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Why curb Singaporeans' golfing aspirations?

Editor-at-Large Han Fook Kwang's commentary ("The rise and fall of golf in Singapore"; Jan 8) is testimony that the game of golf is encountering headwinds.

To me, golf is given a raw deal. The tide appears to be going against the sport, with several factors seeming to work against it. While golf is seen as a symbol of wealth, so too are sprawling bungalows, high-end condominiums, fast cars, exotic vacations and high-end dining.

A problem may be that golf is accessed by an exclusive group of people - about 36,000 people in Singapore, or less than 1 per cent of the population. This has made non-golfers unhappy, causing the sport to become a casualty of political reckoning, populist policies and a culture of envy.

It was said that there is declining interest in the sport among the younger generation.

The reality is probably that golfing is an expensive pursuit and, with the rising cost of living in Singapore, younger people cannot afford it, even though they may be interested in it.

Golfing is also said to take up too much time, and people may prefer to go for other more aerobically beneficial options.

All these point to declining support for the sport, but it needs to be understood that for some Singaporeans, playing golf is still among the aspirations they have. Why curb it?

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 15, 2017, with the headline 'Why curb Singaporeans' golfing aspirations?'. Print Edition | Subscribe