Nelson & Haworth begins redesign work at Singapore Island

  • The Singapore Island Country Club

    Former prime minister of Singapore Goh Chok Tong (centre) with club officials at the groundbreaking ceremony

By Laura Hyde

Nelson & Haworth has started redesign work on the Island course at The Singapore Island Country Club, following an official groundbreaking ceremony attended by the country’s former prime minister Goh Chok Tong.  

The S$30 million (US$21.9 million) project will see the course – the shortest of three at the club – lengthened from 5,945 to 6,498 metres (7,106 yards). This will be achieved by adding back tees and moving several green locations. New ‘junior’ tees will also be added. 

Vincent Wee, the club’s president, said: “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.” 

“With a number of golf courses closing down in Singapore, it is important to maintain the heritage and tradition of the Island course,” said golf course architect Neil Haworth. “The Island course redesign will keep the traditional style of golf courses built in the 1920s and 1930s.” 

The project will include the replacement of turfgrass and irrigation to improve playing conditions, allow a higher degree of free-roaming buggy traffic and an improved walking experience. 

The Island course was the club’s first, designed by Scottish professional Peter Robinson and opened in 1932. Changes were made by five-time Open champion Peter Thomson’s firm in August 1998 and there have been minor enhancements since. This project follows a 2017 renovation of the club’s Bukit course and the creation of a 27-hole New course on the site of two former 18-hole courses in 2021

“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,” said Ivan Chua, club captain and chairman of the redevelopment project committee. 

Work is expected to take 18 months, with staggered closure of holes allowing play to continue.