Singapore: The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC), the largest member-owned golf and country club in the region, has begun construction on its extensive S$50 million renovation on the New and Millennium courses. The 27-hole layout offers a stunning setting, bordering the nation’s nature reserve.
More than 80 golfers and club officials gathered on the 18th hole of the New Course at the end of a charity golf game last weekend for a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony, marking the closure of the New and Millennium courses and the commencement of construction for the 27-hole course.
The New Course, opened in 1965, was originally designed by well-known course architect Frank Pennink. Multi-time British Open winner Peter Thomson redeveloped the course in 2002 to a sand-based course that has allowed it to remain playable throughout the year.
The course, which stretches to 6,525 metres, was considered the most challenging of the four 18-hole layouts at SICC, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Leading the project is Graham Marsh Golf Design (GMGD), an award-winning company which has completed more than 50 course designs worldwide. GMGD is best known for its exceptional work with Sutton Bay, South Dakota, USA and Ras al Hamra Golf Course in Oman, UAE.
“This course is a unique design that caters to the objective of allowing golfers of all proficiencies to enjoy. The club has chosen a strong in-house leadership team comprising both members and staff to stay actively involved in the day-to-day operations of construction. It will be an exciting period at the SICC, and we look forward to creating another iconic golf course in the region,” said a spokesperson for GMGD.
SICC President Andrew Low said: “The primary focus of this golf course redevelopment will be to increase golf course capacity at Island (location), in anticipation of the land leases of Sime and Bukit courses expiring end of 2021 and 2030 respectively.
“We want to continually invest in our properties to surpass expectations and be a leader in the golf and country club industry. This will enhance our members’ golfing and club experience and increase the value of the membership.”
SICC Club Captain Ivan Chua said: “This is the first major renovation since more than 17 years ago and we are very excited to be elevating the golf experience for our members. This redevelopment, scheduled to take 24 months of construction, will ensure that our course is the best of its kind in the region and will increase the desirability of our golf club for years to come.”
SICC General Manager Desmond Tay added: “Though there are many golf courses in the region that have started and/or completed their redevelopments, this presents an opportunity for the team and various consultants to plan and adopt the best practices with the latest technology on construction, irrigation, water harvesting and improved turfgrass varieties to ensure course sustainability, efficiency and most importantly an improved playing experience for our members.
“This project entails many rounds of discussions and consultation with various stakeholders. The SICC worked towards the Public Utilities Board’s requirement to be less reliant on the water catchment areas in the future. Part of the project includes the construction of a public park connector along the reservoir edge. Stringent guidelines in construction methods by NParks ensure that the nature reserve remains unaffected.”