Sentosa’s Serapong named world’s best golf course

Sentosa Golf Club’s Serapong is the first course in Asia to claim the award. PHOTO: SENTOSA GOLF CLUB

SINGAPORE – Sentosa Golf Club’s (SGC) Serapong course joined an illustrious list on Monday, winning the World’s Best Golf Course title at the annual World Golf Awards (WGA) in Abu Dhabi.

It follows in the footsteps of just four other venues that have won the accolade, which began in 2014. They are the Old Course at St Andrews and the Championship Course at Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland, Augusta National Golf Club which hosts the Masters, and 2022 winner Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in the United States.

Serapong, which clinched WGA’s best course in Singapore and Asia in 2022, also retained those honours. SGC had previously won the WGA’s World Best Golf Club distinction in 2019.

SGC’s general manager and director of agronomy Andrew Johnston on Monday described it as a “really big deal”, noting that there are more than 39,000 golf courses around the world and being crowned the best is “very special”.

He added: “It is testament to the dedication and hard work of our entire team and their relentless pursuit of excellence. This recognition reinforces our commitment to delivering an exceptional golfing experience and showcasing Singapore to an international community.

“Over the years, Serapong has risen to global prominence, hosting prestigious events and attracting golfers from around the world.

“It has demonstrated its ability to shine on the world stage and provide invaluable exposure to Sentosa Island and Singapore as a premier golf destination through events such as LIV Golf Singapore.”

The other 13 nominees were clubs in Australia, South Africa, the United States and included Royal Greens in Saudi Arabia, Trump Turnberry Ailsa and the Old Course in Scotland.

On being the first Asian course to claim the award – votes were cast by professionals working in the golf industry and by the public (golf tourism consumers), Johnston, the resident golf course designer, said: “It opens the runway and paves a strong road map for the quality of golf we are delivering on a daily basis at Sentosa, and it continues to put a spotlight on Singapore as a world power in golf.

“Additionally, it could help shift the playing field of bucket-list golf, continuing to open the doors for tourism and bring more golfers to Singapore and Asia.”

The par-71 Serapong, whose land lease is up for renewal in 2030, underwent major renovation in 2020. Besides the LIV event, it has previously staged the men’s Singapore Open tournament and was ranked 55th in the biennial Golf Digest’s World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses for 2022/2023.

SGC’s other course is New Tanjong, which underwent a $32 million facelift in 2016 and is the venue for the LPGA Tour’s HSBC Women’s World Championship. Its lease is until 2040.

SGC has about 1,600 members, 70 per cent of them local. According to membership brokerage Singolf, membership costs around $565,000 (locals) and $950,000 (foreigners).

Visitors are allowed but the green fees (ranging from $370 to $500 before GST) are among the most expensive in Singapore.

*credit info www.straitstimes.com Written by Melvyn Teoh

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