Asia’s Best Courses for Golf Enthusiasts

Golf is a sport that’s grown far and wide from its humble beginnings on the sheep farms of Scotland. With men and women from around the world growing up on the sport and dragging clubs about with them as they travel, its popularity in the Eastern Hemisphere has boomed in recent decades. This boom has resulted in numerous world-class golf courses and resorts popping up all over the Asia-Pacific. Here are the ten best – the ones golf lovers need to be trying out on their holidays:

#1 Hokkaido Golf Club, Hokkaido, Japan

Photo by Hokkaido Golf Club

Hokkaido Golf Club, located in the southwest area of Japan’s northernmost island, about an hour outside of Sapporo, features two world-class golf courses, the Eagle and the Lion. The Eagle is reminiscent of American golf courses, whereas the Lion was designed in the traditional Scottish style. The clubhouse has swimming facilities, pro-shop, and a restaurant. Just a half-hour drive away is the Hokkaido Classic Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus design that opened in 1991.

Open May to October

Reserve a tee time here 

#2 Niseko Village Golf Course, Hokkaido, Japan

Photo by Niseko Village

When the snow melts in Hokkaido, the golf season begins. Ski resorts are often the sites of excellent golf courses. Niseko is no exception – the area features two golf courses that open once the ski season ends and slowly bloom into lush paradises. Designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer, the Niseko Village Golf Course is routed beautifully through nearby forests at the foot of the mountains, with exceptional views of Mt Yotei. Niseko Village is a bustling, artsy town, bursting with culture and nightlife.

Open from May to October

Reserve a tee time here

#3 Santiburi, Koh Samui, Thailand

Photo by soulrider67

Located along the hills of Northern Koh Samui, Santiburi stretches across the hills and slopes down towards the Gulf of Thailand, boasting breathtaking views of the crystal clear waters. Waterfalls and creeks run through the course adding plenty of lush, natural beauty. One of the top courses in the country, Santiburi Koh Samui has hosted a PGA Asian Tour event for years. The course is kept in tournament-ready shape year-round, for an elevated golf experience that matches the luxury of the resort.

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here 

#4 Royal Samui Golf & Country Club, Koh Samui, Thailand

Photo from Royal Samui

While it only features nine holes of golf, the Royal Samui Golf & Country Club is worth your time for the unique setting and lovely scenery on display. It’s nestled in a remote mountaintop location above Chaweng and Lamai in Koh Samui, Thailand. While the difficult mountaintop climate sometimes leaves the fairways a bit worse for the wear, the incredible views of the surrounding mountainsides and even mainland Thailand on a clear day more than makeup for it. Your rangefinder will thank you for measuring amazing drives. The dramatic elevation changes and frequent high winds make for a challenging and unique golf experience. With huge boulders and palm trees dotting the fairways, there’s an IG-able shot on nearly every hole.

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here 

#5 Laguna Golf Phuket, Phuket, Thailand

Photo by Laguna Golf Phuket

Laguna Golf Phuket sports is not only a championship golf course but also a fantastic PGA-branded golf academy. With patient instructors and a holistic approach that focuses on all aspects of the golf game from fitness to course management (and, of course, swing lessons), you’re sure to find numerous ways to lower your scores and have more fun on the course. Laguna Golf’s layout highlights sustainable environmental conservation and features scenic lagoons, coconut groves and undulating fairways. It was recently redesigned to reach world-class standards.

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here

#6 Bali National Golf Club, Bali, Indonesia

Photo by Bali National Golf Club

Canyon and native vegetation with tropical birds around, the holes on this course offer the ability for any golfer to test their game in the presence of nature’s best landscapes. Being awarded the “Best Renovated Golf Course” in 2014, Bali National has nothing to envy compared to its North American rivals. The wide fairways of the golf course wind through desert, jungle and oceanfront landscapes to keep the golf fresh and exciting. Bali National should be on every golfer’s bucket list.

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here 

#7 Queenstown Golf Club, Queenstown, New Zealand

Photo by Queenstown Golf Club

Fans of the Lord of the Rings movies have been flocking to New Zealand ever since the release of the epic trilogy to take in the grand vistas that the island delivers. But golfers have a great reason to check out the land of the kiwis: Queenstown Golf Club. The mountainside backdrops and oceanfront greens are beautiful enough to draw non-golfers out who want to walk the course to see the sights. The majestic setting on a peninsula of the amphitheatre created by the appropriately-named Remarkable Mountains is one of the best pieces of land in the world. Quite frankly, golfers are lucky that there’s a golf course there.

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here 

#8 Banyan The Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand

Photo by R. Chatsiri

Banyan Golf Club opened in 2008 to rapturous acclaim and quickly established itself as Thailand’s premier golf resort. The lush course has a bit of everything, from gorgeous views of the Burmese Mountains to a signature par 3 overlooking the ocean. The area enjoys beautiful tropical weather year-round and offers numerous world-class dining options, beaches, infinity pools and spas. The mountain sunset view from Mulligan’s Pub and Terrace Restaurant is stunning.

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here 

#9 Daemyung Resort, Gangwon-Do, South Korea

Photo from Daemyung Resort Website

The four golf courses at Daemyung Resort look like they’ve been plucked from a video game. With fairways that wind around lakes and drop sharply down mountainsides, it offers some of the most dramatic views you’ll ever find on a golf course. There are three 18-hole courses, a nine-hole executive course, and a par three course for tons of variety. Each course is beautifully executed and provides eye-popping vistas of the East Sea and Mt. Seorak. The resort offers a bevvy of activities, from horseback riding to skiing to yachting and jet-skiing options. Don’t miss Ocean World, a sprawling water park with an indoor Aqua Zone and a thrilling outdoor Extreme Zone!

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here

#10 FLC Luxury Resort, Quy Nhon, Vietnam

Photo by FLC website

The first thing you should head to is the FLC Quy Nhon Golf Links. Two courses will be there to make sure you have an on-par golf experience: the Mountain Course and the Ocean Course. The former, a Schmidt-Curley-designed course, will make you fall in love with the scenery as it follows the hillside and offers views of the South China Sea from the majority of its holes. Expect lots of fairways and bunkers that nicely fit into the sandy scenery. The latter, the Jack Nicklaus Ocean Course, will make you come back for more with the South China Sea in clear view pretty much everywhere.

Open Year-Round

Reserve a tee time here

Feel like a round or two?

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Jordan Fuller

Jordan Fuller is a golf enthusiast who has been on the golf course for more than 25 years. His experience with golf led him to visit many golf resorts around the world including many in Asia. Learn more about Jordan at www.golfinfluence.com

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