Seeing green

by Jeff Liebsch
Busan Haps Magazine

BUSAN, South Korea -- There are quite a few local clubs around Gyeongsang Province that cater to golf enthusiasts, as well as the large-netted driving ranges and indoor screen golf seemingly on every other corner.

If you are looking to shoot a round of the real thing, here are a few local courses that, while putting a decent dent in your pocket, will give you a day of serenity (depending on your golf ability) on the greens.

Asiad Country Club
Busan Asiad Country Club’s 27-hole course opened back in 2002. Located just outside of Gijang, it was designed by famed course designer Perry O. Dye. Broken up into three sections, the Valley, Pine and Lake courses all provide a challenging day on the links.

Facilities: Club house, driving range, tea house, restaurant, pro shop
Fee: 160,000 - 195,000 (non-members)

Busan Country Club
This 66-year-old Busan Country Club sits right across from Geumjeong Stadium. Originally located in Haeundae, the 18-hole, par-72 course moved to Nopo-dong in 1971, and has since been longtime local favorite. It is closed on the first and third Monday of each month.

Facilities: Club house, restaurant, pro shop, indoor practice range
Fee: 169,000 - 189,000 (non-members)

Changwon Country Club
Bongrim-dong in Changwon is home to this 18 hole, 6,370 yard course, located near Bongrim-sa temple. Phone and Internet reservations are available, and it is open year-round, though closed on the first Monday of every month. The course is open from sunrise to sunset.

Facilities: Club house, restaurant, golf shoes for rent, practice ground
Fee: 165,000 - 195,000 (non-members)

Dongnae Benest Country Club
Located in Dongnae, the 18-hole, 6,646-yard course was opened in 1971. Go to Namsan-dong subway, and it's located next to the Chimrae Hospital. It is known as one of the more beautiful courses in the country, adorned by cherry blossom trees.

Facilities: Club house, restaurant, pro shop, practice and indoor range
Fee: 160,000 - 205,000 (non-members)

Gimhae Gaya Country Club
Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Sineosan, this 13,497-acre course is 40 minutes from the Busan Express Bus Terminal. Situated in Gimhae, this 54-hole course has 45 holes open only for members, while just nine can be used by the general public. It's open from sunrise to sunset, but is closed every second and fourth Monday of the month.

Facilities: Club house, gazebos, driving range, pool, training, soccer/sports field.
Fee: 90,000 - 160,000 won (non-members)

Haeundae Country Club
This 27-hole course is located within a natural forest with a beautiful view of the East Sea in Gijang. The facility prides itself in the layout of the course, as well as their service. The course is broken up into three sections: the Golden, Silk and Royal course.

Facilities: Club house, five tea houses, 200m driving range, restaurant, pro shop, sauna
Fee: 150,000 - 195,000 (non-members)

Highest Country Club
This nine-hole, par-36 public course, located in Gangseo-gu, is both scenic and challenging. Night lights are also installed, so you can enjoy golfing no matter what time of day you want to hit the greens.

Facilities: Club house, sauna, meeting rooms, banquet hall, pro shop, restaurant
Fee: 65,000 - 105,000 (non-members)

Tong-do Country Club
Located in nearby Yangsan, this 36-hole course is divided into northern and southern halves. With its close proximity to Busan, you can be surrounded by beautiful scenery in the afternoon, and be back in the city for your dinner meeting. Located near the Fantasia Theme Park, off the Gyeongbu Expressway.

Facilities: Clubhouse, tea house and spa, putting and pitching area, pro shop.
Fee: 130,000 - 195,000 (non-members)

The Cheaper Alternative
If you can’t afford to pay all the fees to play a regular course, why not try screen golf? There are many screen golf facilities to choose from around the city, and for about 1,000 won a hole, it’s a cheaper alternative which allows you to play at your pace, without the walking or worry over the elements. Haps recommends the 075 Screen Golf Center, located next to Me World in Millak-dong near Gwangan beach. 051-757-5075

Please note there may be additional fees for caddies, carts and rentals. Prices may change without notice.

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