2016 HSBC Women's Champions

New Tanjong home develops

An artist's early impression of the New Tanjong Course's sixth tee which includes a 20m-high waterfall.
An artist's early impression of the New Tanjong Course's sixth tee which includes a 20m-high waterfall.ST FILE PHOTO
An artist's early impression of the New Tanjong Course's sixth tee which includes a 20m-high waterfall.
GILES MORGAN, HSBC's global head of sponsorship and events.ST FILE PHOTO

Scenic course a 'wonderful' future home for top women's golf tournament in Singapore

While moving home can be a laborious exercise, it also promises a refreshing change and that is exactly what sponsor HSBC expects of its flagship golf tournament in Singapore.

The Women's Champions event, which has routinely attracted a world-class field since it was first held in 2008, has been staged at Sentosa Golf Club's (SGC) Serapong Course since 2013.

But from next year it is expected to move to the adjacent New Tanjong Course, which is in the midst of a $32 million redevelopment.

As well as a stunning 20m-high waterfall, located at the new sixth tee and visible from almost every part of the 18-hole course that overlooks the South China Sea, the par-72 Tanjong will feature six tee options, about 30 large bunkers and use the new Zorro Zoysia grass - noted for its dark green colour and robust root system to handle tropical weather - on its fairways.

The plans are very exciting, HSBC's global head of sponsorship and events Giles Morgan told The Straits Times yesterday.

IDEAL COURSE FOR A BIG TOURNAMENT

At the moment you can't know what it's going to be like, but indications are it could be a wonderful new home.

GILES MORGAN, HSBC's global head of sponsorship and events, on the New Tanjong Course for the HSBC Women's Champions.

"But the proof in the pudding will be when the course is ready," he said. "At the moment you can't know what it's going to be like, but certainly the indications are that it could be a wonderful new home for the tournament."

The award-winning Serapong, which was recently voted into Golf Digest's list of the world's 100 greatest golf courses and at 58th spot the highest-ranked among courses in South-east Asia and the only one in Singapore to make the cut, has proven to be a hit with players and fans alike.

Last year's Women's Champions attracted the biggest crowds in the competition's history, with more than 29,000 spectators over the four tournament days.

While an event set against such a backdrop may not suggest the need for change, SGC president Low Teo Ping was optimistic that the proposed relocation would be a "refreshing" one for the US$1.5 million (S$2.11 million) tournament.

He added: "The new Tanjong will do justice to a world-class event like the HSBC Women's Champions. The feedback from promoter IMG and sponsor HSBC has been very, very positive."

One area of concern for the British bank would be whether Tanjong, slated to be completed in November, would have sufficient time to settle before the next HSBC event in February or March.

Noted Morgan: "What we don't want to do is to go early until everything is absolutely right."

Such doubts about the Tanjong course, which underwent a major $40 million revamp in 1993 and had a $5 million makeover in 2006, were put to rest by Low.

He said: "We're already halfway through the redevelopment stage and the grass-in period will actually start in August.

"Tanjong will open and be ready to play in November and, with another three to four months, it will be competition-ready for the HSBC tournament."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2016, with the headline 'New tanjong home develops'. Print Edition | Subscribe