Korea To Be Site Of First LPGA International Property Outside The U.S.
Busan to be golf’s next top destination with launch of LPGA International Busan
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., March 6, 2018 – The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced today that it will open the doors next year to its first golf facility outside the United States, and its second in all, with the rebirth of Asiad Country Club as LPGA International Busan in Busan Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea.
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan and Chief Operating Officer Jon Podany met at Busan Metropolitan City Hall with Busan Mayor Suh Byung-soo for a signing ceremony to make an official announcement about the property, which is expected to open for business in the summer of 2019.
“We’re looking forward to establishing Busan as the heart of golf in Asia with LPGA International Busan,” said Mayor Suh. “The Busan Metropolitan Government intends to utilize this course in its plans to boost the local economy and gain favorable investments by attracting domestic and foreign tourism.”
Asiad Country Club, which is located in Korea’s second largest city on the southeastern coast of the peninsula, will be reborn as LPGA International Busan after undergoing a renovation of its 27-hole course. The renovation will be managed by the “Open Doctor”, Rees Jones, who is known for his many designs and redesigns of more than 225 courses worldwide. The Rees Jones Inc. design firm has an extensive portfolio, including seven U.S. Open venues, eight PGA Championship courses, five Ryder Cup sites and one President’s Cup site. His courses have hosted over 100 championship events.
“Our approach will be to enhance the strategy and character of each golf hole. A carefully thought-out renovation and renewal of the course will improve playability for golfers of all skill levels, and also provide a complete challenge for the talented LPGA professional players,” said Jones. “We have completed comprehensive design work at several successful publicly-owned facilities in preparation for professional golf tournaments. Those courses include LPGA International, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Bethpage State Park (Black Course), Farmingdale, N.Y. and Torrey Pines (South Course), La Jolla, Calif. Our goal is to establish this facility as one of the best golf destinations in Korea.”
Jones has strong ties to LPGA headquarters in Daytona Beach, Fla., where one of the two premier courses at the inaugural LPGA International was designed by his firm. LPGA International Busan is Rees Jones’ first golf course project in Korea.
“We are very excited to have Rees Jones and his team guiding us through the improvements and renewal of the first LPGA-accredited golf course in Korea,” said Young So Gu, President & CEO of Asiad Country Club.
The opening of this LPGA-accredited golf facility marks the first of many projects the association plans to create in Busan, including an LPGA T&CP Center and LPGA regional qualifying school. LPGA International Busan will be the site of an official LPGA-sanctioned tournament in 2019, to be announced at a later date.
“I really felt the beauty and vibrancy of the city when I visited Busan for the first time last year, and the launch of LPGA International Busan will make it an even more special place to visit,” said LPGA Commissioner Whan. “This is a special occasion for the LPGA with the first LPGA International brand besides our headquarters, and it will play a significant role in our global business in the future.”