It’s not the TPC network and, as commissioner Mike Whan told The Post a couple of years ago, it probably never will be.
But the LPGA just doubled its number of officially licensed golf courses, going from one facility – LPGA International in Daytona Beach, which has 36 holes – to two with the rebirth of Asiad Country Club as LPGA International Busan in Busan Metropolitan City, South Korea.
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan and Chief Operating Officer Jon Podany met at Busan Metropolitan City Hall with Mayor Byung Soo Suh for a signing ceremony. The 27-hole facility in South Korea’s second-largest city (located on the southeastern coast of the nation’s peninsula) is closed for renovations and expected to reopen under the new name in the summer of 2019.
”We’re looking forward to establishing Busan as the heart of golf in Asia with LPGA International Busan,” Suh said. “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.”
Whan agreed, saying: “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. 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.”
Rees Jones, who is doing the redesign, said of the project: “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. … Our goal is to establish this facility as one of the best golf destinations in Korea.”
The LPGA currently has one event in South Korea, the HanBank Championship played in Incheon in the fall. This year the UL International Crown will be contested at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Songdo.