Singapore's first golf club began in 1891 and in those days, the simply named “Golf Club” played on a 9-hole course belonging to horseracing Singapore Sporting Club. The Golf Club then moved to Bukit Timah in 1920 and in 1924 the 18-hole Bukit course opened for play. In 1938, King George IV became club patron and The Golf Club was renamed Royal Singapore Golf Club.
Meanwhile, Singapore's first truly multi-racial club – the Race Course Golf Club – had been established at the old original 9-hole course. In 1932, they too moved to Bukit Timah, forming The Island Club, a mile to the north of the Bukit course. Their new course was designed by a Scotsman from Edinburgh named Peter Robinson. The Island Club was very progressive, becoming the first country club in Singapore to offer members a variety of sporting pursuits such as tennis, 10-pin bowling and swimming.
The Island Club attained its Royal title in 1952, after the Duchess of Kent was invited for tea. The Island course played host to the first Singapore Open in 1961, won by Australian Frank Phillips. A year later, the Royal Island Club merged with Royal Singapore Golf Club, forming a golfing “super club” called Singapore Island Country Club that, with the addition of the New course on the Island site in 1968, was able to offer its members no fewer than four 18-hole layouts on which to play – now that’s what you call being spoiled for choice!The Island course is the shortest 18-hole course at the Singapore Island Country Club measuring a little less than 6,000 metres from the back tees. Peter Thomson later tweaked Peter Robinson’s original design, but the layout is still an authentic affair that is routed through mature trees on a rather hilly site.