The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) is beginning its S$30 million development work on the Island Course.
Guest-of-Honour Goh Chok Tong, Singapore’s Emeritus Senior Minister, officiated the symbolic ground-breaking ceremony at the Island Course yesterday.
The Island Course was designed by Peter Robinson, a professional from Braid Hills in Edinburgh. In August 1998, five-time Open champion Peter Thomson implemented design changes to the original layout – introducing sand bunkers which added teeth to what was already a tricky course. Minor enhancements to the course have followed since.
The proposed design concept for the redevelopment will see the course length increased from 5,945 metres to 6,498 metres. This is being accomplished through the placement of championship tees and adjustments to several green locations.
The new layout will offer multiple tee locations to suit golfers of all abilities as well as the specifically placed ‘Junior Tees’.
The important goals for the redevelopment are to provide improved playing conditions, a higher degree of free-roaming buggy traffic, and an improved walking experience, while at the same time retaining much of the heritage, gateways, and tree lines that make the Island Course unique.
Leading the project is Nelson & Haworth, a well-respected and sought-after golf course design company known for creating memorable and beautiful golf courses.
An Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, Nelson & Haworth is best known for its work at Shanghai Sheshan International Golf Course, venue to the HSBC Champions.
“With a number of golf courses closing down in Singapore, it is important to m0aintain the heritage and tradition of the Island Course. The Island Course redesign will keep the traditional style of golf courses built in the 1920s and 1930s,” said Neil Haworth, Principal Golf Course Architect.
SICC President Vincent Wee said: “Of late, the membership value has been creeping up slightly and might even go north in the months ahead. The lease extension for the Island location until 2040 is now secured, and we should embark on the redevelopment of the Island Course to optimise golf course usage during inclement weather.”
Ivan Chua, SICC Captain and Chairman of the Island Golf Redevelopment Projects Committee, agreed. He said: “Just like what we have done for The New Course, 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 golfers.”
The Island Course redevelopment is expected to take 18 months to complete (weather permitting), with staggered closure of the holes in the earlier phase to minimise the duration of the total course closure.
The SICC is a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.