Driving lessons: Cambodia’s best golf courses

With golf becoming increasingly popular in Cambodia, it’s easier than ever to squeeze in a quick round or two using our guide to the kingdom’s top courses

Angkor Golf Resort

Angkor Golf Resort , Siem Reap

Designed by British golf legend Nick Faldo, Angkor Golf’s 7,279-yard course in Siem Reap features plenty of bunkers and water hazards. The course, which hosted its first club championship in September 2016, was named Best Course in Cambodia in 2015 by Asian Golf Monthly and is located just five minutes from Siem Reap International Airport and ten minutes from Angkor Wat. In an attempt to minimise its negative environmental impact, Angkor Golf recycles wastewater, uses compost kitchen waste as fertiliser and refrains from excessive use of pesticides. According to Faldo, the course “challenges all standards of golfers, from the casual weekender through to the seasoned professional”.

Garden City Golf Club, Phnom Penh

Part of a wider satellite city project on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, Garden City is managed by the global golf services firm IMG and stretches across 97 hectares. Designed to mimic the traditional links style, the course offers large, challenging greens and a par of 72. Golfers can brush up their skills on the driving range before making their way to the fairway, with lessons also available. The clubhouse contains four luxurious restaurants serving a variety of Asian and Western cuisines and boasts five-star accommodation and impressive function facilities.

Booyoung Country Club, Siem Reap

Just six kilometres from the city centre, Booyoung Country Club in Siem Reap is the largest golf complex in Temple Town. The $150m course, which was designed by Japanese golf course designer Kentaro Sato, took one year to build and features generous palm-lined fairways and an impressive array of water hazards. Wide landing areas may make players feel as if they’re in for an easy ride, but creeks and fairway sand traps crop up out of nowhere. Booyoung caters to all abilities by offering five tee positions at each hole.

Grand Phnom Penh Golf Club

Visitors to Grand Phnom Penh Golf Club in the city’s Sen Sok district will find themselves immersed in an all-inclusive township replete with a local school and shopping mall. The course was designed by the respected Nicklaus Design firm, which was founded by legendary Australian golfer Jack Nicklaus, and is one of the best maintained in Phnom Penh. Those feeling a little rusty can practise their strokes at a two-storey driving range ahead of their round. A 45-minute drive from the city centre, the course’s clubhouse boasts spa and sauna facilities, offering a pleasant reprieve from city life.

Phokeethrea Country ClubPhokeethra Country Club, Siem Reap

Having hosted the Johnnie Walker Asian PGA Tour Cambodian Open for four years from 2007 through to 2010, the Sofitel-managed Phokeethra Country Club in Siem Reap has cemented itself as one of the country’s leading golf courses. Named after an ancient Buddhist serpent spirit myth, and borrowing design elements from the wondrous Angkor temples, the course was the first in the country designed to championship-standard and is known for its difficult final hole, which requires players to negotiate a double water carry. Players can choose between English, Thai or Japanese-speaking caddies, and refreshment carts travel around the entire course throughout the day.

 

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