Author: Thailand Golf Holiday

2014 New Thailand Golf Courses

2014 New Thailand Golf Courses

Oftentimes I get asked about the supply and demand of the Thai golf courses. While I am no expert about the economics of golf courses and the Thai golf industry is some 20-30 years old, new golf courses are still coming online at a rate of around 5 per year. Some of these projects are completely new construction like Nikanti Golf Club in Bangkok and Katathong Golf club in Phang Nha. Others, such as Chiang Mai Highlands, are expansions, and lastly there are renovations. Laguna Phuket Golf Club and Gassan Lake City are two examples of the later that are being undertaken in 2014.

Nikanti Golf Club is located west of Bangkok and other than Royal Gems Golf City is probably the most unique Thailand golf course. Three six hole loops, each with two par-3, two par-4, and two par-5 holes make it play a par-72, but in a rather unconventional way. Also, the all-inclusive one price fits all is a new concept here. Green fee, caddie fee, golf cart, caddie tip, and food and beverages are included in the admission price for all golfers. It will be interesting to see how this price structure is accepted by locals and visitors.

Katathong Golf Club is also newly constructed in Phang Nha province.  The surrounding scenery is as nice as Red Mountain in Phuket, though the course design and conditions leave allot to be desired. Also, the location is a bit out of the way, however for Krabi golf visitors, it is the best option around.

The original 18 at Chiang Mai Highlands are already the best track in Northern Thailand. Now with an additional 9 under construction by the same architect, Lee Schmidt, who has also built Amata Spring Country Club, the Highlands new nine is sure to be a hit.

Laguna Phuket is set to reopen in January 2015. The same architect who designed the Laguna Lang Co course in Vietnam was brought in for the job and judging from the first 9-holes that were already remodeled last year; the course will come online as one of Phuket’s best.

Gassan Lake City will be renamed Gassan Legacy once re-opened later this month. Once again, Schmidt-Curley was brought in for the remodeling job. From what I hear the course will be more playable with better grass and bunkers. Let’s see!

Well that’s it for the new Thailand golf course roundup this year. With the new additions Thailand will continue to lead the rest of Asia as the prime choice for golf holidays in 2015 and beyond.

Laguna Phuket Golf Club Update

Laguna Phuket Golf Club Update

The recently redesigned Laguna Phuket Golf Club is both a strategic and memorable golf experience. The redesign by golf course architect Paul Jansen has highlighted the character of the existing property making for a memorable golf experience. Golfers are now asked to think their way around the golf course as each hole offers a multitude of shot options and both nines have good variety.

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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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Is Koh Samui Golf For Real?

Is Koh Samui Golf For Real?

Major golf destinations share several things in common. They include,

1.    Three or more golf courses of international standard
2.    A range of golf resorts to accommodate all levels of price and luxury
3.    Easy to get to/from
4.    Reasonable prices
5.    Non-golf activities such as cultural, gastronomic, spa, and/or beaches

Koh Samui has technically three golf courses, However, only Santiburi Samui Country Club is 18-holes and of international standard. The course is a spectacular example of a tropical island layout, perhaps even Thailand’s best. However without any comparable courses on the island one would have to play multiple rounds at Santiburi Samui to have anything more than an isolated holiday round of golf.

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Pattana Golf Resort

Pattana Golf Resort

It is very rare these days that I get to play a new course in my own backyard. Therefore, when my golfing buddies suggested playing at Pattana Golf Resort in Pattaya, I jumped at the change with much excitement.

Pattana is a bit out of the way as getting to the course involved around a 1 hour drive from Pattaya or 2 hour ride from Bangkok. Either way the drive is pleasant enough as the road are good and there is little traffic along the way. Upon arrival I immediately saw the large club house, golf resort, and collection of golf villas. With this kind of infrastructure Pattana must be catering for long staying golfers and those looking for intensive stay and play packages.

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Where To Golf In Thailand – A City Or A Resort?

Where To Golf In Thailand – A City Or A Resort?

Thailand has 5 main golf destinations, two are cities (Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and three are beach resorts (Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket).

Bangkok is home to over 10 million residents. However, it’s safe to say that Bangkok has the most golf courses of any destination in Thailand. There are 60 golf courses located within 1 hour from the center of Bangkok; of which 20 or so are well-suited for visitor play. Bangkok also has world-class hotels, the best restaurants in Thailand, and a wide range of cultural attractions, shopping and nightlife. The downside is that travel time getting to and from the golf courses can be a bit longer than other destinations due to city traffic. I often recommend a few days in Bangkok at the beginning and/or end of any Thailand golf trip and also recommend weekday golf if possible (when the courses are less crowded and green fees are lower).

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Golf Holiday Destination Thailand

Golf Holiday Destination Thailand

Why golf in Thailand?   Thailand is probably the most spectacular golfing destination in the world, the beauty of her golf courses expresses it all.  We have lush greenery year round with palm trees and every other type of tropical flora and flowers creating a feast for the eyes.  Beautiful lakes and waterways, birds you’ve never seen before become a breathtaking walk in the park.  Churchill was so wrong when he said “golf is a good walk spoiled” – he never played in Thailand!

The challenge of golfing in Thailand is also an important aspect and I promise that you can never get bored.  Many of the courses are designed by the world’s most famous golf architects creating challenges that even the best golfers dream about.   For all levels of golfers from their respective tee boxes the challenges abound.   Even for the beginner it’s game on, but set up with wide enough fairways and safe passages around water.

Also great planning, as you get a refreshment kiosk twice every nine holes unlike other places where if you didn’t load up before the first tee you get one chance at the turn.  Cold drinks, chicken legs, sticky rice, fresh tropical fruit, and sandwiches – a quick bite before you move on.  Even a cold beer if you are so inclined.  Some of the courses even have a cold moist towel right out of the fridge at each stop (now that is refreshing)!  After your round the clubhouse restaurants provide some of the best Thai, Japanese and Western cuisine at reasonable prices.

A great part of the golfing experience in Thailand is the caddies.  Honestly, how many golfers have had a caddie along with them during their round of golf.  They are all women and speak a decent amount of English to make for good golf communication.  They know the golf courses like the backs of their hands, reading your putt lines (even lining up the ball), telling you distances, which club to use, sometimes even a little coaching – but always full of positive encouragement.  This makes for a great social golf day out with your added gallery and applause after your good shots.

Thailand has numerous courses that offer night golf with decent lighting, as many Thai’s prefer to stay out of the sun.  It is a challenge in and of itself, but adding golf and romance to the mix.   It is the perfect time to play with your partner on holiday. With warm weather, the stars above and perhaps a bottle of wine in your golf cart surely becomes a relaxed and romantic evening out.  Definitely let this be one of your experiences when golfing in Thailand.

On a final note; Thailand enjoys the best weather regardless the time of year.  Mid November thru March is optimal, where we have cooler and rain free days.  Green fee and caddy fees are very economical for the quality of the courses you can enjoy.  Come and experience the friendly hospitality of the Thai people and their superb golf courses.  Hope to see you out here for one of your most memorable golfing holidays ever!

Thailand Golf Resorts Offer Unlimited Golf Packages

Thailand Golf Resorts Offer Unlimited Golf Packages

Thailand Golf Resorts
Mission Hills Phuket

Nowadays golf resorts like Mission Hills Phuket and Bangkok Golf Club are offering unlimited golf holiday packages. These golf vacations are nothing new, but in fact they may be only a ploy to lure visitors to less than ideal courses.

Think about it, there are only 12 hours of daylight in Thailand and the weather is generally hot and humid all year long. Therefore, how many round of golf can you play in a day?
For most of us it is only two, and this is waking up very early and pushing it. So an unlimited golf package is in reality a 36-hole a day deal.

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Thailand Golf Fried Eggs (Kai Dao)

Thailand Golf Fried Eggs (Kai Dao)

Thailand golf courses are notorious for having soft sand. Many of the budget courses here use normal beach sand to fill their bunkers. This powdery and fluffy sand tends to promote many fried eggs or as the caddies call them in Thai “kai dao” because of the circular splash pattern created around the ball in the sand. When you look at it from the top, it looks like a yolk sitting in the middle of a fried egg.

Don’t panic if you find yourself with a fried egg at a Thailand golf course. The shot is difficult for sure, but easier to hit than you might think. With soft sand behind as well as under the ball, you can power the ball out of the sand to escape in one. Make some key adjustments to your stance and swing and you’ll get out.

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Golf’s Great Legends In Thailand

Golf’s Great Legends In Thailand

Wherever and whenever you play golf in Thailand, you’ll find courses designed by some of the best golfers, including Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, and Arnold Palmer.

Jack Nicklaus is the great who left his mark the most in Thailand. Six Thailand courses are Jack Nicklaus designed. The two best by far are Laem Chabang International Country Club in Pattaya and Springfield Royal Country Club in Hua Hin. Coincidentally, both opened for play in 1993. Laem Chabang, a 27-hole complex, offers three 9-hole Courses, each challenging in their own right and all well-maintained throughout the year.

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Let These Asian Golf Courses Be the Judge Off Your Skills

Let These Asian Golf Courses Be the Judge Off Your Skills

Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket

Blue-canyon-phuket-golfAs the name suggests, Blue Canyon Country Club is built on the edge of the canyon. The club features two courses; both carefully blend in the natural surroundings to give the courses their unique character. A feature of the course is its tough and stubborn nature, surrounded by freshwater lakes and natural hazards accompanied by slick Bermuda Tiffdwarf greens. This Course is both a pleasure and grief blended in together. Challenging your wit and technique, this course is a joy to behold and after finishing a round, the sense of accomplishment is unparalleled. Definitely the highlight of the course the 17th par 3 hole that has famously troubled even the legendary Tiger Woods, so if you get to finish the course you will join the elite club.

Montgomerie Links, Danang City


Montgomerie-links-danang-nlVietnam’s Montgomerie Links
is a world-class, partially private and perhaps the swankiest course you’ll find around the Asian golfing circuits. With its close proximity to the country’s Central Coast and Da Nang International Airport, Montgomerie Links is ideally situated alongside the East Sea and the picturesque Marble Mountains. The view alone is worth a trip, and also provides a good outlet to regroup mentally as the course is a definite brain teaser for amateurs and Pro’s alike.  The 18-hole, golf course was designed by the renowned, Colin Montgomerie.

The Saujana Palm Course

Saujana-gc-palm-klAlso known by its nickname "The Cobra" and many have tried to doge its bite but, the golfers are the ones who keep biting the dust. The Saujana Palm golf course has had the privilege of hosting the last 13 Malaysian opens and is a mainstay of the Asian golfing circuit. With thick forestation on either side of the course, and the many fairways, water, and sand hazards in sizeable proportions, just getting to the green might prompt you to high five your caddie. Past winners of the Malaysian open include the former world number one, Fijian, Vijay Singh. The Cobra's with its oober fast putting surface is probably the hardest to putt on in the world, including those at Augusta. Only the best survive the course, others simply lie.

If you think the local courses around you don’t challenge you enough may want to consider an Asian golfing vacation to these tough and exotic courses. They will challenge you to improve every aspect of your game, and if you ever get frustrated with yourself, there is enough beauty around to calm yourself down so that you can conquer the course.

Will Thailand Become The World´s Biggest Golf Destination?

Will Thailand Become The World´s Biggest Golf Destination?

Lately Thailand golf tourism has skyrocketed to an estimated 750,000 arrivals in 2012, up 50% over the past three years. This is worth an estimated US$2 billion in revenue to the Kingdom. There is no doubt that Thai golf tourism is riding on the back of a general tourism explosion, with total foreign arrivals doubling over the last seven years to more than 22 million in 2012.

While I personally would like Thailand golf to become the biggest golf destination in the world, I doubt that this will ever happen. Here is why.

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Golf In Turkey Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Turkey Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Turkey (8): Golf in Turkey is well-developed, especially the area around Belek (Antalya). There are some 15 golf courses to choose from here, all being located only 30 minutes from the main resorts. Most modern golf course architects are represented including Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Thailand (7): Thailand has 280 courses open for play. The best of these courses are located in one of five major golf tourist golf destinations. Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket are the main sea side resort areas. Chiang Mai is northern Thailand, and the capital of Bangkok has 60 courses within a one hour’s drive from the city center.

Service (25%)
Turkey (4): There are all-inclusive 5* resorts near the Belek golf courses. However, while the standard of rooms and facilities are high, the services levels are not. Be prepared for long queues and mediocre service. At the golf courses there is an absence of caddies and limited facilities or food/beverages.

Thailand (10): Golf in Thailand equals service. Thai hospitality is some of the world’s best and the Thai golf courses are no exception. Caddies are compulsory at all Thai golf courses for every golfer whether or not golf carts are used, thus ensuring excellent service is available at all times.

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Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Singapore (8): For a small island state Singapore has allocated land for close to 30 golf courses. The quality ranges from good at course like Orchid and Raffles to world-class at Laguna National and Sentosa Island.

Thailand (7): Of the 280 golf courses in Thailand, 60 are up to international standards. Thailand’s best courses include Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Black Mountain in Hua Hin. Both have played host to major professional golf tournaments and have been heavily honored by major golf journalists.

Service (25%)
Singapore (6): Singapore is a well-developed international tourist destination and as such the service is generally good from those working in the service sector. The main thing missing from golf in Singapore are caddies as labor costs are prohibitively expensive to enable this.

Thailand (10): The Thai people are renowned for their friendliness and this shows on the golf course as well. Locals golf side by side with golf visitors and all Thailand golf courses include individual caddies as standard.

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Golf In Russia Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Russia Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Russia (5): There are only 20 golf courses in Russia and most are located in and around Moscow. The best golf club is the Jack Nicklaus designed Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club. The inaugural Russian Open and first ever European Tour event played in Russia was held at Tseleevo in 2013

Thailand (7): Thailand has 280 golf courses and many have won numerous “best of” awards including Black Mountain Golf Club (100 Best Courses Outside the USA, Golf Digest 2012) and Thai Country Club (Best clubhouse in Asia, Asian Golf Monthly, numerous years Ina  row).

Service (25%)
Russia (4): Service is missing when golfing in Russia. Caddies are notably absent and to date golf is considered an elitist game. Hardly any Russians know the proper golf rules or golf etiquette.

Thailand (10): Service with a smile is standard all over Thailand and the golf courses are no exception. You should plan on meeting friendly locals during your round and making many new friends on a Thailand golf holiday. Just don’t be surprised if you miss your Thai caddie when you return home and play without one.

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Golf In Qatar Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Qatar Versus Golf In Thailand

Qatar MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Qatar (7):  There is only 1 golf course in Qatar and since 1998 Doha Golf Club has hosted a European and Asian Tour event; the Qatar Masters. The quality of Doha Golf Club somewhat makes up for the lack of other courses.

Thailand (7): The best courses in Thailand are located in the major cities and resorts. Pattaya sports over 20 courses and in 2012 was voted the best golf destination in Asia by the Association of International Golf Tour Operators.

Service (25%)
Qatar (7): Service is one of the strong points at Doha Golf Club. From manicured fairways to greens, from the pro shop to the restaurant, everything about the club is first class.

Thailand (10): Service, hospitality, and Thailand are synonymous with each other and golf is no exception. Friendly locals golf side by side with golf visitors which is a nice touch. All Thailand golf courses include individual caddies as standard. Tour caddies will be missed most when you return home and play without one.

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Golf In Portugal Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Portugal Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Portugal (9):  Even though there are only 70 golf courses Portugal is one of Europe’s best golf destinations. The Algarve region is the most famous golfing area and the best course there is Victoria Golf Vilamoura, home of the 2013 Portugal Golf Masters and tour stop for the European Tour. However, my course in Portugal is the Seve Ballesteros designed Porto Santo. This traditional links course plays along the Atlantic Ocean and is as good as golf gets!

Thailand (7): There is good golf cross the country with most of best courses in Thailand in and around Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin. Thai Country Club has hosted more professional golf events than any other Thai golf course. Black Mountain Golf Club is the only golf course in Thailand to be rated in the top 100 courses outside the USA by Golf Digest.

Service (25%)
Portugal (6): The golf in Portugal is good, but don’t expect much in the way of service on the golf course. There are no caddies, hardly any Portuguese play golf, and it is very difficult to find Portuguese workers who have a service mindset. However, the golf resorts in Portugal can be excellent. My most memorable experience was at the Four Seasons Country Club, Quinta do Lago.

Thailand (10):  Service, hospitality, and Thailand are synonymous with each other and golf is no exception. Thais golf as much as the visitors and you can always meet friendly locals on the golf course. Caddies are standard at all Thailand golf courses and will be missed by every visiting golfer on their first round back home.

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Golf In New Zealand Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In New Zealand Versus Golf In Thailand

New Zealand MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
New Zealand (10): With over 400 golf courses, New Zealand is a golfer’s paradise. My 2 favorite New Zealand golf courses are Cape Kidnappers and Paraparaumu Beach, both of which rival any of the best golf courses in the world. Many other great golf courses in New Zealand can be found around the big cities of Auckland and Christchurch and also among the smallest country towns.

Thailand (7): There is good golf available in Thailand, with the best courses mostly located around Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin. Riverdale Golf Club in Bangkok is a good example of one of the newer top courses while Laem Chabang International Country Club is a time tested Jack Nicklaus design in Pattaya.

Service (25%)
New Zealand (8): Golf in New Zealand is well developed and Kiwis are noted for being friendly and casual people. This leads to generally a good service standard wherever you travel to, albeit with more do-it-yourself approach than is found in Asia.

Thailand (10): The golf in Thailand is all about service. Friendly locals and caddies greet golfers from around the world at every golf course across the country. Try playing on your own when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday! It will be then when you really miss the Thai service.

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Golf In Malaysia Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Malaysia Versus Golf In Thailand

Malaysia MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Malaysia (5):  Golf in Malaysia ranges from merely average to PGA quality. The best Malaysia golf courses are all located in the capital of Kuala Lumpur. Access is mostly private, but some weekday visitors are allowed at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and Saujana Golf & Country Club; both of which have hosted PGA and LPGA events, respectively.

Thailand (7): Thailand golf courses have hosted many professional events such as the Royal Trophy (Black Mountain) and Honda LPGA (Siam Country Club), Volvo Masters (Thai Country Club), and Thailand Golf Championship (Amata Spring Country Club).  The collection of Thailand’s best golf courses can be found at Golf In A Kingdom.

Service (25%)
Malaysia (5): Golf in Malaysia is well developed. However, the service aspect is generally lacking as there are very few locals who want to work in hospitality service roles. On the other hand English is widely spoken and getting to/from the golf courses is very easy. Also, most golf courses have nice clubhouses which make for good 19th holes.

Thailand (10): The golf in Thailand is all about smiles. Friendly locals and caddies are all over Thai golf courses. Even if you hit a bad shot, your caddie will smile graciously and make you feel OK. Try playing on your own when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday! It will be then when you really miss the Thai service.

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Golf In Laos Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Laos Versus Golf In Thailand

Laos MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Laos (5):  Laos is behind other neighboring countries with only 7 golf courses open for play. Most Laos golf courses are in the capital Vientiane and are only average in quality. However, Luang Prabang Golf Club, in Luang Prabang is the country’s best having hosted 2 Asian Tour events, with spectacular scenery, and excellent playing conditions.

Thailand (7): There are many championship golf courses in Thailand including Siam Country Club (home of the Honda LPGA) and Black Mountain Golf Club (Royal Trophy and Black Mountain Masters). Golf In A Kingdom includes all of Thailand’s best golf courses.

Service (25%)
Laos (4): Golf in Laos is a relatively new and as such finding trained service personnel at the golf clubs is difficult. Most staff and caddies hardly speak any English and are not familiar with the rules golf. This detracts from the otherwise good overall golfing experience.

Thailand (10): The land of smiles carries on its name onto the golf course as well. Friendly locals and caddies are everywhere at all Thai golf courses. Try playing when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday to really appreciate the Thai service!

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Golf In Korea Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Korea Versus Golf In Thailand

Korea MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%):
Korea (7):  Korea is a mountainous country with around 200 golf courses scattered from North to South. However the best golf courses are located on Cheju Island, sometimes called Korea’s Hawaii due to the year round temperate climate. My two favorite Korean golf courses are Nine Bridges and Sky 72, both of which have hosted numerous professional golf tournaments.

Thailand (7): There are many excellent golf courses in Thailand. Thai Country Club (site of Tiger Woods 1997 win) and Siam Country Club (home of the Honda LPGA) are two stand-outs. The best golf courses are all part of Golf In A Kingdom.

Service (25%)
Korea (6): Golf in Korea is a long but smooth process. Tee-times and pace of play are strictly adhered to as most of the better courses are full from sunrise to sunset. A round of golf can include a break for lunch too, which is good if you like Korea food.

Thailand (10):  Service on the golf course in Thailand is all about smiles. You meet friendly locals and caddies which are standard at all Thai golf courses. Try playing without a caddie after you get back from a Thailand golf holiday to really appreciate the Thai service!

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Golf In Japan Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Japan Versus Golf In Thailand

Japan MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Japan (7): The country has over 2,400 golf courses from North to South. Unfortunately, the best clubs are private, so make sure you call ahead to see if unaccompanied visitors are allowed. Some of my favorites that do allow visitors are the Fuji Course at Kawana Hotel and Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course.

Thailand (7): The vast majority of golf courses in Thailand are open for daily fee play. Some of the best in this category include Siam Country Club (home of the Honda LPGA) and Riverdale Golf Club. The best golf courses are all part of Golf In A Kingdom.

Service (25%)
Japan (7): If you want to golf in less than 8 hours, then golf in Japan is not for you. Of course this includes 18 holes of golf with a 2+ hour break in between for lunch, sauna, and a change of clothes. Not bad actually if you want to experience real Japan.

Thailand (10): You meet friendly locals all over Thailand. A good example is the caddies which are standard at all Thai golf courses. Try playing without a caddie after you get back from a Thailand golf holiday and you will see what I mean.

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Golf In Ireland Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Ireland Versus Golf In Thailand

Ireland MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Ireland (9): The country is home to some of the world's best golf courses. Most all are pure links courses. The best Irish golf courses include K Club (Ryder Cup), and the incredible Druids Glen.

Thailand (7): Of the 250 Thai golf courses, 60 are standouts. Thailand’s best golf course is Black Mountain in Hua Hin. Other notable favorites are the spectacular Red Mountain in Phuket and Banyan in Hua Hin.

Service (25%)
Ireland (8):  Ireland has a good reputation for warm hospitality. Most resorts offer nice spas and excellent food and beverage choices. Many of the more popular golf courses also have caddie services available for visiting golfers.

Thailand (10): Thailand sets the standard for friendly hospitality by locals. Golf clubs welcome visitors from all over the world. Caddies are among Thailand’s secret weapons and make anyone’s game enjoyable.

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Golf In Hong Kong Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Hong Kong Versus Golf In Thailand

Hong Kong MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Hong Kong (6): There are some excellent golf courses in Hong Kong; many with great views over the surrounding South China Sea. The only public golf course is also one of the islands best. The 36-hole Gary player designed Kau Sai Chau Golf Course is set on an island just off the coast. Other standouts, albeit private, include the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Fanling Course; home of many professional PGA events.

Thailand (7): Golf in Thailand can be played across the country and of the 250 or so courses, 60 are worthy of visitors. The number one Thai golf course and only course in the 100 best courses outside the USA is Black Mountain in Hua Hin.
 

Service (25%)
Hong Kong (4): The island state is better known for shopping bargains than service and the same carries over to the golf clubs. Notably missing are caddies, which makes Hong Kong one of the few places to golf in Asia where one can carry his/her own bag.

Thailand (10): Thailand on the other hand is all about service excellence. Golf clubs are as visitor friendly as any place on earth. How hard could it be to play with a smiling caddie by your side through the whole round?

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Golf In Germany Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Germany Versus Golf In Thailand

Germany MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Germany (6):  Since the 1980’s many new golf courses have been built and the golf in Germany has flourished. There are now more than 600 German golf courses across the country including hundreds of excellent ones and a handful of outstanding resorts. The Sport & Spa Resort A-Rosa set among pine forests is one of the best examples with the Nick Faldo 18 being the best of the 4-course (63 hole) lineup.

Thailand (7): Thailand has 250 courses spread out across the country. Every major designer is represented and the Jack Nicklaus courses at Laem Chabang in Pattaya, Springfield in Hua Hin, and Mission Hills Phuket are among the most popular. Other excellent courses include Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin.

Service (25%)
Germany (5): Outstanding hospitality is far from synonymous with Germany. However, the unique character of each region makes for memorable golf trips nevertheless.

Thailand (10): Thailand sets the standard for service excellence and this extends to the golf courses as well. From the well-trained caddies to the bell boy at the hotels, outstanding service with a smile can be counted on. It is no wonder Thailand is nicknamed “Land of Smiles”.

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Golf In France Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In France Versus Golf In Thailand

France MapHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
France (8): Excellent golf courses are found in almost every area of France. The most popular areas for golf holidays are Le Touquet in the north, Paris and its surroundings, and Biarritz and Bordeaux in the south. The best golf courses in France include Golf National near Paris and the Evian Masters Golf Club in the Alps.

Thailand (7): Golf courses in Thailand are spread out across the country. From the Trent Jones designed Santiburi Chiang Rai Country Club the far north to the spectacular Red Mountain Golf Club on Phuket Island in the south, tracks for every taste can be played all over Thailand.

Service (25%)
France (4): Unless you are French, forget about anything close to first class service. Most locals prefer to speak only French and hardly go out of their way to make a golf holidaymakers time in country easy or convenient. However, at some of the better resorts, well-trained overseas workers can make up for some of lacking French hospitality.

Thailand (10): Thailand is world renown for service, and golf in Thailand is no exception. Just ask any Thai person for help and you might have a friend for life! This service mindset is prevalent at every golf course and resort, irrespective of the service ranking or price.

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Golf In Egypt Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Egypt Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Egypt (6): Golf in the Egypt is widespread, especially in the resort areas such as Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh. Additionally, the Gary Player course at Soma Bay Resort is a sure standout. A high concentration of golf courses can also be found are in and around Cairo with the 27-hole Katameya Heights leading the pack.

Thailand (7): Over 250 golf courses in Thailand are spread out across the country. The best courses include Thai Country Club in Bangkok, Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin, and Red Mountain in Phuket. Chiang Mai in the north also has some top courses including Chiang Mai Highlands.

Service (25%)
Egypt (5): The golf courses in Egypt are generally self-serve with limited on-course service and no caddies. The resort courses attached to 5* beach resorts have better facilities, albeit Egyptian service is not the main reason why people travel to golf in Egypt.

Thailand (10): Golf in Thailand sets the standard for service. All Thai golf courses have caddies to assist visiting golfs in every task imaginable, except hitting the ball of course. Expect service excellence at all courses, whether the course itself is 5* or not.

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Golf In the Dominican Republic Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In the Dominican Republic Versus Golf In Thailand

Dominican RepublicHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Dominican Republic (9): Golf in the Dominican Republic is well-developed. The areas around Punta Cana and Casa de Campo are worth travelling to as they have some incredible golf courses thanks to the work of golf-course designers like Pete Dye and Robert Trent Jones Sr.

Thailand (7): Thailand boasts over 250 courses and the best courses are located in one of five major golf destinations. Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket are all resort areas near the sea. Chiang Mai is in the northern mountains, and some 60 courses are available to those golfing in Bangkok.

Service (25%)
Dominican Republic (7): The golf courses located in Punta Cana and Casa de Campo are affiliated with a 5* beach resort, which practically guarantees high service levels before and after each round. However, on course there is an apparent absence of caddies and limited facilities or refreshments.

Thailand (10):  Golf in Thailand is all about the service. Thai hospitality is some of the world’s best and golf in Thailand is no exception. Caddies are compulsory at all Thai golf courses for every golfer whether or not golf carts are used, thus ensuring excellent service is available at all times.

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