Asia’s Top 10 Golf Courses
Ask any golfer and he will tell you that a well-designed golf course adds to the thrill and excitement of the game. American professional golfer, Tom Watson describes it beautifully, “No other game combines the wonder of nature with the great discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a golfer’s mind”. Top10Lifestyles.com takes a look at the results of its recent survey on Asia’s top ten golf courses.
Blue Canyon Country Club (Phuket, Thailand)
The Canyon Course and Lake Course make up this golf course in sunny Phuket. Surrounded by freshwater lakes, the Canyon Course features natural hazards, towering trees and rolling fairways. Its Signature Holes 13, 14 and 17 are built on existing canyon structures that suddenly plunge into deep waters. The Lake Course has wider greens than the Canyon Course and is a mixture of water-filled canyons created by open cast mining with its natural land flow left relatively unchanged. Its front 9 holes run through a landscape of lakes and original canyons, whilst the back 9 holes weaves around more scenic lakes and soft whispering woodlands of rubber trees. Its Hole 18 is well known as one of Asia’s best finishing hole in golf as it gives golfers a choice to end their final stroke onto the green from two platforms.
Nirwana Bali Golf & Country Club (Bali, Indonesia)
Located in the Island of the Gods, the Nirwana Bali Golf Club & Country is one of the most photographed and challenging golf courses in the world. Designed by Greg Norman, the golf course is a visual masterpiece of dramatic ocean views and lush Balinese landscapes. With three holes running along the cliffs of the Indian Ocean and terraced rice paddies providing unique hazards, the course will test the accuracy and consistency of a PGA professional and still be enjoyable for the average golfer. In 2012, it was ranked as the No. 1 Golf Course in Indonesia by Golf Digest USA.
Montgomerie Links (Danang City, Vietnam)
This golf course made it into Forbes Travel Guide 2012 as one of Asia’s ten most elite courses. The course that was designed by Colin Montgomerie was designed to capitalise on its close proximity to the warm, tranquil East Sea and Marble Mountains. The combination of sandy soil, wind-blown dunes and indigenous vegetation creates a framework for strong links style golfing that caters to golfers of all skill levels. Although the course doesn’t have a signature hole, the stunning par 5-12 is memorable due to its slightly uphill to a bunker-riddled fairway. It has been described as the best par-5 in Vietnam.
Sentosa Golf Club (Singapore)
Sentosa Golf Club is home to two championship 18-hole golf courses – Serapong and Tanjong Courses which feature challenging greens while showcasing the stunning views of either the Singapore Harbour or the South China Sea. The club was officially opened in mid 1974 by the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. At that time members and guests could only access the club via ferry adding to its allure as a true and distinctive destination. The club hosted the prestigious Barclays Singapore Open in 2005 which saw a list of golfing luminaries putting for the coverted prize – winners Angel Cabrera and Adam Scott as well as Phil Mickelson, KJ Choi, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Lee Westwood, Jeev Milkha Singh, Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer.
Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club (Hong Kong)
The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club was inaugurated in 1982 after an arduous journey that took almost a decade. After making strenuous efforts to fulfil government stipulations, a lease was secured and construction commenced in phases until the final completion in the early 1990s. This long process transformed the barren and hilly site into the magnificent resort it is today. Between 2004 and 2006, its golf courses underwent renovation works and upgrades where a professional golf course designer was engaged to redesign its 27-hole course to improve playability, consistency and general appearance. In addition a reverse osmosis plant was introduced to take in seawater for desalination which in turn could be used to irrigate the lands.
The Phoenix Seagaia Resort (Miyazaki City, Japan)
One of the most famous courses in Japan, this beautifully designed course is located on the Hitotsuba Pacific Coast. Lined with black pine groves that gives it a tropical resort feel, its 18-hole course fairway has everything – liberating play of wide and flat holes to tight bottleneck strips that demand straight, disciplined shots. Designed by PGA star, Tom Watson the Phoenix Seagaia Resort is one of the sites for the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament since 1974. It is also one of the Top 100 golf courses in the world and one of the top three courses in Japan. Both beginners as well as more advanced golfers have a lot to discover about this course.
Sunrise Golf & Country Club (Taiwan)
The Sunrise Golf & Country Club is acknowledged to be the best in Taiwan. This world-standard 18-hole championship course that measures 7,200 yards and a par of 72 was designed by renowned golf architect, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The course is noted for its beautiful landscapes, challenging fairway slopes and fast greens. Sunrise has hosted numerous amateur and professional golfing championships including the LPGA Taiwan Championship 2011 – 2013, Taiwan Amateur Championship 2004, 2006, 2008 – 2011 and the 23rd Nomura Cup 2007.Apart from its golf course, the multi-functional resort also boasts of various recreational and entertainment facilities in the magnificent clubhouse covering more over 180 hectares.
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (Malaysia)
The Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) is just 8km away from the heart of Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Designed as a relaxing, private golf and country club, KLGCC opened in 1991. The place is surrounded by nature preserves and is home to unique species of flora and fauna. Over the years, it has developed into a premier golf club offering international standards of quality service and has hosted numerous international competitions namely the Maybank Malaysian Open, Sime Darby LPGA and the CIMB Classic, the first if not the only golf club in the world to host three major tournaments in one year. It also records more than 100,000 golfing rounds a year in its 36-hole courses. Its West and East Courses were completely redesigned by international golf architects, E&G Parslow and reopened in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
Nine Bridges (Jeju Island, South Korea)
Nine Bridges is located on Jeju Island, the volcanic island south of South Korea’s continental landmass sometimes referred to as Korea’s Maui. The course was designed by Ronald Fream and David Dale, the Golf Plan team. Completed in 2001, the visual presentation of the course is excellent, thanks to Fream’s background in ornamental horticulture. The two nines have been laid out of a generous allocation of land that wanders through pine-clad rolling land on Mount Halla which at 6,000 feet, is South Korea’s tallest mountain. Despite its name, there are only eight bridges built on the course, the ninth of which is metaphorical – the bridge that connects the club to its members and guests.
Spring City Golf and Country Club (Kunming, China)
Spring City Golf and Country Club in Kunming, China has been voted as one of the best golf courses in China. Its award-winning golf courses include the Mountain Course and Lake Course which were designed by Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones Jr respectively. Both courses that are set amidst lush landscapes against the backdrop of the Yang Zonghailake have garnered over 100 international awards since 1998. The Mountain Course and Lake Course have been voted No. 1 and No. 2 Golf Course in China respectively by China Golf Digest. It is also listed by the US Golf Digest in the Top 100 Best Golf Courses outside the United States.