DRIV­ING LESSONS

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The King­dom's finest cour­ses for a quick round of golf

WITH GOLF BE­COM­ING IN­CREAS­INGLY POP­U­LAR IN CAM­BO­DIA, IT'S EAS­IER THAN EVER TO SQUEEZE IN A QUICK ROUND OR TWO US­ING OUR GUIDE TO THE KING­DOM'S TOP COUR­SES

Angkor Golf Re­sort , Siem Reap

De­signed by Bri­tish golf leg­end Nick Faldo, Angkor Golf's 7,279-yard course in Siem Reap fea­tures plenty of bunkers and wa­ter haz­ards. The course, which hosted its first club championship in Septem­ber 2016, was named Best Course in Cam­bo­dia in 2015 by Asian Golf Monthly and is lo­cated just five min­utes from Siem Reap In­ter­na­tional Air­port and ten min­utes from Angkor Wat. In an at­tempt to min­imise its neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact, Angkor Golf re­cy­cles waste­water, uses com­post kitchen waste as fer­tiliser and re­frains from ex­ces­sive use of pes­ti­cides. Ac­cord­ing to Faldo, the course “chal­lenges all stan­dards of golfers, from the ca­sual week­ender through to the sea­soned pro­fes­sional”.

Gar­den City Golf Club, Ph­nom Penh

Part of a wider satel­lite city project on the out­skirts of Ph­nom Penh, Gar­den City (pic­tured) is man­aged by the global golf ser­vices firm IMG and stretches across 97 hectares. De­signed to mimic the tra­di­tional links style, the course of­fers large, chal­leng­ing greens and a par of 72. Golfers can brush up their skills on the driv­ing range be­fore mak­ing their way to the fair­way, with lessons also avail­able.

The club­house con­tains four lux­u­ri­ous restau­rants serv­ing a va­ri­ety of Asian and West­ern cuisines and boasts five-star ac­com­mo­da­tion and im­pres­sive func­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

Booy­oung Coun­try Club, Siem Reap

Just six kilo­me­tres from the city cen­tre, Booy­oung Coun­try Club in Siem Reap is the largest golf com­plex in Tem­ple Town. The $150m course, which was de­signed by Ja­panese golf course de­signer Ken­taro Sato, took one year to build and fea­tures gen­er­ous palm-lined fair­ways and an im­pres­sive ar­ray of wa­ter haz­ards. Wide land­ing ar­eas may make play­ers feel as if they're in for an easy ride, but creeks and fair­way sand traps crop up out of nowhere. Booy­oung caters to all abil­i­ties by of­fer­ing five tee po­si­tions at each hole.

Grand Ph­nom Penh Golf Club

Vis­i­tors to Grand Ph­nom Penh Golf Club in the city's Sen Sok dis­trict will find them­selves im­mersed in an all-in­clu­sive town­ship re­plete with a lo­cal school and shop­ping mall. The course was de­signed by the re­spected Nick­laus De­sign firm, which was founded by legendary Aus­tralian golfer Jack Nick­laus, and is one of the best main­tained in Ph­nom Penh. Those feel­ing a lit­tle rusty can prac­tise their strokes at a two-storey driv­ing range ahead of their round. A 45-minute drive from the city cen­tre, the course's club­house boasts spa and sauna fa­cil­i­ties, of­fer­ing a pleas­ant re­prieve from city life.

Phokeethra Coun­try Club, Siem Reap

Hav­ing hosted the John­nie Walker Asian PGA Tour Cam­bo­dian Open for four years from 2007 through to 2010, the Sof­i­tel-man­aged Phokeethra Coun­try Club in Siem Reap has ce­mented it­self as one of the coun­try's lead­ing golf cour­ses. Named after an an­cient Bud­dhist ser­pent spirit myth, and bor­row­ing de­sign el­e­ments from the won­drous Angkor tem­ples, the course was the first in the coun­try de­signed to championship-stan­dard and is known for its dif­fi­cult fi­nal hole, which re­quires play­ers to ne­go­ti­ate a dou­ble wa­ter carry. Play­ers can choose be­tween English, Thai or Ja­panese-speak­ing cad­dies, and re­fresh­ment carts travel around the en­tire course through­out the day.

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