Making the rounds

Cambodia is fast making a name for itself as a golfing destination. Discover breaks down the Kingdom’s best fairways for a day on the links

Phokeethra Country Club

Where: 15km west of Siem Reap

Length: 7,145 yards

Best hole: 7, nice par 3 over water

Phokeethra played host to the Johnnie Walker Cambodian Open, part of the PGA’s Asian Tour, four years in a row between 2007 and 2010, which established it as one of the country’s top courses. The design is inspired by the ancient temples of Angkor, hence the club’s motto: “Tee off in the 11th century, finish your round in the 21st century.” Natural lagoons and other water hazards make this a tricky round, but those who need a little extra help can choose from between four tees available for each hole.

Siem Reap Booyoung Country Club

Where: 12km from Siem Reap centre

Length: 7,396 yards

Best hole: 13, tantalising par 3 with both
water and sand hazards

Booyoung Country Club is Siem Reap’s third international standard golf course, and was designed by Japanese course architect Kentaro Sato. The course is visually stunning and tricky – there is almost as much water as grass, along with creeks and fairway sand traps. If the golf all gets a bit too much, players can relax in the clubhouse’s elaborate saunas or dine on excellent Korean cuisine.

Garden City Golf Club

Where: 15km northeast of central Phnom Penh

Length: 6,922 yards

Best hole: 18, classic finishing hole with a dangerous water hazard

Garden City, opened in 2013, is the rising star on the Cambodian golf scene. The 97-hectare course was designed to mimic the traditional links style, with large, challenging greens. It was named the nation’s best golf course at the 2018 World Golf Awards, but has more to offer, with its five-star hotel and dining and event facilities. Even waiting for tee time offers an opportunity for a world-class experience at Garden City’s five-star driving range, with its 36 bays, plus putting and chipping greens.

Angkor Golf Resort

Where: Siem Reap, 10 minutes from Angkor Wat

Length: 7,279 yards

Best hole: 13, tricky par 5 with lots of bunkers

This Nick Faldo-designed course scooped first place in the 2018 Asian Golf Awards, the fourth time the course has won the industry’s “equivalent to the Oscars”. It sits a stone’s throw – or, shall we say, a short swing away – from the iconic Angkor Wat temple complex, which offers a stunning backdrop. It features bunkers and water hazards galore, and, as its website says, “challenges all standards of golfers, from the casual weekender through to the seasoned professional”.

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