Owned and developed by Asiana Airlines, the Asiana Country Club outside of Seoul is a 36-hole facility with two courses designed by Ronald Fream and his GolfPlan team. This was surely one of the prolific teams most demanding projects, for although the mountainous site here is dramatic and attractive, it is largely inappropriate for golf. The terrain was so difficult to route holes through that an unpalatable amount of earth had to be moved to make the courses, particularly the East, playable. Not surprisingly, the result is extreme, over-shaped golf with a couple of exciting downhill shots but little else to recommend.
The West Course is played mostly through the low-lying valleys, while the East Course tumbles up and down regularly and features most of the heavy shaping, the mounds necessary to make playing areas sensible but overdone in many places.
As in Japan, the holes at Asiana have two greens and the best moments across the property tend to be where there is one exciting putting option and one that is dull. So recommendation needs to come with a disclaimer, it’s hard to rate these holes too highly because they play so differently according to which green is being used. On the West Course there are problems with the likes of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd where the alternate greens get in the way of the strategic areas for the regular target.
Aside from issues with the double greens, many of the putting surfaces themselves are unduly thin or shallow, often corn-flake shaped and excessively difficult. The East Course has several greens that are borderline silly, the right target on 12, left on 11, right/back on the 8th and even the bold left green at 18 are all extremely shallow and contoured to offer little chance at par for all except the perfect approaches.
The most memorable thing about Asiana Country Club is the cart lift from the base of the 7th green up to the 8th tee on the East Course, which pulls golfers and their carts right up the face of a rocky cliff.