Closure of range blow to golfers

Closure of range blow to golfers

SINGAPORE - The local golf community is lamenting the impending closure of the Nature Park Driving Range, a cheap and accessible place to pick up the sport.

The driving range, located at the junction of Sin Ming Avenue and Marymount Road, has been favoured for its centralised location since opening its doors in 2000.

However, the Ministry of Education has announced that it is planning to use the site to build the campus for a new junior college that will open in 2017.

It is understood that the driving range will continue to operate until the lease expires at the end of 2015.

And while there are other public driving ranges in Singapore such as the Marina Bay Golf Course range, few come as affordable and easy-to-reach as Nature Park.

Said Abbas Supian, 40, who picked up the sport with the JT Golf Academy housed at the range: "It's a good place for golfing buddies to meet if they live all over Singapore."

The technical operator added that while its fixed rate of $3.20 for 50 balls with no peak hour charges is not the cheapest option around, it nevertheless offers beginners a convenient place to hone their skills.

Student-golfers from the ITE College Central, which has a team of about 50, train at the range once a week for about three months a year.

Said Cathryn Tan, 20, a community sport and recreational management student: "We've always trained here and I don't know where else we would go if this closes down. It's accessible and it's near our school (in Ang Mo Kio)."

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