You might expect a course with nines named Mountain and Hill to be set out on heavily contoured terrain and that’s exactly the case with the 18-hole layout at Ildong Lakes Golf Club, near Pocheon in the northeast region of Gyeonggi province.
The course was co-designed and built by Kim Seung-Hak Kim, former president of the Korean PGA, and Kim Hak-Young, ex-professional player turned architect, and it debuted in 1995, hosting the 16th edition of the Samsung World Championship for LPGA Tour golfers the year after it first opened.
Twelve months later, Ildong Lakes held the first of six editions of the Korean Tour’s SK Telecom Open, an event that eventually moved on to Sky 72 in 2006.
Highlight holes include par threes at the 7th and 13th, where both greens sit behind water, and the 205-yard 18th, which is played to an offset, kidney-shaped green that has yet more water protecting the right side of the putting surface.
The signature hole is undoubtedly the spectacular 399-yard 9th, where a creek runs the length of the fairway on the left as it veers towards the putting surface, with a sheer rock face rising up behind the water course as it flows past the green.
Nongshim, the biggest snack food company in Korea, manages Ildong Lakes and their instant Ramyun noodles are sold in supermarkets all over the world. However, the delicious noodle dishes served in the clubhouse and halfway house are anything but ordinary.