Category: Thailand Golf Related Activities (Nightlife, Spas, Sightseeing)

Great Thailand Golf Tournaments to Participate in During Spring/Summer of 2016

Great Thailand Golf Tournaments to Participate in During Spring/Summer of 2016

There are a slew of great amateur Thailand golf tournaments to participate in during the spring/summer of 2016. Some of the best tournaments are those located in southeastern Asian countries like Thailand & Vietnam. If you don’t mind a little traveling, you can enjoy some of the best golf experiences often at a rather low cost.

Amari Pattaya & Hua Hin Golf Weeks (March 6-12 & 13-19, Pattaya/Hua Hin, Thailand)

Almost 100 club golfers from 10 countries are expected to participate at the Amari Pattaya Golf Week on 6-12 March 2016 and the Amari Hua Hin Golf Week on 13-19 March 2016. These two week-long Thailand golf tournaments for all golfers (with and without handicaps), include four rounds of golf at Championship venues and nightly social and entertainment events.

Also catering to the needs of non-golfers and traveling companions, a series of tours to the regions’ popular attractions and destination experiences will be offered.

Amari will host this unique dual-destination golfing experience at two of its top locations in Thailand: Amari Ocean Pattaya and Amari Hua Hin.

Centara World Masters Golf Championship (June 12-18, Hua Hin, Thailand) &
Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Golf Championship (June 19-25, Pattaya, Thailand)

Club golfers have quickly made the Centara World Masters Golf Championship in Hua Hin, Thailand, the biggest international tournament for club golfers in Asia. 750 golfers from 23 countries attended the second annual Centara Masters in June and similar numbers will contest this year’s event from 12 to 18 June 2016.

With golfers keen to experience more of Thailand’s golfing holiday destinations, tournament organisers have added the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Championship from 19 to 25 June 2016. The Pattaya tournament will see may golfers extend their stay in Thailand to play the 3 courses at Siam Country Club and the highly ranked Laem Chabang. Away from the courses, Pattaya has pristine beaches, amazing restaurants, bars and shopping as well as exotic nightlife.

The Centara World Masters is open to male and female golfers over the age of 35, with 15 divisions guaranteeing you play with golfers of a similar age and standard. The tournament is played over 4 rounds. Hua Hin was voted Asia’s Best Golf Destination and the Centara Masters will see golfers play at Black Mountain, Banyan, Springfield and the composite course at Imperial Lake View.

The Pattaya tournament is played as a team of two, incorporating best ball, ambrose and aggregate competition. Golfers of all ages can compete and there are men’s, ladies and mixed divisions based on combined team handicap. Golfers play the 3 courses at Siam Country Club plus a round at Laem Chabang.

Carts and Thailand’s experienced and ever-smiling caddies are included at all courses. Caddies also wear souvenir caddy bibs featuring players name and country.

Both tournaments are hosted by Go Golfing Australia in partnership with Golfasian and the personalised service, supreme event organisation, big prize pools, nighty socials and dinners with world class entertainment ensure these event are lots of fun and great value.
Limited places remain for both events in 2016. Play both events and save 10%.

For more information visit www.thailandworldmasters.com and www.pattayagolftournament.com

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 In Egypt Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Egypt 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%)
Egypt (6): Golf in the Egypt is widespread, especially in the resort areas such as Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh. Additionally, the Gary Player course at Soma Bay Resort is a sure standout. A high concentration of golf courses can also be found are in and around Cairo with the 27-hole Katameya Heights leading the pack.

Thailand (7): Over 250 golf courses in Thailand are spread out across the country. The best courses include Thai Country Club in Bangkok, Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin, and Red Mountain in Phuket. Chiang Mai in the north also has some top courses including Chiang Mai Highlands.

Service (25%)
Egypt (5): The golf courses in Egypt are generally self-serve with limited on-course service and no caddies. The resort courses attached to 5* beach resorts have better facilities, albeit Egyptian service is not the main reason why people travel to golf in Egypt.

Thailand (10): Golf in Thailand sets the standard for service. All Thai golf courses have caddies to assist visiting golfs in every task imaginable, except hitting the ball of course. Expect service excellence at all courses, whether the course itself is 5* or not.

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Chiang Mai Golf Magic

Chiang Mai Golf Magic

I am used to the frenetic pace of golf in Bangkok or golf in Pattaya, so whenever I head north get a real treat when I golf in Chiang Mai.

For the best Chiang Mai golf resort, I check into The Chedi Chiang Mai where I feel always welcome at Chiang Mai’s only five-star hotel located on the Mae Ping River.  Close by, I explore the temples and check out the night bazaar, a mere five minute walk away.

For the best golf in Chiang Mai, I drive out of town past rice fields, buffaloes, and mountains to the Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort & Spa. As soon as I arrive at the Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort & Spa their helpful staff and smiling caddies literally take over to start my Thai golf day.

The 18-hole course is set in the foothills east of Chiang Mai. The front nine utilizes the flatter parts of the terrain, while the back nine plays up natural inclines, cleverly using the contours and landscape to dramatic effect. Opened in December 2005, the course features Paspalum fairways and Tiff-Eagle greens. The bunkers are deep and severely penalizing to errant shots, but beautiful to the golfer’s eye especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. The greens are firm and fast but hold a well struck iron shot.  Many greens slope away from the fairway putting more emphasis on strategy and local knowledge.

Their first hole, a 378 yard dog leg left, eases me into the course with a relatively wide fairway and a raised green surrounded by bunkers. Three is a long 550 yard par 5 with a stream running down the left- hand side. Bunkers come into play at various places along the fairways so most of you will take three shots to get within reach of the green. Eight, a 387 yard par 4, has almost more bunkers than fairways, with even more huge craters surrounding the green.

The real fun, however, starts on the back nine when I start to climb into the mist- covered mountains. Memorable holes include 13, with an elevated tee offering a panoramic view of the course. At 16, I am back battling the mountain, with a long par 4, with the fairway sloping down the valley on the right-hand side of the green. The signature hole is left for last, the 531 yard number 18. Here I tee off into the unknown down a valley, with a stream running across the bottom of the dip, with an uphill third onto the raised green opposite the club house.

Overall, the course certainly is worthy of the several golf magazine awards that have been bestowed on the club and definitely worth taking a few classic golf coursepictures here!

After a breathtaking day on the course, I let the magic of The Chedi Chiang Mai cast its spell. I always check-out a massage treatment at the spa and perhaps before the sun sets, take a dip in the hotel’s swimming pool beside the river.

With Chiang Mai often experiencing cooler weather than other Thailand golf destinations, a visit to this region makes a welcome break from the southern golf destinations of  Phuket or Koh Samui. The combination of the Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort & Spa and The Chedi Chiang Mai gives Thailand golfers much more than just a holiday. It is 5-star experience that encompasses great golf, superb hospitality and service in a wonderful part of Thailand.

Après Golf Fine Dining in Hua Hin

Après Golf Fine Dining in Hua Hin

Thai Food 2Here are a few fine dining do’s and don’ts for Hua Hin golfers that were complied by long time area resident, gastronomical expert, and Swiss Amateur Golf Team captain Marco Scopetta.

If you plan to spend few days golfing in Hua Hin, these are the best restaurants you can experience after your round.

The well-established Sofitel Centara Grand Resort and Villas has become the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin. While the Hua Hin resort has been rebranded, the incredible Saturday night buffet at Railway Restaurant has not changed a bit! It is a MUST if you really want to experience a great dinner.

Insiders Tip: Bring your own wine and save a fortune. Corkage charges are only a fraction of the wine cost and the local wine shops in town have some great bargains.

Baan Itsara, beach front Thai restaurant not far from the center is well-known by the locals and Hi So of Bangkok. A little expensive compared to other local restaurants but excellent. The best grilled Lobster in town.

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LPGA Shines In Thailand

LPGA Shines In Thailand

LPGA Pattaya Thailand 2012Thailand knows how to put on a show, and the top LPGA players will be at the Honda LPGA Thailand this month.

With the worlds 59 best lady golfers in attendance, the Siam Country Club in Pattaya will be the perfect backdrop to kick off the LPGA tour season in style.
This popular tournament was launched in 2006 when a certain Miss Hee-Won Han from South Korea won the inaugural event. Since then the likes of Suzann Petersen from Norway, Lorena Ochoa from Mexico , Ai Miyazato from Japan, Yanni Tseng from Taiwan have all held the coveted trophy.

Add star names such as Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer and crowd favourite Michelle Wie, and you can understand why the sponsors are prepared to offer a massive US$1.8million in prize money.

Held at the Siam Country Club’s famous Old Course, a par 72 playing 6,477 yards for the girls, the players all commented on how perfect the fairways and greens were playing.

With most sports suffering during the recent economy down, the golf industry has turned to Asia for its future.  The exposure that the event brings to Thailand is truly global. Meanwhile perhaps the biggest winner will once again be one of Thailand’s number one courses, Siam Country Club in Pattaya.

If you want to follow in the stars footsteps, why not plan to attend the event and then play the Pattaya golf club’s two championship courses? The Old Course and Plantation courses are the 2 best Pattaya golf courses, and by a wide margin.

PGA Golf Tournament In Khao Yai Solidifies Panorama’s Reputation

PGA Golf Tournament In Khao Yai Solidifies Panorama’s Reputation

Panorama Golf Khao Yai’s Panorama Golf and Country Club, managed by Quality Golf, hosted its first ever professional event in the Thailand golf course’s 18 year history.

Played over 3 days in April the Thailand Senior Professional Golfers Association tournament was won by local Thai favorite Jamnian Chitprasong. Quality Golf managed to keep the usually tricky greens at a speed of 9.5 feet during the tournament. However, keeping the ball below the hole still proved to be sound advice for the top finishers. The conversation around the even was that the extreme green challenge, perfect course conditions, well trained local caddie force, and  facilities of the newly renovated clubhouse led to the successful inaugural Panorama golf tournament.

Panorama Golf and Country Club is a scenic golf course set in the Khao Yai Mountains. It was formerly known as Voyage Panorama. Quality Golf, the Khao Yai golf club’s new manager took over 2 years ago and they draw on their prior golf in Asia experience. Previously Quality Golf was involved at Thai Country Club, Alpine, Blue Canyon, and Santiburi Samui.

It’s not that often you can easily and cost effectively golf where golf professionals do.  Therefore, I suggest anyone interested in playing this Khao Yai golf course under tournament conditions either include it a complete Khao Yai golf package or just contact the course directly and make a day trek from Bangkok out to Khao Yai.  Either way, I am sure you will be very glad you did!

Lady Golf Stars Shine In Thailand Once Again

Lady Golf Stars Shine In Thailand Once Again

LPGA 2011 Thailand knows how to put on a show, and the top LPGA players were all on display at the Honda LPGA Thailand this weekend. With virtually all the star names in contention, the Siam Country Club in Pattaya provided the perfect backdrop to kick off the 2011 LPGA tour season in style.

This popular tournament was launched in 2006 when a certain Miss Hee-Won Han from South Korea won the inaugural event. Since then the likes of Suzann Petersen from Norway, Lorena Ochoa from Mexico and Ai Miyazato from Japan have all held the coveted trophy.

Add star names such as Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer and crowd favourite Michelle Wie, and you can understand why the sponsors offered a massive US$1.8million in prize money. Held at the Siam Country Club Old Course, a par 72 playing 6,477 yards for the girls, the players all commented on how perfect the fairways and greens were playing.

With most sports suffering during the recent economy down, the golf industry has turned to the East for its future.  Mike Whan, the LPGA Commissioner said, ‘The LPGA has gained several events in Asia this year, and seems to be headed in the right direction. With the support we get in Thailand, we really can bring over the big stars. The coverage the event gets for Thailand golf is truly global.’

Thailand featured nine players in the tournament and in fact 15-year-old Thai amateur Ariya Jutanugarn turned in the best round of the final day with a 4-under-par 67.

Perhaps the biggest winner will once again be all of golf in Thailand and especially, Thailand's Golf In A Kingdom.

Bangkok Dining

Bangkok Dining

Bangkok Dining Many on a Thailand golf package spend at least a few days in Thailand’s capital during their golf holiday as it offers convenient flight connections to around the world in addition to great golf, high standard accommodation, shopping, dining and entertainment. I am often asked for restaurant suggestions and while I do not claim to be a foodie, I know what I like. Here is a brief list of some of my favorites:

ITALIAN
There are many good Italian restaurants all over Bangkok in various price ranges. The ones at the Sheraton on Sukhumvit and the Dusit Thani hotels are both very good at the higher end. Others I like a lot that are more moderately priced include La Gritta on Sukhumvit Soi 19, Basilico on Sukhumvit Soi 33, Via Vai on Sukhumvit Soi 8 and Limoncello on Sukhumvit Soi 11.  All offer a great pizza and nice wines as well as an assortment of homemade pastas and more.

THAI
This one is almost impossible because great Thai food is served up in so many places. Even the street food can be good though I don’t particularly enjoy sitting in plastic chairs on the sidewalk and dining a few feet from diesel belching busses while dodging the motorcycle taxi boys flying past our table.  For cheap and good, I like the outdoor corner restaurant just a few meters down Sukhumvit Soi 14 from the Asok Skytrain. At the higher end, the better hotels almost all have good Thai restaurants. It’s hard to go wrong with Thai food in Thailand and often the difference in price is more related to the atmosphere than the food itself.

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Top Non Golf Thailand Attractions

Top Non Golf Thailand Attractions

Thailand (2) Want to plan an Asian golf vacation but also need to make sure your non-golfing travel partners are happy?  No problem.  Below are some of the more popular non-golf activities to include on your Thailand golf holiday itinerary.

All Over Thailand
Massage:  Thai massage, Swedish massage, sports massage, foot massage, neck & shoulder massage, fish massage, aroma therapy, hot stone therapy and more.  You are never far from a spa in Thailand.  Most good hotels have them and you will find many more on the streets.

Bangkok
Best of Bangkok:  Tour includes the Grand Palace, the city’s most famous temples and a long tail boat ride on the Chao Phraya River.

Thai Cooking School:  Fun hands-on experience as you cook (and eat) a multi-course Thai meal.

Siam Niramit:  Dinner and Thai culture show.  World class stage production is one of the best of its kind.

Phuket
The Beach:  Besides golf, Phuket has some of Southeast Asia’s best beaches.

Phi Phi Island:  Numerous beautiful and exotic limestone islands popping up out of the sea along with opportunities for swimming and snorkeling as well as lunch on a deserted island (aka James Bond).

Phuket Island Highlights: Sightseeing including Kata lookout (Phuket’s southernmost point), Wat Chalong Temple and Phuket Town.

Phuket Fantasea:  Dinner and Thai culture show with elephants, magic, song, dance, acrobats and much more.

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Top Non Golf Thailand Attractions

Top Non Golf Thailand Attractions

Thai Spa & Massage Want to plan a Thailand golf vacation but also need to make sure your non-golfing travel partners are happy?  No problem.  Below are some of the more popular non-golf activities to include on your golf holiday itinerary.

All Over Thailand
Massage:  Thai massage, Swedish massage, jet lag massage, sports  or golf massage, foot massage, neck & shoulder massage, fish massage, aroma therapy, hot stone therapy and more. You are never far from a spa in Thailand. Most good hotels have them and you will find many more all over the country.

Bangkok
1. Best of Bangkok Tour:  Includes the Grand Palace, the city’s most famous temples and a long tail boat ride on the Chao Phraya river.

2. Thai Cooking School:  Fun hands-on experience as you cook (and eat) a multi-course Thai meal.

3. Siam Niramit:  Dinner and Thai culture show.  World class stage production is one of the best of its kind.

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Best Place For A Relaxed Thailand Golf Retreat

Best Place For A Relaxed Thailand Golf Retreat

Mae Salong Chiang Rai is away from the crowds and still offers a great golf holiday.  Thailand’s northern most city of significance, Chiang Rai may not have a quantity of golf courses but with Santiburi Chiang Rai Country Club it certainly has quality.  And with conditions at Waterford Valley Golf Club having improved in recent years there are now two courses well worth checking out.  A variety of cultural attractions in the area also add appeal with the Golden Triangle, the Queen Mother’s Botanical Gardens, a mountain-top Chinatown, opium museum, and long tail boat upriver excursions.

The Chiang Rai Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Santiburi Country Club is laid out over vast fields with excellent placement of holes and an abundance of water hazards and bunkers. The golf course is widely regarded as one of the best conceived and maintained golf courses in Asia. Golfers living in Thailand will tell you that Santiburi in Chiang Mai is one of their favorite golf courses in Thailand, and this is no small compliment! Santiburi Country Club was the first Chiang Rai golf course.

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Best Place For a Thailand Golf With Nightlife Holiday

Best Place For a Thailand Golf With Nightlife Holiday

Nightlife Pattaya Depends on what you are looking for.  For raw and wild “in your face’ action Pattaya is the place for many. Golf lovers can play the 2 excellent Siam Country Club courses in between visits to the infamous Walking Street.  Be prepared though, for some the action is just too much and it spoils the otherwise wide selection of reasonably priced Pattaya golf courses

For those Thailand golfers who can do without the bar scene but a Jazz Festival sounds appealing?… Hua Hin is it. Many consider golf in Hua Hin to be the best value in Thailand at the moment with championship courses like Black Mountain Golf Club and Banyan Golf Club leading the pack. In fact, this year Banyan Golf Club was voted the best new course in all Asia. Hua Hin town itself, while much more subdued than other Thailand seaside resorts, still has its share of nightlife. Most hotels have in house live bands and I can think of no other better way to unwind after golf than listening to live Jazz under the stars during the Hua Hin Jazz Festival.

If a street with a zillion beer bars does the trick than Phuket might be your choice (Bangla Road in Patong).  Many also visit Phuket to enjoy its white sandy beaches and golfers will find plenty of both beach and nightlife for sure. Add to that top courses such as Blue Canyon Country Club where Tiger Woods claimed one of the best come from behind PGA victory’s in 1998 and Red Mountain Golf Club, arguably the most spectacular course in the island, and you have a recipe for the best golf and nightlife holiday destination in Thailand.

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Honda LPGA Thailand Ladies Golf Event Comes Back To Pattaya

Honda LPGA Thailand Ladies Golf Event Comes Back To Pattaya

Honda LPGA
The Honda LPGA golf tournament will return to Pattaya on February 26. After a 1 year absence, the event will be held once again at Siam Country Club. However, this time the golf tournament will be held on the more challenging Siam Country Club, Plantation Course instead of the 2007 tournament site, the Siam Country Club Old Course. The new venue should make for some great golf, even if the scores are on the high side.

Two young pro golfers from Thailand, Thidapa Suwannapura, and 13 year old Moreeya Jutanukarn have been invited to play among sixty of the world’s top women players over the four-day, 72-hole stroke play with no cut in the field.

Some of the best players gracing the tournament are recent winner of the Women’s Australian Open Golf championship, Laura Davies; golf babe Natalie Gulbis; and Asian golfing stars Mika Miyazato and Shiho Oyama.

The very prestigious golf event, scheduled from 26 February to 1 March 2009, is also expected to make headlines as Rolex Rankings’ world number one Lorena Ochoa of Mexico and world number three Paula Creamer from the USA, two superstars in women’s golf are participating.

The tournament offers a prize purse of US$1.45 million, which makes it the wealthiest professional golf event in Thailand in 2009.

If you are interested in visiting Pattaya on a golf holiday and/or attending the event, please drop me a line at my Thailand Golf Vacation company and I will put something together for you. We have some great deals at other area top courses like Laem Chabang and St. Andrews Hill as well as a golf special at the Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa.

Asian PGA Tour a Frequent Visitor to Thailand in 2009 (part 1 of 2)

Asian PGA Tour a Frequent Visitor to Thailand in 2009 (part 1 of 2)

Asian Golf Tour
 Asian PGA Tour players would do well to brush up on their Thai language skills, as the tour will be making several golf stops in Thailand during 2009 with the season beginning and ending in the Kingdom and more events along the way.

Great Thai golf courses and weather, combined with world class accommodations and famous Thai hospitality have apparently charmed the Tour into coming back again and again, much as it has for growing numbers of international holiday golfers and travelers.  Perhaps the tour bosses have also developed a taste for jasmine rice, tum yum gung, pad thai and som tam?

The Asian Tour Qualifying School kicked it all off January 06 – 09, with 1st Stage events at Bangkok’s Lam Luk Ka Country Club plus two Pattaya area clubs: Rayong Green Valley and St. Andrews 2000.  The latter two courses also held the Q School’s Final Stage a week later.

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Hole-In-One Prize When Golfing In Thailand

Hole-In-One Prize When Golfing In Thailand

Hole-In-One-Thailand-Golf What have you wished for if you could get a hole-in-one on your Thailand golf vacation? Well how about this fitness guarantee?

Last week while golfing in Pattaya I ran across this great hole-in-one prize at Rayong Green Valley Golf Club. What better way could the golf club owners think of  to reward the most accomplished (lucky) golfers in Thailand with a prize to guarantee the winner's longevity and golfing career.

On the other hand, a check up at the most expensive hospital in Bangkok only runs around $200 US dollars. So for those of us who are not so lucky when golfing in Thailand, we will have to spend a bit to get the information about our health and insure that we can golf in Thailand well into our old age.

Have a healthy game!

Thailand: Golf and My 2008 Ryder Cup Plans

Thailand: Golf and My 2008 Ryder Cup Plans

Thailand_ryder_cupIf you are planning a Thailand golfing holiday later this year, you may wish to consider being here at the same time as the Ryder Cup. The 2008 USA versus Europe shootout is scheduled for the weekend of 19-21 September at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. Thailand is a great place to catch all of the action on TV at one of the many sports bars in the main golfing centers. Valhalla is the Jack Nicklaus designed course where Tiger Woods beat Bob May in a thrilling US PGA play-off in 2000 on his way to a sweep of the four majors. Kentucky is 11 hours behind us.

I for one can not wait for this great event to start. Here’s how I plan to spend that week-end:

On Friday, September 19, after finishing work in Bangkok, I’ll probably head for somewhere like The Londoner on Sukhumvit Soi 33 with its super array of large TV screens, a wide selection of beers brewed on site, a good range of both Thai and Western food. Play begins at 7 pm Thailand time and I’ll probably watch the golf through until the early hours.

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Junior Golf Tournament, Phuket Thailand

Junior Golf Tournament, Phuket Thailand

Junior_golf_thailandIf you are enjoying a family golfing holiday in Phuket at the end of this month, it is still not too late for your children to enter the The KTO Junior Golf Challenge which will take place at Laguna Phuket Golf Club on May 29 and 30.

There are 10 categories in this international 36-hole junior tournament. It is open to boys and girls aged from six to 17 years old who hold a current recognized handicap card, or certificate of competence for children aged eight years old and under.

The format will be stroke play and tee markers will be adjusted to make the Max Wexler-designed course age and gender appropriate according to USGA guidelines. Junior players from Thailand will be competing against their peers from countries including Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines. Many families are expected to include the junior golf tournament as part of their family holidays.

The entrance fee is US$220 per golfer. Partners for the event include Laguna Phuket Golf Club and Tourism Authority of Thailand, with media partnerships coming from Asian Golf Monthly and the Phuket Gazette. For more information contact Kids Tee Off.

Siam Country Club, Pattaya: Site Of Honda LPGA Thailand 2007

Siam Country Club, Pattaya: Site Of Honda LPGA Thailand 2007

Siam_golf_club_pattayaThe new Siam Country Club in Pattaya, a par-72 that will play at 6,469 yards, will be showcased during the Honda LPGA Thailand, October 25-28.This will be the first professional golf tournament held at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya after renovations were completed in 2007.

Siam Country Club, Pattaya, one of the best golf courses in Thailand, has been opened for more than 35 years and is the oldest golf course in Pattaya. It is situated among breathtaking views on an 800 rai land pl only 15 minutes from Pattaya Beach, Thailand.Major renovations to the course and clubhouse were completed in May. The original layout has been preserved, but modifications were made from tees to greens to be ready to host international tournaments.

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Newest Thailand Golf Blog

Newest Thailand Golf Blog

Golf_dream_thailand_2 Have you ever wanted a place to share your Thailand and Asian golf stories or just read about the antics of an expatriate Thailand golfer who knows more about golf in Thailand than anyone in the world?

Well look no further. The word is out; Thailand’s newest golf blog can be read at where else than http://www.thailandgolfblog.com, what an appropriate name indeed!

The Thailand Golf Blog author has lived, worked and played golf for over 30 years all around the Far East, with spells in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and, of course, Thailand. He first visited Thailand in 1977 and eventually relocated to the Land of Smiles in 1991, setting up and running one of the first inbound Thailand golf tour agencies, with offices for golf in Bangkok and golf in Phuket. He now spends most of his time in his native United Kingdom, living with his Thai wife, and is a frequent visitor to Thailand, where he intends to finally retire.

He has made regular contributions to this blog and since then I have invited him to author Thailand Golf Blog in his own inimitable style. You are welcome to post and comment on the new Thailand Golf Blog, preferably in the same light hearted way as the author. Or you can email him at nifteenev@golfasian.com.

Enjoy the reading and let me know what you think!

Ladies Golf in Thailand

Ladies Golf in Thailand

Hua_hin_golf_ladies Whenever I am traveling overseas and extolling the attractions of golfing in Thailand, sometimes I hear men whining, “Oh, my wife would not let me go on a Thailand golf trip”.  In fact, I am seeing a growing trend where couples are favoring a Thailand golf tour over more traditional destinations. Also, my Thailand golf travel company is hosting more and more dedicated lady golf groups.

Thailand is indeed a ‘Paridise For Lady Golfers‘, not just because of its wide range of golf courses, but also thanks to all those other pluses that most ladies enjoy – fabulous spas, world-class cuisine, lots of value-for-money shopping. Plus, contrary to the old days in Europe and the USA, there’s little golf sexism here. Ladies are very welcome everywhere! Clubhouses have changing facilities for ladies, there are ladies only spas and beauty salons, plus ladies are not only welcome but encouraged to eat/drink at all 19th holes.

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Pattaya Golf Societies: Part 2 or 2

Pattaya Golf Societies: Part 2 or 2

Pattaya_golfHere is the continuation of my post on Pattaya golf social clubs, staring with the conclusion on the Pattaya Sports Club (PSC) and then covering some of the lesser clubs in Pattaya.

Weekly PSC Golf is run through several member groups operating from different venues in Pattaya, notably Cafe Kronborg, Tropical Bert’s Bar and Lewinsky’s Bar/Restaurant. This is to accommodate the large number of golfers who want a wide range of golf courses, competition formats and starting times.  PSC also organizes a monthly tournament and an annual Charity Classic Tournament. The PSC membership is probably the most international you will find in any one club in the world. Rarely will you play in a four ball with players of one nationality. For those who travel frequently to Pattaya the PSC is a good choice.

Another popular Pattaya golf and social club is run from the  O.K. Corral Bar, situated in Rungland Village, just off South Pattaya Road. It is the home of the Pattaya Golf Society , "the bunker boys", claimed to be Pattaya’s oldest golf society. This golf society is the second most popular in Pattaya with either stableford or medal competitions arranged twice each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The membership is comprised of long term residents and golf travelers alike. All are welcome, regardless of gender, age or handicap.

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Pattaya Golf Societies: Part 1 or 2

Pattaya Golf Societies: Part 1 or 2

Pattaya_golf_societyGolf in Pattaya and the Thai eastern seaboard is some of the best in Thailand. As such it is no coincidence that Pattaya also hosts numerous regular golf societies and has by far the largest in Thailand, The Pattaya Sports Club, founded in mid-1979. At that time, Pattaya was a quiet, out-of-the-way seaside fishing village. Weekenders came mostly from Bangkok to enjoy the beach, water sports, and breezy outdoor seafood restaurants. The locals were mainly fishermen and small shop owners. Among the few foreign residents were a handful of Vietnam expatriates who had settled in Pattaya.

One of them, Bill Gilmore, called together thirty-one sports-minded Charter Members, men and women, Thais and foreigners.  They named the club, approved the club symbol and agreed that the objectives of the club would be to conduct and promote sports events and contribute to local charities.  Through the years Pattaya has grown into an internationally known tourist destination, albeit now with many beer bars and the ever present prostitution.

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Phuket, Hua Hin, and Chiang Mai Golf Societies

Phuket, Hua Hin, and Chiang Mai Golf Societies

Phuket_expat_golf_societyHere is the continuation of my posts about Thailand golf societies, which can be an excellent choice for frequent Thailand golf travelers.

Golf societies also thrive in Phuket and Hua Hin. The Phuket Expat Golf Society (PEGS) was established some 12 years ago and has grown to a membership of over 500 golf enthusiasts from many parts of the world and different walks of life.  There is a  program of regular tournaments on golf courses on and around Phuket whilst periodic challenges with other societies take place in various parts of Thailand, notably the Pattaya Sports Club and the Hua Hin Golf Society. Golf tourists are not allowed to join , but Phuket golf visitors are invited to participate in all of the PEGS competitions – go to the Island Lager Bar, Soi Lion, Patong Beach and make enquiries.

The Mulligan Golf Society was founded in Phuket in 1999. It is the brain child of two of the most colourful characters on the island, Bepy Graziani di Ceneda, owner of Toto’s bar and Restaurant & Peter Tkac, whose calling cards describe him as a “Free Lance Human Being”. After four years playing a weekly 9-hole competition at The Laguna Golf Club, the Mulligan Golf Society now hosts an 18-hole competition every Tuesday at the Blue Canyon Lakes Course. No membership is required, just walk into the pro shop, and they will take care of you. After golf, a party and prize-giving is normally held at one of three establishments at the entrance to the Laguna Resort (Toto’s Italian Restaurant & Piano Bar, Toto’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar, or JJ’S Irish Pub). You can’t help liking the Mulligan Golf Society’s events in Phuket with its cheerful adaptation to the island’s relaxed lifestyle.

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Bangkok Golf Societies

Bangkok Golf Societies

Bangkok_wonderers_golf_society_1 For those of you who are frequent golf travelers to Thailand, you might want to consider joining one of the local golf societies. Not only is it a good way to meet and socialize with like minded gofers in Thailand, it also can be a significant savings on green fees. Most Thai golf clubs are non-profit organizations and receive substantial group green fee discounts from the Thailand golf courses here.

As might be expected, Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, boasts the highest number of golfing societies of the country’s main golfing locations. There is even a Societies Golf League, founded in 1995. Participating clubs and societies have included Thunderbirds (now O’Reillys), the British Club, the Bangkok Wanderers, The Golfers Cocktail Lounge, The Japanese Society, the Lighthouse Golf Group, the British Embassy Golfing Society (now The Londoners), the American Embassy Golfing Society, Delaneys, Dynasty, Larry’s Dive, Soi Dogs, Bourbon Street Gators, R.S. Scandinavians, Gee Gee’s, Doug’s Hoodlums, Dunlop Duffers, the Bangkok Irish and an additional club from the British Club, the BC Lords.

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Thai Golf Societies

Thai Golf Societies

Thailand_golf_club.jpg As with many other places in the world, Thailand has its fair share of golf societies (clubs). There are many regular golf groups in the main Thailand golf destinations for travelers, especially Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Hua Hin. Apart from the natural tendency for golfers to play with the people they socialize with, there is one other very good reason for this. Thailand golf club memberships can be very expensive, even though memberships can be traded or sold.

In any case, most golfers want to have the opportunity to play a variety of golf courses. If you are not a member of a golf club, it is difficult for you to maintain an official handicap. A number of the golf societies in Thailand are registered as USGA member clubs, thus enabling them to issue official handicaps. Some have their own society handicapping system. Many of the clubs and societies are named after Thailand’s more respectable drinking establishments. The Crown Royal Pub has a golf group which plays every week-end, either Saturday or Sunday. The group is a registered USGA club which results in their “clubhouse” being listed in the USGA Handbook as The Crown Royal Pub, Soi Patpong II, Bangkok! I can just imagine the first time golf traveller wandering around Patpong mystified as to why he cannot find a golf course!

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Thailand Guest House, Is It Suitable For A Thailand Golf Vacation

Thailand Guest House, Is It Suitable For A Thailand Golf Vacation

North_pattaya_2Some of you planning a golf trip to Thailand may wonder about staying in a guest house to save costs during your Thailand golf holiday. Unless you specify a particular location, I usually suggest that you would be better staying in a recommended and, if possible, internationally branded hotel. Let me explain.

In Europe and the USA you are likely to find a wide selection of bed and breakfasts, which are most always clean and comfortable at a reasonable cost. This is not the case in Thailand. In the first place, hotel rooms, even at 5 star properties, are already much less expensive than in Europe and the USA. In addition, most of the lower cost Thailand guest houses have some combination of unsanitary conditions or bug infestations and almost always located in the least desirable parts of town, thus making them unfit for western golf tourists. This is because, unlike in the more developed countries where the lodging industry is heavily regulated, including periodic inspections, there are few such safeguards in Thailand.

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Insider’s Guide To Non Golf Activities in Bangkok Thailand (Part 2 of 2)

Insider’s Guide To Non Golf Activities in Bangkok Thailand (Part 2 of 2)

Lumpini_park_bangkok_thailandHere are the final 8 of my best suggestions for non golf and non tourist activities to do while winding down or taking a day off from your Bangkok golf.

9. Take a walk in the park. Lumpini Park, at the intersection of Silom Road and Rama IV, is the city’s oldest and most popular park. It’s location near the centre of the business district means that is attracts an upscale early morning crowd of exercisers and Tai Chi practitioners from the time it opens at 6am until around 8am. The park has two lakes, and paddle boats are available for rent. There is also a library, and at certain times of the year the park becomes the domain of the city’s kite flyers.

10. Use an Internet Café. Over the past few years the number of Internet Cafes has grown enormously, not only in Bangkok, but across Thailand. Regardless of where you stay there will almost definitely be an Internet Cafe within walking distance. Most offer high speed broadband access at reasonable cost and some offer refreshments and food.

11. Shop at Chatuchak "Weekend" Market. Claimed to be the biggest weekend market in the world, it’s actually open every day except Tuesday, but with many more traders at the weekend, especially on Sundays.

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Insider’s Guide To Non Golf Activities in Bangkok Thailand (Part 1 of 2)

Insider’s Guide To Non Golf Activities in Bangkok Thailand (Part 1 of 2)

Bangkok_thailand Some people come to Thailand on golf trips, play golf everyday for two or three weeks and, by the end of their trip, whilst still enjoying their golf, are beginning to tire of tourist traps, partying, or sitting in their hotel room or in a bar each evening.

Over the next 2 days I will discuss 16 alternative things to do in Bangkok on your days off from golf or in the evenings. Please note that I am not talking here about the ‘must do’ tourist attractions such as the Grand Palace, the Chao Praya River, Wat Arun , Wat Pho, Jim Thompson’s House, the Floating Market, etc., or the usual nightspots.

1. Take in a movie. Most of Bangkok cinemas are world-class – crystal clear viewing, digital sound and very comfortable seating. Some theatres even have a first class section with  lazy boys in single or love seat configurations, free blankets, soft drinks, hors d’oeuvres and of course popcorn. Check the English language papers (Bangkok Post and The Nation) for locations and current offerings. The Emporium and Siam Discovery Centre are convenient as both can be reached by Skytrain. The very latest films are shown, sometimes months before the overseas release date, with the normal English soundtrack subtitled in Thai.

2. Experience Thai Boxing.  Muay Thai, is best enjoyed at Lumpini Boxing Stadium. You can get front row seats and meet the star attractions after their bouts for a photo session.

3. Go bowling. Usually located on the top floor of shopping malls alongside a host of other entertainments – cinemas, video games, karaoke, computer games and food halls- bowling alleys in Bangkok are state-of-the-art.

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