Yeosu City is located midway along the southern coast of South Korea within the Jeonllanam-do province. Yeosu City and its peninsula also comprise of more than three hundred islands, most of which are uninhabited. Just five minutes by boat from Yeosu in the Korea Strait lies the whale-shaped Gyungdo Island, where you’ll find one of South Korea’s most beautiful golf resorts. Gyungdo (or Kyoungdo) translates in Chinese character set to “Whale Island”.
The island site is simply stunning and, in a similar vein to Ile aux Cerfs Golf Course (formerly known as Le Touessrok), which is set on its own tropical island in the Indian Ocean, Gyungdo Island is largely occupied by golf holes.
The resort’s founding company, Jeonnam Development Corporation (JNDC), commissioned David McLay Kidd’s DMK Design (Nick Schaan) to fashion the course, but in the end DMK Design’s signature was conspicuous by its absence and JNDC completed the course construction.
The first of the three nine-hole loops to open in 2014 was the 3,446-yard Odong, which is fashioned in typical resort style. Dolsan is the longest loop (3,735 yards), which turns clockwise before turning back counter clockwise – it’s the toughest of the three circuits. The 3,616-yard Geumo loop has a memorable run of seaside holes from #2 to #7 and the 148-yard par three 7th has more than a passing resemblance to its famous one-shot counterpart at Pebble Beach.
Yeosu Gyungdo Golf Resort boasts a marine theme park and 100 condominiums with swimming pools at a rental cost that won’t break the bank. The conceptual modern clubhouse is built in the style of a historical high-class Korean villa and it’s really very stylish.