It’s not just maintaining the courses and clubhouses across its two locations that the management team at Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) has had to contend with in recent weeks.
As if restrictions imposed by the Government on staffing levels during the Covid-19 pandemic was not enough of a challenge, SICC General Manager Desmond Tay has had to tackle some fearsome problems in these unique times.
“We’ve managed to maintain basic work on the course with minimum staff, making sure the turf is still in good condition,” said Tay, of the sprawling facility that is made up of 81 holes – four 18-hole courses and a nine-hole course – and operates 13 food and beverage outlets and five clubhouses.
However, it’s the unhelpful intervention of uninvited and unwelcome guests that are posing headaches for greenkeepers and the hierarchy at SICC, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).
Speaking in the latest in a series of AGIF podcasts with leading lights from the industry that are being broadcast at www.agif.asia, Tay said: “We face one very unfortunate situation, because when there are no golfers on the course that’s party time for all the wildlife. The past few weeks I’ve seen so many wild boars and monkeys coming to the golf course. It’s become their playground now.
“The wild boar have been doing a lot of damage to the course and every morning our guys have been trying to patch it up.”
With golf courses in Singapore looking to recommence operations at the start of June once the current ‘circuit breaker’ is completed, SICC is taking steps to try and find a solution to the problem in order to ensure the courses are in playable condition when the members return.
“We’ve taken this opportunity to engage wildlife specialists. They’ll be coming in over the next four weeks and telling us how to stop all this damage from the wild boars. As a result of this, we’re confident this issue will be resolved before re-opening of courses for play,” said Tay, now into his seventh year at SICC, the first three spent as Chief Financial Officer and the past four as General Manager.
*To listen to the full interview with Desmond Tay visit https://agif.asia/agif-podcast/