I recently played my first round of golf in Singapore. Golf here requires a few adjustments to your game (and possibly your attitude) in order to get through the day, but once these adjustments are realized and accepted… you’ll probably have a pretty fun day.

We played at Green Fairways — an old course near Dempsey Hill that’s pretty laid back and a good choice for a rainy day. We warmed up at the driving range — no surprises here, except for the method of ball collection out on the range.

Two brave souls in galoshes (pictured, far left and far right) shield themselves with oversize umbrellas (the kind you would use with your patio furniture) as they walk about and kick the golf balls into the ravines running across the range. The balls roll down the ravines to a collection point, then are brought up to refill the ball machines on the deck. This is all done manually — two men trying to keep up with demand while trying not to get hit (which I managed to do with one shot directly into an umbrella). You may have to wait for the ball machine to be reloaded so be sure to get yourself a bucket of beers to help pass the time.

On our way to the first tee, playing was called off due to thunder and lightning. Got another bucket of beers and hung out in the comfortable outdoor lounge as it pissed down rain for about 45 minutes. No big deal… what else would we be doing on a rainy Saturday in Singapore? As it rained, I enjoyed the views of Green Fairways’ lush vegetation and rolling hills — seems like prime real estate on the outskirts of the city. I’m happy it’s still a golf course.

The storm passed and we teed off and started the foray onto the course with our push carts! Note: rain + grass + mud + hills + push cart = one hot mess, so adjust your attitude, forget about what you look like and just try to keep pace. By the way — grass here is different than in other parts of the world, generally speaking. It is not like a plush green carpet with a thick pile and little visibility of the earth it grows out of. Grass here is big-bladed and not that thick, creating a fairly even grass-to-earth ratio that becomes muddy and gooey after a long rain — a whole new factor to incorporate into your golf game and push cart strategy!

There are some funny things about Green Fairways… like the picnic table next to the ladies’ tee box in this photo, which is in striking range of the men’s tee box where the photo was taken from. Not a likely place for a picnic. And the par five Hole 2 was suspiciously long with a severe dog leg to the right — making it more like a par six broken dog leg, if there were such a thing. Oh, and there’s also the “Snakes. Do not Enter.” sign between Holes 2 and 3 which conjures a frightening and discouraging image of foraging for your ball. But overall we laughed a lot, dodged the rain and lightning and look forward to venturing out again into the wild green fairways.

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