Sentosa Golf Club, one of the new host courses for next year’s LIV Golf League, will not come cheap for those who want to join as membership fees have reportedly doubled in just three years to an eye-watering $618,000 for expatriates.
The 36-hole facility in Singapore has hosted the SMBC Singapore Open and the HSBC Women’s World Championship and is a well-known venue to many, but it is by no means accessible to many after a hike in ex-pat membership fees.
Permanent residents and Singapore citizens do get almost a half-price deal, but it's still been a big rise for them up to $368,000.
The figures come from the South China Morning Post (opens in new tab) who cite brokerage Singolf Services Pte with revealing the spiralling costs of joining LIV Golf’s newest host course.
The rebranded LIV Golf League will hit the course overlooking the Singapore Strait in April 2023 with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith joining Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed outfit out there.
“People like Sentosa because it has this name. It’s for the rich and famous,” Lee Lee Langdale, owner of Singolf Services, is quoted as saying in the South China Morning Post. “But they run the club very well. Many mainland Chinese also live near Sentosa.”
The city state of Singapore continues to flourish despite the worldwide economic crisis, and that’s perfectly exemplified in the increasing prices for prestigious golf memberships.
It’s not just Sentosa, but nearby private clubs such as Singapore Island County Club, Tanah Merah Country Club and Laguna National are seeing membership price rises as they become a more desirable asset for wealthy ex-pats in Singapore.
Even the global pandemic did not slow down the rush for memberships, which are seen as investments by some in the area, but it hardly makes for a good scenario for those not so well off to try and take up the sport.
And it may not tie in with some of the LIV Golf rhetoric about getting more people involved in the game, being a force for good and making sure golf is a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone – when they’re playing at yet another exclusive, expensive private club.
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Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website. Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.
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