Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world, with approximately four and a half billion people. There are tons of amazing golf courses here. As the Deemples golf app currently operates in South East Asia. Some day, we might have some of the best courses in Asia in our app! Hopefully with an expansion worldwide as well!
When we think of the best courses in the world, people always think of golf courses that are broadcasted on the PGA Tour on the TV. Courses like the Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews. However there are some truly magnificent golf courses that are hidden as well. We will cover some of these golf courses here in Asia.
15 Best Golf Courses in Asia
The Hirono Golf Club is also known as the “Pine Valley of Japan”. This exclusive golf course is private to its members and is located near the port city of Kobe. Originally designed in 1932 by Charles H. Alison. The golf course went through World War 2 as a runway which destroyed much of the course. After the conflict, it was restored by Toyohiko Inui and Osama Ueda using Alison’s original plans and brought back to life by Martin Ebert.
Although the course is only 6,925 yards long from the back tees, it is a supreme test of golf. This goes to show that you do not need a 7,500 yard monster course to create challenges as long as the course is designed thoughtfully. The Hirono Golf Club as one of the best golf courses in Asia has hosted all the major Japanese championships and most notably the Japan Open.
The Kawana Resort has acquired the reputation of Japan’s very own Pebble Beach. Also another course designed by Charles H. Alison, this paradise is two hours away from Yokohama. The Fuji course was established in 1936, a golf course with breathtaking Pacific Ocean views from the cliff tops. Moreover, the course contains plateau greens surrounded by mature woodland and Mount Fuji in the backdrop.
This course conveys a dynamism that is physically challenging as well as stunningly beautiful. The Fiji Course at Kawana Resort has hosted numerous golf events and the most notable one would be the World Amateur Golf Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy held in 1962. Recently, it has been the site of the well-known Fuji Sankei Classic.
This golf course is fairly new as it made its debut in 2013. Located just off the southeast coast of South Korea, on Namhae Island. The golf course at South Cape Owners Club was designed by Kyle Phillips, set on a dramatic cliff top property, it has panoramic ocean views available from all the eighteen holes. Although a fairly short course, at 6,685 yards, this par 72 18-hole golf course offers numerous obstacles such as the steep cliffs which makes this course quite a challenge for any golfer.
Notable holes here are the stunning 135 metre par 3 on the 14th and the 204 metre 16th. These holes are highlighted by a stunning waterside green with surrounding cliffs.
The Naruo Golf Club golf course opened in 1920 but underwent changes in 1931 thanks to the services of Charles H. Alison. Initially found on seaside land by British expats but shifted into the untouched hills outside Osaka. The tradition here is maintained by the 700 members whose average age is 71.
Most notably on this course are the small, round greens which are often elevated and large irregular shaped bunkers with pronounced front lips. At 6,564 yards from the back tees, Naruo is a fairly short course. However, it is difficult to have a good score here because precision is everything on this short course. The greens are small and fully guarded by deep bunkers. Furthermore, almost all the holes are separated by big trees and utilizes the natural, hilly rolling terrain. Each hole here is unique in its own way. Visitors need introductions from members to play on weekdays. Whereas on Saturdays, visitors need to be accompanied by members and visitors are not allowed to play on Sundays.
This two 18-hole golf course was initially designed by Jack Nicklaus and established in 2009. Formerly called the Links course, the new design was a complete overhaul from what the original course provided by a design firm from Australia called OCCM Golf. It is located on Chongming island within the Yangtze River close to Shanghai.
Golf is played here everyday however the playing conditions differ on a daily basis as wind intensity fluctuates. The Yangtze Dunes is a difficult course at 7,484 yards from the back tees equipped with windy conditions. An exciting and challenging course that is a treeless, true links course. Throughout the course there are vast areas of short grass, expansive bunkering and undulating fairways across the layout.
Located in Jeju Island, the volcanic island south of South Korea’s continental landmass is the Nine Bridges Golf Club. This golf club is a very private golf club and has limited access to non-members. The course was designed by Golf Plan whose two principals are Ronald Fream and David Dale. It resembles an American course in a Scottish atmosphere. The two nines are laid out on a very generous allocation of land that wanders through pine clad rolling land in the lee of Mount Hallasan, South Korea’s tallest mountain.
There are eight stone bridges built that span the site’s lake and wandering creeks. The ninth bridge is a metaphor that connects the club to its members and guests. Built in 2001, Nine Bridges is a unique combination of a great golf course in a stunning setting thanks to its stunning location, impeccable design, bent grass fairways, and pristine conditioning.
The Nine Bridges Golf Club also hosted the LPGA from 2002 to 2005. Also the first club to host the LPGA in Korea.
Founded and built in 1913, The Tokyo Golf Club was moved twice before settling on its present site, “Little Edo”. This par 71 18-hole golf course was designed by Komyo Ohtani who studied in England. Later restored by Gil Hanse. Even though this course is not a long one by modern standards, it protects its par well with challenges along the course.
Tokyo Golf Club is a members only course so do not miss the chance to play here if you are fortunate enough to be invited! A signature feature of the course includes the two green complexes on each hole named Asaka and Chichibu. The fairways get progressively narrow as you get near the elevated greens and not to mention the extremely difficult rough so accuracy is key in playing here!
Yokohama Country Club was founded in 1960 and over the following years, architect Takeo Aiyama designed and built both the East and West courses. Both 18-hole layouts. The West course hosted the 1978 Japan Open and in 2018. In 2014 and 2015, the West Course underwent major renovation by Coore and Crenshaw. They reconstructed the old double greens and replaced them with single greens.
A unique feature on this course is the additional little par 3 as the “19th” hole on the West course. This was built to allow players to settle bets when matches are still tied after regulation round over the 18-hole layout. It just adds a level of enjoyment for golfers to play a little short hole on their way off the course to the locker room.
The West course at Yokohama Country Club is private to their members and member’s guests. However the East course is made public for everyone.
Situated in the southeast of Hainan Island, close to the remote village of Bo’ao, is the Shanqin Bay Golf Club. Shanqin Bay Golf Club was built on the site of an ancient Chinese fortress as a model of successful cooperation between America and China in the golf field. The golf course was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
You will experience a wide variety of landforms during your round at Shanqin Bay from cliffs and chasms to dunes and dense vegetation. The golf course also has spectacular scenery and unique topography. As a private members club, the opportunity to play here would be like being a child invited to an exclusive day at Disneyland and having it all to yourself!
The Bluffs was opened for play in 2014. Designed by Greg Norman as his second golf project in Vietnam. The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip is located 80 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. The holes throughout the course are on a coastal plateau and the holes are surrounded by towering seaside sand dunes, with fairways constructed on sandy loam soil.
This 7,007 yard par 71 course is a challenging one with sea wind affecting the difficulty of the course. It is truly a great experience to play at this course. Furthermore, the Bluffs Ho Tram Strip is the first integrated casino and golf resort in the country. They have a 5-star hotel with ten restaurants and entertainment outlets for visitors.
Ayodhya Links is one of the most exclusive golf clubs in Asia. Formed in 2007 by some of Thailand’s wealthiest people and membership to the club is by invitation so only the highest and greatest of Thai society mingle in the clubhouse. The design company of Thomson and Perrett drafted the ground plan, but the current Owner/Chairman, Pitak Intrawityanunt, is the former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand.
Central to the routing and overall ambience at Ayodhya Links is a 70-acre lake. The course measures a fearsome 7,639 yards from the championship tees and only one of the par 4s on the card plays less than 400 yards from the back markers. There are 79 challenging bunkers throughout the course and undulating greens that will challenge all golfers’ precisions. Moreover, Ayodhya Links hosted the “Amazing Kingdom of Thailand: World Club Championship 2016”.
Hoiana Shores is located right on the shoreline of Hoi An in central Vietnam. The Hoiana Shores golf course is the first Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects’ (RTJ II) golf course in Vietnam with splendid views of the Eastern Sea and Cham Islands.
The par 71 18-hole golf course measures 7,004 yards and is grassed with TifEagle Bermuda greens while tees and fairways feature Zeon Zoysia. The climax of a round at Hoiana Shores is on the back nine with the greens on holes 15, 16 and 17 all located close to the shoreline. This is where the wind comes right off the sea. Hole 16th is one of the best holes on the course with the entire hole playing along the coast. Green fees here are the steepest in the region and tee times are limited but Hoiana Shores is a definite must play if you are in Vietnam!
The Ono Golf Club is situated 45 minutes outside Osaka and located within Harima Chubu Hill Prefectural Natural Park. Architect Osamu Ueda was influenced by Charles Alison’s work in Japan during the 1930s, he designed the 18-hole layout at Ono Golf Club in 1961 and is often regarded as the sister course to the fabled Hirono Golf Club.
The golf course is a tree-lined parkland course set on a hill, surrounded by beautiful landscape beside a lake. The course is set out on rather hilly terrain, especially those on the back nine. However from holes 7-9, several ponds come into play as they are wrapped around a lake. Each of the holes are separated by mature trees and sometimes by lakes. The Ono Golf Club is a private golf club therefore visitors need to be accompanied or introduced by club members.
The Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club is one of the two there. It was designed by Ronald Fream and completed in 1982 and recently underwent a revamp. The course has a spectacular view of the Singaporean skyline and a key local infrastructure is the Changi Airport.
The 6,675 meters par 72 championship Serapong course in Sentosa has held the Singaporean Open from 2005 – 2019. They were also awarded the ‘Number 1 Championship Golf Course in Asia’ by Asian Golf Monthly in 2007 and the ‘Best Golf Course in Singapore’ by Golf Digest in 2009. In addition, this course is a buggy only golf course.
TPC Kuala Lumpur was formerly known as Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and is one of the most popular golf clubs in Malaysia. Also one of the best golf courses in Asia. Only located 20 minutes west of the Kuala Lumpur city centre. Equipped with 36 holes from which to choose from there are the East and West courses, both of which offer a unique experience. But if you only have one chance to play here, do play the championship West course.
The West course was completed in 2008 and offers pristine playing conditions at exceptional detail. In 2010, TPC KL West course hosted the exciting Malaysian Open for the first time and consecutively for the next 5 years until 2015. TPC KL is a members club but visitors are allowed to play here at a high price. Do not miss out on the chance to play at this championship course if you are in Malaysia.
Summary of the Best Golf Courses in Asia
There are countless more amazing golf courses in Asia but these are the ones that stand out the most with history to them. That is why we chose them as the best golf courses in Asia. Most of these courses are challenging and offer beautiful sceneries throughout your round. Do check some of them out if you are ever around these countries in Asia!
There are many great golf courses outside of Asia as well, here is a list of the best golf courses in the United States. In addition, if you are looking for golf resorts for a luxurious golf vacation, here are the best golf resorts in the world!
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