• History and Milestone

    • 1870, December

      The Rajah's Arms was established as the first ever hotel in Kuching at the site of the present Kuching Touris Information Centre.

    • 1875

      The Rajah's Arms was put up for sale for $3,000. The Second Rajah of Sarawak, Rajah Charles Brooke, purchased the build to use as The Sarawak Club

    • 1876, 1st January

      The Sarawak Club was lent to the public for use as a clubhouse-cum-hotel. The Rajah directed that all Government officers of the Rajah be accepted as members. The first committee members consisted of W.G. Brodie, W.M. Crocker, James Ines and Dr. E.P. Houghton. The honorary secretary was C.S. Pearse.

    • 1893

      The club was renovated and the bowling alley was added to the Club.

    • 1896

      The European ladies of the time formed a ladies club at the corner of Khoo Huu Yeang Street and Barrack Road. This club eventually became known as the Ranee's Club.

    • 1906, 5th August

      The Kuching Social Club was established to cater for the needs of Europeans who were not the Rajah's officers

    • 1911, 22nd June

      The Sarawak Club, relocated at a house called 'KMARK', at what was previously known as Rock Road and now known as Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg. It was formally opened by Rajah Charles Brooke.

    • 1920

      The Ranee's Club, the women-only Club of Kuching, was dissolved. The Kuching Social Club was also believed to have dissolved at this time. Women started to be accepted as members at The Sarawak Club.

    • 1920s

      The Club's new golf course was established across the road from the site of the present clubhouse.

    • 1927

      The Sarawak Club was relocated to its present site, on what was then known as Golf Links Road. Its relocation is said to also be the confirmation of the acceptance of the members of the Ranee Club and the Kuching Social Club into The Sarawak Club.

    • 1927, 29th August

      The Sarawak Club was officially opened at its present site, here at Jalan Taman Budaya by the Tuan Muda, Captain Bertram Willes Dayrell Brooke. A library was proposed by the Tuan Muda to be added to the Club.

    • 1941-1945, World War II

      During the Japanese Occupation, Senior Japanese Officers used the club. it featured a restaurant, billiards, and archery range and a rice storage area.

    • 1948

      First Hole-in-One recorded by C.W. Dawson in Hole 4.

    • 1950s

      Mr. (later Tan Sri Datuk) Ong Kee Hui became the first local to be admitted as member to The Sarawak Club.

    • 1950s

      Children first allowed at the Club but only till 7.00pm.

    • 1959

      The first Kuching and Sarawak Club swimming pool was opened. It was officiated by one Mrs Person.

    • 1968

      The first local presiden. Dr. Yim Khai Sun took office.

    • 1972, March

      Sarawak Club received the visit of Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and Head of the Commonwealth.

    • 1980

      Sarawak Club Golf Course's 60 year land leased expired and the State allowed a temporary/annual occupation and use of the land for golfing until further notice.

    • 1983

      The State Government commenced development of the Sarawak Club and Country Club (now known as Kelab Golf Sarawak) and offered it to The Sarawak Club to take over. Members at an Extra-ordinary Meeting declined the offer by a narrow margin. Hence the decision was made to remain at the present site without golfing.

    • 1985

      The bowling alley was demolished and gave way to the gymnasium.

    • 1986

      The Sarawak Club's golf course temporary/annual lease was not renewed and the site was finally returned to the State Government to be used for the establishment of a Civic Centre and Amphitheatre for Kuching.

    • 1986

      The Sarawak Club received the visit of the Then Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di Pertuan Agong Sulan Iskandar Shah after laying the foundation stone at the new Civic Centre site.

    • 1988-1991

      The Sarawak Club underwent extensive re-development done in 3 phases over 2 years and totaling RM3.5 million. Works included a new 50-meter swimming pool, the back section of the present clubhouse holding 4 new squash courts, a new snooker room, new library, office, and other facilities. The new clubhouse was officially opened by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, YAB Datuk Abdul Taib Mahmud on 1 December 1991.

    • 1990

      The tennis and squash facilities of The Sarawak Club were used to host the 1990 SUKMA (Sukan Malaysia) Games.

    • 1999

      A new wing was added to the Hornbill Restaurant. The kitchen was extended and extension was done for the back-wing to the clubhouse-a new Audio Visual lounge and the Brooke Chambers (a room for meetings and seminars) were added there. This was done at a cost of RM3.5 million.

    • 1999

      Basketball was introduced to The Sarawak Club with the conversion of Tennis Court No.5. Subsequently, futsal was played on the basketball court on selected days.

    • 2000, 1st January

      Membership of The Sarawak Club became transferable for the first time.

    • 2001

      The Sarawak Club celebrated its 125th anniversary.

    • 2005, 20th December

      The Sarawak Club multi-storey car park was completed to hold another 80 parking bays.

    • 2005, 16th August

      Construction of the golf course commenced at the UNIMAS site.

    • 2006, 27th July

      The Sarawak Club was razed to the ground by a fire lasting some 3 hours starting at approximately 3am.

    • 2006, 21st September

      The restoration and reconstruction efforts of city clubhouse began.

    • 2007, 15th March

      The foundation stone was laid by then President of The Sarawak Club, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Haji Abdul Aziz Dato' Haji Husain for the clubhouse of the golf at Samarahan course and construction began.

    • 2007, 26th April

      Restoration and reconstruction of the city clubhouse achieved practical completion.

    • 2007, 28th July

      The reconstructed clubhouse was offically declared open by YAB Ketua Menteri Sarawak, Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud, one year and a day after the fire of 27 July 2006.


    But perhaps the major sport being reclaimed by Sarawak Club members now is golf, with the soon-to-be completed construction of the golf course. Golf has been in existence in Kuching since the early 1890s.

    Extracted from “Kuching 1868-1890: Charles Brooke (1)”

    By Elizabeth Pollard

    In the early 1890s, golf suddenly came into vogue and addicts could be seen hitting balls up and down the government grazing grounds. Nothing seemed to dampen their enthusiasm, and at last a course was laid out at government expense in 1899. At first it was only a very small course, but later it was extended across what we now call Crookshank Road to make it into nine-hole course, and the first bi-monthly medal was awarded in september of the year.

    Much had been written and said about the golfing days at the Golf links. Here is what The Sarawak Club Deputy President has to say it:

    The Sarawak Club was home to the first golf course in East Malaysia. Golf was first played in the 1880s “across river” in the vicinity of the Astana. It was played on what was known to be grazing grounds for goal and cows!

    The game was the moved and provided a proper 9-hole course. The golf course was situated on to what is today Jalan Ong Kee Hui (formerly known as Central Road) where some pepper vines were demolished to make way for six holes.
    The course was further extended by another 3 holes into Crookshank Road around the 1900s.

    Around 1920, the course was shifted to the site that is now occupied by the Civic Centre (Dewan Suarah) and the Amphitheatre (Panggung Udara). Holes 1, 2, 3 and 7, 8 and 9 were laid out on the site which is now occupied by the Civic Centre-Sarawak Lawn Tennis Courts. Holes 4, 5, 6 were sited across the road (Golf Links) at the site now occupied by the Amphitheatre. The 60-year lease for the golf course expired in 1980 and the course was allowed to remain on an annual renewal basis until 1986 when golfing was transferred over to Kelab Golf Sarawak (Sarawak Golf Club, KGS) in Petra Jaya. The site of the golf course was used to construct the Civic Centre and the Amphitheatre.

    of note was the “Wise Men’s” group that comprised early morning golfers who would come to tee off just after dawn. Many would finish their games by 8.00 to 8.30 am and the assemble at the Golfers’ Shed ( a minangkabau-roofed structure adjoining the front before breaking off to start work for the day. The food that provided fuel for these discussions was produced by the reverend Mrs. Alex Tong whose mee siam and mee rebus were famous, while Pak Obeng is associated with the Club’s unforgettable satay. The Badger Bar (nicknamed “ The Tenth Hole”) was a popular place for settling bets after golf those mornings and afternoons.

    The golf course fairways number three and nine were also used as a night driving range. This was absolutely packed after seven each night with golfing fraternity lining up along the roadside at Golf-Links Road firing toward the direction of the Nurses Quarters at Jalan Crookshank. Din, the local pro, was the teacher of all the golfers in those days.

    The pro-shop, where golfers got most of their supplies from, was situated at the site of where the present committee car-parking lots are. this was operated by Mr. Jimmy Lim.

    Tidbits on the Club’s Golfing History

    The first recorded Hole-in-One on this course was by C. W. Dawson in Hole 4 in 1948

    The last was achieved by teenager Elyna Effendi in Hole 5 on December 31, 1986 The last Golf Captain prior to the closure of the

    Sarawak Club Golf Course was Peter Lee Kok Chiang 1985-7

    The Sarawak Golf and Country Club (later called Kelab Golf Sarawak or KGS) was developed by the State Government to replace the old course. The State in 1984 made an offer to The Sarawak Club to take over KGS.

    At a very tense EGM chaired by then-president, YAA Tan Sri Datuk Amar Lee Hun Hoe, members by a narrow margin voted to retain the Club and requested the Government allow The Sarawak Club to remain at its present site. They further requested the State to operate KGS under a separate entity and to allow those golfers who wished to join KGS to make separate arrangements to join. That led to the birth of KGS.
    The members of The Sarawak Club later voted to re-develop the club to include a range of sporting and recreational facilities to enable it to continue to exist as a town club.

    The old golf course subsequently closed for play in 1986 and the land was handed back to the state to make way for the Kuching Civic Centre or the Dewan Suarah across the road from the Club and the amphitheatre or Panggung Udara, next to the present swimming pool.

    With the ensuing development that took place from 1988 to 1991, various facilities including new squash courts, a multi-purpose hall, a larger swimming pool, new library, larger Hornbill Restaurant and Hornbill Bar, a gymnasium and snookerium amongst others were built. But The Sarawak Club had lost its identity a a golf club, along with many reciprocal arrangements with some of the most prestigious golf courses in Malaysia and around the region. These reciprocal arrangements were invaluable as it allowed members to visit and use the golfing facilities of other golf clubs around the region.

    At the time of writing work is underway for the construction of the new clubhouse and 18-hole golf adjacent to University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) at Kota Samarahan - a site sub- leased from UNIMAS with the full blessing and support of the State Government. Earth work and shaping of the 18-hole course has been completed and turfing for the first 9 holes done. The Club has plans and room for extension byu another 9 holes to 27 holes at the said site in the future.
    What follows is a layout and photos of the old golf house course. The photos were donated by generous members and staff are perhaps the only pictorial records or the historical golf-course.

  • The view of hole 3, and hole 9 from Jln Golf Links and the direction of the golfers' shed in front of the Main Hall.

  • Magnificent view of the six holes (1,2,3,7,8 and 9) from the Golfers Shed in front of the Main Hall with the practice putting green in the background

  • The view of Holes 4,5, and 6 from golf Links Road with the Club Swimming Pool and fencing to the left. Golfers are teeing off from Par 4.

  • Paradise to some

  • Green no 4

  • 100 years, members began to dwindle away - some dead, other moved elsewhere, so much so, that the badger bar is but now a shadow of its old glory. The Badger Bar then was not only popular amongst the Club members but also the drinking hole and the center of hilarious argument & jokes and social gatherings. The former atmosphere of the combination of the Golf Course and Badger Bar was irreplaceable.

    Hopefully under the present new management of the Sarawak Golf Club, there is a concerted attempt to re-popularize the Badger bar and the Club as a whole. Their laudable effort is bearing fruit and more members are now patronizing the Badger Bar. But sadly the past hilarious camaraderie is still missing.