Category: Thailand Golf Holidays and Vacations

Thailand Golf Tours – Great Getaways

Thailand Golf Tours – Great Getaways

Hi, my name is Wayne, that’s me second from the right.

I’m from Figtree in New South Wales, Australia. I’ve played golf for almost 30 years and am a member of Port Kembla Golf Club which is a short distance south of town on a beautiful spit of land bordered to the west and east by water and the beach. The course is long at 6,300 metres, tree-lined, and a legitimate championship test. I am currently playing off a 6 handicap.

My first time golfing in Thailand (indeed my first visit) was in June 2015.  The courses looked great on the internet & I’d heard people were really friendly. I travelled with 5 mates from the Figtree Hotel Social Golf club and returned in 2016 with 3 from the 2015 trip plus one other…all blokes.

In 2015 we played 5 rounds in Pattaya and Bangkok with the following year taking in Hua Hin as well; 7 rounds in total this time. We travelled both times with Golfasian whom we found on the web. Our first impressions were outstanding. The tour was so very well organised from the collection at the airport to departure, absolutely seamless.  Straight away Thailand made a big impression and was a wonderful experience.  The people are so friendly; nothing is a problem, everyone is smiling…it all seemed very carefree. Whether that’s the case behind the scenes it makes for a fabulous visit. We liked all our hotels, as good as anything I’ve ever stayed at: great locations, service and amenities.

Despite it being Thailand’s low season and the start of the “rainy” period we had great weather, only a little hot.  You couldn’t ask for more: great courses, delicious food and most of all the friendliness of the people. Our caddies were very good at their job and were prepared to have a good laugh. My favourite course(s) were the Jack Nicklaus-designed Laem Chabang Country Club (what I expect of a top championship course) and The Royal Gems which is a replica course comprised of many famous holes throughout the world including Amen Corner from Augusta.  I’ve been watching the Professionals play these holes for years and now I was able to play them myself.  Black Mountain was just magnificent and Khao Kheow Country Club a gorgeous layout, with Nikanti such a wonderful overall experience.

After golf we’d spend an hour or 2 in the pool, have a few beers with the boys then all go out for dinner & a few drinks. All in all it was exactly what I had hoped for and more…I’ll definitely be back.

Golfing Thailand as a Single

Golfing Thailand as a Single

Titirangi Golf Club

My name is John Billington. I live in Aukland, New Zealand, which is the largest and most populace area in the country. I am a member of Titirangi Golf Club, a course designed by Alastair McKenzie on his trip south to design Royal Melbourne. I have played golf in most continents and especially on the McKenzie courses in California (including Cypress Point). I was a scratch handicapper but at 66 years I am now playing off a respectable 7.

I have been travelling to Europe for sailing holidays regularly for the past five years and transit through Asia. I travel one way alone, meeting my wife in Europe and taking the opportunity to play some golf on the way.

I started using Golfasian to arrange golf holidays in Thailand. It worked seamlessly for me with transport etc and because they tended to join me up with other groups I met many interesting people from all around the world whom I would not otherwise meet: Russians, Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Swiss, Scandinavians, and golfers from all over Asia; fascinating!!

Red Mountain 1st

The courses are all good, well-groomed and economical by world standards whilst facilities are of a uniformly high standard. Last year I spent a week on my own golfing in Phuket and recently a week in Chiang Mai. Red Mountain in Phuket is particularly stunning and a great test, whilst Alpine Chiang Mai is unique with its beautiful surroundings and varied types of holes providing different challenges.

I usually stay in hotels in the city rather than at a resort because I enjoy sightseeing, the local markets and restaurants including the wonderful street food.

Thai caddies are exceptional and great company; quite able to lift my spirits and get me back on track if I’m finding it difficult to find my rhythm. The Golfasian drivers are invariably courteous and efficient, providing recommendations on local attractions.

I will return to Thailand soon, this time with a group of friends from Titirangi. We shall probably play in the Chiang Mai area because the climate is appreciably cooler, the countryside truly beautiful and mountainous and there is such a lot to do and see. I’ll leave the arrangements to Golfasian…they haven’t let me down yet!

Thailand Golf, Off the Beaten Track – A Golf Group’s Tale

Thailand Golf, Off the Beaten Track – A Golf Group’s Tale

Gary with Golfasian MD Mark Siegel
Gary with Golfasian MD Mark Siegel

Hi, my name is Gary. I am an Australian, originally from New South Wales, but now very comfortably domiciled in Perth, Western Australia with a wife of 35 years marriage and two grown up kids!

I have played golf since my father stuck a golf club in my hands when I was about 10 years old. At 61 years old now, I guess you could say I have been a long-term golfer. I have been a member of private golf clubs since a junior, and a member of my current golf club, Melville Glades for the last 22 years. My current handicap is 4 … hard earned at my age! I also happen to be the President of the club and have been on the Club’s Board for the last 5 years.  Melville Glades is a parkland golf course in the Perth metropolitan area and will celebrate 50 years of operations in 2017. We have in excess of 1,100 members with member competitions every day of the week.  Oh, we also have a mob of around 200 kangaroos that live on the golf course which is a very special experience for our members and visitors.

I have been to Thailand around half a dozen times, and have played golf in Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok and now Kanchanaburi. Thailand is renowned as the best and most enjoyable golf tourism experience in Asia, and the combination of well-conditioned courses, excellent caddy services and comfortable, luxurious Clubhouses, makes for a unique golfing experience for visiting Australian golfers.

Gary with Golfasian's Hua Hin Manager Ian Morgan at Black Mountain
Gary at Black Mountain with Golfasian’s Hua Hin Manager Ian Morgan 

My most recent golf tour included Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Hua Hin. We played 5 great golf courses, including Black Mountain, Thai Country Club and Grand Prix … all different with individual challenges. Royal Ratchaburi was a unique and most enjoyable golf experience playing in the countryside and through the mountains bordering Myanmar.

With golf tours in Asia, you need to consider the time of the year and the prevailing weather conditions. There are obviously peak season times where prices increase, however I like to schedule my tours around the “shoulder” seasons where I can access some lower rates and then build some “value-add” into the tour price with things such as trophies, prizes, complimentary polo shirts etc.

My most recent tour had 22 guests and most were golfing couples. Being a 10-night golf tour, we only arranged a couple of team dinners … this allowed the guests to “do their own thing”! Some couples teamed up with others for dinner and drinks, and others went out for massages and shopping … things Thailand are famous for!

group-photoAll in all everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would like to sample another Asian destination, perhaps Vietnam. Let’s see what Golfasian can do for us!!

Amazing Asia Golf Double-Header: Vietnam & Thailand Combined

Amazing Asia Golf Double-Header: Vietnam & Thailand Combined

Hi, my name is Willy Ma.   I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada to finish high school.  I then attended college in the US and made Los Angeles my permanent residence.   I am a member at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, Los Angeles, California founded in 1924: Bing Crosby was club champion 5 times. I am also a member at Village Country Club at Lompoc, California in Santa Barbara County.

My current SCGA Index is about 14. I started playing golf in the 1980s and take regular golf lessons from various golf schools and PGA Professionals so hope to get to single figures before too long. I often plan golf trips for my group of 8 to 16 golfers from all over the world aiming to play the world’s best courses. We’ve travelled to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos as well as locally in US.   Golf in China used to be my favourite but after this Vietnam and Thailand trip arranged by Golfasian, I would come back in a heart-beat. I find Southeast Asians are the friendliest and most respectful people…..and our dollars go a long way. I would like to plan more trips to Southeast Asia and eventually find a place there to retire. My wife is also an avid golfer but she cannot deal with the humidity and mosquitoes. I also love the food and massages; the only way to end a day’s golf. There’s no place like Thailand.

willy-ma-kings-island-gc
King’s Island GC, Hanoi

On my recent trip to Hanoi, I loved all the courses we played in the itinerary except The BRM Legend Hill.  It didn’t seem like a Jack Nicklaus-designed course at all. Notwithstanding, my most memorable hole was a 498 yards par 5.  I was on in two with a 12 foot putt for an eagle; lipped out and made a birdie; very satisfying.  We played the blue tees at all venues and found the courses in Hanoi were very challenging and well designed. My preference has always been for old established courses rather than modern ones.  My best rounds on this trip were at Sky Lake and Kings Island in Hanoi, Springfield and Banyan in Hua Hin.

Banyan GC
Banyan GC

Everything was perfect until the last round at Black Mountain in Hua Hin. I was so looking forward to playing there but the whole experience that day really disappointed me. The course condition was poor, muddy and wet with track marks all over the fairways. There was not one hole that was decent. On top of that, we backed into a group of beginner, older golfers from Australia. They were talking on the tee box most of the time and one guy in particular was always far behind his own group.  It was a five hour round and I had to wait five or more minutes to hit all my shots.  I asked our caddies to go around them but they were afraid to do so. I wish there were Marshalls at these courses and people would be more considerate of others.  I really wanted to quit after 9 holes. A shame things turned out that way because I’m sure such a prestigious course is wonderful in its prime.

The hotel selections in the package were very good especially the Anantara Resort. I liked the Anantara for its location away from all the tourists, plus the staff there were excellent. The manager Sheldon was always there to greet us at the breakfast buffet which was a nice touch. We totally enjoyed the breakfast buffet which was a great way to start our day before golf. All the Golfasian drivers were courteous and patient.

Lastly, I would like to thank Ms Ha Bui Viet for planning our package and our guide Brian Tho Nguyen in Hanoi for making our trip so pleasant.  They both really went the extra mile to help us with any request.

It was a memorable trip and we can’t wait to return for more.

Your Views…Hua Hin

Your Views…Hua Hin

Hi my name is Paul Keefe. My wife and I live in Montreal in Canada.

I am 72 and have been a Member of a golf club for 50 years. My current club of 33 years is Royal Montreal. We have 45 holes and our claim to fame is we are the oldest golf club in North America. We have hosted the President’s Cup and many Canadian Opens.

My lowest handicap was a 12. While I was working golf was limited to 20-30 games a year but since retirement 10 years ago, I have been playing a lot of golf. My handicap increased over the years to 18.

image2My wife and I first came to Thailand in 1990 for our honeymoon and since coming for golf for the first time 6 years ago we have seen many changes. On one particular trip we stayed for 8 weeks and loved the experience.

We have tweaked our trip each year to see as much of South East Asia as possible. In Thailand we have golfed in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya. We have also golfed in Vietnam and Cambodia (Siem Riep and Phnom Penh).

There is so much to like about golf in Thailand, but in particular we think the hotels are outstanding because of their superb service and the friendliness of staff. We like the Westin in Bangkok because it is on the BTS transportation line. In Hua Hin the Centara and the Hilton are located on a beautiful beach and are right in the center of town. For the golf, of course having a caddie is a real treat. They are really good with yardages and reading greens.

The courses for the most part are in great shape and most are excellent designs. My favorite courses are Black Mountain and Banyan in Hua Hin, St Andrews and Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Thai Country Club and Summit Windmill in Bangkok. The weather is usually great. In 6 years I was only forced to abandon one game due to a rain storm. We always walked until this year when we started using a cart because of medical issues.

Post our rounds of golf, in the beach towns we would return to the hotel and enjoy the facilities, in Bangkok we shopped. The shopping compared to Canada in terms of choice and variety is incredible.  Of course having a post golf massage is wonderful.  Renowned for its cuisine, the restaurant choices are amazing. The shopping centers have great restaurants and the prices are incredibly reasonable.

We keep coming back because of the value, choice and wonderful, varied experiences. We think Thailand is hard to beat as a golf destination.

Your Views on Golf in Hua Hin

Your Views on Golf in Hua Hin

Hi, my name is Craig Philpott. I am from the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. I travelled to Hua Hin with 4 mates from Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane.  I have played golf for approximately 30 years. My handicap is 4 at the moment. I am a member of Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane. Nudgee is a members’ course but open to guests as well.

This was my first time to Thailand. We selected Hua Hin so we could watch a member of our club, Scott Hend, play in the Thailand Classic, which he duly won so we now have to return next year! Three of the members on the trip have known Scott for quite a few years so this was a cause for much celebration.

My first impression of Thailand was “how good is this”. We were picked up by Golfasian at Bangkok airport and transported straight to our hotel at Hua Hin in a very comfortable vehicle. Check-in was swift and I was in my room within 10 minutes of arrival. Next morning we enjoyed a very good breakfast before heading to the front of the hotel ready for golf. The Golfasian driver was waiting for us and we were on our way. We played Sea Pines first and I would recommend this course to anyone. It’s a very good course with great views out to sea on the first, second and the last few holes. Played Banyan and it was everything I had been told it would be. A course with everything, tight holes, wide open holes, trouble for the unwary but playable for all; also in very, very good condition. Springfield Royal was next. Due to the drought it was very dry, which meant not only were the fairways firm (although well grassed) but the large dams were dry. Tee blocks, fairways and greens were in remarkable condition considering the lack of rain the course has received over the past 2 years. I would love to play this course again once the rains return and replenish the water holes. Majestic was next and it also was quite dry once off the fairways. Very playable for all standards and an enjoyable course. Again, would like to play this course after rain as it would be a great test. The staff have done a great job to have it in the condition it was in. Black Mountain was the last course we planned and it was in absolutely great condition 4 days after the Thailand Classic. Not sure what I can say about this course apart from it was a privilege to play such a wonderful layout. Playing from the 7000 yard tees I somehow eagled the 18th, driver, 3 wood and a 3 metre downhill putt. Black Mountain rates in the top 6 courses I have played, sitting alongside the Palmer course in Hawaii, Cottesloe in Perth Western Australia, Royal Adelaide, Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona & Torrey Pines South course.

We liked everything about the trip. Caddies were great; all very pleasant and very informative. It didn’t take long for them to work out our strengths and weaknesses. The price may be leaning towards the top of the scale but when everything is as well organised as this trip was it was well worth the money. Condition of the courses was fantastic when all is considered. Favourite course was Black Mountain but the others were very enjoyable. There were many favourite holes but due to my eagle the 18th at Black Mountain is at the top. The 14th & 15th at Springfield Royal would be great holes when the dam is full; what an awesome sight from the tee blocks. The 3rd & 18th at Banyan were great, 1st, 2nd, 16th, 17th & 18th at Sea Pines – fantastic. Majestic also had some great holes but I can’t remember which numbers. Weather was beautiful…couldn’t ask for better. One player had 38 stableford points one day which was the best in the group. My best was 34 at Sea Pines, maybe I was enjoying the courses too much to concentrate. The best day was the Thursday at Black Mountain. Everything about this day will be remembered for a very long time.

After golf we did a little bit of site seeing but mostly visited restaurants and bars, checked out the markets and did some forward planning for our return which will be asap. Everyone we encountered was smiling and happy. Fantastic local people who were only too willing to chat and give us ideas on what to do.

I’ve already recommended Golfasian to others and will continue to do so for anyone who wants a fantastic golf holiday in Asia. A huge thank you to Ian Morgan and his team in Hua Hin for a job well done.

Amateur Weeks – Spice up your Golf Vacation

Amateur Weeks – Spice up your Golf Vacation

Pattaya WeekGolfasian, Thailand’s largest Inbound Golf Tour Operator, has been bringing clients to Thailand for amateur tournament golf since 2012. In the following year, for their Amateur Golf Weeks the venues were expanded to include Cambodia and Vietnam.

Although the company has been providing Asia golf packages to clients throughout the world since the late 1990s, including transport, accommodation and golf, a gap in the market was recognised for a 5-star offer with an additional element…competition. Importantly, the tournament play would be run along professional lines with sponsorship, branded shirts, caddie bibs, sophisticated score keeping using the latest software, plus marshalling (in co-operation with course staff), rules officiating and of course prizes; all overseen by Tournament Director PGTAA qualified Mark Penfold, who has over 10 years of experience in the industry.

“One of the most common responses when we ask clients what they most liked about their golf trips with us is everything is taken care of, I can just concentrate on my golf. When we introduced the competitive element we needed it to be very fair and transparent, giving participants the confidence that things were being run properly, just like they are at their home clubs. Elements like the caddie bibs add a bit of drama and uniqueness giving players the feeling that they are being taken seriously and playing for something that matters; this often brings out the best in them.”

They mean it when they say 5-star. For Pattaya this year, the accommodation was at the Amari Ocean View and 4 rounds of golf were played at Siam Country Club’s superb triumvirate of courses plus the Jack Niklaus-designed Laem Chabang. The timing, in March, deliberately takes advantage of the recently finished Honda LPGA Thailand on the Old Course as well as the joint European/Asian Tour’s Thailand Classic at Hua Hin’s Black Mountain, ensuring both are in immaculate condition with lightning fast greens. But people shouldn’t be intimidated. Men and women of all ages are welcome and there are competition divisions for handicaps ranging from scratch to 40+. The scoring is along stableford lines so pace of play is maintained.

pattaya 4Because it’s also about the social side either travelling with friends/spouse or forming friendships anew, there is an emphasis on the social side with both welcome and prize giving dinners plus daily happy hour gatherings for the latest scores update, near pins and assorted other giveaways.

What do people think…?

“As usual the whole 7-day event was memorable. Sure, the golf is the draw card but besides the great courses I loved the tension (not too serious) of the competition, the social events, catching up with old friends and making new. When the rest day came around it was a great opportunity to site-see, do some shopping and soak up the local culture. I’m hooked and can’t wait for the next one.”

Richard – Sydney

Your Holidays in Focus

Your Holidays in Focus

 

J Kirby 1Hi, my name is Joe. I started playing golf in 1992 as a club member at Amstel Golf Club, but am now playing off a 10 handicap at Drouin Golf and Country Club at Drouin Victoria in Australia. The Drouin course is predominately couch fairways set amongst a picnic day racecourse, quite picturesque. My lowest playing handicap has been 7.

Before this trip, I had travelled to Thailand twice before, backpacking, and not staying in any one place for any length of time.

A local Drouin member had taken a group of friends to Thailand last year and had organised another trip in May 2015, so I decided to join this group along with a few others who hadn’t been to Thailand golfing either. I didn’t know these members, but by the time we left Hua Hin the 12 of us had become good mates. All agreed to return next year.

We all agreed it was sensational. The golf courses are well above par, the food great, the night markets and social activities were sensational.

Having had such a magnificent time golfing in Thailand, I couldn’t wait to go again.

I found Golfasian on their website and their Asia Golf Week tournaments caught my eye. They were available at a great price, including golf, caddies, carts, accommodation, all overland transfers plus group dinners. I booked in for the Chiang Mai amateur tournament, apprehensive at first not knowing anyone, but was soon put at ease with some supporting emails from Mark Penfold, director of events.

Upon arrival at Chiang Mai I was promptly picked up for my transfer to the hotel. The group meeting that night was full of expectation and excitement. As the week rolled on new friendships grew and the golf became more competitive. The beautiful courses at Alpine, Chiang Mai Highlands and Gassan were very challenging and a real test, particularly as it was a competition. If it wasn’t for the knowledge of the caddies I’m guessing many of us would have really suffered.

Kirby Alpine CNXThe Alpine Golf Resort had been set up for the ASEAN championships, so it was very tough with its Bermuda rough and tight fairways.

The last round at Chiangmai Highlands Resort and Spa surrounded by the local hills was also tough but very scenic and easy on the eyes. My score of 34 points wasn’t good enough to hold off the better players on the day. The courses selected by Golfasian, that I have seen so far, are top quality layouts making you think about every shot.

The location of the hotels were excellent, very close to all amenities, bars, restaurants and markets. The golf course transfer drivers were efficient; always on time and very polite.

Although the weather was hot, which I don’t mind, the caddies were always on hand with an umbrella and a cold drink or parking the golf cart in the shade; the ultimate indulgence.

J Kirby 2After the round a nice cool drink, snack and some good stories were exchanged in the beautiful club houses, before returning to the hotel for an evening meal.

I am extremely impressed with the professionalism of Golfasian. I really can’t think of anything that could improve the Chiang Mai amateur championship tournament.

I urge those thinking about it to just do it, you won’t be disappointed. I’m off to Hua Hin in March 2016.

Thailand Golf Trips – Not Just for Golfers

Thailand Golf Trips – Not Just for Golfers

My name is Steve Hall.  I am originally from England but migrated to Australia just over 8 years ago.  We live on the beautiful South West Coast of Australia in a small place called Australind, approximately 2 hours South of Perth.   Here we are fortunate to be able to enjoy the outdoor life; lovely beaches, many BBQ’s, beach fishing, numerous wineries and of course golf. I started to play golf with my sons when we first came to Australia and later, when we made friends with others who enjoyed the game too, I joined one of our local golf clubs called Sanctuary Golf Resort.  It is an 18-hole municipal golf course and can be quite challenging at times with its many lakes and sand bunkers.

Although I have been playing the game now for several years, I still have a rather high handicap; one I would not care to mention, but I am slowly getting it down.  My wife says she is proud of me for my sheer determination in continuing on but I do enjoy the sport, more on a good day, and especially the social side which comes with it.  It is our third time in Thailand but our first time golfing.  We chose Thailand and especially Hua Hin because it was highly recommended to us by our son.  He stayed there with friends a couple of years ago and was very impressed with both the area and the golf.  I found Golfasian on the internet, emailed them with our requirements and went from there.  We travelled with friends of ours, Scott and Sandra.  Neither of our wives play golf so we needed to make sure that there would be enough for them to do whilst we were off enjoying the game.  Golfasian came up with a very attractive package and before we knew it we were booked and ready to go.

LaksasubhaWe stayed in Hua Hin for seven nights at the Hotel Baan Laksasubha Resort. A beautiful Colonial, Thai-designed property located right on the beach and close to all the shops, bars and restaurants.  The rooms and grounds were kept very clean and the staff were so friendly and helpful.   The infinity pool overlooking the beach was a big hit for us.

Our itinerary included three alternate days of golf where we played Springfield Royal Country Club, Banyan Golf Club and Black Mountain Golf Club.  The conditions of the courses were excellent but my favorite was Banyan because there I played a better game and although all our caddies were excellent, the caddies we had here were a lot of fun.  Whilst we played golf, the girls kept themselves entertained with shopping, massages, relaxing by the pool and lunch and cocktails at the beach bar.  After golf we would all relax by the pool with a cold beer.  What could be better.  In the evenings we dined at some of the wonderful restaurants Hua Hin has to offer.  The food was excellent and the people very friendly.

siam wineryOn one of the none golfing days we took a taxi to a winery which was just under an hour away.  “Winery in Thailand” I hear you say.  Yes, we could not believe it either and it did not cost much to get there.  It was set in beautiful lush green surroundings and reminded us of one of the wineries not far from where we live.  There we sampled some lovely wines ready to then order with our lunch.  The food was tasty but the portions a little small.

We spent another day fishing at the Hua Hin Fishing Lodge.  The surroundings were idyllic, relaxing and then explosive when you catch a fish.  Here the girls caught their biggest fish ever.  A nine kilo and eighteen kilo catfish.  It was amazing and an excellent day was had by all.

The simplicity of booking the holiday was excellent and we found the staff of Golfasian excellent too.  Travel from the airport in Bangkok to the hotel in Hua Hin and the return journey was the most comfortable we have experienced.  The whole Thailand golf experience from start to finish was fantastic and not only would we recommend this to others, including none golfers, but we are hoping to return again next year.  This time for longer in order to try out more golf courses.

 

The perfect Father/Son golf trip – Hua Hin

The perfect Father/Son golf trip – Hua Hin

My name is Aki Mustonen. My father, who accompanied me on this very special father/son trip is Timo. We come from Finland; Dad lives in Helsinki and I live and work in Beijing.

My father started playing golf in Finland at the age of 35. Once my sister and I arrived he stopped playing but once I became old enough (aged 10) he got me a couple of modified clubs and I was able to practice with him occasionally. At that time I was more interested in football and ice-hockey so one day I informed him I was no longer going to play golf. My dad continued playing occasionally and once we moved to China in 1998 he joined a golf club there, and again I occasionally joined him. At this time his handicap was 12.

I was finally bitten by the golf bug when I attended the Sports Institution of Finland at age of 22. To my pleasant surprise we had access to a free 9-hole practice course. Very quickly my handicap dropped to the low 20s, also playing golf quite a bit with my father. My current handicap is 18 but I’m looking to drop to 10 this year.

Vierumaki Golf Club
Vierumaki Golf Club

In Finland I belong to Vierumaki golf club, which has 2 tree-lined courses (pine trees and lots of heather) and the practice facility which the Institute uses.  The “Cooke” is a championship course and challenges all levels of players: the 18th and 13th holes were included in Golf Digest magazine’s readers’ Dream 18 golf course.

This was not the first time we had travelled to Thailand having previously been to Bangkok, Koh Samui and Phuket with the entire family. This was, however, the first visit to Hua Hin which appeared to have a good golf pedigree and was still relatively convenient for Bangkok.

Our first Thailand golf experience was something very special for both of us. Thanks to Golfasian everything was taken care of in advance so all we had to worry about was to wake up, have breakfast and play golf. In Finland we always walk, but in Thailand we used carts for almost every round because it does get very hot during the day (caddies appreciated it too!). Additionally, our two favourites, Black Mountain and Banyan are quite hilly.

IMG_1393One part of the golf experience was the energetic and friendly caddies with whom we got to share our rounds. Not only were they keen to laugh and joke around with us but they also proved to be very capable at reading the tricky greens, especially at Black Mountain. Thanks to one amazing caddie and her green-reading skills I scored my best round at Black Mountain, 84 from the back tee! Some of the caddies also respected the Finnish tradition of enjoying a small “nip” of cognac when a birdie was scored 🙂 although I have to admit it didn’t happen too often. Another part of the golf experience was meeting nice people who joined us to make a 4-ball. It’s interesting to hear stories and backgrounds from different people around the world.

IMG_1611After golf we would have a shower to freshen up, drink a beer (or two…) and have a snack at the club house. On a few occasions (3) we enjoyed ourselves so much we played an additional round. If we had time we would go back to our rented villa which was part of the package and enjoy the sunshine by our pool, perhaps the Black Mountain Water Park or even at the beach which is 20 minutes away. Generally we had dinner in town at one of several restaurants before heading back to bed and preparing for a new day’s golf.

In conclusion we were really satisfied with how everything ended up for us in terms of transport, accommodation, golf and free time. Hua Hin has a lot of beautiful golf courses and we found that it was perfect to be able to focus on the best course as far as we are concerned, Black Mountain, while also taking the opportunity to play three others. Two weeks was the right amount of time to get in a lot of golf but still have enough time for other things.

We highly recommend Golfasian services as well as Hua Hin for those who are looking to enjoy a memorable golf experience.

Thailand Golf Holiday Experiences

Thailand Golf Holiday Experiences

Hi, my name is Bob Wood. I am from the Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane in Australia.

Bob Wood HI1I have played golf for over 50 years but have become more serious in recent years after my retirement from Secondary School teaching. I play off a handicap of between 6 & 8, depending on the benevolence of the golfing Gods and am a member of Caloundra Golf Club a parkland course north of the town of Caloundra and just a few kilometres inland. I usually play competitions at my club 3 times a week.

Recently, on a golfing trip to Thailand I had my second hole in one at Lam Luk Ka Golf Club one hour north of Bangkok on the 145 metre par 3, 12th (the first was last year at The Royal Gems). It’s always great to see the ball go in off the tee on a par 3 but particularly good fun when you are on holiday playing with friends in beautiful surroundings.

This is my 6th Thailand golf holiday with like-minded golfing addicts from Australia. I consider Thailand to be the best golfing experience in the world. The courses are excellent and the caddies in the main are friendly, competent and diligent; they add to the ambience of any day. The friendliness of the Thai people in general is overwhelming.

West Course 12th
West Course 12th

Our Thailand destinations have included Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hua Hin all of which offer the full cultural and golfing experience without the hassles of big city traffic and crowds.

All our trips have been expertly organised by Golfasian, whom we have found to be friendly, well organised and reliable.

Surprising Chiang Mai

Surprising Chiang Mai

Having reviewed the superb Chiang Mai Highlands golf course recently, I just got back from another short trip to Chiang Mai, this time with visitors doing the tourist “bit”. Courtesy of blogs like this, for those of you who are novices to Thailand in respect of golf I’m guessing the destinations most familiar to you will be Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin (less so) for something that combines golf and other holiday-typical activities, in their case the beach.

Chiangmai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort. Courtesy of Richard Castka
Chiangmai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort. Courtesy of Richard Castka

Chiang Mai turns out to be a bit of a dark horse (although no beach which will become obvious when you look at the map), offering superb golf (see Chiang Mai golf) plus plenty of things to enjoy when away from the links. Chiang Mai is my second favourite city in Thailand, just slightly behind Bangkok which I have grown to love. One of the reasons is that unlike Bangkok which tends to be hot all year round, Chiang Mai has a genuine “winter” period (end November until start April) when the temperatures can fall to the sublime mid twenties and prompt the actual wearing of a sweater (I only have one…threw all the others away). But that’s just the icing on the cake. Rather than go into great detail, which you will be better served by reading the Lonely Planet guide, I’ll provide an overview and give you just a taste.

The city is relatively compact and much more residential in feel which makes exploring on foot easy and fun. Whilst it has modern shopping, high rise hotels and commercial areas there are also myriad back streets with markets, small craft and coffee shops plus what seems like hundreds of small hotels and guest houses that cater for visitors, particularly those backpacking in Asia. In those back streets you may come across a beautiful temple or ancient monument which appears unexpectedly.  As you’d expect in Thailand, you are never far from “street food”which in this part of the world is subtly different (try the local speciality, Khao Soi, which is a delicious noodle curry with just a hint of Indian spices), but in recent years, because of the influx of foreign visitors and residents from the four corners of the world, there are all manner of restaurants and cuisines available…I particularly like The Swan, a Burmese restaurant in the centre of the tourist area.

Doi Inthanon
Doi Inthanon

Chiang Mai is surrounded by beautiful countryside, predominantly forest-covered hills and mountainous areas (on a small scale admittedly but spectacular nonetheless) including Doi Inthanon Thailand’s highest point. This terrain provides the wonderful backdrop to many of the area’s golf courses making them so different from others elsewhere in Thailand. Because the local area is largely rural the roads are quiet and in excellent condition because they don’t get so much heavy traffic and exploring in a car is actually pleasant and stress free.

What of the golf itself? In Highlands, Alpine and the recently refurbished Gassan Legacy you have 3 of the finest courses in the country, all of which provide challenging yet rewarding experiences in gorgeous surroundings. There are others, of course, over a dozen and don’t forget the superb Robert Trent Jones Santiburi near Chiang Rai, only a couple of hours away.  So there you have it…surprising Chiang Mai, give it a try you’ll be delighted you did.

For information on Chiang Mai Golf Packages go to www.golfasian.com/golf-holidays/thailand/chiang-mai/ or contact info@golfasian.com

 

 

Golfing on the Enchanting Island of Phuket

Golfing on the Enchanting Island of Phuket

When you contemplate booking your next golf holiday, the superior courses of Thailand are beckoning to you to come experience some of the best golfing in Asia. Thailand, known as the Land of Smiles, features excellent golf courses dotting the kingdom, and none of them is more in demand than those of Phuket. Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is easy to get to and a proven destination point for tourists of all stripes. For golfers in particular, Phuket’s array of amenities makes traveling to the island a no brainer when scheduling your perfect, getaway golf holiday.

Top Golf Courses of Phuket, Thailand

Variety is the spice of life, and Phuket provides plenty of spice when it comes to selecting where you want to tee up for a great round of golf. The island hosts more than a half a dozen superior courses with challenges and beautiful vistas built into the design concepts of each course. If you are coming to Thailand in search of great links and superior golfing conditions, you will find both at any of Phuket’s top professional courses.

Red Mountain Golf Club

The crème-de-la-crème of Phuket golf courses, Red Mountain Golf Club provides the ultimate golfing experience for experts and novices alike. Built on the site of an abandoned tin mine, the 18-holes of Red Mountain Golf Club meanders across multiple elevations dominated by dense jungle terrain on the one hand, and towering cliffs of soft red rock of the former mining operation while providing some of the most challenging holes on the island. As the highest course on Phuket Island, you will be afforded incredible views regardless of which hole you playing. Additionally, this award-winning course is centrally located just minutes from famous beaches like Patong and Karon, so this provides a prime opportunity for the non-golfing members of your family to enjoy their vacation while you explore every inch of this awesome golf course.

Blue Canyon Country Club

Blue Canyon Country Club, located just minutes away from Phuket International Airport, provides the closest links for new arrivals, and the club is strategically placed to take advantage of the many amenities along the island’s west coast. Blue Canyon offers two distinct golfing experiences: The Canyons and The Lakes. The Canyons, set in a natural environment that features 80 bunkers and ten holes where water plays a challenging role, is a championship-grade course with greens that run both fast and true. By comparison, The Lakes course navigates around three dozen bunkers and 17 holes that are impacted by the water hazards that lend the course its name.

The Incredible Caddies of Phuket

In the world of golf tourism, the Kingdom of Thailand has a secret weapon at its disposal that places it far above its competition, its cadre of highly qualified caddies. Rooted in the kindness of the Thai people, Thailand’s caddies are not only extensively trained in the fine art of golf, but they also deliver a fun experience for the more than 600,000 golf tourists expected to travel to Thailand this year. Friendliness is a way of life in Thailand, and guests are made to feel as if they are members of the family immediately upon disembarking from the plane.

Top 3 Reasons to Golf in Thailand

Top 3 Reasons to Golf in Thailand

For the true golf aficionado, distance means nothing unless it pertains to judging which club to grab from your golf bag to make that sweet shot on the back nine. As such, the world is your oyster when it comes to locating the next great golfing destination, and Thailand is the pearl you will find when you schedule your Thailand golf holiday.

A fully inclusive Thailand golf package puts you directly on the green for some of the best golfing that the world has to offer. With more than two hundred established golf courses in the country, an already well-established and robust tourist industry, superior climate, and some of the nicest people in the world, Thailand golf excursions are a perfect way to spend your holidays.

1. Great Golfing Options as Varied as Thailand Itself

As mentioned, with more than two hundred golf courses peppered throughout the country, the Kingdom of Thailand golf scene is already well established and awaiting your arrival. Even better, the rich environmental diversity of the country affords a Thailand golf holiday that directly matches your preferences.

For example, the experience of golfing in the highland mountainous regions affords breathtaking vistas rivaled only by the courses along the stunning beach resorts of Phuket and Hua Hin. Additional options include excellent golf courses in close proximity to the vibrant nightlife of the nation’s capital of Bangkok. In short, you decide on the Thailand golf experience that you want and there is a Thailand golf package aimed at meeting those specific desires and expectations.

2. The Rich Cultural Diversity of Thailand

Beyond offering stunning Thailand golf options, the country itself features one of the oldest and unique cultures in the world, so there is something to do for everyone in your traveling party. These adventures encompass everything from exploring towering waterfalls, visiting ancient Buddhist temples, trekking through jungle terrain atop an Asian elephant, or shopping in high-end boutique shops in the famed shopping districts of the country.

For “foodies” in your party, Thailand offers incredible cuisine that combines both international flavors and rich homegrown tastes in an explosion of flavors on your taste buds. Whether the motivation is a Thailand golf holiday or a Thailand pleasure getaway, there is something for everyone when you visit the nation that goes by the moniker, “Land of Smiles.”

3. Well Established Tourism Infrastructure

With a reputation as a visitor destination point owing to its rich cultural traditions and brilliant natural beauty, scheduling a Thailand golf holiday is easy because of the already well-established tourist industry. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is dedicated to supporting the development of an international Thailand golf industry, so there is a wealth of information available to plan your Thailand golf holiday. From five-star rated hotels dominating the skyline to charming Thai style bungalows nestled along the coastline, there is a large array of accommodation options regardless of where you decide to tee up within the country.

Plan Your Thailand Golf Holiday Today

If you are looking for a golfing experience unlike any other, consider planning a Thailand golf package that is without compare. Offering a beautiful climate year round, warm and inviting people, and plenty of thongs to do both on and off the award winning golf courses, a Thailand golf holiday is a great way to spend your time away from the office. Award winning Golfasian offers customized golf holidays in Thailand and it’s neighboring countries.

Your Views of Golf in Thailand

Your Views of Golf in Thailand

My name is Steve Madden and I live in Sydney, Australia.

pennanthills1I have played golf since I was a young boy, however it’s only in the last 4-5 years that I have had time to play on a regular basis. My current GA handicap is 13 and I am a member of Pennant Hills Golf Club in Sydney. With its roots established over a hundred years ago Pennant Hills is considered a “Private” A Grade golf course, featuring tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain. Whilst not long by modern standards the par 71 course is still demanding.

I have played golf in Thailand many times originally playing in Phuket whilst on holiday with my family in 2006. I first came across Golfasian when I saw their advertisement in an Australian golf magazine and they have looked after me ever since.

Resize1There aren’t many destinations I haven’t visited: Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Pattaya have all been sampled. Most times I have travelled with a group of like-minded male golfers all of whom love the experience of playing “Golf in a Kingdom”. Golf in Thailand is great because of the quality of the courses on offer, the hot and humid climate and the post-golf activities. Although the price of golf is quite expensive (if you choose to play some of the best courses) it is well worth the money in my opinion. A point to consider is that as a full service company, Golfasian packages include transfers to and from the course, accommodation and green fees plus caddy. You are collected promptly, delivered directly to the course and chauffeured in well-kept mini vans that have plenty of room for you and your golf gear. After golf the driver delivers you back to your hotel without any hassles, capping off a great day’s golf.  I also thoroughly enjoy the great attitude of the caddies that form a large part of the unique experience. Their friendly nature and willingness to provide advice and guidance makes golf in Thailand something you keep coming back for!! The humidity can sometimes be challenging but I love this type of weather so it isn’t a problem.

Personally I love visiting Thailand for the culture, food and night life. Most of the hotels that we have stayed at have been first class including the Sofitel Bangkok, the Holiday Inn Bangkok and a recent stay at the Shangri-La Bangkok which is right next to the Chao Phrya river, a wonderful bustling thoroughfare that harks back to the 19th century when Bangkok was a significant Asian trading centre.

resize2After a great day’s golf you can relax by the pool or grab a massage before heading out for dinner. The cost of food ranges from cheap but delicious street food to a top quality dining experience; Thailand has a taste for all budgets! Then it’s back to the room for a rest before another day’s golf!

The best thing about booking your golfing vacation with Golfasian is that they take the hassle out of planning. All you have to do is turn up and swing the club! I would highly recommend Golfasian to anyone looking for a great golf experience in Paradise!!!

What do you think about golf in Thailand?

What do you think about golf in Thailand?

My name is David Rendall. I recently travelled to Thailand with a golfing party of 12, the majority from Scotland & Ireland, however a couple of our group are based in Dubai and Thailand.

Pumpherston GC 16th
Pumpherston GC 16th

Most of the guys are members of the same golf club, Pumpherston, which is 10 miles from Edinburgh. Pumpherston is a lovely parkland course but also features a lot of water; it’s a very modern design considering its age. I have been a member for the last 25 years and currently play off 12, however our group’s handicaps range from 5 to 18.

Ready for the match
Ready for the match

Our group have holidayed in Thailand for the last 6 years, initially for a friend’s 50th birthday celebration. We have golfed all over the world; America, the Caribbean, China, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Canaries. Finding that the cost of golf in mainland Europe had become very expensive prompted us to venture as far afield as Asia. We love the quality of the courses in Thailand with Hua Hin a favourite (Thailand’s “Myrtle Beach”); in particular, Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Sea Pines are some of our favourites. We have booked with Golfasian for the last 5 years through a mutual friend and have never looked back. Golfasian’s attention to detail is superb…they never let us down.

In Hua Hin, where possible we always stay in a small 3 star hotel right in the centre of town, La Maison, which has rooms that are a good size and a first class breakfast. The staff are always delighted to see us, perhaps because our group of 12 fills the bar each early evening while we exchange stories after our round, prior to heading out to dinner. We tend to play a Ryder Cup-style event every day teeing off around 10.30am

Royal Hua Hin
Royal Hua Hin

We love all the courses but have a soft spot for Royal Hua Hin which is a great test of golf and is designed by a Scotsman. The caddies’ knowledge of the greens is amazing; your eyes tell you it’s three holes right but the caddy says half a grip left…an oft-repeated phrase follows “why you not listen” but always with a twinkle in their eyes. My favourite day was last November. I started with a triple bogey 7 on the 1st at Banyan, par at the 9th saw me out in 35 gross and 7 up. I didn’t play that well on the back 9 but won the match 6&5 so happy days. The weather in November is perfect, just before we return home to the bleak Scottish winter.

After golf we normally have lunch at the course (losers paying the bill) and enjoy a few beers before Golfasian’s Khun Noh (best driver in Hua Hin and a very good golfer) returns us to the hotel. Some of the guys go for a nap or do some shopping prior to us all meeting in the hotel bar at 7pm for a few drinks. Hua Hin has some wonderful restaurants from the Moon Smile (Thai) to some great Italians. The French restaurant next to La Maison, La Paillotte, is fabulous. We have even found a very good Indian restaurant so everyone is happy with the quality of the food.

All in all Thailand golf ranks amongst the best in the world as an experience as far as we are concerned. If you haven’t tried it, I thoroughly recommend it and am confident you won’t be disappointed.

Is Koh Samui Golf For Real?

Is Koh Samui Golf For Real?

Major golf destinations share several things in common. They include,

1.    Three or more golf courses of international standard
2.    A range of golf resorts to accommodate all levels of price and luxury
3.    Easy to get to/from
4.    Reasonable prices
5.    Non-golf activities such as cultural, gastronomic, spa, and/or beaches

Koh Samui has technically three golf courses, However, only Santiburi Samui Country Club is 18-holes and of international standard. The course is a spectacular example of a tropical island layout, perhaps even Thailand’s best. However without any comparable courses on the island one would have to play multiple rounds at Santiburi Samui to have anything more than an isolated holiday round of golf.

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Pattana Golf Resort

Pattana Golf Resort

It is very rare these days that I get to play a new course in my own backyard. Therefore, when my golfing buddies suggested playing at Pattana Golf Resort in Pattaya, I jumped at the change with much excitement.

Pattana is a bit out of the way as getting to the course involved around a 1 hour drive from Pattaya or 2 hour ride from Bangkok. Either way the drive is pleasant enough as the road are good and there is little traffic along the way. Upon arrival I immediately saw the large club house, golf resort, and collection of golf villas. With this kind of infrastructure Pattana must be catering for long staying golfers and those looking for intensive stay and play packages.

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Where To Golf In Thailand – A City Or A Resort?

Where To Golf In Thailand – A City Or A Resort?

Thailand has 5 main golf destinations, two are cities (Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and three are beach resorts (Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket).

Bangkok is home to over 10 million residents. However, it’s safe to say that Bangkok has the most golf courses of any destination in Thailand. There are 60 golf courses located within 1 hour from the center of Bangkok; of which 20 or so are well-suited for visitor play. Bangkok also has world-class hotels, the best restaurants in Thailand, and a wide range of cultural attractions, shopping and nightlife. The downside is that travel time getting to and from the golf courses can be a bit longer than other destinations due to city traffic. I often recommend a few days in Bangkok at the beginning and/or end of any Thailand golf trip and also recommend weekday golf if possible (when the courses are less crowded and green fees are lower).

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Golf Holiday Destination Thailand

Golf Holiday Destination Thailand

Why golf in Thailand?   Thailand is probably the most spectacular golfing destination in the world, the beauty of her golf courses expresses it all.  We have lush greenery year round with palm trees and every other type of tropical flora and flowers creating a feast for the eyes.  Beautiful lakes and waterways, birds you’ve never seen before become a breathtaking walk in the park.  Churchill was so wrong when he said “golf is a good walk spoiled” – he never played in Thailand!

The challenge of golfing in Thailand is also an important aspect and I promise that you can never get bored.  Many of the courses are designed by the world’s most famous golf architects creating challenges that even the best golfers dream about.   For all levels of golfers from their respective tee boxes the challenges abound.   Even for the beginner it’s game on, but set up with wide enough fairways and safe passages around water.

Also great planning, as you get a refreshment kiosk twice every nine holes unlike other places where if you didn’t load up before the first tee you get one chance at the turn.  Cold drinks, chicken legs, sticky rice, fresh tropical fruit, and sandwiches – a quick bite before you move on.  Even a cold beer if you are so inclined.  Some of the courses even have a cold moist towel right out of the fridge at each stop (now that is refreshing)!  After your round the clubhouse restaurants provide some of the best Thai, Japanese and Western cuisine at reasonable prices.

A great part of the golfing experience in Thailand is the caddies.  Honestly, how many golfers have had a caddie along with them during their round of golf.  They are all women and speak a decent amount of English to make for good golf communication.  They know the golf courses like the backs of their hands, reading your putt lines (even lining up the ball), telling you distances, which club to use, sometimes even a little coaching – but always full of positive encouragement.  This makes for a great social golf day out with your added gallery and applause after your good shots.

Thailand has numerous courses that offer night golf with decent lighting, as many Thai’s prefer to stay out of the sun.  It is a challenge in and of itself, but adding golf and romance to the mix.   It is the perfect time to play with your partner on holiday. With warm weather, the stars above and perhaps a bottle of wine in your golf cart surely becomes a relaxed and romantic evening out.  Definitely let this be one of your experiences when golfing in Thailand.

On a final note; Thailand enjoys the best weather regardless the time of year.  Mid November thru March is optimal, where we have cooler and rain free days.  Green fee and caddy fees are very economical for the quality of the courses you can enjoy.  Come and experience the friendly hospitality of the Thai people and their superb golf courses.  Hope to see you out here for one of your most memorable golfing holidays ever!

Thailand Golf Resorts Offer Unlimited Golf Packages

Thailand Golf Resorts Offer Unlimited Golf Packages

Thailand Golf Resorts
Mission Hills Phuket

Nowadays golf resorts like Mission Hills Phuket and Bangkok Golf Club are offering unlimited golf holiday packages. These golf vacations are nothing new, but in fact they may be only a ploy to lure visitors to less than ideal courses.

Think about it, there are only 12 hours of daylight in Thailand and the weather is generally hot and humid all year long. Therefore, how many round of golf can you play in a day?
For most of us it is only two, and this is waking up very early and pushing it. So an unlimited golf package is in reality a 36-hole a day deal.

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Will Thailand Become The World´s Biggest Golf Destination?

Will Thailand Become The World´s Biggest Golf Destination?

Lately Thailand golf tourism has skyrocketed to an estimated 750,000 arrivals in 2012, up 50% over the past three years. This is worth an estimated US$2 billion in revenue to the Kingdom. There is no doubt that Thai golf tourism is riding on the back of a general tourism explosion, with total foreign arrivals doubling over the last seven years to more than 22 million in 2012.

While I personally would like Thailand golf to become the biggest golf destination in the world, I doubt that this will ever happen. Here is why.

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Golf In Turkey Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Turkey Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Turkey (8): Golf in Turkey is well-developed, especially the area around Belek (Antalya). There are some 15 golf courses to choose from here, all being located only 30 minutes from the main resorts. Most modern golf course architects are represented including Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Thailand (7): Thailand has 280 courses open for play. The best of these courses are located in one of five major golf tourist golf destinations. Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket are the main sea side resort areas. Chiang Mai is northern Thailand, and the capital of Bangkok has 60 courses within a one hour’s drive from the city center.

Service (25%)
Turkey (4): There are all-inclusive 5* resorts near the Belek golf courses. However, while the standard of rooms and facilities are high, the services levels are not. Be prepared for long queues and mediocre service. At the golf courses there is an absence of caddies and limited facilities or food/beverages.

Thailand (10): Golf in Thailand equals service. Thai hospitality is some of the world’s best and the Thai golf courses are no exception. Caddies are compulsory at all Thai golf courses for every golfer whether or not golf carts are used, thus ensuring excellent service is available at all times.

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Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Singapore (8): For a small island state Singapore has allocated land for close to 30 golf courses. The quality ranges from good at course like Orchid and Raffles to world-class at Laguna National and Sentosa Island.

Thailand (7): Of the 280 golf courses in Thailand, 60 are up to international standards. Thailand’s best courses include Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Black Mountain in Hua Hin. Both have played host to major professional golf tournaments and have been heavily honored by major golf journalists.

Service (25%)
Singapore (6): Singapore is a well-developed international tourist destination and as such the service is generally good from those working in the service sector. The main thing missing from golf in Singapore are caddies as labor costs are prohibitively expensive to enable this.

Thailand (10): The Thai people are renowned for their friendliness and this shows on the golf course as well. Locals golf side by side with golf visitors and all Thailand golf courses include individual caddies as standard.

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Golf In Russia Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Russia Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Russia (5): There are only 20 golf courses in Russia and most are located in and around Moscow. The best golf club is the Jack Nicklaus designed Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club. The inaugural Russian Open and first ever European Tour event played in Russia was held at Tseleevo in 2013

Thailand (7): Thailand has 280 golf courses and many have won numerous “best of” awards including Black Mountain Golf Club (100 Best Courses Outside the USA, Golf Digest 2012) and Thai Country Club (Best clubhouse in Asia, Asian Golf Monthly, numerous years Ina  row).

Service (25%)
Russia (4): Service is missing when golfing in Russia. Caddies are notably absent and to date golf is considered an elitist game. Hardly any Russians know the proper golf rules or golf etiquette.

Thailand (10): Service with a smile is standard all over Thailand and the golf courses are no exception. You should plan on meeting friendly locals during your round and making many new friends on a Thailand golf holiday. Just don’t be surprised if you miss your Thai caddie when you return home and play without one.

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Golf In Qatar Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Qatar Versus Golf In Thailand

Qatar MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Qatar (7):  There is only 1 golf course in Qatar and since 1998 Doha Golf Club has hosted a European and Asian Tour event; the Qatar Masters. The quality of Doha Golf Club somewhat makes up for the lack of other courses.

Thailand (7): The best courses in Thailand are located in the major cities and resorts. Pattaya sports over 20 courses and in 2012 was voted the best golf destination in Asia by the Association of International Golf Tour Operators.

Service (25%)
Qatar (7): Service is one of the strong points at Doha Golf Club. From manicured fairways to greens, from the pro shop to the restaurant, everything about the club is first class.

Thailand (10): Service, hospitality, and Thailand are synonymous with each other and golf is no exception. Friendly locals golf side by side with golf visitors which is a nice touch. All Thailand golf courses include individual caddies as standard. Tour caddies will be missed most when you return home and play without one.

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Golf In Portugal Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Portugal Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Portugal (9):  Even though there are only 70 golf courses Portugal is one of Europe’s best golf destinations. The Algarve region is the most famous golfing area and the best course there is Victoria Golf Vilamoura, home of the 2013 Portugal Golf Masters and tour stop for the European Tour. However, my course in Portugal is the Seve Ballesteros designed Porto Santo. This traditional links course plays along the Atlantic Ocean and is as good as golf gets!

Thailand (7): There is good golf cross the country with most of best courses in Thailand in and around Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin. Thai Country Club has hosted more professional golf events than any other Thai golf course. Black Mountain Golf Club is the only golf course in Thailand to be rated in the top 100 courses outside the USA by Golf Digest.

Service (25%)
Portugal (6): The golf in Portugal is good, but don’t expect much in the way of service on the golf course. There are no caddies, hardly any Portuguese play golf, and it is very difficult to find Portuguese workers who have a service mindset. However, the golf resorts in Portugal can be excellent. My most memorable experience was at the Four Seasons Country Club, Quinta do Lago.

Thailand (10):  Service, hospitality, and Thailand are synonymous with each other and golf is no exception. Thais golf as much as the visitors and you can always meet friendly locals on the golf course. Caddies are standard at all Thailand golf courses and will be missed by every visiting golfer on their first round back home.

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Golf In New Zealand Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In New Zealand Versus Golf In Thailand

New Zealand MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
New Zealand (10): With over 400 golf courses, New Zealand is a golfer’s paradise. My 2 favorite New Zealand golf courses are Cape Kidnappers and Paraparaumu Beach, both of which rival any of the best golf courses in the world. Many other great golf courses in New Zealand can be found around the big cities of Auckland and Christchurch and also among the smallest country towns.

Thailand (7): There is good golf available in Thailand, with the best courses mostly located around Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin. Riverdale Golf Club in Bangkok is a good example of one of the newer top courses while Laem Chabang International Country Club is a time tested Jack Nicklaus design in Pattaya.

Service (25%)
New Zealand (8): Golf in New Zealand is well developed and Kiwis are noted for being friendly and casual people. This leads to generally a good service standard wherever you travel to, albeit with more do-it-yourself approach than is found in Asia.

Thailand (10): The golf in Thailand is all about service. Friendly locals and caddies greet golfers from around the world at every golf course across the country. Try playing on your own when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday! It will be then when you really miss the Thai service.

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Golf In Laos Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Laos Versus Golf In Thailand

Laos MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Laos (5):  Laos is behind other neighboring countries with only 7 golf courses open for play. Most Laos golf courses are in the capital Vientiane and are only average in quality. However, Luang Prabang Golf Club, in Luang Prabang is the country’s best having hosted 2 Asian Tour events, with spectacular scenery, and excellent playing conditions.

Thailand (7): There are many championship golf courses in Thailand including Siam Country Club (home of the Honda LPGA) and Black Mountain Golf Club (Royal Trophy and Black Mountain Masters). Golf In A Kingdom includes all of Thailand’s best golf courses.

Service (25%)
Laos (4): Golf in Laos is a relatively new and as such finding trained service personnel at the golf clubs is difficult. Most staff and caddies hardly speak any English and are not familiar with the rules golf. This detracts from the otherwise good overall golfing experience.

Thailand (10): The land of smiles carries on its name onto the golf course as well. Friendly locals and caddies are everywhere at all Thai golf courses. Try playing when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday to really appreciate the Thai service!

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