Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Semarang Golf Club (SGC) in Memories

Golf courses at Tjandi Sport Club, Semarang, later known as Semarang Golf Club (SGC) taken by E. Veltman in 1937.
(sources: nga-earlygolf.nl)
The current condition of club house at Tjandi Sport Club.
Golf as a sport has long been known in here Indonesia since the colonial period. The tropical climate makes golf in Java, unfortunately, to a seasonally game. During the so-called dry seasons, dry fairways, greens and grass is made it hard to be played, only a few peoples still continue to play. At that time of course neither automatic sprinkle to keep the grass greens during the dry seasons nor golf car to made the mobility easier invented. Therefore, the golf competitions in the old days were held in all the clubs in Java during the months of November to May, during the wet seasons. Until 1937, in Dutch Indies there were several cities already which have golf courses as follows; Batavia in Bukit Duri, Bandung, Semarang, Buitenzorg (currently Bogor), Tegal, Malang, Cheribon, Garut in Ngamplang all of them consist of 9-hole courses. Surabaya golf courses in Gunungsari, the only golf courses with 18-hole courses, but soon in the year of 1937, Batavia will built its new golf courses in Rawamangun, also in 18-hole courses to changed its old ones in Bukit Duri.

Date back in 1872, the Jakarta Golf Club was the oldest Golf Club in Southeast Asia. The original name of the golf club was known as the Batavia Golf Club and the founders were Mr. A. Gray and Mr. T.C. Wilson from Britain. In the early days of golf in Dutch Indies (Indonesia during colonial period) , golf barely only played by the British expatriates. Only a little Dutch people enthusiast in this kind of sports. But as the time goes by, golf became more popular among the people in Dutch Indies.  Also in Semarang, which is at 1895, the Tjandi Sport Club founded.  Located in Kanarielaan (currently Jalan Sisingamangaraja) which is in the guide book titled Semarang vooruit published in 1935, it described the golf course as excellent at not only from the standpoint of the golfer, but also in terms of natural beauty and listed among one of the best recreations after a day of hardworks. The Tjandi Sports Club were not only consist of a golf courses but also some other sport. There available grasscourt tennis and also cricket arena! Well no wonder its also mentioned that most of its member were british. Tjandi Sport Club have a short but interesting 9-hole course and its also a club house on the north part of the golf courses. Tjandi Sports Club got its historical moments while in 1901, the first golf club championship in Dutch Indies were held here.

The golf courses area, currently in progress to be build as a real estate, Green Candi Residence.
After the Independence, the golf courses in Tjandi Golf Club changed its name into Semarang Golf Club (SGC). Its remains to serves people in Semarang until 2006, when the city municipality decide to moved it to the bigger golf courses in Gombel hill. The plans actualy gained protest from the peoples surround it who most of them got the livelihood from SGC. But the plans executed anyway, the golf courses then unfortunately demolished and on the land above it built real estate of Green Candi Residence. Only the club house survived until today, but its badly damaged because of its neglected right after the SGC closed. There’s no guarantee also until when it will be still stand there cause its not yet listed as the heritage building of Semarang City. A sad fate for the place with a significance historical values where , the first golf club championship in Dutch Indies/ Indonesia have held!

Source: Golf Magazijn, "Officieel Orgaan van het Nederlandsch Golfcomité". 1e Jaargang No. 8, 15 October 1937

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