SINGAPORE – Golf club membership prices in Singapore are rising, with the price tag for a Sentosa Golf Club membership now at an all-time high of half a million dollars.
Sentosa Golf Club’s local memberships were going for $500,000 as at Sunday, up from $325,000 in January 2021, according to data from club membership broker Tee-Up Marketing Enterprises.
The price of Singapore Island Country Club’s (SICC) memberships has risen to $295,000 from $228,000 at the start of 2021. Tanah Merah Country Club (TMCC) memberships have gone up to $195,000 from $163,000, amid a general increase in golf club membership prices from 2021 to 2022. Seletar Country Club’s membership price has also increased to $61,000 from $50,500.
Brokers attributed the increase to more buyers from overseas, a dwindling number of golf clubs, and people playing golf more regularly amid the pandemic. Sentosa Golf Club and SICC saw the largest increases as these clubs have golf courses that are highly rated and are attractive facilities, they added.
Ms Madeline Choo, sales director of Active Golf Services, noted that Sentosa’s 18-hole Serapong Golf Course is ranked 55th in golfing publication Golf Digest’s list of the world’s 100 greatest courses. The club has also hosted golf tournaments such as the SMBC Singapore Open and HSBC Women’s World Championship.
This has attracted many golfers to buy memberships, she said.
Mr Kang Zheng Yong, 38, who is in the property investment sector, bought a golfing membership at Sentosa for $500,000 in June following his friends’ recommendation. “They told me that the ambience there is top notch and that you will feel very good playing golf there,” said Mr Kang, who has yet to play at the club due to work commitments. He also bought a golfing membership at TMCC for $188,000 in June.
At SICC, one draw for buyers is the 27-hole New Course that opened in September 2021 after a $50 million revamp, said Tee-Up owner Fion Phua. Its new Bukit clubhouse – estimated to cost about $60 million – is slated to be ready by January 2023.
Active Golf Services’ Ms Choo attributed the rise in prices in part to more foreigners – some of whom became permanent residents – moving to Singapore and buying golf memberships after the country eased its border restrictions.
According to the Ministry of Manpower website, the number of Employment Pass (EP) holders has increased from 161,700 in December 2021 to 168,800 in June 2022. EP holders are foreign professionals, managers and executives who earn at least $5,000 a month.
Trading firm director Vivian Lau, 47, bought a golf club membership in SICC in September after moving to Singapore from Hong Kong a year ago in the hope of expanding her business in South-east Asia.
“I have not been playing golf much since I moved here last September, so I hope this membership will motivate me to play more often,” said Ms Lau, who picked up the sport in 2018 and plays about three times a month.