Pride of the Pacific
With the opening of the magnificent Natadola Bay, Fiji now finds itself on the global golfing map
Such has been the extent of golf course construction in Asia in recent times that it's easy to overlook the fact that developers and architects alike have been hard at work elsewhere.
While the number of new course openings in the United States is at an all time low, the emerging golf markets of South America and the former Eastern bloc countries is thriving. Australasia, too, is witnessing something of a renaissance. But it's in Fiji, gateway to the Pacific Islands, where Hong Kong-based golfers can now turn their attentions.
Better known to golf fans as the home country of Vijay Singh, Fiji's ascent to fully-fledged golf destination status, like its ever-improving reputation as a tourism hub, is a direct result of a new era of economic stability. From Hong Kong, the islands are now within comfortable reach – Air Pacific, the national career, have launched nonstop flights to Nadi, Fiji's international airport.
While new golf courses aren't springing up at quite the same rate as they are in, say, Vietnam, the game is most definitely on the rise, a fact that has been highlighted by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation's decision to select the islands as venue for the 2011 Nomura Cup, the region's premier amateur team competition.
Fiji is home to four championship courses and a number of other layouts – including the interesting if a little scruffy Nadi Airport Course, where Vijay's name is listed as its "C" grade champion from nearly 40 years ago. But the cream of the crop – and one of the most exciting courses to have opened anywhere in recent times – is Natadola Bay, the island's newest layout, which is part of a near HK$2 billion project that encompasses a luxury resort and planned real estate components.
Written by The Editors
Photography by Charles McLaughlin
Click here to see the published article.
The eastern coast of Java, around Surabaya, doesn't automatically spring to mind quality golf. But as Duncan Forgan reveals, there are two courses, a mere hour's drive from the centre of the city that certainly reward the intrepid traveller
An inside look at the Avista Phuket Resort & Spa in Thailand, a luxury retreat that’s becoming a hit with travelling golfers
The Sunshine State is home to 1,340 golf courses, so does it really need two more? Yes, they do – when one realises they're designed by the most influential and pragmatic designers in world golf today – Tom Doak and the team at Coore and Crenshaw
Home to just a handful of courses, Sri Lanka might lag behind some of the region's most popular destinations in respect of playing opportunities. But with a tradition in the Royal and Ancient game virtually unmatched in this part of the world, golf is the perfect complement to a visit to this rejuvenated nation's many off-course wonders
The Land of Smiles will become the world’s leading golf tourism destination within three years if current growth trends continue
Mission Hills Group have announced that all junior golfers under the age of 16 will benefit from free access to three of the resort operator’s golf courses in 2013.
... about nothing. There's more than nature at hand in the evolution of the Old Course, which makes the recent furore over the R&A's changes hard to fathom, writes St Andrews resident Roger McStravick
With three times as many courses as Hong Kong, Singaporeans are rather better served when it comes to choosing where to play. Duncan Forgan checks out the best of what the city-state has to offer.
Golf in Japan, but not as you know it! Charles McLaughlin sampled the delights of summer in Hokkaido, a region renowned for world-renowned skiing, but now one that has become a great golf destination in its own right
Alex Jenkins takes an early look at Laguna Lang Co, a rugged Nick Faldo design on Vietnam's Central Coast that is set to officially open in March 2013