Tag: chiang mai highlands

Thailand Golf in the Summer

Thailand Golf in the Summer

Now we are well into the summer months, there are real advantages of playing golf in Thailand.

The temperature is still bearable, and although there are rain storms, you can cope with a bit of planning.

It amazes me how a major downpour back home in the UK can wash out a whole days play, as the British courses just were not built to handle a major storm.

Golfasian-Thailand-Super-Golf-Fam-Trip-2010-Chiang-Mai-048 In Asia and especially here in Thailand, apart from creating some great courses, the designers spend as much time on the drainage. It obviously seemed to have paid off, as I have recently experienced a few short downpours, and within minutes we were back on the fairways.

Storms here tend to announce their arrival with cooler temperatures and darker skies, which actually makes playing more comfortable. It can take up to an hour or so for them to arrive, so you have plenty of time to grab a few more birdies.

Most storms start around late afternoon, so book a round at 11.00hrs and you hopefully will be back in the clubhouse before it rains.

Most clubs have numerous food and drink stations dotted around the course, so when it does rain, we normally enjoy a bit of social chat while having a beer or two.

All pro shops sell waterproof covers for your golf bags, which the faithful Thai caddies will be happy to use. Although most clubs do not offer any rain delay compensation, you should be able to complete your round.

Another big advantage of playing in the summer is that some courses are not that busy, so sometimes you can be the only four balls on the front nine. Great if like me you hate waiting to take your next shot.

They also tend to offer special summer rates too. Various regions also promote ‘golf festivals’ so watch out for the Hua Hin festival which normally starts in August. A great chance to play some top class courses such as Banyan Golf Club or Springfield.

Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand is perhaps a bit cooler, especially if you head for Chiang Mai Highlands.

Perhaps another plus factor is if it does rain, in Thailand it is still warm. Beats trying to drag your golf trolley back to the clubhouse on a windswept links course in Ireland!

Golf in Thailand is Still a Game to Enjoy

Golf in Thailand is Still a Game to Enjoy

Sometimes I think we forget that the game of golf is all about getting out in the fresh air to hit some balls and then have a cool drink with your fellow golfers afterwards.

However golf in the 20th century seems to be all about one upmanship, and this is being fuelled by the manufacturers with their massive marketing campaigns.

The ball will give you distance and this club will give you control and this putter is very responsive.

I was actually put off even considering lifting a club at an early age, when my Uncle tried to take around in the cart at his golf club in leafy stockbroker belt of Surrey. ‘No children’, said the stuffy club manager. We do not allow children on the course on weekends!

P1020405 Now of course everyone is thinking of schemes to actually encourage youngsters to take up the game. Here in Thailand there is no such stuffiness. Clubs love to encourage kids to play, and even go out of their way to hold tournaments as well.

Of course there is the friendly banter among mates and the occasional wager on the match, but in general I have found playing golf in Asia a very friendly and enjoyable experience.

Sure we would all love to play at St Andrews, Troon or Augusta, but it’s a lot more fun to have four attractive caddies telling you that you have 190 yards to go or to aim one cup left on the green. Not sure if they all know why it is called ‘a dog left or right’, but at least they add glamour to the round.

The other big plus point here in Thailand, is that you really do get a variety of courses to test your game. It is not only challenging but also exciting to drive off a raised tee down across a valley of pineapples onto an undulating green surrounded by palm trees.

Thailand is in the business of providing the ‘WOW’ factor. And the good thing is that there are so many good golf clubs within easy driving distance. In fact it is not unusual to have three clubs all within a mile of each other.

Check out the 17th at Red Mountain in Phuket - it is literally 140 metres down a mine shaft. Disused thank goodness!!!

Chiang Mai Highlands mountainous holes are not only beautifully but are also very tricky.

Monkeys, pelicans, giant lizards….it all adds to your golfing experience in Thailand.

Seriously though, golf in Asia is all about experience, and let’s not forget it is all done with a big SMILE.

Why We Like to Play Golf in Thailand?

Why We Like to Play Golf in Thailand?

Apart from over 280 wonderful golf courses to select, the fantastic variety of layouts from seaside to mountain tracks, plus those smiling caddies, Thailand also has on offer a great climate too!

When I lived in the UAE, only Mad Dogs and Englishmen would venture out to play a round of golf between June and September, when the temperatures rose to 52 degrees centigrade. Russian and Korean golfers also have a limited number of months to play due to their severe winters.

Thailand is luckily different!

Now having lived here in Bangkok for over a year, I am easily able to cope with a round of golf during almost all months.

Thailand has an all year round climate, that can best be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year.

The area of Thailand north of Bangkok has a climate determined by three seasons whilst the southern peninsular region of Thailand has only two.

Chiangmai Highlands 01 In northern Thailand the seasons are clearly defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, however this is broken up into the periods November to February and March to May.

The later of these two periods has the higher relative temperatures as although the northeast monsoon does not directly affect the northern area of Thailand, it does cause cooling breezes from November to February.

For example last week we played a round in Pattaya at Burapha Golf Club, and we actually experienced there seasons, dull, wet and sunny all in one round. Great fun!

The other northern season is from May to November and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in the north is at its heaviest.

Maybe back home it takes time for your local course to recover, whereas here they are used to the odd sudden downpour, and with excellent drainage, most courses are playable almost immediately after the storm moves on.

The caddies all have large umbrellas to protect you from the sun or rain, and you can buy golf bag waterproofs before you start your round.

The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons — the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both the east and west side of the peninsular.

On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to October, whilst on the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when the northeast monsoon is blowing cool, dry air which serves as a respite from the heat.

During this cool season, the temperature ranges from 18ºC to 32ºC in Bangkok, while in northern and northeast Thailand, temperatures can get quite cool with morning temperatures as low as 8º C to 12º C with the occasional 20º C day.

Nights can be particularly chilly and at high altitudes the temperatures can and do drop below freezing.

The summer period, or hot and dry season, is from March to June. At this time temperatures in Bangkok average around 34º C, but can often reach 40º C with the humidity levels of 75%.

Try and avoid April, unless you plan to be permanently submerged in the ocean, because this is the hottest month across the country.

Chiangmai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort 0611_H12_0853 From July to October is the monsoonal season when most of Thailand's annual rainfall is accumulated. The humidity averages just under 90%, with temperatures averaging around 29º C in Bangkok.

The monsoons finish when the wind direction changes, bringing dry weather from the northeast. At best this season can be described as unpredictable and not the constant downpour of rain like you would expect. The middle months of this season may hold particularly heavy rains for the north of the country.

This is all great information to have, but in reality it's still possible to avoid the mid morning heat in April by booking an afternoon tee time say at 13.30hrs. The course will be a lot quieter and if you do happen to get caught by a storm, then you can always shelter at the many food and drink stops.

The rates are also slightly lower after April / May so you not only will find the courses less hectic, but you will also have some more cash to buy those cheap golf clubs in Bangkok.

Try a visit to the cooler courses in the North when a round at Chiang Mai Highlands can be very pleasant in the summer.

With sensible planning and friendly advice from your golf travel specialists you can really enjoy golf here in Thailand all year round.