Tourism in Korea is growing faster than in many other countries in East Asia. There are ancient Buddhist monasteries and extravagant urban fashion, nature reserves and eco-walking routes, spas, beaches and exotic Korean cuisine.
History and traditions are very honoured In Korea, but the new fashionable phenomena are also viewed with interest. Golf has become one of those unobvious tourist trends for Korea.
Golf was brought to Korea by foreigners at the very beginning of the 20th century and for a long time it was considered a foreign fad. Koreans became involved in this sport only in the 20s, and golf immediately became a sign of status, since only rich people could afford this hobby. However, in 1993, the situation changed dramatically when president Kim Yong Sam forbade playing golf to officials so that they intersect with businessmen less and did not take bribes, so he planned to reduce the level of corruption. As a result, golf has become significantly cheaper, and since then it has been considered entertainment for the middle class in Korea. And this is the first advantage of Korea as a country for golf tourism: it is as cool as in Japan or the USA, but at the same time not extremely expensive.
Relatively low prices are not the only reason to choose Korea for a golf tour. There is a very beautiful nature, quite a lot of places in this country that are suitable for golf courses, and golf courses are being built there very actively, as there are more and more people every year willing to play golf. This is due to the fact that playing golf has become not only fashionable, but also promising for a career: among Korean businessmen and lawyers it is considered a good tone to be able to play golf and discuss matters on golf courses.
There are more and more golf courses appear, their quality is increasing, and the prices for club membership remain low. It also works for the prestige of the country: South Korean golfers have achieved great success at a professional level, therefore they do not spare money and efforts for it.
What is a golf course?
First of all, golf courses really look like a Windows screensaver - it is always a very picturesque landscape: bright green grass and a perfectly flat lawn. On modern golf courses there is almost the entire infrastructure, which can be useful in the game. In golf clubs, as a rule, there is a restaurant or cafe, a sauna, sometimes the whole spa. There are also more modest golf courses, where is only a field and a dressing room and they are usually located not far from universities.
How is the golf trip going?
For the first time it's best to go for a week on a golf trip. If less, you will not have time to get involved in the process, and more for beginners may already be a bit much.
At first it's usually scheduled sightseeing tour to get familiar with the city, and starting from the next day you will visit new golf courses every day. There is normally no organized evening program, as by the evening there is no energy left, but for those who wish, the restaurants, bars, shops and additional tours would be recommended.
You will visit the city well-known golf club Bear's Best Cheongna, in which there are even three fields, as well as a restaurant, a coffeeshop and a Finnish sauna. The largest of them is 9 525 m long, and the landscapes around all three fields are very beautiful - rich flora and several small ponds.
The next point of the program is the SKY72 Golf & Resort golf club, the largest in Northeast Asia (the total area is almost 26 sq. km). There are four golf courses in total, but one is worth special attention - Hanul Course. It is located among the rocks, valleys and mountains at the same time, which somewhat resembles the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but the most important thing is that from the field there is a great view to the ocean.
Most of the South Korea tours usually begin in Seoul and start from exploring the city. You will see the famous Seoul's palaces, including Gyeongbokgung (1395), which is known for its controversial history and is considered one of the most beautiful in the country.
Traditional Korean houses are preserved in the village of Bukchon Hanok in the heart of Seoul. Now many of them are no longer residential, and souvenir shops, cultural and tea centers have been opened there, but despite the tourist rush, this place has managed to preserve its atmosphere.
From antiquity to modernity: from the village you will go to Insadong street, a popular walking place among tourists and locals. There are many cafes, restaurants and really amazing souvenir shops.
A trip to South Korea is not considered successful unless you visit the local market. In Seoul, this is definitely the Kwangjan market, opened in 1905. Many shops have been here for more than a dozen years and have changed several generation of owners. Even if you are not going to buy anything, be sure to stop by to have a snack, the local specialty is bindae-tteok (flat cakes stuffed with vegetables and minced meat).
Where to book a tour
Golf tours - is not a wholesale trend, such tours are usually organized individually at the request of the client. And in this situation it is very important to turn to professionals who have reliable partners among golf clubs, hotels, etc.