The price of membership to one of Singapore's top golf courses has soared by 40% since the pandemic started

The price of membership to one of Singapore's top golf courses has soared by 40% since the pandemic started
Sentosa is a resort island off the southern coast of Singapore.Mongkol Chuewong / Getty Images
  • Golf courses in Singapore are booming during the pandemic, Bloomberg recently reported.
  • Membership to Sentosa Golf Club now runs upwards of SG$350,000 - 40% more than before the pandemic.
  • Confined to an island smaller than NYC, Singaporeans have also taken to spending big on staycations.

If you want to go golfing in Singapore, be prepared to spend.

Membership to the island nation's golf courses has become a valuable commodity during the pandemic, David Scanlan and Reinie Booysen reported for Bloomberg, as Singaporeans are trying to find new ways to entertain themselves while travel is suspended. And nowhere is that fact more pronounced than on Sentosa, the island resort off Singapore's south coast that's home to casinos, beach clubs, and golf clubs.

At Sentosa Golf Club, Scanlan and Booysen report, the cost of membership has increased by a whopping 40% since the pandemic began. A membership will now run you S$350,000 ($261,000) if you're a local and S$500,000 ($372,000) if you're a foreigner.
Singapore's borders have been mostly closed to travelers since the pandemic broke out in March 2020, confining the country's typically jet-setting population to an island smaller than New York City for months on end.

Club broker Lee Lee Langdale told Bloomberg this confinement may be why many Singaporeans have taken up golfing for the first time: "So instead of using the money for travel they think it's better to invest in a golf membership so they can continue playing until the borders are open."

Sentosa Golf Club is home to two courses, the Serapong and the New Tanjong. According to its website, it has more than 1,500 members. In 2019, it was dubbed the world's best golf course by World Golf Awards.

Singapore has 17 golf courses total, of which 14 are private and three are public. Prices at other Singapore golf courses have also risen in recent years, per Bloomberg's report, though not as drastically.

Sentosa Golf Club prices are currently at the upper end of the price spectrum; on the other end are locations like the Singapore Polo Club, where membership costs S$5,500 ($4,100) for locals, and the Changi Golf Club, where a membership will run you S$6,800 ($5,700).

Spending habits in a year without travel

Insider's Katie Warren recently did a deep dive into how the spending habits of Singapore's wealthy population have changed during the pandemic. She found that instead of dropping money on weekend trips to Vietnam and Bali, they've been splashing out on staycations at 5-star hotels and intimate parties that stay within the country's 8-person group size limitations.

Arron Goh, the founder of the high-end Singapore events company The Inside Access, told Warren he planned a dinner for six aboard a yacht in February. They sailed to an uninhabited island south of Singapore, where they had a French meal alongside a full open bar.

Singaporeans have also been booking up Michelin-starred meals weeks in advance.

As Emmanuel Stroobant, a chef and owner of two Michelin-starred restaurants in Singapore, told Warren, fine dining "remains one of the few forms of entertainment that consumers can experience in the current climate."