Country club membership, one of the famous '5Cs' said to be the key aspirations of Singaporeans, may be becoming hip again. Club membership prices, which had fallen to rock-bottom levels in the last three years, have been on the rise again in recent weeks. After the car and the condominium, club membership used to be the ultimate statement that you had arrived (along with credit cards and a good career). Not only was the club a status symbol, where clients could be entertained, it was also considered a solid investment: a restricted number of memberships at each club meant that members could trade them in (minus a transfer fee) on the secondary market. But, in recent years, the economic downturn and several scandals put a lid on this tenet of life for the well heeled. Membership at Poggol Marina, which cost S$30,000 (HK$140,200) in the late 1990s, fell to a mere S$1,500 last year, after the yacht club had to be sold by its creditors because it could not pay off debts of S$18 million. Meanwhile, members of the Raffles Town Club ended up in a legal battle with the owners when they realised that the 'exclusive' membership, for which they had forked out S$28,000, had actually been sold to 19,000 of them - making the club facilities overcrowded. But memories are short, and all the bad publicity seems to have been swept under the carpet in recent months. Now, about 80 per cent of club memberships fees are reportedly on the rise, increasing by a few thousand dollars each month. Some Singaporeans are ready to spend as much as S$160,000 for a Singapore Island Country Club membership, which gives access to four sought-after 18-hole golf courses, making it the biggest golf club in Singapore. The fee is still down from its peak of S$250,000. Memberships for the American, Orchid Country, Keppel and Sentosa Golf clubs are also said to be selling well. The latter has seen a frenzy of trading activity - with the price rising S$5,000 in one week alone to a current hefty S$110,000 - on speculation that the government will soon agree to a casino being built on Sentosa Island. Many buyers are reportedly hoping to cash in a tidy profit if the Sentosa redevelopment does go ahead. It is not just golf clubs that are in demand. I was recently invited to tour the renovated The Legends Fort Canning Park, a relatively posh social club amid the greenery of Fort Canning. It has a tempting swimming pool area and an old, fully restored colonial building, dating from the 1920s. The membership could be mine for a snip at S$6,000. I have declined, but that is just me.