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Sentosa Golf Club is on top of the world

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Sentosa Golf Club (SGC) has scored a hole-in-one, winning the accolade of World's Best Golf Club at the annual World Golf Awards last night.

Sentosa's Serapong was also named Singapore's best golf course.

SGC's general manager and director of agronomy Andrew Johnston, who was in Abu Dhabi to receive the trophies, told The Straits Times: "It still hasn't sunk in. It's not often you can call yourself No. 1.

"This is a great achievement for not just the club but also Singapore. We've shown we are able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world."

The iconic St Andrews Links in Scotland, often referred to as the home of golf, had won the previous five World's Best Golf Course titles.

The World's Best Golf Club is a new category introduced at this year's awards, which began in 2014. Factors like overall quality of the facility on a day-to-day basis, number of world-class tournaments hosted, commitment to environmental sustainability and junior golf are taken into account.

Votes were cast by professionals working in the golf industry and by the public (golf tourism consumers).

SGC has two courses, Serapong and New Tanjong, whose current land leases expire in 2030 and 2040 respectively. The former, which hosts the Singapore Open men's tournament, was ranked 58th in the biennial Golf Digest's World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses in 2016. It was 79th in the 2018 list.

The New Tanjong course underwent a $32 million facelift in 2016 and is the venue of the HSBC Women's World Championships.

Sentosa Golf Club's iconic 5th hole on The Serapong
Sentosa Golf Club's iconic 5th hole on The SerapongPHOTO: NICK WALL / AIRSWING MEDIA

Singapore Tourism Board chairman Chaly Mah said: "From Formula One to the great golf tournaments Sentosa hosts, it's events like these that help to put Singapore in the spotlight and enhance our tourism products. And to have (SGC) recognised with such a prestigious accolade is further recognition for this great city."

SGC's membership is capped at its current size of about 1,500 members, with 70 per cent of them being local. According to membership brokerage SingGolf, the last transactions were $260,000 (local) and $400,000 (foreign).

Visitors are allowed to play at SGC but the green fees (ranging from $350 to $480 before GST) are among the most expensive in Singapore.