The Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) today unveiled its newest 27-hole golf course, The New Course, to its members.
The S$50 million redevelopment project features three nine-hole layouts – Millennium (par-36), Peirce (par-36), and Forest (par-35) – and consists of three 18-hole combinations that will give golfers of various proficiencies an impressive challenge.
This milestone for SICC comes amid the club’s need to increase its golfing capacity come 2022, after the Sime Course is handed over to Keppel Club, and to prepare the club for its next phase of transformation.
SICC’s Island location will see a 23 per cent increase in golfing capacity with The New Course, and is likely to command a premium in membership value.
“It is paramount that the design and outcome of the 27-hole golf course must resolve the club’s needs and satisfy our members’ wishes,” said Andrew Low, Club President at SICC, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Work to commence next year
“With our rich history and tradition, the final outcome must certainly befit our members and build on SICC’s stature as the best and true membership club in Singapore,” he added.
Work on the site began in February 2019 with extensive earthworks to reshape holes, and upgrade the drainage and irrigation system with an efficient water harvesting system.
The sub-soil drainage and sub-air systems on the fairways and greens aim to provide an efficient system in managing rainwater. Sub-soil sensors monitor the water absorption rate of the grass, and improves the managing of moisture levels on the golf course.
This is crucial for SICC’s golf courses to be well maintained for good playability throughout the year, given the micro-climate it experiences being located next to Singapore’s Central Catchment Nature Reserve.
Turfgrass trials were held to determine the most durable and sustainable grass type for The New Course. The selection was finalised with Primo Zoysia on the putting greens, and Zeon Zoysia for the tee boxes, fairways and roughs.
The relatively new hybrid turfgrass requires less mowing and can potentially achieve tournament standards ball speeds.
The New Course features several heritage trees such as the Pulai Basong, Jelutong, Dyera and Cotton trees, which consist some of the oldest specimens in Singapore. During the redevelopment, the trees were carefully relocated to frame new holes on the golf course, and will continue to provide wildlife corridors while making for scenic spots as golfers play through the 27 holes.
SICC Club Captain Vincent Wee said: “What golfers will experience is an unsurpassed view of the Peirce Reservoir on many holes. While playing on slopes and terrain as if carved out from natural landscape, and in harmony with the delicate surrounding eco-system, driving on bridges and boardwalks will be a pleasant and tranquil transition between some of the holes.”
The names of the overall 27-hole golf course and individual nines were aptly chosen by members in a course-naming competition held in early 2020. The chosen names were based on relevancy to the golf course’s characteristics and familiarity with members.
The club’s Golf Redevelopment Planning Committee worked with Graham Marsh Golf Design (GMGD) for the redevelopment project with extensive discussions on the course layout before the project broke ground in early 2019.
“The team, contractors and Graham Marsh worked tirelessly to overcome the logistics and labour delay caused by the pandemic. After the golf course was handed over in April 2021, the maintenance team took time to get the golf course ready in satisfactory conditions,” said Kenneth Chen, Chairman of the Golf Redevelopment Planning Committee.
“I would like to thank the project management team, consultants, and fellow GRPC members for their hard work,” he added.
Of the design of The New Course, Australian Marsh said: “Satisfaction and experience of individual holes are equally important for a golfer. While the Millennium and Peirce nines are a mix of well-balanced holes with similar terrain, creek crossings, lakes, reservoir views and strategic challenge, the Forest nine exists in its private environment with a number of ‘risk and reward’ holes which establishes its notoriety for golfers for all proficiencies.”