Keppel Club looking at becoming social club, after lease expires at Telok Blangah site

Tucked away in Telok Blangah, Keppel Club has a history dating back to over 100 years.

But now, it will be the first private golf club in Singapore not to have its lease extended upon expiry in 2021 and will not be offered an alternative site.

The 44 hectares of land it occupies, which includes its club house and an 18-hole course, is slated for housing developments, and was first announced in the 2001 Concept Plan by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Members of Keppel Club had a closed-door meeting with representatives of government agencies and Law Minister K. Shanmugam on Sunday at the Suntec Singapore Convention Centre.

Among their concerns, Keppel members wanted to know how easy or difficult it would be for it to evolve into a social club and secure a site for a new clubhouse. This means that the club would not have golfing facilities, but can still provide members with amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts.

Mr Shanmugam told the members that the club would not have to bid to lease its new site, given that it was the first club whose lease would expire without being offered a replacement golf course and that it had a long heritage.

Speaking to the media after the members-only meeting, Mr Shanmugam said the Government will try to help the club and see if the operators of the public golf course can work out some arrangements with Keppel's members.

"If a new golf course is offered to them, and they would have to pay a premium for it... and the club's chairman was saying they were not sure if they can pay the premium (required) for a social club," said Mr Shanmugam.

"It's not as if the new golf course can be alloted free of charge or at a discounted rate, it is going to cost a lot of money."

Other members had asked at the meeting if they could get a short extension for their existing site and retain some parts of the club house in Telok Blangah.

However, such an arrangement was not possible as the land preparatory works will be initiated quite immediately after its lease runs out in 2021.