Hot Pandemic Investment: $260,000 Golf Club Membership in Singapore

About This Source - Bloomberg QuickTake: Now

Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

It was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981, with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar, and a 12% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch.

Recent from Bloomberg QuickTake: Now:

  • LIVE: Ma’Khia Bryant Vigil Held at Ohio Statehouse in Columbus
  • Arizona Governor Urges Biden to Declare National Emergency at Southern Border
  • North Carolina Deputy Shoots, Kills Man While Executing Search Warrant
  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Hot Pandemic Investment: $260,000 Golf Club Membership in Singapore” – below is their description.

    The coronavirus pandemic has created plenty of investment winners, from Zoom to online retailers and Malaysian glove makers. Add Singapore golf club memberships to the list.

    With borders closed for more than a year and relatively few Covid-19 cases in the city-state, golfers have flocked to Singapore’s 15 courses, making tee times almost impossible to get and driving prices for the private clubs to record highs.

    At Sentosa Golf Club, which hosts the HSBC Women’s World Championship starting later this month, memberships have soared to S$350,000 ($262,000) for locals, and S$500,000 for foreigners. That’s up 40% from pre-pandemic rates, or double the return on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

    Going back further, the price of a Sentosa membership has soared almost 300% over the past two decades, making it a better investment than the local stock index and topping the returns on the S&P 500 Index over the same period, excluding dividends.

    Lee Lee Langdale, a club broker, says she’s never seen anything like this since she started her firm in 1991, when golfers were first allowed to transfer their memberships to outside buyers.

    With Singaporeans stuck on the island, many of them are taking up the game for the first time, or spending more hours playing and practising to hone their craft, said Langdale, 71, an avid golfer who once sported a 14 handicap — meaning 14 strokes over par.

    It’s not just locals who are clamoring for access to Singapore’s top clubs, some of which offer Olympic-sized swimming pools, tennis courts and workout rooms. Foreigners, particularly from Hong Kong and China, are also buying, adding to the price acceleration, said Langdale. Some of these golfers have permanent residency in the financial hub, while others are recent arrivals and see the memberships as a good investment.

    “Some very wealthy migration is coming to Singapore and they don’t mind spending,” Langdale said. “Just a handful, not a lot, but that is affecting prices.”

    Fees at the Singapore Island club, founded in 1891, are also rising, though not at the same pace as Sentosa. Memberships now sell for about S$225,000, up 84% from the lows of 2001. Prices at Tanah Merah Country Club, a 36-hole club nestled alongside the runways of Changi Airport, have jumped 53% to S$168,000 since the dotcom bust that hammered golf club prices and global stocks. Memberships at the nearby Laguna National Golf & Country Club fetch S$170,000, according to Langdale’s data at Singolf Services Pte.

    That’s a lot more than a membership at Augusta National Golf Club in the U.S., the site of this week’s Master’s tournament. Membership fees are a closely guarded secret at the venerable club in Georgia, though they are reportedly in the $40,000 range. That’s well below Asia’s most expensive clubs, such as the Koganei Country Club in Tokyo, where fees are about $520,000, according to broker Sakura Golf Co.

    With the surge in demand, bookings are at a premium in Singapore. Golfers looking to play on one of the three public courses in the city-state of 5.7 million people often log in during the wee hours of the morning to find a spot several weeks out. It’s only slightly easier at the private courses, even after spending more than a quarter million dollars for access. Some players are buying a second membership at other clubs to boost their chances of landing a coveted Saturday morning slot. Demand for bookings is so great, the police were called in last year after hackers broke into the Singapore Island club system to secure tee times.

    Prices may shoot higher and slots could become scarcer as more courses close. The city-state’s government — which typically leases land for golf clubs — closed the Raffles and Jurong clubs in recent years, and plans to shut the Keppel Club this year and the Marina Bay public course by 2024.

    Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel

    Got a comment? Leave your thoughts in the comments section, below. Please note comments are moderated before publication.

    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

    Latest News about Covid-19

    Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

    5 Recent Items: COVID-19

  • COVID-19: Overwhelmed Ontario hospitals transfer record number of patients
  • On the nose: Perfumers helps COVID patients recover sense of smell
  • Arizona Governor Urges Biden to Declare National Emergency at Southern Border
  • Road to Global Recovery: Insights from ex-governor of China’s central bank
  • Voxpop: Are people still looking forward to 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
  • In This Story: Hong Kong

    Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.

    Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.

    3 Recent Items: Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong can’t miss Greater Bay Area boat in post-Covid-19 recovery, Victor Fung of Fung Group says
  • Hong Kong targets 2050 to achieve carbon neutral goal
  • 1,000 drones light up Greater Bay Area
  • In This Story: S&P

    S&P Global that publishes financial research and analysis on stocks, bonds, and commodities. One division of the business, S&P Global Ratings, is considered the largest of the Big Three credit-rating agencies, which also include Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.

    2 Recent Items: S&P

  • M&T Bank CEO: We’re going to see robust recovery due to stimulus
  • George Floyd Murder Forces U.S. Business to Examine its Record on Race
  • Leave a Comment