Top 10 Best Golf Courses In Asia

Asia is one of the most famous destinations for golf lovers and luxurious golf courses. With golf sport developing faster in recent years, the demand for golf spots is rising, and these best golf courses in Asia will be great choices if you are looking for different experiences.
November 18, 2021 | 11:43

If you are looking for a good golf course to play in, Asia is one of the best choices for you. Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world, with approximately four and a half billion people. There are many amazing and luxury golf courses with great services here.

1. Hirono Golf Club

Photo:  Top 100 Golf Courses
Photo: Top 100 Golf Courses

In 1930, Captain Charles Hugh Alison traveled to Japan to design a course for Tokyo Golf Club. His partner, Harry Colt had been asked to carry out the design but he felt he was too old to travel so Alison went instead. The impact which his three-month-long visit had on Japanese golf was immeasurable. He carried out the design work for the new course requested for Tokyo, provided input to the course being built on the coast at Kawana, designed a second course at the same resort, advised at Kasumigaseki, the venue which will host the Olympics in 2020 but it is Hirono which he will most be remembered and revered for.

The course he routed (the layout plans and green plans have been preserved in the Club records) is regarded as one of the worldwide classics and the bunkering is shown in the early photographs of the course is remarkable in its detail and naturalness of appearance, according to Mackenzi & Ebert.

Hirono has played host to all the major Japanese championships and, although it measures a mere 6,925 yards from the back tees, it’s a supreme test of golf. It just goes to show that if you employ clever and thoughtful design, you don’t need to fashion a 7,500-yard monster to create challenge and intrigue. We must briefly mention the green sites at Hirono. They are pure magical theatre, with most raised proudly on plateaux, protected jealously by deep bold bunkering, according to Top 100 Golf Courses.

2. Kawana Resort (Fuji Course)

Photo:  Prince Hotels & Resorts
Photo: Prince Hotels & Resorts

Kawana is a stunning resort on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean that is rightly known as “The Pebble Beach of Japan. Located only 75 miles south of Tokyo, Kawana features a 140-room hotel in the tradition of imperial art deco and 240-acres of dramatic golf. The Fuji Course was designed by Englishman Charles H. Alison and opened in 1936 to worldwide acclaim, thanks to its dramatic slopes, long views over the bluff, and the stirring presence of open water. Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji is visible on the back nine – thus the name of this rightly famous golf course.

Many golf tournaments have been held on the Fuji course and the most memorable one would be the World Amateur Golf Team Championship for the Eisenhower Trophy held in 1962. And recently, it has been the site of the well-known Fuji Sankei Classic.

The 11th hole is a 568-yard par-five - the longest hole on the Fuji Course - and Mt Fuji can be seen to the left. An interesting feature of this hole is that the green is at the foot of the lighthouse. If you glance at the lighthouse, you will immediately notice that it’s shaped like a tee peg. This and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean is a feature of this course.

The 15th is a 415-yard downhill par five with beautiful scenery that is very reminiscent of Pebble Beach in California. The unsuspecting golfer will soon discover the undulating fairway as it extends along the sea and this hole is often singled out as one of the most difficult and challenging.

The par three 16th measures 172 yards but although short in length, it is perhaps the hardest hole on the course because the green is on the top of the small hill.

3. South Cape Owners Club


Located just off the southeast coast of South Korea, on Namhae Island, is the South Cape Golf Club, a high-class public course a little over two hours from Busan by road and 40-minutes from Sacheon Airport. Designed by golf course architect Kyle Phillips this 18-hole links-style course is situated along a dramatic seaside cliff providing golfers with scenic views throughout their round.

Although the total length of this par 72 course is quite short by modern standards, at just 6,685-metres from the championship tees, the combination of the difference in topography and numerous obstacles such as the steep cliffs combine to present quite a challenge. South Cape's fairways spread out along the rias coast surrounded by the rocks of the rugged cape which protrudes into the sea, and players can enjoy golfing with a view of the sea decorated with small and large islands.

While links courses are mostly flat elsewhere, South Cape Owners Club has a high hill in the center which gives a three-dimensional feeling and also provides for a versatile layout. The course is also laid out over a vast area of approximately 2,000,000 square meters allowing for fairways that are relatively wide and open, according to Golf Property.

4. Naruo Golf Club

Photo:  GolfPass
Photo: GolfPass

Among Japan’s most famous classic courses, the Naruo Golf Club was initially founded on seaside land in 1920 by British ex-pats but shifted into the untouched hills outside Osaka during 1930. Scottish professional Joe Crane and his brother Harry designed the layout on beautifully rolling ground that included a pronounced gully dissecting the property, which proved a useful feature on several keyholes. When C.H. Alison made his landmark journey to Japan he spent a week at Naruo with Harry Crane and provided the club with a report on a number of possible course alterations.

The Naruo course was steadily expanded, and in 1924 a full 18 holes were completed. But in 1927, severe economic constraints forced the course to be shortened to nine holes.

The Club members were desperate for a new course, so they entrusted its development to the club's most stalwart members, the Crane brothers—Joe E., Harry C., and Bertie E. Crane. Every weekend the brothers inspected candidate sites all over the Kansai area until they happened upon the location where the present course was built.

In the mid-1990s Naruo became internationally famous through photos taken in May 1992 by the well-known golf photographer Brian Morgan. Morgan was the official photographer for the four major worldwide tournaments and a master of his craft. His shots of Naruo, taken with great skill and discerning perspective, make the course come alive, artistically depicting one of Japan's oldest courses with grace and dignity.

5. Lanhai International Country Club (Yangtze Dunes)

Photo:  Golf Property
Photo: Golf Property

Set out across reclaimed land on Chongming Island in the estuary of the mighty Yangtze River, the two 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed layouts at Lanhai International Country Club (named Links and Forest) were first unveiled within twelve months of one another, starting in August of 2011.

Shortly after the Links course hosted its third edition of the Lanhai Open on the PGA Tour China professional circuit in 2016, new club owners decided to completely renovate the course and rebrand it as Yangtze Dunes.

It was the site's almost ideal sandy base that encouraged the designers to create a true links track with their new layout, and certainly, the course is dramatic - standing out from nearly every golf course that currently exists in Asia. While length is certainly rewarded here, Yangtze Dunes encourages players to use their imagination to find the best way around, avoiding the worst of the hazards and leaving the best angles.

Unusually for China, 8-kilometres of cart paths were removed during the recent redevelopment and the par 72 course is now walking only. Fortunately, the club's elegant Tuscan-style clubhouse provides an excellent spot to recuperate after a round in either the bar or restaurant and there are further amenities available at the resort, according to Golf Property.

6. Nine Bridges Golf Club

Photo: Nine Bridges

The game of golf has grown rapidly in South Korea, particularly on the popular southern holiday island of Jeju, home to the super-exclusive Club at Nine Bridges. Founded by the grandson of the Samsung visionary, the course takes its name from the eight stone bridges that span the site’s lakes and wandering creeks, the ninth bridge being a metaphoric link between the club, its members, and the game of golf.

Nine Bridges is located 600 yards up Mt. Halla and surrounded by National Park. A pure golf experience without any outside distraction or residential component, the club cost close to US $100 million to build and is best remembered for what are superbly maintained bentgrass playing surfaces. Beyond great grass, the fairway shaping is also at a higher level than most courses in Korea. Designer Ronald Fream thankfully concentrated less on mounding here and more on creating realistic internal movement and natural-looking golf holes.

In all, there are eight bridges built on the course, the ninth of the Club’s name is metaphorical; that which connects the club to its members and guests. Nine Bridges, completed in 2001, is that rare combination of a great golf course in a stunning setting. There’s no mistaking the purpose here. It has been designed to be a championship course on a large scale. And by dint of its stunning location, excellent design, bent grass fairways, tees and greens, and pristine conditioning, it succeeds.

Nine Bridges has good conditioned facilities and top quality service, where cottages, a villa, swimming pool, Spa, and multiple complexes ensure a good after-the-round experience.

7. Tokyo Golf Club

Photo: Golf Savers
Photo: Golf Savers

Toyko, one of Asia's most prominent cities home to over 20 million residents, boasts a unique golf culture. It is also one of the few cities in the world to host an Olympic golf competition as the host of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. The host club for the Olympics is Kasumigaseki Country Club, which is home to 36 holes. Tiger Woods earned his 82nd victory in Japan in the nearby city of Chiba in the 2019 ZoZo Championship at Narashino Country Club. Golfers who live and work in the sprawling metropolis likely have access to the game one of two ways - either at a private club or one of the dozens of ranges and simulators dispersed throughout an urban landscape.

Komyo Ohtani who studied in England laid out the course in 1940. Ohtani was an admirer of London’s brilliant sandbelt courses and he brought a sprinkling of Surrey to Tokyo Golf Club. Two sets of greens for each hole are common at Japanese golf clubs, one is generally in play during the summer and the other is generally wintergreen, seeded with a more hardy strain of grass. Tokyo Golf Club employs this dual green system. “This permits variation in length and difficulty of the holes with some cost to the visual impact of the holes at the margin.” Writes James Spence, but he goes on to say that Tokyo “is a delight to play but the back nine has a little more feature and more pronounced bunkering than the front.”

8. Bluffs Ho Tram Strip

Photo: Leading Courses
Photo: Leading Courses

The Greg Norman-designed Bluffs Ho Tram Strip golf course is located 80 kilometers southeast of Ho Chi Minh City in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province on the southern Vietnamese coastline. It takes around 2 hours to reach a mix of highway and local roads from Ho Chi Minh City. The Bluffs Ho Tram is a unique links-style par-71 golf course on a rugged site often accompanied by strong onshore breezes.

The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip has some of the best geographical traits for a top golf course layout. For example, the whole site sits on a coastal plateau with 50-meter elevation changes from the highest to lowest point with hole routing among towering seaside dunes. The course built on sandy loam soil has native crawling vegetation. This creates excellent drainage and turf conditions. Next, being exposed to high sea winds at specific times through the year plays havoc and creates an exciting challenge for even the best seasoned golfers. The links course also makes for a golf experience as much a feast for the eyes as challenging, according to Golf Asian.

9. Ayodhya Links

Photo: Gary Libson
Photo: Gary Libson

Formed in 2007 by thirty of Thailand’s wealthiest people, Ayodhya Links is one of the most exclusive golf clubs in Asia. Membership to the club is by invitation so only the great and the good of Thai society mingle in the clubhouse – and unless you’re closely acquainted with one of these invitees, don’t hold your breath on getting a game here anytime soon.

The design company of Thomson and Perrett drafted the ground plan, but the finished article was created by the current Owner/Chairman, Pitak Intrawityanunt, and he’s produced a tough track where water lies in wait at each and every one of the eighteen holes on the scorecard. If you add rolling fairways, lightning-fast greens, and a variety of deep bunkers into the golfing mix then it’s easy to see why Ayodhya is regarded as a real test of golf.

Unlike most coastal links the par 72 Ayodhya Links is located above a vast marshland that has been turned into undulating terrain and the streams and lakes, scattered throughout the course, are made by pumping water from underground. The 79 dramatically shaped bunkers and undulating greens of the 7,639-yard layout are intended to challenge the player's vision and precision on every shot.

10. Hoiana Shores Golf Club

Photo:  Elinkgolf
Photo: Elinkgolf

Constructed by the Hong Kong-based Linksshape company and designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the course at Hoiana Shores Golf Club lies within an enormous 2,500-acre site to the south of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as The City of Lanterns. Fittingly, the pins on every green are adorned with lanterns instead of flags.

The golf course is the first component of the Hoiana Integrated Resort development that will ultimately include more than 1,000 rooms, suites, and villas laid out along four kilometers of beach, along with pools and restaurants, a beach club, an entertainment facility, and a whole host of retail partners.

Set out as two returning nines on a coastal property comprised entirely of pure sand, the course is grassed with TifEagle Bermuda greens, while tees and fairways feature Zeon Zoysia. The round at Hoiana Shores reaches a climax on the back nine with the greens on holes 15, 16, and 17 all located close to the shoreline, where the wind comes right off the sea, according to top100golfcourses.

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