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Luxury golf, spa resort open in Kumgang today

May 28,2008
Kumgang Ananti Golf Club, the first golf course built by a South Korean company in North Korea, opens today. Provided by the company

The first golf course built by a South Korean company in North Korea is scheduled to open in Mount Kumgang today.

The 18-hole golf course at Kumgang Ananti Golf and Spa Resort will host 25 groups of players selected by lottery among its members on its first day, said Kim Min-jung, a spokeswoman for course builder Emerson Pacific Group.

Emerson Pacific, a Seoul-based leisure firm, developed the resort that also includes a spa, hotel and restaurants on about 1.7 million square meters (2 million square yards) of land. It received development rights on the site from Hyundai Asan, a Hyundai Group subsidiary operating the overall Mount Kumgang project.

In particular, the 6,900-meter-long golf course has already drawn media attention not only because of its sea and mountain views but also because of its 929-meter par 7 hole (No. 12), the world’s longest, and par 3 hole (No. 14), called the “funnel hole.” The green is designed like a funnel. Any golfer whose ball safely lands on the green will see it flow into the hole, enjoying a hole in one.

“The facility will be operated on a membership-only basis for six months to one year and then will receive non-members,” Kim said. “We have already sold 2,000 memberships and are continuing to sell them.”

The memberships have been sold at 17 million won ($16,300) to 35 million won each.

“Members will not be charged green fees until July 19,” Kim said. “And then, we will charge fees similar to those in South Korean golf clubs.”

In South Korea, club members pay 150,000 won to 200,000 won in green fees, while non-members pay 250,000 won to 300,000 won.

Emerson Pacific is waiting for Pyongyang to give the company permission to employ about 200 North Koreans, including 60 caddies.


By Moon So-young Staff Reporter [symoon@joongang.co.kr]


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