One of SICC's greens to become public golf course after 2021

The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), the largest golf club here with four 18-hole courses, will lose one of its greens when its lease runs out in 2021.

One of its two courses at the Bukit location will be converted into a public course and be managed by the labour movement.

This announcement was made known at a members-only briefing with representatives of government agencies, including Law Minister K. Shanmugam, at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre on Sunday.

The Ministry of Law said in a statement that the move will ensure "continued public access to golfing facilities when the Marina Bay Golf Course is phased out for redevelopment".

The Marina Bay course is the only 18-hole public course today, and will be eventually redeveloped for residential and commercial uses.

SICC will be offered a new lease for its two courses at the Island location near Thomson, that will run through till 2040.

It will also be offered a lease extension for one of its two courses at the Bukit site until 2030, subject to terms and conditions.

"In order to secure the extension for (one of) the 18-hole courses at Bukit, SICC will have to work with the labour movement and conclude an agreement by the end of February 2015," said the Ministry of Law.

Agreements include discussions on how the courses may have to be reconfigured and how to arrange the sharing of facilities between club member and the public.

At the closed-door meeting on Sunday, SICC members asked why the Bukit location was selected to be converted into a public course.

Law Minister K. Shanmugam said the decision was made after discussions with the club's general committee. Its Island location is the larger of the two plots and the club had recently invested more than $100 million on the club house there, he noted.

He added, however, that the Government is open to considering the club's request for one of its Island courses to be made public.

But this will be subject to the availability of golfing support facilities and the feasibility of subdividing the location of the two courses.