Thailand golf rivals the world’s greatest golf destinations with challenging layouts by ‘A’ list designers. If there is a difference in Thailand, it is the value. Thailand golfers enjoy championship golf at greens fees of around $100 – $150 USD which is typically less than you’d pay in Hawaii, the Caribbean, Scotland, South Africa, and other premium golf destinations around the world.
But world-class aside, here is a novel idea for the adventurous. Thailand also has many off-the-beaten-path, local muni types of courses, where you meet John Q. Public (e.g. local Thai golfers and expatriates) who know where to go for the best value-for-money and some real local fun. Now, this is not for everyone, to be sure. The greens can be tricky; fairways might use local grasses; and tee boxes are probably not perfectly flat or closely mowed. You don’t play these courses for their modern clubhouses and stately locker rooms and the dining room is likely to be a large covered patio rather than a posh air-conditioned restaurant.
You play these tracks for the cultural experience of encountering people living their daily lives, not catering to the every whim of tourists. You will be treated like a local. You’ll pay $12-$16 USD for eighteen holes with a caddy, not including tip. You’ll feel just like everybody else and that is part of the charm. Well, it is if you find it charming to be paired with community Thai folks and local expatriates that engage you in pleasant conversation and become new friends after 18 holes; or probably 19.