Govt to update on golf clubs' leases early next year

Golf clubs with 10 years or less left on their leases will find out early next year if they will be granted an extension, said Law Minister K. Shanmugam in a Facebook post yesterday.

The Government will also explain its approach to lease extension for the golf courses.

The post provided Mr Shanmugam's first comments on lease renewals since January, when the Government said some golf club land might be taken back for other uses.

The comments come as the speculation over lease renewals has made some golf club members jittery and hurt membership prices.

Data from Tee-Up Marketing Enterprises, a brokerage that sells club memberships, shows some membership prices have fallen by nearly 20 per cent this year.

The worst-hit is Keppel Club, whose membership price has fallen 18.8 per cent to about $16,000.

At Singapore Island Country Club, prices have dropped 16.1 per cent to $193,000. Memberships at Tanah Merah Country Club are going for $122,000, down 14.8 per cent from levels at the start of the year.

These three clubs, as well as Sentosa Golf Club, Seletar Country Club and Changi Golf Club, are believed to have less than 10 years remaining on their leases.

Mr Shanmugam also said that golf clubs are on leasehold land and the Government's approach "is to let the leases expire if the land is needed for another purpose".

"Unlike in the past, we will not be able to find large tracts of land for new golf courses," he wrote. "So over time, the land allocated to golf courses will be reduced."

Even so, he said, golf courses have a place here and having such facilities makes Singapore a better location for business investment.

rjscully@sph.com.sg