Asia’s Most Challenging Golf Courses

Golfers fall in love with courses for their beautiful views, world-class services, and impeccable layouts. Some golfers also have a love to hate relationship with all those courses that really test their ability. The golfscape team has been researching the most challenging courses to play in Asia with the help of journalists, professional golfers, and designers. Take a look at the golf courses that give an incredible game whilst also leaving players determined to complete some of the hardest holes in Asia.

★ All of the courses with stars alongside their names are golf clubs that have been recommended to us by industry leaders. Underneath these courses you will find their comments on why they stood out as the most challenging golf courses to play in Asia.

1. West Course, TPC Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

Located in the lush hilltop setting of Bukit Kiara, TPC Kuala Lumpur is home to two courses, East and West. The 18 hole championship West Course underwent a redesign in 2007 that modernised the tournament play strategy. The most challenging hole on the course is the 16th, a risk versus reward decision that will make or break a player’s score on this drive-able par 4.

2. Eden Course, Hong Kong Golf Club, Hong Kong

Since 1959 a hole named “The Ultimate” is the finisher for players every year at the Hong Kong Open, European Tour, and Asian Tour at the Hong Kong Golf Club. “The Ultimate” is the 18th hole on the world renowned Eden Course and is one of Asia’s most notorious holes. The 18th has resulted in drama, frustration, and some slight joy for those lucky players over the last six decades. Nevertheless, there are too many victims of the hole to list in this piece…

3. Siem Reap Booyoung Country Club, Cambodia

The world class golf course in Cambodia, Siem Reap Booyoung Country Club, features one of the most challenging courses in Asia. The layout, a Kentaro Sato design, is a test for most players. Holes 7, 9, and 12 are the ones to watch out for. The 12th hole is an ‘S’ shaped course set upon a two tiered green, good luck!

4. Santiburi Samui Country Club, Thailand

An essential stop on the PGA Asian Tour is the 18 hole championship Santiburi Samui Country Club, a beautiful hillside course in Thailand. The two most challenging holes on the course are the 3rd and 17th. In brief, the 17th named “The Summit” is the signature hole at Santiburi Samui Country Club. The shot is a difficult one as players need to avoid the cliffs along the right side of the fairway (be prepared for a blind tee shot!) On the other hand, the panoramic views from this hole are stunning.

5. Serapong, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore ★

Voted best golf course in South East Asia, Sentosa Golf Club is the host of the well-known Singapore Open. The Serapong course underwent a huge revamp in 2007 that boosted configurations and bunker complexes. Additionally, the greens are now faster and even more challenging! The course is filled with huge lakes and incredible views making it a popular round for golfers all over the world.

I absolutely love Sentosa Golf Club, it was here that I won the 2018 Singapore Open. The layout is world-class and the way the greens play are incomparable to any other course I’ve played!

Sergio Garcia Professional Golfer, 2017 Masters Tournament Winner

6. Fuji Course, Kawana Hotel Golf Course, Japan ★

To play the Fuji Course you will need a caddie to walk alongside you, a hotel reservation, and a mindset ready to take on a challenge! The Fuji Course is located at Kawana Golf Course and is known to be one of the most popular golf courses in Japan. Furthermore, the course layout, a C.H.Alison design, is famous for its variety of deep bunkers and rich natural features.

The course has stunning views of the ocean, surrounded by picturesque woodland with Mount Fuji in the background – it is home to some of the most scenic holes in golf.

Jonathan Spencer Online Golf Reporter, Daily Mail

7. East Course, Black Mountain Golf Club, Thailand

Nestled in the foothills of the valleys, Black Mountain Golf Club is a world-class course golf course that goes above and beyond in offerings to players. The East Course is the original first 9 holes, however, in 2016 an additional 9 holes opened, turning Black Mountain into a challenging 27 holes golf resort.

8. Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club, Bali

Set with views of dramatic cliffs, a grand temple style clubhouse, and intricate greens results in Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club swinging into the list. Architectural relics and rock outcroppings offers a testing game of golf for those looking to take on Bukit Pandawa. Golfers flock to experience this course as it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful golf courses in Bali.

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9. Ba Na Hills, Vietnam

Designed by Luke Donald, the world renown Ba Na Hills Golf Club located just outside the beautiful region of Da Nang has great hole variety with excellent greens and immaculate fairways. Located at the foot of the regions most prominent mountain range, hole 17th sets its tee box at the highest point of the course. Following on from this, the hole then weaves back down to the valley with the Ba Na Mountains as the backdrop.

The site is great with good elevation change and incredible existing natural features including large trees, streams, and mountainous backdrop.

Luke Donald Professional Golfer, No.1 World Rankings 2011

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10. Tanah Merah Country Club, Singapore

The tropical grounds of Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore are home to exquisitely designed Tampines and Garden Course. One of the most testing holes on the Tampines Course is hole number 5. As a result, the tee shot requires the golfer to negotiate the island bunkers on the right and deep penalty bunkers to the left. A par here is well earned!

11. Angkor Golf Resort, Cambodia ★

A classic yet contemporary course; Angkor Golf Resort is an award winning course designed by golf legend, Sir Nick Faldo. This one of a kind layout used to be a paddy field; the challenging 18 hole course is one of South East Asia’s hidden gems. Additionally, Siem Reap is a must visit destination for golf enthusiasts.

“Our fairways are typically generous, but our bunkering style is impressively bold. The greens have plenty of subtle undulations and they reward and encourage a variety of approach shots.”

Sir Nick Faldo Professional Golfer & Course Designer

12. Norman Course, Mission Hills Golf Resort, China

The Norman Course is said to be one of the most demanding golf courses in Asia. Built with distinctive bunkering, grand layout, and merciless greens will challenge all golfer types no matter the skill level. Mission Hills Golf Resort in China has 22 courses and the Norman Course definitely makes it into the top 10!

If you have experienced a course that has tested your skills or a hole that really stood out amongst the rest, please email your stories to [email protected] to be featured on our social channels.