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Asia’s best golf holes

 

If you weren’t in the mood for a tee-off already, you’ll be absolutely gasping for the golf course by the time you finish reading this – our pick of the best holes in Asia (plus check out all the sexy images below).

Amata Spring Country Club, Bangkok, Thailand
The 17th hole 
Par 3, 145 yards

There are over 200 golf courses in Thailand so it takes something special to be on experienced golfers’ must-play list. Amata Spring Country Club is the host venue of the International Final Qualifying and Thailand Golf Championship, part of the Asian Tour schedule. It also boasts the only floating green in Asia. So you might want to pack you swimmers for the par-three 17th hole because you’ll be in the water if your 8-iron isn’t perfect. In fact, the green is on its own little island, so you’ll need to be on in one before you can board the boat to finish the hole. 

Green fees: Members only
The rub of the green from: Calvin Koh, Asian Tour

 

Sky Lake Resort & Golf Club, Vietnam
The 13th hole  
Par 3, 212 yards

Take a deep breath and close your eyes before you tee off at the 13th because its scenery could be a ruinous distraction. Located in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Sky Lake Resort & Golf Club is surrounded by magnificent mountains and a large natural lake called Van Son. The course often has quite an ethereal feel so many golfers play a round there wondering if the gods are watching. The resort also has pool villas to stay in and a spa with lots of other activities so it’s one weekend the whole family might enjoy.

Green fees: Weekdays US$20. Weekends US$35
The rub of the green from: Calvin Koh, Asian Tour

 

Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, Hong Kong
The 5th hole  
Par 4, 354 yards

 Known as the canyon hole, hole five at Clearwater Bay is a dogleg right: you’ll be playing your second shot blind to get the ball over a cliff.  The fairway is very tight, so even the smallest slice off the tee will see your ball heading for bushes or ocean. But even if you duff a couple of shots, the spectacular views of the mountains and sea will lift the spirits. The course ranks third on the independent golfing website Top 100 Golf Courses (top100golfcourses.co.uk). 

Green fees: HK$2000

 

World Classic Course, Laguna National Golf & Country Club, Singapore
The 17th hole  
Par 3, 161 yards

 The brainchild of renowned golf course designer Andy Dye, the World Classic Course was inspired by the historic courses in Scotland, Ireland and the US, so Laguna is his shot at creating “the world’s best holes in one course”. Consequently the course has been rated one of the most difficult in Singapore. The 17th has an island green that’s three times bigger than the 17th at Sawgrass in Florida – one of the most photographed holes in the world. Once you make it on to the green there’s large movement for testing putts, and a mistake will almost certainly cost you your ball along with your pride. It’s risk-reward golf at its finest.  

Green fees: One year golfing membership costs S$25,000, no further green fees payable

 

Ocean Course, Ria Bintan, Indonesia
The 18th
hole  
Par 4, 487 yards

One of the toughest finishing holes in the region, the 18th here at Ria Bintan is a long dogleg with water to the left and dense forest to the right. A well-struck drive from the championship tees should find a generous landing area but you’ll need at least a 5-wood or a hybrid for the approach shot – and you’ll need to mind the lake that extends right up to the green. It’s a good hole to challenge a low handicap.

Green fees: Weekdays S$159. Weekends $219

 

Mission Hills Phuket Golf Resort & Spa, Thailand
The 4th hole  
Par 3, 180 yards

The Nicklaus-designed course at Mission Hills offers its first ocean view at the 4th. The green is flanked by sand, sea and a stunning back drop. The long bunkers mean that golfers who push the ball out to the right will find it a very tricky pitch back to the green from an uneven lie.

Green fees: THB4,500

 

The East Course, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, Malaysia
The 15th hole 
Par 3, 122 yards

 A tee area next to a large waterfall in front of the Malay kampung-style halfway house marks the beginning of this challenging par 3 on the East Course. The left side of the island green is a little more open and forgiving with a small section of fairway before the carpet. But a precise short iron is necessary to avoid the deep water all around. A ridge splits the green in two so long putts over the uphill and downhill sections are difficult to judge.

Green fees: Weekdays RM424. Weekends RM493.25
The rub of the green from: Alan Lee, MST Golf

 

Lake Course, Spring City Golf & Lake Resort, Kunming, China
The 7th hole
Par 4, 388 yards

 Overlooking Yangzong Lake in Southwest China, Spring City’s Lake Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, is widely regarded as China’s best course. The dramatic 7th hole has a spectacular panorama of the lake and rolling green fields being buffeted by the wind. You have to play straight into a headwind and drive well left to the open fairway. 

Green fees: Weekdays RMB2,000. Weekends RM2,400

 

Fuji Course, Kawana Hotel Golf Course, Ito, Japan
The 15th hole 
Par 5, 470 yards

 “This paradise… lies among the hills beyond the hot springs of Ito on a pine-covered plateau bordered by red cliffs which descend down to the blue sea,” wrote Charles H. Alison, designer of Kawana Hotel Golf Course. And he didn’t even mention that most of the holes offer Mount Fuji as a backdrop. It’s also one of the world’s few golf courses with an outdoor escalator that helps you up steep terrain to the 5th tee. The par-five 15th is played on a high cliff with dramatic views and you can hear the waves crashing below you. You won’t want to play long onto the green as there’s a very steep drop off behind. 

Green fees: Only hotel guests can play. Weekdays JPY25, 000. Weekends JPY33,000.

 

Pinx Golf Club, South Korea
The 5th hole

From the 5th at Pinx Golf Club players can see both Sangban Mountain and the ocean beneath it. The course is on Jeju Island just south of the Korean mainland and was rated tenth in the 100 best golf courses in the world compiled by US Golf Digest.

 

Club Intramuros, Manila, The Philippines
The 2nd hole
Par 4, 259 yard

It may be a left field choice for this list as Club Intramuros doesn’t boast fantastic scenery or fresh air. But being built within the walled city of Intramuros in the early 1900s, the course unusually serves as a walk through the country’s history. The 2nd hole runs along the Postigo del Palacio; a gate that was used as a secret entrance and exit for the Governor General and the Archbishop of Manila when they wanted to leave the walls unnoticed. The hole is a slight dogleg to the right and plays to a very difficult green that slopes away from the golfer. Play at night after your last meeting and enjoy the novelty of a round in the heart of one of the world’s busiest cities.

Green fees: PHP1,800
The rub of the green from: Pinoy Golfer Blog

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