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South Korea An aerial view of a golf course in South Korea.

Golf Courses Worth Playing In South Korea

Golf is one of the most popular activities in South Korea. It’s a great way to spend a day or two, and there are many different golf courses to choose from. The course design, as well as the prices, can vary greatly. If you’re looking for an affordable golf course that offers great amenities, then we recommend checking out some of our favorite South Korean golf courses..

South Cape Owners Club

The beautiful new South Cape Owners Club, which is situated on Namhae Island just off the southeast coast of South Korea, opened its doors to members in the fall of 2013 and is owned by businessman and entrepreneur Jae Bong Chung. The Kyle Phillips-designed course is situated on a stunning clifftop property and offers ocean vistas from each of its 18 golf holes.

Bluegrass has been sown on the tees and fairways, fine fescues are mixed in the rough, and bentgrass has been used to carpet the putting greens. Many of the fairways are bordered by granite outcrops. The 11th hole, a downhill par five, kicks off the most famous run of holes on the course, which lasts for six holes and is capped by a beautiful set of waterside par threes at the 135th and 204th holes.

Anyang Country Club

Anyang Country Club was established in 1968 with the goal of building a fantastic new golf course that would rival those in Europe, Japan, and North America (planned by Japanese architect Chohei Miyazawa). As a result, Anyang is well known as the Korean Home of Golf.

The club’s name was changed to Anyang Benest Golf Club in 1996. The words best and nest were combined to create the word benest. Why? The club’s name was reverted back to Anyang Country Club in 2013 after the name Benest obviously failed to gain traction.

A new, more difficult and strategic Anyang was formed in 1997 after Robert Trent Jones Jr. was hired to redesign the layout. Amazingly, the course was planted with Anyang Jungji, a special grass that grows densely and is always upright, allowing the ball to rest comfortably on top.

Woo Jeong Hills

Woo Jeong Hills, which first opened in 1993, is the closest thing to a large, brutal US championship course you can find in Asia. The club had aspirations to host the national championship from the beginning, and in 2003, their wish came true. The first two Korean Opens contested here were won by two Americans, John Daly and Edward Loar, who edged out Ernie Els by four strokes. Loar was the only player to finish under par with the poor weather that plagued the competition in 2004. In 2011, Rickie Fowler won the Korea Open, becoming the third American to do it and earning his first professional victory.

The majority of courses are designed with the average ability level in mind in North Asia, where business golf has long been the most popular variation of the game. This translates to a handicap of roughly 24 strokes for men (the current world average for male golfers). Woo Jeong Hills is a little bit more challenging than the majority of the courses you’ll play.

Jade Palace Golf Club

Harley Kruse from the Greg Norman Design team created the course at Jade Palace Golf Club, which opened in the summer of 2004. Hanwha Group is one of Korea’s largest engineering and construction corporations. Jade Palace is considered to be Hanwha’s flagship facility among the clubs and resorts it runs.

The Zoysia fairways of the golf course, which is adjacent to Chun Chon City, are laid out on a rather mountainous environment because the flatter area in the valleys is set aside for agricultural usage. Due to the size of the earthworks needed on such challenging terrain, the construction process took several years, and more than 4.5 million cubic metres of rock and soil were moved.

The par five holes at 10 and 13 are particularly powerful on the inside half, and the short par three hole at 14—which plays to an infinite green—is a rather alluring short hole. At the last hole, where the green is sandwiched between a pond in the front and a spectacular rock wall in the back, with the towering Jade Palace clubhouse perched on top, the star of the show finally appears.
James Yeong
James Yeong

Once a quaint dweller of the English countryside, James is now a vibrant voice narrating his adventures in the bustling heart of South Korea. Since relocating to Seoul in 2019, James has immersed himself in the dynamic tapestry of Korean culture, from the serene temples tucked away in mountainous terrains to the neon-lit streets of modern cities.

This blog has become a haven for those seeking an outsider's yet intimate perspective on South Korea, often shedding light on hidden gems and local favourites rather than just the typical tourist hotspots. With a keen eye for detail and a writing style dripping with wit and warmth, James has managed to amass a devoted readership from all corners of the globe.

Whether you're planning a trip to the Seoul, the surrounding cities or just vicariously traveling from the comfort of your couch, Jame's tales of exploration and discovery are sure to ignite a passion for the Land of the Morning Calm.

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