Tag: Siam Country Club

Siam Country Club, Waterside – Comparison With Old and Plantation Courses

Siam Country Club, Waterside – Comparison With Old and Plantation Courses

Most golfers in Pattaya agree that the Siam Country Club Old Course and Siam Country Club Plantation Course are the two best golf courses in Pattaya. However, if there are any complaints about the two courses, it is that they are both quite difficult for high handicap golfers. Around the greens it is not uncommon for weekend golfers to take five or more shots to get up-and-down as the slopes, elevated greens, and bunker complexes require accuracy and precision in chipping and putting. Perch yourself one afternoon above the Old Course’s 18th and you will see what I mean!

With this in mind, the owners of Siam Country Club have given the design brief to IMG to develop a new golf course that is friendlier and accommodates a wider variety of golfers.

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Why is Golf Different in Thailand?

Why is Golf Different in Thailand?

Thailand’s leading golf course designer and builder, Pirapon Nimatra, is responsible for designing and renovating numerous courses in Thailand.

Therefore who better to explain why playing golf here in Thailand different from the rest of the World?

‘First of all we have great weather and you can pretty much play golf all year around. Secondly the caddies do make the experience playing here just that much friendlier and fun,’ said Pirapon.

Saturday Play 116 ‘However from my perspective as a golf course designer, what makes Thailand different is the variety. For example you can play on a 100 year old course like Royal Hua Him, where the greens and bunkers have that old style, or you can go to the other end of the scale to Siam Country Club which is very modern looking with new grasses and flashy bunkers. ‘

‘Then of course you have the variety of locations from sea side courses in Phuket and Hua Hin to mountain courses in Chiang Mai, similar to what you might play on in Hawaii. So the overall mix is what I think is special about playing in Thailand.’

Recently several international golf professionals found the greens were totally different at the Maybank Open in KL compared with the Masters at Augusta. How would you describe the actual playing surfaces here compared with US or European courses?

Pirapon explained,’ Well in America especially North of Florida you have cool season grass similar to Europe, where as we have warm season grass and they are two totally different animals. Warm season grass is a lot grainier, and it also grows a lot faster, but it also adds another dimension. When you are reading the putts here, you don’t just need to look at the slopes, but also which way the grass is actually growing. Also if it is hot and windy and depending on the time of day they could be playing to a difference of a foot on the stimp metre.’

Thailand has nearly 280 golf clubs. Is that a lot for the number of regular golfers?

‘Well they say that there are over 1 million players, but it is still good news for us golfers. There is a lot of competition to attract the players, so the rates are quite reasonable.’

You earlier mentioned caddies adding to the fun. As a golf course owner yourself, what do you think are some of the most important things the caddies need to know, especially as they meet lots of golf vacationers?

‘Well the caddies are expected to know our golf course and all the yardages, and as the grasses are likely to be a lot different from back home, so they can help by reading the lines too. Also it can be quite hot here sometimes, so one thing we train all our caddies is to keep your bosses cool! They will carry the umbrella and they also have little fans, so when you are waiting on the tee, they will keep you cool.’

They don’t do that at St Andrews in Scotland?

‘No they have a slightly different attitude, and they are not nearly as pretty too!’

Finally as a Thai based designer and builder of golf courses, what would you sum up is Thailand’s number one asset?

‘Apart from the huge variety, it is the people that make it so special. You are in touch with the caddies, the people at the club house and in the locker room, and it is their friendliness that brings back foreigners here to play golf again and again.’

Asian Golf Hits a New High

Asian Golf Hits a New High

The conclusion of the 2011 Avantha Masters at the DLF Golf and Country Club in New Delhi was just the result everyone was hoping for, when India golfer SS P Chowrasia won his second European Tour International Schedule victory in his 74th European Tour event.

This is a huge boost to sport in the region, where golf is now the fastest expanding sport in India, normally the home to Cricket.

SS P made European Tour history with his first win at the 2008 EMAAR –MGF Indian Masters, by winning on his first appearance as an Affiliate Member; the first player to achieve this feat.

He played in 73 European Tour events since his 2008 win. In that time his best finish was ninth at the 2010 Andalucía Valderama Masters.

He actually lost his European Tour exemption at the end of the 2010 season, and he did not get his card back at the European Tour Qualifying School. He began the 2011 season as a fully exempt for the Challenge Tour.

His win moves him to €300,000 in the Race to Dubai, and he gains an exemption until the end of the 2013 season.

From an Asian perspective, this is a massive boost, giving the Asian Tour another regional champion. Thailand also fielded three players in the top ten in New Delhi,

Saturday Play 272 Down in Pattaya, Yani Tseng from Taiwan won the Honda LPGA Thailand beating Michelle Wie. This was Yani’s 4th consecutive win in 2011 putting her on top of the Rolex rankings.

Thai players did well especially 15-year-old Thai amateur Ariya Jutanugarn who turned in the round of the day on the third day, with a 4-under-par 67 and sits in a tie for 11th.

The four day tournament which was broadcast all over the world, provided huge exposure for Thailand and particularly the Siam Country Club in Pattaya that hosted the event.

With several major Asian Tour and One Asia tournaments due to be held in Thailand in 2011, it is no surprise that the Kingdom of smiles has become one of the top golf vacation destinations in the world.

Thailand Golf Attracts the Big Stars

Thailand Golf Attracts the Big Stars

Most countries are lucky if they can attract one major golf tournament a year. Thailand on the other hand seems to be able to host more than its fair share of major golf events.

In November a certain Mr Tiger Woods made an emotional return to his mother country along with Casey and co. Then along came the Asian Tours Masters in December followed in early January by the Royal Trophy both hosted at Black Mountain in Hua Hin.

Honda-lpga Now the 2011 season is about to start with most of the top 50 woman in the World competing in the Honda LPGA at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya in mid February.

Paula Creamer, Michelle Wei, Shin Jiyai and defending champion Ai Miyazato will all be there along with a few Thai girls trying to earn some big bucks.

Also in February Amata Spring Country Club will become the first Thai venue to host Open Championship International Final Qualifying Asia from February 24-25, 2011.

The Club will welcome a field of a maximum of 78 players, who will compete for four places in the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St George's.

  Royal-trophy-2011-monty "Amata Spring is a fitting venue for IFQ's first visit to Thailand," said R&A Director, Michael Tate. "In its short history, it has proven itself a stern test for some of the world's best players, and it will undoubtedly give us four qualifiers worthy of their place at Royal St George's."

The closing date for entries is 14 February. Last year, Asian Tour members Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan, Malaysia's Danny Chia and newly-crowned Order of Merit champion Noh Seung-yul of Korea qualified for the Open.

Later on in June the Queens Cup, part of the Asian Tour, returns to Santiburi Country Club on the beautiful island of Koi Samui.

Thailand is now recognised as the perfect destination to host major golf championships, and the players enjoy their time in the Kingdom of smiles as well.

Mike Bridge   Editor Thai Golf News