1. South Cape Owner's Club, 2. Anyang Country Club, 3. Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, 4. Woo Jeong Hills, 5. Wellington (Griffin & Wyvern), 6. Whistling Rock Country Club, 7. Jade Palace (West & East), 8. Haesley Nine Bridges, 9. Nine Bridges Golf Club, 10. Sky72 Golf Club, 11. Blackstone Golf Club, 12. Pine Beach (Pine & Beach). The popularity of golf in South Korea has skyrocketed due to the influence of professional golfers on the PGA Tour. South Koreans are enamoured with players like Jin Young-Ko, Hyo-joo Kim, and In-Gee Chun on the women's side, and KJ Choi, Sungjae Im, Si-Woo Kim, and Tom Kim on the men's side. Check out the list of South Korea's finest golf courses.
- South Cape Owner’s Club
- Anyang Country Club
- Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea
- Woo Jeong Hills
- Wellington (Griffin & Wyvern)
- Whistling Rock Country Club
- Jade Palace (West & East)
- Haesley Nine Bridges
- Nine Bridges Golf Club
- Sky72 Golf Club
- Blackstone Golf Club
- Pine Beach (Pine & Beach)
South Cape Owner’s Club
Namhae Island, off the southeastern coast of South Korea, is the site of the beautiful new South Cape Owners Club, which was opened to the public in the autumn of 2013 by businessman and entrepreneur Jae Bong Chung. The course, which was designed by Kyle Phillips, is located on a breathtaking cliffside plot, and all eighteen holes offer stunning ocean panoramas.
Bluegrass was used for the tees and fairways, fine fescues were used for the rough, and bentgrass was used for the greens. Many of the fairways are framed by granite cliffs. The 11th hole, a downhill par 5, sets the tone for the half dozen holes that follow it that stand out the most, especially the 135- and 204-meter par threes that run along the water’s edge.
Google Rating: 4.6/5.0
Location: Heungseon-ro, Changseonmyeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea
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Anyang Country Club
When Anyang Country Club was established in 1968, its founders set out to commission Japanese architect Chohei Miyazawa to construct a world-class golf course on par with the best in Europe, Japan, and the Americas. As a result, many people in Korea regard Anyang to be the birthplace of golf in the country. The Anyang Benest Golf Club was renamed in 1996. As a result of merging the words “best” and “nest,” the new word “Benest” was created. Why? It’s unclear why Benest failed to take off as a brand name for the club, but in 2013 it reverted to its original moniker, Anyang Country Club.
Lee Byung-Chull, founder of the Samsung Group and current president of the Anyang Country Club, set out to design a golf course that would challenge and excite recreational golfers rather than professionals. The route winds its way through tall trees, which not only present a difficulty for the skewed driver but also a spectacular display of seasonal colour. It is simple to see why Anyang is considered “Home” by its residents.
Location: 1 Bugok-dong, Gunpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
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Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea
Located in Incheon, the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is a course named after the legendary golfer and designer. Opened for play in 2010, the par-72, 7,400-yard course is renowned for its demanding design, stunning natural setting, and luxurious amenities.
The 2015 Presidents Cup was held there, and the first Korea Championship will be played there in 2023. Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea is lauded by golfers who have played there for its impeccable upkeep, breathtaking scenery, and strategic layout—which includes water hazards on several holes. Golfers living in or visiting Korea should not miss the opportunity to play what is widely regarded as one of the best courses in Asia.
Location: 209 Academy-ro, Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, Korea
Screenshot via https://www.jacknicklausgolfclubkorea.com/index.asp
Woo Jeong Hills
Woo Jeong Hills, constructed in 1993, is the closest thing Asia has to a large, brutal, American-style competition course. As early as its inception, the club had aspirations of hosting the national championship.
John Daly and Edward Loar, both Americans, defeated Ernie Els by a combined four strokes to win the first two Korean Opens played at this course. Loar was the only player to finish under par despite the poor conditions that plagued the competition in 2004. In 2011, Rickie Fowler won the Korea Open to become the third American to do so.
From the blue tees, Splash! is a reasonable 150 yards; from the black tees, it stretches out to a hearty 212. The most likely result is a splash if you play this into the wind. At the 2004 Korean Open, it was the deciding factor in Els’ loss. His challenge was doomed after he scored 5 here.
Google Rating: 5.0/5.0
Location: 산30-5 Unjeon-ri, Mokcheon-eup, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
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Wellington (Griffin & Wyvern)
Wellington Country Club, which opened at the end of 2013, is located near the city of Icheon, a little over an hour’s drive from the capital. There is no website for this golf course because it is extremely exclusive.
The club’s motif is a pair of eagles, a symbol of high status, and its members are the cream of Korean society’s elite, with a sprinkling of wealthy celebrities to round out the scene.
Wellington’s first two nine-hole courses, the Gryphon and the Phoenix, were developed by the Hyosung Group, a major Korean industrial company. In 2017, Wellington Country Club built a third nine holes called Wyvern, a dragon-headed, wingless reptile loop that combines with the existing Gryphon nine to provide the club’s flagship 18-hole layout.
Google Rating: 4.7/5.0
Location: 119-73 Sasil-ro 725beon-gil, Moga-myeon, Icheon, Gyeonggido, South Korea
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Whistling Rock Country Club
Located just outside of Seoul, the Whistling Rock Golf Club has a distinctive layout that makes use of the surrounding rock outcroppings. Ted Robinson Jr. was responsible for the course’s design, and his use of natural features including rock formations and water features makes for an impressively difficult layout.
Whistling Rock’s 27-hole golf course provides spectacular views of the surrounding terrain, which is dominated by mountains and forests. The KLPGA Championship, as well as the Whistling Rock Invitational, have both been held at Whistling Rock Country Club.
Location: 501 Dongchon-ro, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do, Korea
Screenshot via https://www.whistlingrockcc.com/en/
Jade Palace (West & East)
The course at Jade Palace Golf Club, which opened in the summer of 2004, was designed by Harley Kruse of the Greg Norman Design team and built for Hanwha Group, one of Korea’s largest engineering and construction businesses. Jade Palace is the crown jewel of the several clubs and resorts that Hanwha manages.
There is a short par four to start the round off on, and while the right side is heavily bunkered, there is a bale-out option to the left for those who would rather take it easy in the opening two holes. The 8th hole, a par four of moderate length, is another highlight of the front nine. It winds through a native pine and oak woodland.
The inward half features two formidable par fives (10 and 13), as well as a short but enticing par three (14), which leads to an infinity green. The 18th green is the course’s crowning achievement, with a pond fronting it and a stunning rock wall behind it, topped by the opulent Jade Palace clubhouse.
Location: 35 Seocheon-ri, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, South Korea
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Haesley Nine Bridges
The original Nine Bridges course on Jeju Island was designed by David Dale, Kevin Ramsey, and the Golfplan design team; thus, it makes sense that the developers would choose the same architects a decade later to design Haesley Nine Bridges.
After all, why wouldn’t owner Jay H. Lee want to rehire the same company after his Jeju course was ranked in the World Top 100 by Golf Magazine?Dale constructed cutting-edge sub-air and hydronics systems in all eighteen T-1 bentgrass greens with the help of Augusta National’s director of agronomy, Marsh Benton.Inhaling or injecting air into the soil beneath the putting greens can reduce the amount of moisture in the ground, while hot or cold water pumped through subterranean pipes can raise or lower the soil temperature.
The famed playing quality of the greens at Haesley Nine Bridges should come as no surprise. The par-4 fourth, which features an intimidating forced carry over a sequence of cascading waterfalls, and the par-4 ninth, which is played to a peninsula green in front of a spectacular, ultra-modern clubhouse that won the World Architecture Award, are two of the most memorable courses on the front nine.
The short par-4 10th on the back nine is one of the course’s most breathtaking features, thanks to an island fairway and green that are both surrounded by water and framed by a thirty-foot waterfall. Hwa Young, Herald Sports’ Korean Correspondent and Chief Editor, penned the following piece:
Google Rating: 4.8/5.0
Location:76 Myeongpum 1-ro, Yeoju-eup, 연라동 Yeoju-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
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Nine Bridges Golf Club
The Nine Bridges Golf Club on Jeju Island is widely regarded as one of the greatest in Asia and has played host to a number of prestigious international tournaments, including the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup at Nine Bridges.
The course is well-known for its difficult design, which was created by Ronald Fream and David Dale. Narrow fairways, well-placed bunkers, and undulating greens characterize this par-72 course that measures 7,309. The first nine holes are set within the trees, while the second nine skirt the water’s edge. Jeju Island, where Nine Bridges is found, is renowned for its breathtaking scenery. The course itself is in a valley between mountains and overlooks the sea.
Location: 34-156 Gwangpyeong-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, Korea
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Sky72 Golf Club
The resort and course at Sky72 Golf Club, named for its 72 holes, can be found close to Incheon International Airport. There are four 18-hole courses at the club, and they’re all different and challenging in their own ways. Ocean Course, Lake Course, Hill Course, and Sky Course are the course names.
Every hole on every course overlooks either the ocean, the mountains, or the cityscape of Incheon. There is nowhere else in Korea where you can play floodlit golf at night. The club is on many people’s must-play lists because it has held several major international tournaments, including the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship and the Korea Open.
Google Rating: 4.3/5.0
Location:267 Gonghangdong-ro 135beon-gil, 운서동 Jung-gu, Incheon, Korea
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Blackstone Golf Club
Another popular course in Icheon is the Blackstone Golf Club and Resort, which was designed by Phil Mickelson and is renowned for its difficult layout and beautiful surroundings. As one of his first forays into golf course design, Major winner Phil Mickelson drew on his experience as one of the world’s best golfers to build a course that is both hard and fun.
Blackstone’s three interconnected nine-hole loops are notoriously difficult due to their tight fairways, deep bunkers, and quick greens. The city of Icheon is renowned for its natural beauty, and the course offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The CJ Cup, played on the PGA Tour, was one of numerous international tournaments held at Blackstone Golf Club.
Google Rating: 4.5/5.0
Location: 산54 Geumak-ri, Hallim-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea
Screenshot via https://www.blackstoneresort.com/
Screenshot via https://www.blackstoneresort.com/
Pine Beach (Pine & Beach)
The Pine Beach course was opened in 2009 and was built along a cliff on the southwest coast of the Korean peninsula. It was built by the Hanyang Corporation in Seoul, South Korea, and designed by Gary Roger Baird. David Dale of Golfplan was responsible for the bunkers and greens.
Ten of the holes on this golf course in Haenam, not far from Gwangju, are positioned on a rocky peninsula that juts out into the sea about 200 meters. The architect made sure to expose as much of the course as possible to the water’s edge by strategically routing all eighteen fairways. The Yellow Sea runs down the right side of the 430-yard 16th fairway; therefore, a retaining wall was created to accommodate a tee placement on the edge of the cliffs, resulting in a fantastic water carry.
Location: 19 Jugwang-ri, Hwawon-myeon, Haenam, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
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