When the phone rang it was a Thailand golf buddy all excited to tell me he had a game set up with some movers and shakers that were coming to town; and after a great lunch he had planned we would entertain them with a round of golf.
Lunch was indeed great; authentic Thai delicacies rolled out by smiling courteous servers. Thailand hospitality may be the greatest in the world. But it was getting late so I called him aside and said, “We’re only playing nine holes, right?”
“Eighteen holes,” he smiled.
“Hate to break the news to you but it’ll be dark in a couple of hours. Had no idea lunch would be so extravagant.”
“No problem,” he said, “they have lights.”
Not night golf, I thought. Previous encounters with nocturnal golf had me believing that you had to be 11 Titleist’s short of a dozen to play golf at night. If the almighty had wanted golf played at night we’d have been born with bat vision or golf balls would have headlights.
Alas, was I ever wrong. We teed off about 90 minutes before sunset and as the sun approached Thailand’s western horizon, light standards rose from wooded areas so gradually and silently that you hardly noticed them. Then the lights came on and you hardly noticed them. As a curtain of darkness settled over Thailand, hardly any transition was noticeable because the lights were already shining.
Doctors prescribe the same technique of turning lights on before dark to comfort patient anxiety brought on by certain meds and medical conditions.
On into the night, the course was lit up like ESPN was there doing a telecast. Highly professional lighting—reminiscent of the made-for-TV, Monday night match at Big Horn between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia. Ball flight stayed illuminated 100% of the time. You could read the greens easily. A ball hit into the trees was found easier that it would have been during the day. Not a single mosquito appeared, and it was perfectly temperate; a relief after a typically sunny day.
Summit Windmill Golf Club in Bangkok was the venue that made a Thailand night golfer out of me. Driving away from the club that night, the sky was aglow like Dodger Stadium lights up the sky for motorists on the Hollywood Freeway. Summit Windmill is a quality track and just one of the Thailand championship courses like Pinehurst and Bangkok Golf Club, Laem Chabang Country Club in Pattaya, as well as fine layouts in Hua Hin and Phuket, are just a few of the Thailand Golf clubs catering to regular players of after-hours golf.
Try a round on your next Thailand golf holiday and see what you think!