buy, before prices rise, said club broker Fion Phua of Tee-Up Marketing Enterprise, who said she has been juggling an endless series of calls on five different mobile phones on Monday.

"Whereas existing club members of Singapore Island Country Club want to know if they should sell now, because they're worried the price of their membership will fall."

SICC, the Ministry of Law said on Sunday, will get a lease extension but one of its two 18-hole courses at its Bukit location will be reallocated as a public course.

This will be managed by the labour movement for the general public and for the labour movement, when its lease expires on Dec 31, 2021.