Korean government funds $47M golf course at Fort Humphreys

U.S. military personnel stationed in Korea can now play a Robert Trent Jones II-designed championship course courtesy of their host nation.

River Bend Golf Course opened April 1 at Army Garrison Humphreys, on the west coast of South Korea near the city of Pyeongtaek.

The $47 million cost of the course was included as part of the South Korean government’s $10.7 billion Yongsan Relocation Program. This program is moving U.S. and United Nations military forces from their existing bases in the heavily populated metropolitan Seoul area south to Camp Humphreys. As part of that relocation, the former Sung Nam Golf Course on Yongsan Garrison was closed in November.

Army officials said course operations are not underwritten by tax dollars — the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program on base will run the course strictly from greens fees and other associated income from the clubhouse, restaurant and pub. Annual golf passes range from $590 for junior enlisted to $1,410 for senior officers, Defense Department civilian staff, and military contractors, as well as Korean military members and nearby residents.

All branches of the U.S. military have access to the course — Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and National Guard, in addition to the Army.

The main course is a Par 72, and measures 6,400 yards from the longest tees. The facility includes a driving range, practice area, dining room, pub, pro shop, sauna, and a shoe shine service, and a six-hole Par 3 course. The FMWR manager told the base newspaper that she is planning numerous youth golf programs to include both military dependents and Korean nationals.

An Army spokesman said that the course was designed to be part of the base’s water retention system, and that 17 of the main course’s 18 holes have water features that are part of that storage basin.

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