SINGAPORE - Raffles Country Club (RCC) in Tuas will become the second country club, after Jurong Country Club, to be acquired by the Government and make way for the upcoming Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail (HSR).
The club is required to hand over the site - bordered by Tengeh Reservoir and the Ayer Rajah Expressway - to the Singapore Land Authority by July 31, 2018, as it was deemed a suitable location to run the HSR's at-grade tracks.
Here are five interesting facts about RCC.
1. It officially opened in August 1988
In 1988, RCC was Singapore's 10th golf club to open its doors, and was reported to be "set amidst gently rolling plains near the Tengah Reservoir in Tuas".
The club, which sits on land spanning 143ha, was developed by the Jurong Town Corporation, which was also responsible for Jurong Country Club.
It boasted facilities such as a swimming pool and tennis and squash courts.
News reports said then that RCC came about as the land around the reservoir was a water catchment area and thus unsuitable for industrial use. It was also built to meet the increasing demands of business executives for recreational facilities in the Jurong industrial area.
2. It has two golf courses
The Lake course is catered more for the social golfer which provides a more "leisurely round" of golf and offers more picturesque views, according to RCC's website.
The Palm course, first designed by renowned golf course designer Robert Trent Jones Junior, opened in July 1988 and has been described as the "thinking golfer's layout".
Plans for a $26 million revamp of the latter, which had become increasingly unplayable due to irrigation issues, hit a snag in 2013 after its members vetoed them due to doubts over whether the Government would extend its lease of the land.
3. It cost $40,000 to join
News reports in 1988 estimated that a RCC membership cost $40,000. Less than a month after its opening, some members reportedly sold their memberships for a big profit, with some asking for up to $68,000.
A check on club membership broker websites now showed that memberships are going for between $32,500 and $34,000.
The club currently has about 2,650 members.
4. It was last upgraded in 2011
A new golfing wing costing $9.5 million that took close to two years to build was officially opened by Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in July 2011.
The wing houses a lounge area, a changing room facility and a revamped men's and women's locker.
5. Its lease had been due to expire in 2028
RCC's fate is in line with the Government's move to cut down on the number of golf courses in Singapore in favour of redevelopment efforts.
It was announced in May 2015 that Jurong Country Club would house the HSR's Jurong East terminus, while a year earlier, Keppel Club and Marina Bay Golf Club were given the news that their leases would not be renewed beyond 2024.
Another three clubs - Tanah Merah Country Club (TMCC), National Service Resort and Country Club and Singapore Island Country Club - had their leases extended but were forced to give up part of the land they occupy.
TMCC, for instance, had to give up 10ha of land for new taxiways to be built at Changi Airport.