Eat Up, Tee Off, Game On
Golfing doesn’t have to be serious or boring or even played on a golf course. Here are some alternative ways to play the game for casual or serious golfers.
Are an eagle, albatross, and condor types of birds, or golf terms?
Both! They represent a score of two, three, and four under par respectively in golf. Par is the score (number of strokes) a seasoned golfer is expected to make for a hole. So don’t worry if you’re always hitting over par when starting out! But as you keep trying, keeping track of the number of strokes you take to complete a hole—the lesser the better—is a means of measuring your improvement.
The modern game of golf has roots in 13th century Scotland, where people used to play stick and ball games. But it was the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century that opened up travel and introduced many people to golf, thus popularising the sport. In Singapore, there are some 80,000 players, with the sport seeing an increase in interest since the pandemic. But if the sport is completely new to you, we’re here to introduce you to the wonderful world of golf—starting with some golfing trivia to familiarise you with the basics:
Q1. Which of these is the best score?
Answer: B. A birdie means you took one stroke less than par. Bogey and double-bogey means you had one and two strokes more than par, respectively.
Q2. What is a mulligan?
A. Area where players tee off
B. Long and thick grass area
C. To swing and miss the ball
D. A chance to replay a stroke, usually in a friendly game
Answer: D. (A) is a tee box. (B) is a rough. (C) is a whiff or air-shot.
Q3. Which of these are clubs?
Answer: All of them! Woods are used for hitting long distances. Irons come in nine different sizes which allow the golfer flexibility in hitting high or low, near or far. Wedges are used when golfers need loft over distance. Putters are only used on greens to hit the ball into the hole.
Q4. Golf is an Olympic sport: True or false?
Answer: A. True. It was first featured in the 1900 and 1904 Summer Olympics, but was absent from the Games until it was reintroduced only five years ago, for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Q5. When did the first golf club in Singapore open?
Answer: A. The Golf Club (now Singapore Island Country Club) was opened by British Justice Sir John Goldney. The original golf course was at the old racecourse at Farrer Park, before expanding to MacRitchie.
Q6. How many 18-hole golf courses are there in Singapore?
Answer: C. Some of the more prominent 18-hole golf courses include Sentosa Golf Club's New Tanjong and Serapong courses, which has hosted the Singapore Open since 2005. The Marina Bay Golf Course is Singapore’s first 18-hole public golf course and boasts the longest hole in Singapore, its 651 metre par-6 hole 4.
How did you do on the quiz? If these were all new to you, don’t worry. Golfing really is a game for all ages, men or women, and fitness levels. It’s a versatile activity for many occasions: to network, hang out with friends, or simply destress. While golfing has traditionally been less accessible compared to other sports as they involve club memberships and equipment, the good news is that there are some alternative golfing options that anyone can try. Maybe you’re interested but not ready to take on a full golf course yet. Maybe you’re looking for a twist to the game. Well, here are some clubs for a more casual round of golfing.
For one and all
Right in Shenton Way is Clubhouse SG at Capital Tower. The indoor golf club, bar, and café sits at the ground floor of the office building and is an oasis of fun and food after a long day of work. There's no need to worry about the blistering heat, or unexpected showers—you can take your golf game indoors and virtual thanks to their three golf simulators which immerse you into the fairways of your choice and bring you an authentic sporting experience.
With ball and swing data displayed on screen that you don’t get in real life, you’ll get handy information to improve your game. If you’re looking for more help, Clubhouse SG has one-on-one lessons where you can learn from a golf professional too. No worries if you don’t have clubs though—they provide complimentary men’s and women’s clubs. If you worked up an appetite after an intense round of golf, you can grab pizzas and craft beers before getting back into the swing of things.
Best for: After-work socials, casual golfers
168 Robinson Road, #01-07, Capital Tower
Open 8am to 1030pm Monday to Friday, 12pm to 1030pm Saturday, 12pm to 9pm Sunday.
For a twist
So, it’s Friday night and you’re in the mood for some drinks and friendly competition of mini-golf. Go to Holey Moley at Clarke Quay, a mini-golf course and bar. You’ll find yourself in Westeros battling in Game of Thrones, or the Flintstones town of Bedrock with the Flintmobile. This mini-golf course has 27 uniquely-themed holes for a whimsical and lighthearted game—you don’t have to take golfing seriously here. Neon lights and whacky decor welcome you as you enter the two-storey club which has a bar and VIP booths. They serve an extensive food menu of burgers, hotdogs, and cocktails for your work party, date night, weekend catch-ups, or kids party. You don’t need to dress up or bring any clubs either—Holey Moley provides putters and visors in eclectic colours, sticking to their ’80’s and ’90’s theme.
Best for: Date nights, birthday parties, family outings
Holey Moley Clarke Quay
3B River Valley Road
Open 5pm to 11pm Monday to Friday, 12pm to 11pm Saturday, 12pm to 9pm Sunday.
For a luxurious experience
If you’re looking for country club vibes without the hassle of dressing up, you're in luck. Located across the water from Marina Bay Golf Course is CityGolfer at Aperia Mall, where you can enjoy a classy game of golf, rain or shine. This snazzy indoor golf club has three high-tech simulators, a VIP room, and serves fine foods and drinks.
The simulators can be adjusted for practice or play so no matter what level you’re at, you can make full use of the technology. Golf clubs are provided (for women and left-handers as well), so all you have to do is show up. For serious golfers, CityGolfer has packages and seasons passes that give you credits for golfing, food, and drinks. If you’re up for a challenge, you can win 10 hours of playtime if you get a hole-in-one!
Best for: Serious golfers, treating yourself
CityGolfer Pte Ltd
12 Kallang Avenue #03-10
Golfing doesn’t have to be as competitive and serious as what we usually see on television—as these establishments with no dress code and membership fee, and with equipment provided, and no membership fee show, anyone can pick up a club and start swinging.
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