What’s more, the land it does have is quite mountainous. Its topography has even been described as resembling ‘a sea in a heavy gale’ because of the large number of successive mountain ranges that cross the country.
In other words, golf and South Korea really shouldn’t go together, and certainly not to the extent that it does.
However, with an Olympic champion in Inbee Park, nine South Koreans – including Park – in the women’s world top 20 and the fact that the country hosted the Presidents Cup for the first time last September, it’s safe to safe golf in South Korea is sky-rocketing.
One of the most popular places to play is the incredible Sky 72 Golf Club complex in Incheon
At present, the country, located on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula to the west of Japan, has over 200 golf courses. More are opening all the time, too. One of the most popular places to play is the incredible Sky 72 Golf Club complex in Incheon, in the north west of the country and close to Seoul international airport.
The brainchild of Jack Nicklaus’ golf course design company, Sky 72, main picture, takes its name from the number of holes it comprises. You could easily spend the best part of a week there and there alone.
South Cape, meanwhile, is a Kyle Phillips-designed course that opened in 2013. It is laid out on a dramatic cliff-top property, with ocean views available from all 18 holes. The back nine is especially impressive, in particular the par-3 14th and 16th holes.
Then there’s Nine Bridges, a quite outstanding course located on Jeju Island, the volcanic island south of South Korea itself. It is often referred to as ‘Korea’s Maui’, which should give you an indication as to the treats that lie in store.
There are actually only eight bridges on the course; the ninth is a metaphorical bridge connecting the club to its members and guests. A stunning championship-standard layout, it ranked inside the top 60 of Golf Digest’s top 100 courses in 2014 – yeah, it’s that good.
Others to consider? The two courses (West and East) at Jade Palace, Woo Jeong Hills, Pine Beach and Blackstone Incheon all come highly recommended. There are, in fact, almost too many to mention.
If you haven’t discovered South Korea yet, it’s about time you did.
Have you played golf in South Korea? If so, what did you think of it? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.