Three courses to be built at resort in South Korea

This year a trio of U.S. architects will make a little personal history at a resort in the capital of Gangwon Province in northern South Korea.

Each of the architects — Arthur Hills, Kyle Phillips and Tom Weiskopf  — will be working in South Korea for the first time. Their courses are to serve as drawing cards for the Sanyosoo resort outside Chuncheon, a city of about 265,000 that’s roughly 50 miles northeast of Seoul.

Besides the golf courses, Sanyosoo will feature some houses, a large hotel and a shopping area. The developer is AM Engineering, a Seoul-based golf construction company led by Moon-Hwan “Dawson” Ahn. AM has built dozens of courses since it was founded in the mid 1990s, including Club at Nine Bridges on Jeju Island and Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon. 

Sanyosoo is AM’s first development venture. The company broke ground on the resort’s 7,400-yard Yosoo course earlier this year and expects to open it in 2011. The course was designed in house, but Steve Forrest, a principal of Hills’ Toledo, Ohio-based firm, is acting as the design consultant.

The resort’s Yosan course, which has been described as a “desert-style” track, is being designed by Weiskopf, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based architect. AM hopes to start building it this fall.

The groundbreaking for Phillips’ course, a Links-style layout called Yoha, hasn’t been set.

Sanyosoo’s courses will take shape on rugged terrain that doesn’t naturally lend itself to golf. Forrest says that he expects to move a small mountain of earth – 6 million cubic meters – to create the Yosoo course. He also said that each of the resort’s courses will include “tea houses,” which are akin to halfway houses, after holes #5 and #14, as is the custom in South Korea.

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