Singapore: The core Singaporean golfer plays an average of 41 rounds per year with the main motivations for playing being to relax and have fun.
While more than 50 per cent of Singapore’s 80,000 golfers are golf club members, a quarter of all golfers in the Island Republic play purely on a social basis.
Meanwhile, future participation numbers are tipped to suffer badly if the level of junior programmes or junior access to golf facilities falls.
These are among the key findings of the Singapore Golf Association’s (SGA) first Singapore Golf Industry Report.
The report was made possible through the support of The R&A and engagement of Golf Business Advisory Services (GBAS), led by Jeff Blunden, a specialist independent golf industry advisory firm based in Melbourne, Australia.
Amid the announcements and decisions on land lease for golf clubs over recent years, this report sets out to further understand the golf industry in Singapore, subsequently leading to the formulation and implementation of strategic actions to develop golf in Singapore.
The report focuses on four main parts, which combine to provide a strategic understanding for industry stakeholders:
(1) Strategic relevance of this report within the broader context of Singapore and its demographics.
(2) Golf in Singapore in terms of its history, golf facilities supply and timeline, and its overall contribution to green space in Singapore.
(3) Golf’s engagement in Singapore, in terms of the profile of golfers in Singapore, and opportunities to drive participation and contribution to Singapore’s sporting culture.
(4) Overview of key metrics of the various golfing facilities in Singapore.
Overview of Golf in Singapore:
- There are approximately 80,000 golfers in Singapore, with 25% participating in golf on a social basis.
- The core Singaporean golfer plays an average of 41 rounds per year, with 24% participating on at least a weekly basis.
- For the Singaporean golfer, there is a large social value to the golf experience, with the physical environment, level of socialisation and general activity undertaken being of greater importance than the status that may come from being a golf club member.
- The main motivations for play are to relax and have fun, to make/spend time with friends, enjoy social interactions and to be outdoors in a natural environment.
- Future participation numbers will likely heavily suffer if the level of junior programmes or junior access to golf facilities falls.
Given the general sports participation trends evident in Singapore, and the direct and broader benefits that are available from golf, there is a genuine role for golf to play.
- The 2018 Golf Facility Survey found there are presently 46,000 members of Singapore’s 12 private golf clubs, 83% of members being male and 55% aged 55 years or older.
- With S$10 billion in annual expenditure being incurred around health by the Singapore Government, forecast to grow further in future years as the country’s population ages, the on-going provision of golf in Singapore has a positive role to play in helping the Government manage the size of its future required health expenditure.
- The sport of golf is well recognised for its generous support of charities, with approximately S$63 million raised in over 100 golf club-based events in 2017.
The report’s findings will further guide and strengthen the SGA’s strategic plans, which are outlined in its Multi-Year Sports Plan (2018-2021) to Sports Singapore.
The SGA said it remains committed to exploring all viable short-term and long-term opportunities to encourage the growth of golf. Furthermore, strategic actions will also focus on golf’s contributions to health and well-being, and conservation of flora and fauna in green spaces.
These strategic plans directly support the global efforts of The R&A, which has unveiled a new chapter in terms of a new brand identity and ‘Playbook’ outlining its vision and commitment to growing golf around the world.