August 15 - August 21, 2005

Korean golf academy eyed in Ilocos

If negotiations push through, the province of Ilocos Norte will soon be the second home for thousands of South Korean students.

Recently, in a courtesy call to Ilocos Norte Governor Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., Mr. Joo Jung Ho, who represents a group of South Korean investors, expressed their interest in putting up a golf academy in the province as soon as possible.

This academy, he explained, would house Korean students who would like to harness their skills in playing golf.

Complete with driving range and related facilities, the group would also construct a 150-room dormitory that would serve as the students lodging house for the period of three months to one year.

He further said that they have chosen the Philippines, particularly the province of Ilocos Norte because of its easy accessibility from South Korea and the presence of an international airport here.

The cheap cost of playing golf here and the nice weather from the months of October to March are another considerations they had for choosing the province.

They explained that Koreans today, value their training in the said sport because they would want to be among the best in the world. Currently, several Koreans are making their waves in the international golf competitions among them is the Korean golf sensation Se Ri Pak.

While they are here, he explained, that all Koreans would do is to play golf everyday.

Aside from playing golf, these would also be an opportunity for the Koreans to learn and study English, which the Koreans have been known for the last several years.

The proposed site for the said project is 70-hectare land area, just adjacent to the Paoay Sports Complex in Suba, Paoay.

The group expects the project to be finished next year, in time for the onset of the winter season in South Korea.

Negotiations have already begun between their partner-Fort Ilocandia Resort and Casino, the provincial government of Ilocos Norte and the Philippine Tourism Authority, which manages the said lot.

For the provincial government, Marcos expressed his full support for the project, saying that this will be projected as a tourist drawer, especially from South Korea.

Excel D. Guiang, Contributor

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