Australia (10): Most courses are set up for serious Australian golfers, who comprise some 10% of the overall population. The average Australian golf course is by far better than most other countries top courses. The top Australian courses include Royal Melbourne, Barnbougle Dunes, and New South Wales, all of which have hosted major PGA events.
Thailand (7): Thai golf courses vary from average municipal courses to better ones that cater mainly to golf tourists. The best courses like Thai CC, Siam CC, and Red Mountain all can hold their own when it comes to international golf courses. One Thai course, Black Mountain has even made it to the “100 Best Golf Courses Outside The USA” 2012 list by Golf Digest.
Australia (3): Service is not something that is synonymous with golfing in Australia. The last time I played there I paid my green fee and was given my scorecard. The staff said to see you back in 4 hours. They were right, I did not see even a greens keeper on the course, forget about beverage cart or halfway house.
Thailand (10): If anything stands out about golfing in Thailand it is the service. From the pro shop to the 19th hole there is someone and something around to insure your golf experience is not lacking in any aspect. This includes in-round drinks, snacks, massages, and playing advice.
Golfing Experience (25%)
Australia (6): Enjoyable is the one word that comes to mind when golfing in Australia. Nothing really stands out, but there is nothing to fault either.
Thailand (10): If you have golfed in Thailand, they you know that the “Thai Golf Experience” is all about. From personal caddies to playing as many six-balls, from proper golf to a relaxed round with friends, card playing, and massages on the course everything is possible when golfing in Thailand.
Value For Money (20%)
Australia (8): If it were not for the strong currency Australia might just have some of the lowest of the lowest green fees in the world.
Thailand (6): Golf used to be very inexpensive in Thailand. There still are bargain green fees to be found, but due to the high demand from Thailand golf holidaymakers, costs have risen at many of the popular golf clubs. The most expensive green fees can are at Blue Canyon in Phuket. The 5600 baht (approx. $190 USD without cart or caddy) walk-in rate rivals costs at other famous golf resorts.
Overall Verdict (100%)
Australia (6.9): This is a good overall score.
Thailand (8.1): Thailand edges out Australia by mainly due to the service and golfing experience.
Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey.