The First Singapore Open Championship

The first Singapore Open Championship commenced, accepting entrants from all the different golf clubs in Singapore. It was held over several weekends, from 12 August to 9 September 1905. The championship ended with the title of victor handed over to Charles Valentine Miles, a qualified lawyer from Rodyk & Davidson.

Early Beginnings

The Singapore Island Country Club story – also the dawn of golf in Singapore – began on 17 June 1891. A special match was arranged to celebrate the birth of The Golf Club, graced by the presence of Governor Sir Cecil Clementi-Smith and his wife. Sir John Tankerville Goldney, the man responsible for forming the club, had the privilege of driving off the first ball in the opening game. The Golf Club had the unique opportunity of witnessing the first tee off, and from here on, golf in Singapore had finally taken off.

Community of Golfers

Mounting interest in golf began to accelerate, mainly among the British as they were the ones who were allowed to join the Golf Club. The ladies, who were not allowed to join as members, took full advantage of golf on Tuesdays, the only day in the week that they were allowed to play. With increasing enthusiasm and excellent reception from the golfing community, a $3,000 clubhouse was built and open for golfers on 27 January 1894.

The Search for a New Home

Shortly after assuming the President’s office, Mr John Middleton Sime began scouting for new locations for the Club. He realised that the land on which the Club was sitting on would soon have to make way for urban redevelopment. Work to clear the jungle began in 1920. In 1924, the 18-hole Bukit Course was opened for play. The cost of creating the course and other auxiliary works totalled more than $45,000, with funds coming in from the generous donations of Members and through the creation of ‘Supernumerary Memberships’.

Moving to Bukit Timah
At the 1924 annual general meeting, Sime reported a deficit of almost $43,600. The Club then passed a resolution to raise a further $50,000 through the issue of debentures. To ease the financial burdens, the Club gave up its  Race Course links which costs the club $7,700 a year to maintain. In August 1924 the first Club competitions were played on the Bukit course As its President of 1925 puts it, it was “a site not only of great beauty but also possessing a freshness of air unknown to me anywhere else in the island”.

In 2005, a landmark change was made when the positions of Club Captain and Honorary Treasurer were once again elected. However, in 2007 the position of Club Captain was removed while the President's position was open to contest.​

The Birth of the Island Club

​The Island Club marked a significant moment in the Club’s history. It was the first multi-racial club in Singapore, and secondly, transcending beyond golf. It sought to include members who were interested in other sporting activities. According to President Chan Sze Jin, “this club is intended as a non-racial country club, and, as far as I know, it is the first of its kind.”