Singapore: Golf in Singapore is at an interesting stage of development and is facing challenges from several sectors.
At the Government level, the leases for some courses have not been renewed and some have closed or will close over the next few years. The total number of golf courses has dropped from 22 in 2001 to 17 in 2017.
In addition to Government related issues, the number of retailers has dropped, crowds to the major tournaments such as the Singapore Open have reduced, and the number of junior programmes and participation appear to have declined.
There are, however, also a number of positive developments for golf in Singapore such as the 2017 Team Gold Medal achieved at the Southeast Asian Games, the establishment of The R&A (the international governing body for golf) regional headquarters for Asia Pacific at Sentosa and the expansion of the European Tour office in Singapore.
There have also been multiple major regional championships being held in Singapore such as the SMBC Singapore Open, HSBC Women’s World Championship, Asia Pacific Amateur Championship and the inaugural Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific.
While there appears to be both issues and positive developments, very little quantitative or even useful data is available about the Singapore golf industry. As such, it’s difficult for golf to articulate its case for increased Government support, to attract more sponsorship and to promote the sport to the public in Singapore.
The Singapore Golf Association (SGA) with support from The R&A have, therefore, confirmed the engagement of Golf Business Advisory Services (GBAS) to produce the first Singapore Golf Industry Report.
GBAS is a specialist independent golf industry advisory firm based in Melbourne, Australia and led by Jeff Blunden. The firm has an extensive track record in the provision of industry reports, having delivered most of the major reports that have been published in recent years in Australia plus reports looking at issues in Southeast Asia.
These reports have all contained a high level of insightful, thoroughly researched content, presented in a high quality manner.
This experience is to be drawn on as GBAS delivers on behalf of the SGA and The R&A a first-time market report that will examine the following areas:
- Determine the demand and supply ratio of golf facilities and playing opportunities
- Identify problems and challenges facing golf clubs so those issues can be addressed
- Develop a profile on the impact, importance and direction of golf in Singapore
- Distribution of golfers in Singapore in terms of gender, age golf club members and social golfers
- Membership levels, capacities and fees
- Number of golf rounds played in Singapore
- Private and public green fees
- Employment related to golf in Singapore
- Overall revenue generated by golf including course expenditure
- Taxes and government charges generated by golf
- Funds spent for corporate golf days
- Charity revenue raised by golf
- Golf-related tourism including numbers of golfers from overseas and revenue spent
- Environmental/sustainability issues and initiatives including golf’s green footprint
- Junior golf programmes at schools and golf clubs
- Future developments and projects
- Number of professional and amateur golf tournaments held in Singapore each year including spectators (local and international) in attendance
GBAS, with the help of SGA, will touch base with all stakeholders in the coming months to outline the data needed to formulate the report as accurately as possible. It is the aim to finalise the report by the end of June.