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Seletar Base Golf Course

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Seletar Base Golf Course

Postby Immortal » Wed, 04 Jul 2007 12:41 pm

Here's a letter printed in the Inside Golf Magazine about SBGC, a club I hold close to my heart. I love Seletar and I love golf. So gutted by this. Thanks for the permission SMS

Dear Sirs

It has come to our sad attentions that you have decided to close down out beloved Seletar Base Golf Course. We'd like to voice our displeasure at this unfortunate decision. And we strongly believe that taking this land away from us is wrong on so many fronts. Let me explain.

We are to understand that you are considering sweeping away our beautiful course to build an aerospace hub. Don't you think we already have enough hubs in Singapore to last several lifetimes? We are already a information hub, an entertainment hug, a health hub, an education hub, a biotechnology hub, and a financial hub. Do we really, really need to be another hub? If so, why don't we consider being a golf hub?

Even if we are to understand that the growth of industrialization cannot be abetted, that to stand still is to fall behind, don't you think as a Garden State (that we are so proud to be), we still need green belts to appease our aesthetic senses, if not our ecological ones? And what better way to preserve some of the natural flora than to conserve them on a golf course.

Okay, let's just say that when push comes to shove, you just HAVE to be an aerospace hub. Don't you think that having a lovely, quality nine-hole golf course situated smack on the very premises would make this hub even more inviting? Engineers, business men, and politicians (even), after a morning of meetings/networking/deal signing, can adjourn to this course, to engage in some corporate camaraderie. And we know this is best done over a game of golf. To have this right at the door step of this aerospace hub would certainly make it one hub of a kind - and certainly contribute to our being "Uniquely Singapore".

Having made the decision to close down our holes, and dig up our course, we think you have never really seen and appreciated this little piece of land. Take a morning off your busy schedule, drive down Lambeth Walk, through the hundred-year-old tembusu's (flowering beautifully at this time of year, mind you) and step onto our first tee. No, you don't have to bring your clubs, just take a deep breath, and inhale nature's enchanting scents and while you're at it, part of Singapore's (quickly forgotten) history.

Our past British occupants (God bless their souls) took pains to begin carving out nine clever little holes on this tiny track of land in 1922. The holes are lined with many different kinds of hedges, trees and plants that serve (we are sure) to be a compendium of natural horticulture. The British sure knew how to build a good golf course.

Seletar Base Golf Course is one track that defies modern methods in course building. Paspalum? Zoysia? Who needs those? There is a reason why good, old cow grass is the turf of choice here, if only because it's natural, indigenous and pretty much takes care of itself. The greens here roll as true as any of the pristine, up-market country clubs in Singapore and much of it is due to our greens keeper. He's been here, tending to our course over the last forty years. Don't know about you, but we think that in four decades, he's bound to learn a thing or two about what works and what doesn't.

But even if you don't care about Singapore's colonial history, or the conservation of what is a beautiful park then please consider us, a none too small group of golfers who are as enthusiastic about our love as we are anxious at your current consideration. Not being able to afford a country club, this has been our pride and joy and our only place to play. We learned this beautiful game on these very fairways, as did our kids after us. We forged friendships, renewed relations and after our rounds, we all gather to enjoy a plate of briyani, thosai or prata at "The 19th" (surely the only golf course in Singapore that serves top of the line Indian fare in the clubhouse). All in all, we put together 5,000 rounds a month here. Where will these go when you close us down?

Personally if you ask me, you should not only not close down our club, but should spare us a couple of million bucks from your bursting coffers to help rebuild, renovate and refurbish it to what it could really be. Now that Marina Bay Golf Course is receiving well over 6,000 rounds a month, we think this could be a lucrative venture if you really must consider the bottom line. Alternatively, it could also cater to our vastly growing and improving phalanx of junior golfers, giving them a place to play and improve. After all don't we want to be a sports hub as well?

You might or might not play golf. But I hope that you feel there are some things in Singapore worth keeping. The "en bloc" fever here has already destroyed a good part of our architectural heritage, do we need to decimate our natural one to make way for more concrete and steel? We hope that you might consider your decision to close Seletar Base Golf Course and help us save a place that is close to our hearts, our memories and our history.

Yours truly
The Public Golfer


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