Category: Thailand Golf Playing Tips

Which golf ball should I play in Thailand?

Which golf ball should I play in Thailand?

Of all the variables that determine a golf ball’s performance compression may be the most mysterious. You’ll know it as a number on the ball, usually 90 or 100. If you see slow motion videos of balls impacting the club face you’ll see it as the ball deforming or “mushing”. The ball launches as this compression releases.

Generally, professional advice says the faster you swing the less compression you need but there are way more issues to consider namely spin speed generated, feel, control, etc but let’s leave that to Phil Mickelson.

By and large, for Thailand, you can play with a ball with less compression and avoid the 100 models. This is because generally the greens are softer so the ball stops more easily, which means less spin is required. We amateurs like less spin because that means less deviation in the shot trajectory. Another issue is the air is “thicker” and a firmer ball will penetrate the moisture laden air more effectively.

As I’m blogging I expect a thousand replies about why a Srixon Z-Star SL suits someone better than a Taylor Made Burner and they’d be right because a lot of it is how the ball feels for you and what works. Nevertheless, science says my premise is sound. Actually, my best advice is to use the “water balls” you can buy at great prices near to the entrances of many gold clubs in Thailand then when it inevitably revisits the lake where it was plucked from you won’t mind so much.

Drain Putts In Thailand

Drain Putts In Thailand

Thailand Golf PuttingIf you can do only one thing to improve your enjoyment when golfing in Thailand, the making more putts would be what I suggest. Thailand golfers face more putts than any other shot. I have taken the time to master putting in Thailand and I was able to cut 3-4 stokes off my score in the process. Here is how I did it.

1. I think more about the speed than line on my putts. For example, when my caddie tells me inside right or inside left, I just putt to the center of the hole and make sure my speed is enough that the ball will reach the back of the cup. This takes most of the break out of the putt and simplifies the stroke. I putt aggressively, but not too aggressively so as to avoid a nasty lip out.

2. For all putts standing with my eyes over the ball I found to be critical. This simplifies things enormously and makes it easier to sink straight putts.

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Tips On Playing Thai Country Club

Tips On Playing Thai Country Club

Thai Country Club BangkokMost of you know that my home course is Thai Country Club. Having played this excellent Bangkok golf course more-or-less one time per week for the past 3 years, my scores have ranged from a few over par to over 90. Looking back on my rounds I can see a few things in common that led to good scores.

1.    Stay out of the rough. Hitting fairways in regulation is the single biggest key to scoring well at Thai Country Club. The rough at Thai Country Club is formed by thick Zoysia grass that is next to impossible to hit from. The best solution when in the rough is to hit sideways back onto the fairway. Trying to advance the ball often leads to the same shot all over again.

2.    Play for less break when putting.  Most of the greens at Thai Country Club are flattish. If you think the ball will break two cups; then putt for a one cup break. If it looks like a one grip break; play half of a grip. The only exceptions are on holes 15, 16, and 17 which do have a lot of movement due to the greens gradually sinking into the adjacent ponds.

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Siam Country Club Playing Tips

Siam Country Club Playing Tips

Siam Country Club Plantation Course Hole 7I had the good fortune of playing at Siam Country Club Plantation Course in Pattaya this week. A usual the course was in excellent condition and in fact just two weeks prior Siam Country Club Plantation Course was awarded the best conditioned course in Asia by the readers of Asia’s largest golf publication.

In order to get maximum enjoyment and a good score at Siam Country Club Plantation Course I realized 4 very important points.

1.    Use your B-game: Why this sounds counterintuitive I found that playing to my weaknesses improved my score. For example, when driving I usually fade the ball off the tee. Rather than trying to fight my fade, and trying to draw the ball, I just aimed down the left side of the fairway and with my fade my drives wound up in the center ever time. This set up reasonable approach shots to virtually every green.

2.    Trust your caddie: The greens at Siam Country Club have many subtle breaks. Unless you play this Pattaya golf course regularly, it pays to ask your caddy to read the line and more importantly; listen to her!

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Straight Driving For Thailand Golfing

Straight Driving For Thailand Golfing

Lee Westwood At Thailand Golf ChampionshipLately I have been taking some golf lessons and I have gone from a controlled fade to a pull hook off the tee. I have begun pulling the ball off the tee. What I want is a straight ball flight so yesterday I went out to Thai Country Club and hit two bags of balls on the range with my driver.

To stop pulling my drives I found that I must swing the club on an in-to-out swing path and/or change the clubface’s position at impact. I was able to do both by implementing one, all, or a combination of the three tips. It was a case of trial and error for me, but these ball straightening cures work wonders.

1. Strengthen the grip: This was my first change. To do that, I moved both hands to the right until I was able to see all the knuckles on the back of my left hand.

2. Roate the body: Next, I moved the overall alignment of my body a little by aiming my feet, hips, and shoulders to the right of the target and by moving the ball back a little in my stance.

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Make All 4 Footers When Golfing In Thailand

Make All 4 Footers When Golfing In Thailand

Royal Gems Golf City PuttingWhen you golf in Thailand you can complain about slow greens, grainy surfaces, poor caddies, and whatever you can think of to blame for poor putting. However, none of these are likely to be the cause for Thailand golf putting woes.

Where you putt from is the key to how well you putt. The closer you are to the hole the better your putting – PERIOD!

Average Thai golfers probably face 4 foot putts 10-15 times a round. Many golfers simply call these a Gimmie, but this is cheating (Gimmie’s are only allowed in Thailand from 3 feet and closer.) Master putting from this range and you’ll dramatically cut your scores when golfing in Thailand, and do it legally!

Making 4 footers isn’t as easy as it sounds. Confidence is a big factor. So is practice. Here are 5 tips on sinking 4 foot putts:

1.    Think speed more than line. Thailand golfers tend to focus on line with short putts. But speed is more important. Putt aggressively, but not too aggressively so that your ball goes to the back of the cup.

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Which Golf Ball Is Right for YOU When Golfing In Thailand?

Which Golf Ball Is Right for YOU When Golfing In Thailand?

Thailand Golf BallsFor the regular Thai golfer, the news on the modern golf ball is all good. The ball doesn’t slice or hook anywhere near as much as it did 15 years ago and it goes a lot further. But why hasn’t the average Thailand golf visitor’s handicap dropped? The answer is almost certainly in the golf ball they are teeing up when golfing in Thailand.

Today a solidly hit golf ball doesn’t move. The manufacturer’s designers have worked the long night hours to make it so. But for most playing the Thai golf fairways the percentage of solidly hit shots hasn’t improved that much and the ball, when hit poorly, will deviate from the straight and narrow, no matter how solidly it is constructed.

Some balls will deviate more than others. Would you believe that the Titleist Pro VI’s most of the Thai golf professionals play will deviate MORE than many of the less costly ones available for sale in Thailand!

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Bermuda Grass On Thailand’s Golf Courses

Bermuda Grass On Thailand’s Golf Courses

Thai golf ballIf you’ve played golf in Florida, Mexico, or Hawaii, you are probably familiar with Bermuda grass like Thailand golfers enjoy. Bermuda is a type of grass used in tropical climates, especially on seaside layouts, because it is a heartier strain of grass that is easier to maintain than traditional bent grass.

When you play Bermuda greens, you may find multiple grain configurations on a single green so it is wise to examine your shot from all angles. This allows you to see whether the Bermuda looks pale and shiny or rich and green. Rich and green appearance means the grain of the Bermuda is growing toward your vantage point and not reflecting light so much as when the grain is running away from you and looks shiny and pale. But, the grain isn’t always with you or against you.

Thailand golfers know that Bermuda grain running ninety-degrees to the shot path can influence ball behavior. A right to left grain can cause a putt to break right to left, exponentially if there is any surface break inherent in the terrain. The converse is also true, that Bermuda grain can minimize break when it is running counter to the lay of the land.

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Thailand Golf Gloves

Thailand Golf Gloves

Use Thailand Golf GloveOne of the most important but overlooked pieces of golf equipment in Thailand is the glove.  With hot and oftentimes sweaty tropical weather conditions the only thing stopping a golf club from flying out of a Thailand golfers hand is the glove. If the glove is wet or slick, it will not grip the club and a mishit is very likely.

Moreover, one of the most important parts of a good Thailand golf swing is the grip. That comes as no surprise. If a Thai golfers grip is off, then the swing will probably be off.  I see many golfers in Thailand slice, hook, and otherwise mishit the ball. That's because their hands are the prime mover of the shaft and the controller of the clubface. If the hands aren't doing their job, a poor shot will always result.

How can you tell if your glove is correct? I recommend an all-weather type that does not get slippery when wet, or at least holds some of its tackiness.  Sometimes I use 3-4 gloves during a round alternating between gloves to keep them dry and fresh. Moreover,  I always check the wear patterns on my golf glove.
Here are three common wear patterns and what it means to my golf swing.

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How To Judge Green Speed Of Thailand Golf Courses

How To Judge Green Speed Of Thailand Golf Courses

Alpine Golf Bangkok GreenRecently I have seen green speeds on Thailand golf courses run from a slow 7 on the stimpmeter at Majestic Creek Country Cub in Hua Hin to a speedy 10 at Red Mountain Golf Club in Phuket.  At other times, like after a professional event, green speeds can run as high as 11 or 12. Siam Country Club Old Course was like this in February after the Honda LPGA.

With such a great variation in green speed and importance on distance in lag putting, how can the visiting golfer in Thailand be successful in judging the green speed at each Thai golf course?

Well fortunately all of the golf courses in Thailand have practice putting greens and I find that hitting some long pouts just before starting my round helps allot to be successful on the golf course.

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My Thailand Short Game

My Thailand Short Game

Thailand Chip ShotI was playing with friends last week at Royal Gems Golf City and they mentioned that my short game was pretty good. I was able to get up-and-down around 50% of the time, even on the sloped green on August #10. That saved par for me on an otherwise poorly played hole.

Therefore, this week I thought to share my Thailand golf short game tips here.
My chipping is mainly due to my special grip. So if your chipping leaves something to be desired, try changing grips.

Most Thailand golfers use a standard neutral grip to hit chips. But too often I see that leads to either long putts to the hole or worse fat shots that do not even make it to the green.

If this sounds like you when golfing in Thailand then you're not helping yourself. You need to get closer to the hole to have a short makeable putt.

Below are three keys that I use for the Thailand golf chip shot:

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Make More Short Putts In Thailand

Make More Short Putts In Thailand

Thai PuttingTravelling half way around the world to golf in Thailand is an experience if a lifetime. However the last thing you want to do on a Thailand golf holiday is miss allot of short putts during your rounds.

Golfers in Thailand probably face on average 10 short (less than 6 foot) putts in any given round. Master putting from this range and I bet you have an even better time golfing in Thailand.

But sinking 6 footers isn't as easy as it sounds. Confidence is a big factor and so is practice. I recommend getting a small putting mat at home where you can practice 10 minutes a day, regardless of the temperature or weather outside. In addition here are four tips on sinking short foot putts that will work for everyone on a Thailand golf holiday.
 
1.    Think speed more than line: I always aim for the back of the cup on short putts. The greens in Thailand are not very undulated, especially on the flatter Bangkok golf courses. Thailand golfers tend to focus only on the break on short putts, but speed is equally important. Putt aggressively, but not too aggressively to avoid a nasty lip out.

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Thailand’s Soft Sand

Thailand’s Soft Sand

Thailand Sand ShotFirst time visitors golfing in Thailand often mention to me about how difficult it is hitting good shots from greenside bunkers at many of the Thailand golf courses. What I see when we play together is that their sand wedges dig into the often fluffy sand found on many golf courses in Thailand and these same Thai golfers leave their first shot in the bunker and take two or worse three shots to get on the green.

The cause of this is that many of these same Thailand golfers don't open the clubface enough on bunker shots.  When I ask why? They mention that they are afraid that opening the clubface will cause the shot to go right. This is a very common mistake when golfing in Thailand, especially after a long layoff during the cold winters at home, it is totally wrong!
The good news is that this error can be easily overcome, even during your first round of golf in Thailand.

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Don’t Slice It In Thailand

Don’t Slice It In Thailand

Banyan Golf Hua Hin ThailandWouldn’t it be nice if you could hit it straight or better yet with a slight draw when golfing in Thailand? On the driving range before your first round of golf in Hua Hin does your ball striking leaves something to be desired?

If so, try changing grips. Most Thailand golfers use a standard neutral grip. But if you're ending up with shots that go to the right, then you're not making solid contact and you're not helping yourself. The straighter your shots go, the more fun you will have when you golf in Thailand.

Here are two easy things to getting a good score at any Thailand golf course:

1. Turn both hands slightly right
2.  Keep your wrists firm when you swing

There's nothing wrong with using the standard neutral grip if it's producing good results. The standard neutral grip is hit with both thumbs on top of the shaft. But I see too many high handicappers golfing in Bangkok that struggle to hit it straight. If this is you, then you may want to do something about it. Using a stronger grip can save you strokes and adds to the enjoyment of your Bangkok golf holiday.

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Are You A Thai Golf Swinger Or Hitter?

Are You A Thai Golf Swinger Or Hitter?

Swinger Thailand Golf_resize Here is something to think about from Mike “Spike” Collier, Director of Golf at Three Generation Golf Academy (TGGA).

When golfing in Thailand what is the difference between being a swinger and a hitter? The number one difference is in the concept/mind-set and physical action between the two.That is to say, for a Thai golf swinger the club is pulled and thrown utilizing the feel of the weight of the swinging club head.

A Thai golf hitter pushes against the club stressing the shaft using the right arm, shoulder and back muscles. These are two very different Thai golf swing patterns that require different components to perform the action.

Far too often I see Thailand golfers struggling with their swings because their swing components are not compatible with each other. Most players will start out as a hitter because it feels natural to them. But 99.9% of the golf instruction out there is for swingers, so when these Thai golfers go for golf lessons they are told to do something that to them does not feel natural…confusion sets in and Thai handicaps go up.

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Eliminates Bad Chips in Thailand

Eliminates Bad Chips in Thailand

Thailand Golf Chip Shot Poor chipping hurts my game. Last week at Alpine Golf Club in Bangkok I had the great opportunity to golf in a former European golf professional. He saw my bad chips and gave me the following tip. I immediately improved and was able to get up and down more than 50% of the time afterwards. Poor chipping stemmed from my poor technique. Below is the 4 step routine that showed most improvement:

1. I soled my wedge on the ground and raised it on its toe.
2. I stood slightly closer to the ball with my stand slightly narrower than normal.
3. I shifted my weight slightly forward.
4. I took the club back like putting and made a smooth forward stroke.

Chips shots are specialty shots, so when I used my standard setup to chip, I sometime hit it fat and or other times thin. When I adjusted my setup and not only did I eliminate all further bad chips, but I was able to get the ball closer than 5 feet to the hole in all cases. This set me up for some great up-and-down par saves.

Bad chipping used to cost me strokes. Now I don't let it. I am sure every Thai golfer can Improve by following the simple routine explained above.  I bet everyone will not only improve their chipping, you they chop a boatload of strokes off their golf handicap and adding even more enjoyment to golf in Thailand.

6 Tips For Golfing In Thailand When It Is Hot

6 Tips For Golfing In Thailand When It Is Hot

Thailand Hot Golf I played golf in Thailand last week with an Australian golf group. After 15 holes several of the golfers felt so tired that they had to sit down and stop their rounds. That golf incident prompted me to write this post.

Playing in tropical climates such as Thailand creates special situations. You must watch out for dehydration and fatigue and in some more severe cases, heat exhaustion, else risk a poor round, or worse.

Here are a few tips perform at your best when golfing in Thailand:

1.    Play in early in the morning when the temperature in Thailand is coolest
2.    Wear a golf hat, shorts, and light colored short sleeved shirt preferably made of the new generation of dry-fit fabrics.
3.    Bring a small towel to dry off sweat.
4.    Use 2 or 3 golf gloves and change every 3 or 4 holes
5.    Drink lots of water before and during the game. Avoid alcohol on the Thailand golf courses as it dehydrates the body. Eat only lightly on the course. Fresh fruits are always good.
6.    Use an umbrella for the sun and stay in the shade as much as possible when not hitting.

Follow these simple tips and you will be sure to enjoy your Thailand golf holiday to its fullest.

My Take On Golf Carts At Thailand Golf Courses

My Take On Golf Carts At Thailand Golf Courses

Golf Asian Golf Cart While most of my Thailand golf is played walking, there are times when a golf cart (buggy) is also useful.

For example, for corporate days and golf tournaments carts are more versatile, suit a wider variety of players, and help keep the golf speed of play moving along at a reasonable pace for all.

Then there are the Thailand golf courses with extreme elevation changes that are better left for walking by mountain goats as opposed to golfers in Thailand. These include the incredibly hilly Santiburi Samui Country Club and Red Mountain Golf Club in Phuket. The compulsory golf carts at these two Thailand golf courses are truly a needed to prevent golfers from passing out before they finish their rounds.

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Chipping From Thick Grass Around The Greens In Thailand

Chipping From Thick Grass Around The Greens In Thailand

Golf Chip Thailand The other day at Thai Country Club in Bangkok I found myself in the thick rough next to the green four times during my round. I used my normal chip shot to get out, only to find to my horror that two times the ball just got stick and two times the ball sailed clear over the other side of the green. Needless to say I could not saved par and was lucky to made bogey each time.

When Tiger Woods played at Blue Canyon in Phuket in 1998 and then again at Alpine Golf Club in Bangkok, both Johnnie Walker Classic events; he could get up and down from practically any lie near the green. Through countless hours of practice, he's mastered shot making from any lie. But none of us are Tiger Woods. Therefore I decided to ask a few golf professionals in Thailand what to do when in thick grass or have a buried lie around the green when golfing in Thailand. Here is what I found out.

I used my 60 degree wedges for everything around the green. That works only if you're proficient with a high lofted club. But I’m not, so using other clubs to chip with near the green is a better option. In fact, it can make a big difference. The tall grass chip with a pitching wedge or nine/eight iron shows how chipping with other clubs works.

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8 Do’s & Don’ts When Golfing In Thailand

8 Do’s & Don’ts When Golfing In Thailand

Phunaka Golf Phuket Thailand 1. Given that you’ll be out on the course for at least four hours do make sure you put plenty of sunscreen on. It’s also advisable to wear a hat or cap. The Sun when golf in Phuket can be the strongest compared to all other Thailand golf destinations.

2. Although golfing in Thailand is relaxed, don’t expect to be allowed onto the course wearing inappropriate clothing. Do wear a collared shirt with slacks, Bermuda shorts, or a skirt (provided you are a lady). Mock collars (aka Tiger Woods) are also accepted at all Thailand golf courses.

3. Do listen to your caddie-and listen very carefully! Thailand boasts some of the best trained and most savvy caddies in Asia. Find a knowledgeable one and reserve her for perhaps a repeat round (though it may be a privilege only afforded to rounds booked by members of through golf tour operators).

4. Don’t be alarmed to see a flight in front of you turn into a parade of 20 bodies! —-Extra caddies are often required to carry the umbrella, chair or beer! —and don’t forget the cart driver and ball diver at Royal Bangkok Sports Club.

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Getting Out Of High Lipped Thailand Bunkers

Getting Out Of High Lipped Thailand Bunkers

Chiangmai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort 0611-H8_0778_resize Have you ever faced a high lipped greenside bunker like those at Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Club or worst yet one of those humongous fairway bunkers at Siam Country Club Plantation Course in Pattaya?

Most Thailand golf holidaymakers in this situation open up there sand wedges, ht as hard as they can, and either skull the ball clear over the green or worse, leave the ball in the face of the bunker in an even more demanding uphill lie. In both cases the result is surely one of frustration.

A golf lesson could help in this case, but most persons on a Thailand golf tour do not have the time or have not made any plans to visit with a club professional. Fortunately, there are few self drills you can do on your own to improve your Thailand sand play.

Here are two exercises for improving bunker techniques:

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Roughing It In Thailand Golf

Roughing It In Thailand Golf

Thailand golf rough The golf courses in Thailand have some very thick rough. For example, off the fairway at the Nicklaus designed Springfield Country Club in Hua Hin can wreak havoc for even the most accomplished golfers in Thailand. If you lie is near the green, the shot becomes even more critical as it can mean the difference between making a par, bogey or worse.

To score low, you must know how to get it close from the really deep stuff. Blue Canyon in Phuket and Thai Country in Bangkok are two Thailand golf courses known to sometimes keep the rough very tall, especially when the course is being prepared for a professional tournament. Knocking it close from these lies chops one or two strokes from your score and often saves par.

Here are four ways that I have found that work well from the deep rough:

1. Use one extra club and choke up
2. Position your hands in front of the ball
3. Play the ball slightly forward
4. Use a descending blow

Some Thailand golfers like to use short irons from the deep rough. But that's hard. It requires a strong grip and strength. Plus, your release has to be perfectly timed. Release the club too early and you'll end up hitting a lot of grass and no ball.

Instead, I use a longer iron, with my hands in front of the ball, and the ball slightly forward of center. The ball will come out of the rough lower and with a lot of top spin (roll), but that beats a flubbed shot or a complete miss. 
   
Before your next round of golf in Thailand head for the practice green and drop a few balls in thick stuff. Practice hitting from some tough lies. You'll be glad you did!

Lagging It Close Golfing in Phuket and Hua Hin

Lagging It Close Golfing in Phuket and Hua Hin

Thailand Golf Putt My approach shots often stop 20 feet short of the hole when I play the hilly Phuket golf courses like Blue Canyon and Red Mountain or the new Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin. These golf courses have many elevated greens compared to my relatively flat home Bangkok golf course, Thai Country Club

Therefore, my lag putting becomes extremely important to achieve a good score and avoid three putting at these Thailand golf courses.

I have found that good lag putting is a function of my ability to gauge ball speed. If the speed is off, I end up way short of the hole, go flying past it, or worse right back down the front of green if its fast and my ball is above the hole, like many of the greens at Alpine Golf Club.

Controlling ball speed is a matter of stroke length, not speeding up or slowing down your motion. To get the ball close on a lag putt, I change my stroke length while maintaining the same rhythm and tempo as I do on other putts. Here's one way to use stroke length instead of rhythm and tempo.

Find a green with a long flat putt. For example, there is a great practice putting green at Palm Hills Golf Club in Hua Hin. Settle into your normal putting stance. Take the putter head back as far as your big toe using your normal rhythm and tempo. Strike the ball as you normally would. When it stops, measure the distance. For me, it's about 20 feet.

Repeat the process. But this time take the putter back until your hands are even with your big toe. Measure the distance. Normally, it's about 30 feet. Repeat the process a third time. But this time take the putter back until your hands go beyond your foot. Measure the distance. Magically, it's 40 feet.

Measure your own putts to see your distance when you do this drill to get your true range. To fine-tune your stroke for in-between distances, take the putter back a little farther or a little shorter depending on the putt's length.

Practice this drill until you have the distances down pat and you'll dramatically improve your lag putting, regardless if you play flat courses like the resort layout at Laguna Phuket Golf Club, or the more challenging courses with loads of elevation changes round the green like Red Mountain Golf Club.

You'll also cut down on how often you three-putt and end up with better scores no matter what course you golf in Thailand!

Become An Expert At Reading Thailand Golf Greens

Become An Expert At Reading Thailand Golf Greens

Thailand Golf Putting GrassProbably the most important thing to learn about golf in Thailand is how to read the greens.  While Thai caddies can tell you where to hit a putt, it is always helpful to understand why putts break the way they do.  Grass in Thailand is mostly Bermuda and very grainy.  Grain, or the direction the grass blades grow, is many times just as important to the line and speed of a putt as is the slope of the green itself.  To read the grain, there are a couple of things to pay attention to. 

First, look at the color or shade of the grass between your ball and the hole.  If it all looks the same color, turn around and look in the opposite direction.  You should be able to see that in one direction the grass is a lighter color or shiny and in the other direction it will appear darker.  The light shade means the grass is growing in that direction, or “down grain”.  If your putt will travel over mostly light shaded or shiny grass, it will be much faster than normal.  Conversely, if the grass is a darker shade, your putt will be slower than normal, as it is “into” or “against” the grain.  Grass is darker because you are actually looking under the blades of grass and the small shadows they cast as it grows toward you.  Grass is shiny because you are looking at the top of the blade as it grows away from you.  If grain is growing to the right or left, you will have to play more or less break depending on slope and grain direction of that putt.

The second trick you can use to determine grain is to look at the hole itself.  All of the better Thailand golf courses like Alpine and Amata Spring will relocate the hole each day. After it has been cut in the morning, as the day goes on, one side of the hole will turn brown.  This happens as the grass blades die around that edge of the hole, where the roots have been cut.  Only one side or portion of the hole will turn brown and this will tell you the grain is growing in that direction.  Again, if you are putting toward the brown side of the hole the putt will be slower than normal.  Remember, this trick will only tell you where the grain is growing at the hole.  You must look at the entire putt to able to judge accurately.  Also, how the grass is growing near the hole will have slightly more influence on a putt, as the putt will typically be moving slower the closer is gets to the hole and be more vulnerable to the grain. 

Once you get the hang of reading grain, you will be good at putting on your Thailand golf holiday!

Thailand Golf Tips

Thailand Golf Tips

Santiburi Samui Country Club.jpg Golfers travel from thousands of miles away everyday to enjoy Thailand golf courses, tourist attractions and cultural experiences.  Tour guides can answer many questions and provide necessary insights regarding the sights.  Likewise, golfers in Thailand benefit from the help they get from the delightful caddies at all Thai golf courses.  Still, there are some things all golfers should learn about golf in Thailand, which will make their rounds more enjoyable.

Thailand is in the tropics and while that affords all year golfing weather, the heat, especially in the sun, can be quite taxing. Drink lots of water before you play and keep drinking during the round.  Isotonic drinks, such as Gatorade, M Sport and the locally made B-Ing are available at drink huts every 3-4 holes on all Thailand golf courses. They are quite helpful for keeping up your stamina. For food, bananas and boiled eggs are good choices on the Thai golf courses as they will replenish many of the minerals that your body looses during the round. Beers and fatty meats will do the opposite and should be avoided, at least until the end of the round.

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Three Ball Golf Thailand

Three Ball Golf Thailand

LaemChabang(C)_8Par3 In my view, and I am sure many of you will agree, the best form of golf in Thailand is a ‘friendly’ four-ball, better-ball with three like-minded pals. The amicable banter and gamesmanship all go to make for a fun round, especially if there are a few bucks, or even the post-match round of drinks, riding on the result – in particular, in Thailand, if the caddies are encouraged to join in the wagering, say by doubling the tip of the caddies carrying for the winning pair.

Sometimes people are nervous about venturing on a Thailand golfing holiday when they are single travellers, particularly if it is their first visit here. Don’t worry: firstly, most of the golf courses will try to match you up with other players – indeed, many golf courses will not allow singletons to play because they know a customer who has to wait on every shot will, most likely, be an unhappy golfer. If you are travelling with a Thailand golf vacation company, they also will do their best to link you up with other clients of a similar level. I know of golfing visitors who have made life-long friends in this way., myself included

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5 THAILAND GOLF ETIQUETTE TIPS

5 THAILAND GOLF ETIQUETTE TIPS

Thailand Golfer When golfing in Thailand remember these 5 simple points of golf etiquette and everyone will be assured of a satisfying golf experience. The overriding principle is that consideration should be shown to others on Thailand golf courses at all times.
 
1. The Spirit of the Game in Thailand
Unlike many sports, golf in Thailand is played without the supervision of a referee. The game relies on the integrity of the individual to show consideration for other golfers in Thailand and to abide by the rules of golf. You should conduct yourself in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times, irrespective of how you are shooting. This is the spirit of the game of golf in Phuket and all golf destinations in Thailand.

2. Safety for Golf in Thailand
When golfing in Thailand, you should ensure that no one is standing close by or in a position to be hit by the club when you make a stroke. You should not play until the players in front are out of range, especially at the best golf courses in Pattaya such as Siam Country Club.  If you hit a ball in a direction where there is a danger of hitting someone, immediately yell (not whisper) FORE, even when playing golf with Thai golfers who speak Thai.

3. Consideration for Other Golfers in Thailand
Always show consideration for other players on the Phuket golf course and do not disturb others play by moving, talking or making any unnecessary noise.  Thailand golf visitors should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players. TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE ON THE COURSE!

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Stop Trusting Thailand Golf Course Superintendents

Stop Trusting Thailand Golf Course Superintendents

Golf Superintendant Be wary of Thailand golf course superintendents! They can cost you strokes.

Thai golf course designers create fair, but challenging courses. However, the Thai superintendents sometimes play tricks on you, especially with tee boxes. I have seen at least one and in most cases up to 50% of tee boxes on golf courses in Thailand be aligned to the out-of-bounds or hazard rather than the fairway.

Take for example the Canyon Course at Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket. Look at where the tees point on hole 11, straight into the woods on the left side. Then take hole 14. Yes that is the par 3 that is in practically every advertisement about golf in Thailand. On that hole it is hard enough hitting onto the island green. Why does the course superintendent insist on placing the tee markers so that a straight shot will fly well left of the green and right into the lake?

This is not the only example. I was playing at Phoenix Golf Club in Pattaya last week and no sooner did my foursome get to the first tee of the Mountain Course then I found the tee markers aimed way to the right and into the fairway of the ninth hole. This was a poor start indeed.

There's nothing in the rules of golf that says course superintendents must help you. The way a superintendent mows the grass doesn't always give you a true aim down the course for example, so why should the tee markers? Take some time to study the hole before teeing off to assess the situation and select the true target line.

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3 Par Saving Chiang Mai Golf Tips

3 Par Saving Chiang Mai Golf Tips

Thailand Golf Practice Green
Jim just sent me these tips which outlined how he managed his score when golfing in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai a few weeks ago. I thought I better share them with you before I forget.

1. SHORT GAME – WHERE MOST SHOTS ARE TAKEN (AND WASTED)
Arrive 30 minutes early and head to the practice green. Then, practice chip and pitch shots before heading to the first tee. Chiang Mai Highlands has the best practice area in the area, so why not take advantage of it. Besides it is free and fun. Alpine Chiang Mai and Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club also have good short game practice areas. 

You will find both your short game improves on the golf courses in Asia, as the movements necessary to create good dynamics for ball contact in pitching/chipping will also carry through the whole round.  You will find your confidence building as you start to save more pars by sticking your wedges close – and that confidence will carry over to the approach shots because even if you miss you the green you will believe you can still save par. The vast majority of shots, and the vast majority of wasted shots, occurs within 100 yards of the green!

2. PUTTING – SEE THE LINE

Many different approaches to putting have been successfully used throughout the history of golf, though the one thing all great putters have had in common is that they setup with their eyes along the line of play (they can be over the ball or behind the ball).  If you are looking at the line from an angle, your chances of hitting the ball on the correct line are greatly reduced even if you know where the correct line is.  An easy way to check is take your putting stance on the practice green, than hold your putter next to your eyes with just two fingers and let the putter dangle straight down – take note of where the shaft points.

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