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Top 15 Golf Courses of Korea 2015

19 December, 2014

Top 15 Golf Courses of Korea 2015

No end to the Korean golf boom in sight

19th December 2014

South Korea has produced more than its fair share of top class professional golfers in recent years, with many of them venturing away from their native land to compete in various lucrative tours around the world. Back home, they’re leaving behind a country that has expanded from a couple of dozen courses and less than a million rounds played annually in 1980 to over 400 courses and more than 25 million rounds played every year nowadays.

This explosion in golf course provision has obviously helped to satisfy the ever-increasing demand of local golfers but it’s the high-end layouts that are attracting the more intrepid golfing tourist, of which there are vast numbers in neighbouring Asian countries. Additionally, with tighter restrictions being placed on golf course developments elsewhere in the region, there’s no reason to suppose the South Korean golf boom will slow down in the foreseeable future.

Top 100 Golf Courses has just reappraised its rankings for Korea and we’ve decided to increase our featured list by 50%, creating a Top 15 chart for this flourishing destination. The highest new entry appears at number 3 and it’s the fabulous Nicklaus signature course at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club that leaps in at such a lofty position. Site of the next Presidents Cup match between the International Team and Team USA, it’s the centrepiece of an upmarket residential development within the Songdo International Business District.

Next highest entrant to make its mark is the spectacular Kyle Phillips-designed 18-hole cliff top layout at South Cape Owners Club, which is situated on Namhae Island, off the southeast coast, and it debuts at number 4 in the rankings. Stunning waterside par threes on this new course at holes 6, 14 and 16 have to be seen to be believed, as words really cannot describe them adequately enough.

The third newcomer to the new Korean list enters at number 8 and its Haesley Nine Bridges, sister course to our number 1, Nine Bridges on Jeju Island, constructed by the same developer and designed by the same architects, David Dale and Kevin Ramsey of Golfplan. Built to an extraordinarily high specification, the greens on this course have all had state of the art sub-air and hydronics systems installed beneath them.

The final two new courses in our new chart arrive at number 13 and 14, namely Whistling Rock (Temple & Cloud) and Seowon Valley (East & West), both of which operate from 27-hole golf complexes to the north of Seoul: the former is a Ted Robinson Jnr production (where he fashioned the playing corridors after blasting thousands of tons of stone from the rocky terrain), the latter is a local design from architect Jae-Chong Lee.

Rank Course Move
1 Nine Bridges No change
2 Anyang No change
3 Jack Nicklaus NEW
4 South Cape Owners Club NEW
5 Woo Jeong Hills Down 1
6 Jade Palace (West & East) Up 3
7 Pine Beach (Pine & Beach) Down 4
8 Haesley Nine Bridges NEW
9 Blackstone (East & South) Jeju Down 1
10 Sky 72 (Ocean) Down 4
11 Hwasan Down 4
12 Gapyeong Benest (Maple & Pine) Down 7
13 Whistling Rock (Temple & Cloud) NEW
14 Seowon Valley (East & West) NEW
15 Pinx Down 5

To view the complete detailed list of the Top 15 South Korean Golf Courses click the link.

Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses of the World


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