Opened in 2009 at a reputed cost of 150 million dollars, Siem Reap Booyoung has already gone through several name changes (Angkor Lakes Golf Resort, Siem Lakes Golf Resort and Siem Reap Resort Golf Club) in a very short time due to ownership issues.
The testing 7,396-yard course is laid out on a largely flat landscape, presenting minimal opportunity for elevation changes throughout the property. Palm-fringed holes are generally wide and forgiving, with split fairways on several holes offering either an aggressive or a conservative option from the tee.
The returning nines open with long par fives, taking the routing quickly away from the clubhouse, and both halves close with tough par fours, demanding steely concentration until the last putt drops. Water hazards dominate – though there’s plenty of sand to contend with too – so good course management is essential around here.
Designed by Kentaro Sato, Siem Reap Booyung CC opened in 2009 and is located in the rice paddies just outside Siem Reap, and not far from the temples at Angkor Wat.
The course has two nines named 'The Friendship Course', and 'The Love Course'.
We came as a large group playing golf and sightseeing our way through Vietnam and Cambodia, and of course we had come to Siem Reap primarily to see Angkor Wat. But the golf was a welcome addition to the Cambodian part of the itinerary, and with hot, humid weather 'Booyung' tested us out.
Measuring 6963 yards off the blue tees (7,396 off the black), we needed to open the shoulders on a number of holes to have any chance of getting home in regulation. But in general the fairways were wide, and the green complexes generous.
Sato started with flat rice paddies, but has made good use of his biggest asset, and routes the course around and over the water hazards at every opportunity. His bunkering is strategic, and there is plenty of sand to negotiate on most holes, although it is not overdone.
This is more a second shot course, as the fairways are fairly generous off the tee, but the bunkering and water becomes more demanding as you near the green.
The course was nicely maintained, and tees and fairways were grassed with a variety of paspalum that was very playable.
All in our group enjoyed the course and the day, although many found the length challenging.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.