With the long-awaited SMBC Singapore Open just a couple of days away, we’ve put together a few useful tips gleaned from veteran golf tournament-goers that will help you conquer the course, and perhaps even bag a few coveted autographs.
Are you a camper or a follower?
The Serapong Course is deceptively massive. Entering the grounds without a concrete plan in mind might mean that your whole day is wasted. You should decide whether you want to follow your favourite golfer around for all 18 holes or choose a good vantage point to check out all the competitors attempting to complete that particular hole.
If you’re going for the latter, the best place to be at is the final green – the 18th hole. Do try to get there early. Many seasoned attendees and autograph hunters usually rush to that spot and set up camp as close as possible to the putting green to get the best view possible.
Learn the course layout and players’ tee-off times.
Like its peers around the world, the Serapong Course is split into two parts: the front nine and the back nine. There are dozens of water bodies dotting the course begging for stray golf balls, especially holes four to seven, which are set around a lake. Understanding how the course is designed will help you move around all 18 holes without getting hopelessly lost, a highly possible outcome.
And if you’re on the lookout for the star players, namely a certain Jordan Spieth, you should memorise their tee-off times, which can be found at the entrance of the course. The weekends are usually popular periods, so you’ll need to arrive earlier than usual if you want to be at the front of the peanut gallery.
An umbrella, lots of water and the patience of a monk.
It’s Singapore. There’s going to be a lot of people, many of whom will be shaking their fists at the weather and cursing their respective Gods while trying to shield their heads and faces from the merciless Sun.
Not you though. You’ve come prepared with a giant light-coloured umbrella and a big bottle of water. You’re dressed in a comfortable polo tee, shorts and loafers. Avoid wearing flip flops; this is a golf course, not the beach. Your bag holds a change of clothing, a sandwich, some fruits and a small towel to wipe your sweat. And a pair of sunglasses is perched on your head in the event Helios decides to whip his chariot harder than usual. Oh, and there will be lots of unavoidable waiting, so stay calm and enjoy the day.
Free entry on the first day.
Who says there aren’t any free lunches in Singapore? The organisers of the SMBC Singapore Open have made the first day of the tournament – 28 January, Thursday – free to make the event more accessible to the public, and to celebrate the return of this iconic competition after a hiatus of four years. Even if you’re not a fan of golf, go ahead and plan a picnic with friends and loved ones. There’s nothing better than enjoying a day out on beautiful manicured grass while watching the fiery sun sink into a body of water. Just don’t get hit by flying golf balls.
Get your tickets at www.smbcsingaporeopen.com/ticketing.