American Society of Golf Course Architects

Phillips, ASGCA captures "spirit of coastline" in Korea design

The design of Kyle Phillips, ASGCA has opened at South Cape Owners Club, on the coastline of Namhae Island in southeast Korea.

The golf course is the centerpiece of a luxury golf resort community created by South Korea clothing magnate Jae Bong Chung. South Cape includes a sophisticated boutique hotel (40 suites) and spa, as well as 130 privately owned luxury sea-view villas. 

The par-72 course stretches to 6685 meters (7,313 yards) from the championship tees. There are also four additional sets of tees, offering fantastic views of the sea and neighboring islands. 

“We incorporated a links feel into what is not a true links landscape,” Phillips said. 

The bentgrass greens at South Cape offer subtle undulations and contours that create suitable hole locations for everyday play, yet provide ample positions for championship competition. South Cape has a course rating of 75.2 and slope of 138 from the championship tees. The turf for the tees and fairways is bluegrass, while the rough consists of a blend of fine fescues. 

South Cape offers variation and features memorable holes throughout, particularly on what Phillips calls “the promenade to the sea” that starts with the downhill par-5 11th hole and continues through the par-3 16th

“There is a good variety of strategy through the course,” said Phillips. “You can play bump-and-run shots, or you can be aggressive. There are multiple lines of play, depending on how you want to attack the golf course.”