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30km S of Jeju International Airport
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Kim Hong-Ju (CEO)
Ted Robinson & Ted Robinson Jnr
Coming from Seobu Kwan-kwang Road to Highway 1100, Pinx Golf Club is situated in San 62-3 Sangchun-Ri Anduk-Myun 2 San-rok Road and boasts breathtaking scenery as the combination of each hole and the overall golf course conjures up visions of a watercolor painting.
Three nines opened in 1999 – East, West and North – and they were the last work of the world-renowned American golf course architect, Ted Robinson. The course is surrounded by gifts of nature, as it faces Marado to the south and Han-la Mountain to the north. Nestled amidst this peaceful setting are various buildings, which exist in exquisite harmony with the surroundings.
The 9th hole (par 4) of the front nine of this membership-based 18-hole East and West course is acknowledged as an elegant work of art with a water hazard situated at the right end of the fairway and a creek crossing in front of the green and connecting with the water hazard. This not only adds to the overall scenery, but also provides for a flawless signature hole where strategic advances can be made.
For the average male golfer and professional women players, the distance from the regular tee to the hole is 324 meters. The distance from the blue tee is not that far either, 349 meters, but because the fairway slopes downward and is angled right to left, if one were to hit a shot towards the centre, the ball would most likely fall into the left bunker, or in more severe situations, the water hazard. But if one were to hit the tee shot too far to the left, the ball would end up in a long and deep rough. In which case it would be wise to forego reaching the green in two and aim for a three-on by laying up with the second shot to land the ball in front of the creek hazard in front of the green. By being irrational and aiming for a two-on, you may end up in the creek hazard or perhaps somewhere else unexpected, ruining not only the score for that hole, but for the whole game as well.
One also needs strategy when tackling the fast and hard green. Although the green as a whole appears to be upward sloping, it in fact, slopes downward, so that one must aim for the ball to land in front of the pin. If one aims directly for the pin, nine times out of ten, the ball will bounce off the green and straight into the rough. The bunker to the right of the green also waits with its mouth open. If the shot is too short, the ball will roll into the creek hazard or become wedged into the rough, so either way, it is a tough shot.
Pinx Golf Club hosts a Korean-Japanese professional women’s golf championship each year. Even then, the fate of single players as well as that of the team often depends on this hole.
Two-on or three-on, one must learn to make an unbiased decision about his or her ability and choose wisely.
A Round of Golf with a View of the Ocean – “Paradise Course”
I’m not what you would call a “golf maniac”, writes Kim Kwang Ho. I simply enjoy the pleasures of spending time surrounded by nature. The reason my golf score is not extraordinary is also due to my unusual golf “principle” where I go to the golf course with a relaxed mind to enjoy the company of friends rather than for the golf game itself.
Because of this, I am usually very particular when it comes to choosing golf courses. The surrounding scenery is a given and I also look carefully at even the smallest details such as the service of the employees and the ambience of the clubhouse.
Once in a while when I stumble upon a golf course to my liking, I feel an intense joy – almost as if I have made a “lifelong friend”.
Pinx Golf Club in Namcheju-Kun Anduk-Myun is a perfect fit even for my picky taste. Here, nature envelopes the player as one can play a round of golf with commanding views of both the mountain and the ocean. Not only that, but the employees’ service is decidedly first-class, rendering this golf course a complete paradise.
As soon as you step into the clubhouse, a familiar tune soothes and calms your excited nerves. It is Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. The music selection perfectly complements the cozy yet non-extravagant ambience of the clubhouse.
The unfading smiles and friendliness of the employees, caddies who always pleasantly greet whomever they meet on the field – I do not recall having been greeted by a caddy from another team, even after making eye contact, while making rounds at other golf courses.
Another reason I enjoy visiting Pinx is due to my admiration of its management of its members, almost to the point where I feel apologetic for their attention.
One day last autumn, when I stepped through my front door, my wife said to me, “Dear, a gift box of tile fish arrived from Chejudo addressed to you.” Every season, the employees purchase items unique to Cheju and send it as gifts to the members – potatoes in the spring, bracken herbs (Korean edible herbs) in the summer, fish in the fall and oranges in the winter.
This is an example of putting into practice the phrase “wowing the customer” that most other golf courses would not be able to mimic. However, Pinx does not win over its customers with service alone.
Not only the greens, but also the fairways are made of synthetic grass so that even in the winter, the course does not lose its green colour. Brassica flowers in the spring and wild grass in the fall provide for more refined scenery.
From the 5th hole, one can see the San-bang Mountain, and beneath it, the spread of the ocean which almost seems as if it can be touched. This breathtaking view acts as endorphins would, cleansing away all the debris from one’s body in one instant.
Of course this place is not without its “traps”. The 18th hole (par 4, 388 yards) makes up a tough course, providing the golfer simultaneously with challenge and hope as well as despair and disappointment.
On the right is a lake and to the far left are the natural surroundings as well as the clubhouse and a creek running in front of the greens. All of this combine to make up an enchanting view, spurning a desire to come and gain mastery over the course.
Article written by Kim Kwang Ho, Chairman of e-club.