Industry News

Whistling Rock gains South Korea honor

© Joann Dost Golf Editions

© Joann Dost Golf Editions

Chuncheon, South Korea (Sept. 5, 2017) -  Whistling Rock Country Club has been named the No. 1 course in South Korea by Golf Magazine Korea (also known as SEOUL ECONOMY Golf Magazine).  Whistling Rock, a private club which opened in 2011, is located about one hour northeast of Seoul in the foothills of the Gangwon Provincial mountains.

Whistling Rock is known for its challenging, naturalistic design and rugged mountain environment. The 27-hole course, originally designed by architect Ted Robinson, Jr., was recently refined by Eric Iverson, Senior Associate with Tom Doak’s Renaissance Golf Design of Traverse City, Michigan. Iverson’s work focused on softening the greens and finding more pin positions, but he also improved the overall playability and strategy of the course from tee to green.    

The project was completed in April 2017 and 15 holes were modified.  Six holes received significant alterations in the renovation, including changing hole 8 on the Temple course from a par 3 to a par 4 and hole 9 from a par 4 to a par 3, resulting in a more strategic short par 4 and a beautiful and challenging one-shot finishing hole. Other holes had fairways reshaped and widened, bunker positions changed, and fescue areas enlarged, all to enhance strategic play. Seven holes had greens reshaped, resulting in more pin positions, with some bunkers removed and new chipping areas introduced. Two holes received minor adjustments to tees and fairways, with all the changes designed to increase enjoyment and variety.

The composite of the Cocoon and Temple nine-hole layouts was recognized with the No. 1 distinction.

Whistling Rock has made an impression on golfers by emphasizing the harmony of art and nature, where design and natural elements fit well together on each hole in consideration of the mountain environment of Korea.

© Joann Dost Golf Editions

© Joann Dost Golf Editions

"The selection of this year's courses rewarded golf clubs which have made efforts to improve their courses through remodeling projects," said Kim Woon-yong, panel chairman of Korea's Top 10 courses. "We did our best to evaluate fairly and objectively because the competition is getting tougher each year."

"Korea's Top 10 Courses" recognition has been conducted every two years since 2003 by Seoul Economy Golf Magazine to inform the world of the courses in Korea and to present the standard by which golf courses in South Korea are evaluated. A panel of 55 professionals is comprised of golf industry, academia, course designers, and media. From February to May, evaluations by panelists are submitted and combined with public surveys.  In 2017, 351 courses were eligible to be evaluated in nine different categories: shot value, fairness, sense of rhythm, course conditioning, aesthetics, safety, facility, staff hospitality, and ‘contribution to the golf industry.’  Panelists’ votes account for 90% of the total and the public vote for 10%.

Whistling Rock Country Club is owned and operated by Taekwang Group, a large South Korean conglomerate with holdings in textiles, petrochemical, cable television, financial services, and leisure development.

For additional information about Whistling Rock Country Club, access the web site at

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Karen Moraghan|
Hunter Public Relations