Park golf course craze sweeping the country… Every riverside in a big city ‘rain after rain’
“There are a lot of people on the weekends, so we play while waiting for the front hole game. There are many restaurants and cafes around.”
Hwacheon-gun, Gangwon-do, well-known for its Sancheoneo Ice Festival, opened a Sancheoneo Park Golf Course for residents along the Bukhan River in July 2021, and it is playing the role of a major tourist product in the region.
As more and more people visit with the expansion of the base for sports for everyday life and the leisure boom of the elderly, more than 23,000 people, the total population of Hwacheon-gun, visit this place every month.
Yoo Jeong-sik (66), a resident of Gyeonggi-do, said, “It takes about an hour and a half to play 18 holes. It costs only 5,000 won and the surrounding scenery is good, so it is popular with middle-aged people.”
As word of mouth spread and users from other regions also flocked in, Hwacheon-gun expanded the stadium and now has a total of 54 holes.
As the cumulative number of visitors has exceeded 500,000 over the past year and a half, the park golf course is not just used as a simple sports facility, but is also envisioned as one of the important policies for revitalizing the local economy.
As the benefits of park golf courses playing the role of not only sports facilities but also tourism infrastructure are known, local governments across the country are working hard to create park golf courses.
Everyone is trying to build a park golf course on idle land in the city center, but since most of them are built on park sites and waterfronts, there is a strong opposition movement out of concern about destruction of the ecological environment and damage from floods.
According to the Korea Park Golf Association on the 11th, the number of park golf courses nationwide soared from 226 in 2019 to 361 this year.
Unlike golf, which costs 250,000 to 300,000토스카지노 won per person, it can be played for a few thousand won in the city center, and the number of park golf courses is explosively increasing because it is easy for the elderly to access thanks to the short course.
By region, 56 each in Gyeongnam and Gyeongbuk, 42 in Gyeonggi, 34 in Jeonnam, and 32 in Gangwon, each local government is competitively promoting the establishment or expansion of park golf courses.
South Chungcheong Province plans to build a 108-hole park golf course by June 2025 in the old Gubong Mine area in Cheongyang, which was once the largest gold mine in Korea.
The Korea Park Golf Association in Seoul is planning to move and build a golf course, and a total of 15 billion won, including government expenses, is invested in a 146,125㎡ site.
Gunwi-gun, North Gyeongsang Province, will also build a 180-hole park golf course by 2025, and Ulsan City is also considering creating a park golf course on part of the 226,653㎡ site of the Samsan and Yeocheon garbage landfills.
In the case of Chungcheongbuk-do, many local governments, such as Governor Kim Young-hwan, promising to create park golf courses in all cities and counties, are directly promising park golf courses.
An official from a local government who is promoting the creation of a 27-hole park golf course said, “The city park golf course is a sports industry that can expect effects such as expansion of local residents’ sports facilities at a relatively low cost, leisure activities for the elderly, and revitalization of the local economy through the expansion of users. very high,” he said.
As most of the users are the elderly in the region, it can be linked to the vote of the election, so it is accepted as a representative patronage project by the heads of organizations.
There are also voices opposing the park golf course for reasons such as the destruction of the ecological environment.
One course (690m) consists of nine holes, so the park golf course is much smaller than a general golf course (about 990,000m2), but requires a large site of more than 8,250m2, which is larger than a soccer field (7,140m2).
Park Jong-soon, director of policy at the Cheongju-Chungbuk Environmental Movement Federation, said, “It would be understandable if the size of the park golf course is at a level where citizens can enjoy simple leisure activities, but that is not the case.”
As the park golf course is created in a place where land purchase is easy, developing the riverside is also pointed out as a problem.
In Daegu, which has the most park golf courses among metropolitan cities, 14 out of 28 are located along the Geumho River.
Environmental groups oppose the expansion, saying that water pollution is unavoidable even if pesticides are used, and there is a high risk of destroying the ecological environment.
The Daegu Environmental Movement Association and others urged the plan to be withdrawn, saying that otters and wildcats, endangered wildlife, were found on the Geumho River bank site, which is being built by Daegu Buk-gu with the goal of completion in 2024.
The Daegu Regional Environment Agency has requested a supplementary survey of the natural ecological environment from the local government.
In Gwangju, as a 27-hole park golf course is being promoted on the Yeongsan River in Yeonje-dong, Buk-gu, environmental groups are demanding the suspension of the project, citing concerns about water pollution, destruction of the ecological environment such as natural monuments, and flood damage in case of flooding.
Environmental groups believe that even though environmental destruction and reckless development must be minimized, local governments are indiscriminately developing park golf courses in the name of local residents’ preference.
The Bitgoeul River Network, which is participated by the Gwangju Environmental Movement Association, pointed out, “The site along the Yeongsan River is home to the natural monument kestrel and endangered species of otter. Above all, it is also the place where the greatest damage occurred in Gwangju due to the 2020 flood.” .
The group suggested, “The Yeongsan River should be managed as drinking water in case of drought and as a buffer area in case of flood. It is the same as major rivers in other areas. It is desirable for Gwangju City to find a more suitable place.