Category: Golfer Testimonials

Cambodia Golf – Siem Reap Gateway to Angkor

Cambodia Golf – Siem Reap Gateway to Angkor

Hi, my name is Philip Crowther. I am British, originally from the Great Yarmouth area of Norfolk and took up golf about 20 years ago while in my early forties. I predominantly played on seaside links golf courses in the UK and have worked and played golf in many locations around the world. Sadly, old age and lack of playing opportunities have slipped me back to a 28 handicapper these days.

The Winner

Although I have played in many locations around Asia, this was my first golfing visit to Cambodia. I organised this trip with five of my male work colleagues. Four of our wives came on the trip, but did not play golf. However, they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves with shopping, spa treatments and visiting Angkor Wat.

Angkor Golf Resort

This was a 6-day visit and we stayed at the Aviary Hotel in Siem Reap, playing 3 days golf at Phokeethra & Booyoung Country Clubs and the final round on the Nick Faldo course at Angkor Golf Resort. The hotel, staff and service were first rate and I quite happily recommend the hotel and would stay there again. The Cambodian people were wonderful, friendly and readily accepted ‘No’ when you didn’t want to buy something.

Overall the golf experience was fantastic, all the courses were in very good condition. However, the Faldo course at the Angkor Golf Resort was quite clearly the best of the three. The whole package, from their free driving range facility to the caddies, course and club house / restaurant were 5 star. The bunkers on this course were also very consistent throughout the course, and I know because I found enough of them on all three courses.

The Red Piano

Most nights we all met up for a group dinner on Bar Street, with the Red Piano Bar Restaurant quickly becoming our local haunt.

I cannot recommend this experience too strongly. We were looked after very well by Golfasian, from their handling of the enquiry to all the logistics, everything went smoothly. As for golfing in Siem Reap, it’s ideal for golfers and non-golfers, particularly couples. Now it’s just a case of where next?

Thailand Golf – Golfasian Regulars

Thailand Golf – Golfasian Regulars

Pacific Golf Club, Carindale

Hi, my name is Bill Donovan. I have played golf seriously for 34 years. My current handicap is 10 and I am a member of Pacific Golf Club at Carindale in Brisbane. Pacific is an 18-hole championship golf course in a parkland setting, with water on 16 of the holes. It is a very challenging layout.

This is my 6th trip to Thailand and my 3rd trip to Hua Hin. Our group, 6 males all from pacific Golf club, have been to Hua Hin 3 times, Pattaya twice and once to Chiang Mai. Hua Hin is our favourite golfing destination in Thailand. We have booked the last 5 trips through Golfasian and they have been fantastic. Our last 3 trips have been booked through Fai at Golfasian and she has done a terrific job. Many years ago, one of our friends went to Thailand and absolutely raved about how good everything was and this prompted us to organise a trip.

Most of our trips involve 6 games of golf. We play 2 games then have a rest day. We normally go there for 10 days. Thailand is fantastic, the people are friendly and always happy, the food is fantastic (even in the street stalls) and the beer is also relatively cheap. Accommodation is really good and we always try to get a hotel near the entertainment areas so it is an easy walk home. Through Golfasian, we always have breakfast at the hotel, then lunch at the golf course. The meals at most of the club houses are great and what better than to have a shower and change, then a cold beer with a nice lunch to recharge.

The Group with caddies at Springfield

Our group really enjoyed the golf courses, the caddies, the course designs/layouts; bottom line, there is nothing to not like about the whole experience. We have done trips to Singapore and Malaysia but prefer Thailand. We always schedule our trips in November hoping that it may be a bit cooler, and fortunately our last trip was really good, as it can get very hot. The caddies are great fun but also quite knowledgeable mostly. After a couple of holes they know your distances and what club to hit, and are also good green readers in the main. Our favourite Thailand golf course is Black Mountain in Hua Hin. It is just a great course in terms of conditioning, design and overall presentation. Realistically, we haven’t come across a ‘bad’ course yet. I was a bit disappointed with Burapha as my logic is, when travelling for golf, you want to play great courses and designs. I found Burapha a bit boring. The last trip we played mainly “ambrose” and “3BBB” stablefords, which made the trip very relaxing, and not too competitive. On one ambrose day, my group had 7 birdies in a row!!

After golf we always went for a massage. I usually had a traditional Thai massage and they are fantastic. We tell the masseuse that we are in Thailand playing golf so they tailor the massage more along sports lines. If we finished golf early, we would either go shopping or have a swim in the hotel pool. Each night we all went out for dinner at various restaurants and the food is great and not expensive. After dinner, we sometimes went to the markets shopping and some of the group continued on for a few drinks and games of pool, while the others went back to our hotel In Chiang Mai. We went on an elephant trek and some did the Tiger temple on a day off.

Despite all the visits we’ll be back for more…and always with Golfasian.

Thailand Golf Vacations – A Lady’s View

Thailand Golf Vacations – A Lady’s View

I am Sally Chappell, a mature Lady golfer. I live in Leeds England, and have been a member of Rawdon Golf and Lawn Tennis club for 14 years.  My handicap is 26, which I consider not bad as our course is a very challenging one, hilly with lots of trees.

 My friend Elizabeth Leach and I have played golf in Florida, Portugal, Turkey and Cyprus, and this year decided we would like a trip away in January, so Thailand seemed to be the ideal place for some good weather.  How right we were, the sun shone for the whole two weeks which enabled us to play golf in ideal conditions.

We were recommended by a friend to book with Golfasian, and Ian Morgan organised everything to our requirements with perfection.

We travelled with Emirate airlines via Dubai and unfortunately our journey out was delayed by 8 hours. We were a little apprehensive that would cause a problem with the transportation from Bangkok, but the worry was unfounded as the delightful, friendly driver was waiting for us when we arrived.

Our stay at the Laksasubha hotel was everything we had hoped; beautiful rooms, extremely friendly, happy staff, and a delicious breakfast every day served almost on the beach.

Banyan Golf ClubWe looked forward to the new experience of having a caddie and were definitely not disappointed. Our first round was at Sea Pines, a very picturesque course, particularly the holes around the bay.  The game at Springfield Country Club was so enjoyable, made so by the very friendly, efficient and fun loving caddies.  Pressure was definitely on us as far as the golf was concerned when Elizabeth and I realised our caddies were betting on our play, 10 baht per hole!  My favourite course was Banyan, probably because I got a birdie on the par 3 4th hole.

Every evening began with cocktails (of course) in the hotel bar on the beach, then we ate at various restaurants in the town.

 Two days left of our holiday and we were told about Svensons Ice Cream Parlour, very fortunate we didn’t hear about it at the beginning of our stay, otherwise we would have had to buy bigger clothes.

We both thoroughly enjoyed our golf holiday in Thailand. Hua Hin is a very relaxing resort destination, and we both felt safe wherever we walked. We have returned home with lots of very happy memories, thanks to Ian Morgan and his staff at Golfasian.

Thailand Golf Tours – Great Getaways

Thailand Golf Tours – Great Getaways

Hi, my name is Wayne, that’s me second from the right.

I’m from Figtree in New South Wales, Australia. I’ve played golf for almost 30 years and am a member of Port Kembla Golf Club which is a short distance south of town on a beautiful spit of land bordered to the west and east by water and the beach. The course is long at 6,300 metres, tree-lined, and a legitimate championship test. I am currently playing off a 6 handicap.

My first time golfing in Thailand (indeed my first visit) was in June 2015.  The courses looked great on the internet & I’d heard people were really friendly. I travelled with 5 mates from the Figtree Hotel Social Golf club and returned in 2016 with 3 from the 2015 trip plus one other…all blokes.

In 2015 we played 5 rounds in Pattaya and Bangkok with the following year taking in Hua Hin as well; 7 rounds in total this time. We travelled both times with Golfasian whom we found on the web. Our first impressions were outstanding. The tour was so very well organised from the collection at the airport to departure, absolutely seamless.  Straight away Thailand made a big impression and was a wonderful experience.  The people are so friendly; nothing is a problem, everyone is smiling…it all seemed very carefree. Whether that’s the case behind the scenes it makes for a fabulous visit. We liked all our hotels, as good as anything I’ve ever stayed at: great locations, service and amenities.

Despite it being Thailand’s low season and the start of the “rainy” period we had great weather, only a little hot.  You couldn’t ask for more: great courses, delicious food and most of all the friendliness of the people. Our caddies were very good at their job and were prepared to have a good laugh. My favourite course(s) were the Jack Nicklaus-designed Laem Chabang Country Club (what I expect of a top championship course) and The Royal Gems which is a replica course comprised of many famous holes throughout the world including Amen Corner from Augusta.  I’ve been watching the Professionals play these holes for years and now I was able to play them myself.  Black Mountain was just magnificent and Khao Kheow Country Club a gorgeous layout, with Nikanti such a wonderful overall experience.

After golf we’d spend an hour or 2 in the pool, have a few beers with the boys then all go out for dinner & a few drinks. All in all it was exactly what I had hoped for and more…I’ll definitely be back.

Golfing Thailand as a Single

Golfing Thailand as a Single

Titirangi Golf Club

My name is John Billington. I live in Aukland, New Zealand, which is the largest and most populace area in the country. I am a member of Titirangi Golf Club, a course designed by Alastair McKenzie on his trip south to design Royal Melbourne. I have played golf in most continents and especially on the McKenzie courses in California (including Cypress Point). I was a scratch handicapper but at 66 years I am now playing off a respectable 7.

I have been travelling to Europe for sailing holidays regularly for the past five years and transit through Asia. I travel one way alone, meeting my wife in Europe and taking the opportunity to play some golf on the way.

I started using Golfasian to arrange golf holidays in Thailand. It worked seamlessly for me with transport etc and because they tended to join me up with other groups I met many interesting people from all around the world whom I would not otherwise meet: Russians, Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Swiss, Scandinavians, and golfers from all over Asia; fascinating!!

Red Mountain 1st

The courses are all good, well-groomed and economical by world standards whilst facilities are of a uniformly high standard. Last year I spent a week on my own golfing in Phuket and recently a week in Chiang Mai. Red Mountain in Phuket is particularly stunning and a great test, whilst Alpine Chiang Mai is unique with its beautiful surroundings and varied types of holes providing different challenges.

I usually stay in hotels in the city rather than at a resort because I enjoy sightseeing, the local markets and restaurants including the wonderful street food.

Thai caddies are exceptional and great company; quite able to lift my spirits and get me back on track if I’m finding it difficult to find my rhythm. The Golfasian drivers are invariably courteous and efficient, providing recommendations on local attractions.

I will return to Thailand soon, this time with a group of friends from Titirangi. We shall probably play in the Chiang Mai area because the climate is appreciably cooler, the countryside truly beautiful and mountainous and there is such a lot to do and see. I’ll leave the arrangements to Golfasian…they haven’t let me down yet!

Golf in Myanmar

Golf in Myanmar

My name is Catherine Capozzi, and I’m from the golfer heaven state of Arizona in the US. Now, I live with my husband in India. Despite growing up in a place renowned for golf, I can’t say I’m very good at the sport: we don’t belong to any golf club, and the extent of our practice involves playing 9-hole courses around sunset at a discount. Nonetheless, my husband and I have made a concerted effort to improve our swing every time we go back to visit Arizona in the winter. And in this case, we decided to bring our burgeoning love of golf with us on vacation to Myanmar.

Myanmar had been on my family’s radar for some time: We knew it was an up-and-coming destination that hadn’t succumbed to the usual touristy pitfalls of over development and pollution. We heard it was rustic, clean, full of Buddhist history, had amazing cuisine and friendly people. All of these things proved correct, especially the hospitality. The unspoiled nature was easily one of the best parts, and I was amazed at how pristine the country was.

We didn’t think Burma and golf would go hand-in-hand, but the courses were actually quite beautiful. They unfortunately didn’t have left-handed golf clubs and we didn’t bring ours, so we had to alternate between using the back of a 5-iron for the left hand, or practising with my right and toting around the 7-iron as my defacto club (not that it helped). Thankfully, we found every bad swing rather amusing. If we were smart, we ‘d have brought our own clubs.

The caddies were the real heroes of our game, because they were out in the rough fishing out my husband’s golf balls practically every shot. They also were so attentive, setting up the balls in a makeshift tee from grass tufts. The ladies were great sports.

The courses were gorgeous. In Bagan, the course is situated among the famous pagodas so we enjoyed weaving our cart through these historic monuments. The Inle course was expansive and was very well-maintained. The weather was also cool here, but it started pouring rain around the 6th hole. One of my fondest memories of the trip will be how we careened down the course, making a beeline for the clubhouse as we all got drenched—especially the caddies, as they clung to the back while the rain pelted them. We gave up our golfing ambitions for the day once the rains hit, but we had a fabulous time.

GolfAsian made our vacation effortless and so enjoyable. The group consisted of my husband, our 15-month-old baby, my mother, and me. I was a little worried that the itinerary was too hectic (three cities by plane in a week), but the organization made travelling a breeze: someone was always waiting for us on the other side, our guides were compassionate, responsive and informative, and all we had to do was show up.

In Yangon, we were booked in a fantastic, spacious hotel called the Rose Garden. Our guide showed us some of the heritage buildings downtown, and gave us a tour of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. We found Yangon to be lush, clean, vibrant, and full of friendly people. We had a great time visiting the market and buying jade, Buddha statues, paper umbrellas and other quintessential Burmese souvenirs.

In our next stop, Bagan, we explored the ancient Buddhist monuments that pepper the rustic city. Tharabar Gate was easily one of our favorite hotels, and we enjoyed the amazing spread of local cuisine (as a vegan, I especially enjoyed the local chickpea-based tofu and fresh carrot salads. The peanut sauce in Myanmar is the stuff of legends. My husband, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of the fish). My mother and baby had a delightful time going through the green countryside in a horse-drawn carriage.

Our last stop was the Inle Lake region. There’s simply nowhere else in the world that can compare to this unique spot: they have floating gardens and an entire city built atop the water. Visiting these sites by boat was such a special experience that even the later rains didn’t damper the mood. Though the hotel didn’t have the best variety of food and the WiFi was intermittent, (as is the case in most hotels, was our understanding) the grounds were lush, expansive, and made for a beautiful walk.

8 days later, we all felt like we got the full Burma experience. We had a delightful family vacation!

Thailand Golf, Off the Beaten Track – A Golf Group’s Tale

Thailand Golf, Off the Beaten Track – A Golf Group’s Tale

Gary with Golfasian MD Mark Siegel
Gary with Golfasian MD Mark Siegel

Hi, my name is Gary. I am an Australian, originally from New South Wales, but now very comfortably domiciled in Perth, Western Australia with a wife of 35 years marriage and two grown up kids!

I have played golf since my father stuck a golf club in my hands when I was about 10 years old. At 61 years old now, I guess you could say I have been a long-term golfer. I have been a member of private golf clubs since a junior, and a member of my current golf club, Melville Glades for the last 22 years. My current handicap is 4 … hard earned at my age! I also happen to be the President of the club and have been on the Club’s Board for the last 5 years.  Melville Glades is a parkland golf course in the Perth metropolitan area and will celebrate 50 years of operations in 2017. We have in excess of 1,100 members with member competitions every day of the week.  Oh, we also have a mob of around 200 kangaroos that live on the golf course which is a very special experience for our members and visitors.

I have been to Thailand around half a dozen times, and have played golf in Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok and now Kanchanaburi. Thailand is renowned as the best and most enjoyable golf tourism experience in Asia, and the combination of well-conditioned courses, excellent caddy services and comfortable, luxurious Clubhouses, makes for a unique golfing experience for visiting Australian golfers.

Gary with Golfasian's Hua Hin Manager Ian Morgan at Black Mountain
Gary at Black Mountain with Golfasian’s Hua Hin Manager Ian Morgan 

My most recent golf tour included Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Hua Hin. We played 5 great golf courses, including Black Mountain, Thai Country Club and Grand Prix … all different with individual challenges. Royal Ratchaburi was a unique and most enjoyable golf experience playing in the countryside and through the mountains bordering Myanmar.

With golf tours in Asia, you need to consider the time of the year and the prevailing weather conditions. There are obviously peak season times where prices increase, however I like to schedule my tours around the “shoulder” seasons where I can access some lower rates and then build some “value-add” into the tour price with things such as trophies, prizes, complimentary polo shirts etc.

My most recent tour had 22 guests and most were golfing couples. Being a 10-night golf tour, we only arranged a couple of team dinners … this allowed the guests to “do their own thing”! Some couples teamed up with others for dinner and drinks, and others went out for massages and shopping … things Thailand are famous for!

group-photoAll in all everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would like to sample another Asian destination, perhaps Vietnam. Let’s see what Golfasian can do for us!!

Amazing Asia Golf Double-Header: Vietnam & Thailand Combined

Amazing Asia Golf Double-Header: Vietnam & Thailand Combined

Hi, my name is Willy Ma.   I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada to finish high school.  I then attended college in the US and made Los Angeles my permanent residence.   I am a member at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, Los Angeles, California founded in 1924: Bing Crosby was club champion 5 times. I am also a member at Village Country Club at Lompoc, California in Santa Barbara County.

My current SCGA Index is about 14. I started playing golf in the 1980s and take regular golf lessons from various golf schools and PGA Professionals so hope to get to single figures before too long. I often plan golf trips for my group of 8 to 16 golfers from all over the world aiming to play the world’s best courses. We’ve travelled to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos as well as locally in US.   Golf in China used to be my favourite but after this Vietnam and Thailand trip arranged by Golfasian, I would come back in a heart-beat. I find Southeast Asians are the friendliest and most respectful people…..and our dollars go a long way. I would like to plan more trips to Southeast Asia and eventually find a place there to retire. My wife is also an avid golfer but she cannot deal with the humidity and mosquitoes. I also love the food and massages; the only way to end a day’s golf. There’s no place like Thailand.

King’s Island GC, Hanoi

On my recent trip to Hanoi, I loved all the courses we played in the itinerary except The BRM Legend Hill.  It didn’t seem like a Jack Nicklaus-designed course at all. Notwithstanding, my most memorable hole was a 498 yards par 5.  I was on in two with a 12 foot putt for an eagle; lipped out and made a birdie; very satisfying.  We played the blue tees at all venues and found the courses in Hanoi were very challenging and well designed. My preference has always been for old established courses rather than modern ones.  My best rounds on this trip were at Sky Lake and Kings Island in Hanoi, Springfield and Banyan in Hua Hin.

Banyan GC
Banyan GC

Everything was perfect until the last round at Black Mountain in Hua Hin. I was so looking forward to playing there but the whole experience that day really disappointed me. The course condition was poor, muddy and wet with track marks all over the fairways. There was not one hole that was decent. On top of that, we backed into a group of beginner, older golfers from Australia. They were talking on the tee box most of the time and one guy in particular was always far behind his own group.  It was a five hour round and I had to wait five or more minutes to hit all my shots.  I asked our caddies to go around them but they were afraid to do so. I wish there were Marshalls at these courses and people would be more considerate of others.  I really wanted to quit after 9 holes. A shame things turned out that way because I’m sure such a prestigious course is wonderful in its prime.

The hotel selections in the package were very good especially the Anantara Resort. I liked the Anantara for its location away from all the tourists, plus the staff there were excellent. The manager Sheldon was always there to greet us at the breakfast buffet which was a nice touch. We totally enjoyed the breakfast buffet which was a great way to start our day before golf. All the Golfasian drivers were courteous and patient.

Lastly, I would like to thank Ms Ha Bui Viet for planning our package and our guide Brian Tho Nguyen in Hanoi for making our trip so pleasant.  They both really went the extra mile to help us with any request.

It was a memorable trip and we can’t wait to return for more.

Group’s Long Weekend Golf in Chiang Mai

Group’s Long Weekend Golf in Chiang Mai

My name is Tim Spriggs, an Englishman who lives and works in Singapore. For the past couple of years a group of friends and I have undertaken a short golf tour elsewhere in Asia, last year in Danang Vietnam and this year in Thailand. Whilst we play in Singapore, membership is prohibitively expensive so travelling works out cheaper and we enjoy exploring new places and their golf offer. We loved Danang, but having done quite a bit of research knew that Thailand would be great fun with superb food and some decent nightlife. Notwithstanding, we weren’t yet ready for a venue such as Pattaya and thought that Chiang Mai would be a sensible “christening”; for many of us this was the first visit to Thailand.

Working with Golfasian came about because of a simple Google search. Their website was comprehensive and informative and our initial enquiry was responded to promptly which always impresses. We were given some excellent advice about which courses to play and where to stay, preferring downtown. This was only a 3-day trip but it felt good to have everything organised and allowed the golf to take centre stage. On the side, I worked with Mike Moyer of Fenix Golf to organise team shirts, caps and prizes: Mike was incredibly helpful given this was only a small order (8 players) and he really took care of us.

Everything went without a hitch. Local travel arrangements, hotels and golf all materialized without a single issue. There are no compromises, no snags and no surprises. Every day we had some sort of team competition that culminated in a finale at Gassan Khuntan. The après golf started in the bar post the round with prizes and some “fines” various from appearing late for breakfast to not driving past the ladies’ tee (no names, no pack-drill).

alpine-chiang-mai-greenChiang Mai was beautiful and the people at all levels so welcoming. The food is sensational and golf courses are magnificent. We first played Alpine which was notable for its superb and very challenging par 3s, then 36 holes at Highlands (our favourite) whose backdrop was breath taking, and finally Gassan Khuntan which was super-challenging. Khuntan is in a truly exquisite setting located in the lee of the northern mountains of Thailand. The extensive water hazards will challenge most golfers so bring your best game to this course. It is shameless and can strip away your dignity, but what a pleasure. You cannot talk golf in Thailand without recognising the delightful Caddies. Those gentle people who give intuitive advice, moral support, best club selection and playing strategies to suit the course and your game. My experience tells me to listen and follow their wisdom.

All the group agreed that golfing in Thailand was special and are now planning a return. I would like to thank Golfasian for making it all possible in such a seamless way. We loved every minute and will return!

Our Best Hua Hin Golf Holiday

Our Best Hua Hin Golf Holiday

Hi, my name is Tony Spanjers. As you can see from the photo we were a group of sixteen, made up of “Captains and Presidents”, Captains being Orange and Presidents being blue. We played a two ball match play stableford format with Captains prevailing on this particular trip. We are all from Perth, Western Australia and are members of Araluen Golf Resort, which is situated in the hills South East of Perth. Those of us who are no longer working generally play every Saturday and Wednesday together. Our handicaps range from 7 to 27, so a fairly diverse mix of ability.

For some time have been touring as a group, with numbers varying between 12 & 16, every year in July or August [winter in Perth]. Each year we choose a different tour director and different location. Last year we toured and played golf in Da Nang Vietnam, and 2014 we were in Pattaya. We have also been to China’s Mission Hills, New Zealand, the Gold Coast Australia, and sand belt, Melbourne Aust.

We were all very happy and impressed by our Hua Hin golf tour, in fact we considered it our best tour yet from all angles. Prices were very reasonable (important as a few of our members aren’t working). The golf courses were excellent, especially Black Mountain Golf Club and the management of our itinerary and transport plus tee times was exemplary. Our only concern was the condition of the greens at Sea Pines but overall we were very happy with the caddies, the weather [only got wet once], the hotel which was in a great location in the centre of all the entertainment venues and had the most friendly staff, plus the Thai people in general.

Black Mountain- View from behind the 10th greenOur best score was a 49 points which was outstanding, from memory first game at Black Mountain…it wasn’t me!

After every round, we enjoyed group beers, ate lunch, and collated scores and updated team positions, paying out prize money to first, second and third as well as settling personal bets.

Back at the hotel it was a quick change and head for the pool’s swim up bar for a couple of hours. All would meet in the lobby around 8 pm and head off into the night and choose a local restaurant for dinner. After dinner some headed back to hotel, some to a nightclub or pool bar, eventually all ending up in bed ready for the battle to resume the next day. As I said, it was a great trip and one to remember. I’m confident Thailand will feature in future outings.

A Big Fan of Golfasian

A Big Fan of Golfasian

Graham and Mark S at Centara MastersMy name is Graham Cater, an Aussie who plays Southport Golf Club on the Gold Coast of Australia. It is there I hone my skills and test my mental strength to ready me for our annual Thailand Golf Tour.

Playing golf in Thailand is not just about the game it is an exotic experience that has left me with the most wonderful memories from the Land of Smiles. Now I don’t always play well and I have been known to miss the odd easy putt but nothing can stop the enjoyment I get playing on some of the best golf courses in Asia.

Graham with some GA staffI first heard about golf in Thailand and Golfasian whilst playing with a group in Singapore. It sounded exciting and the more I investigated the practicalities of putting a tour together the more enthusiastic I became. Then it all came together in March 2012. I had contacted Golfasian and received a quick response from Bee. I was amazed at the efficiency with which Bee put our first golf tour in Hua Hin together. Local travel arrangements, hotels and golf all materialized without a hitch. Five years on and Bee is still looking after our group. She has become our good friend as have many of the wonderful staff of Golfasian.  Currently we are considering Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia for an extended tour, all of which are covered by Golfasian with their own in-country staffs. What makes touring so easy with Golfasian is their awareness of your individual needs. This is integral to their business model. There are no compromises, no snags and no surprises.

Grahams crazy companionsThailand is a beautiful country with a wonderful culture. The people are most welcoming, the food is sensational and golf courses are magnificent. I love the green curries, Pad Thai and the tasty whole fish with an accompaniment of shrimp and lobster, all washed down with a cold Singha beer.  What is surprising is how little it costs to have such a spread of dishes.  We play courses in Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Hua Hin. We consider Hua Hin our home-from-home destination. The sweeping fairways of the Pirapon Namatra-designed Banyan offer golfers a world class experience in spectacular surroundings. The championship course Black Mountain is everything you would expect and is acknowledged as the best golf course in Asia. Hosting both Asian and European Tour events it has won a string of international awards and is my favourite course. Gassan Khuntan in Chiang Mai is in a truly exquisite setting located in the northern mountains of Thailand. The extensive water hazards will challenge most golfers so bring your best game to this course. It is shameless and can strip away your dignity, but Some of Grahams friends on a caddie's motorbikewhat a pleasure. You cannot talk golf in Thailand without recognising the delightful Caddies. Those gentle people who give intuitive advice, moral support, best club selection and playing strategies to suit the course and your game. My experience tells me to listen and follow their wisdom.

From the mountains to the sea there is a golf course in Thailand for every golfer. It is such a relaxing experience, it is beautiful and such fun. Golfasian cannot improve your golf but they can give you a golfing experience you will never forget. I have recommended 60-70 golfers and friends who have also enjoyed the Golfasian experience and all returned with the same praise. Thanks for providing such outstanding service.

Your Views…Hua Hin

Your Views…Hua Hin

Hi my name is Paul Keefe. My wife and I live in Montreal in Canada.

I am 72 and have been a Member of a golf club for 50 years. My current club of 33 years is Royal Montreal. We have 45 holes and our claim to fame is we are the oldest golf club in North America. We have hosted the President’s Cup and many Canadian Opens.

My lowest handicap was a 12. While I was working golf was limited to 20-30 games a year but since retirement 10 years ago, I have been playing a lot of golf. My handicap increased over the years to 18.

image2My wife and I first came to Thailand in 1990 for our honeymoon and since coming for golf for the first time 6 years ago we have seen many changes. On one particular trip we stayed for 8 weeks and loved the experience.

We have tweaked our trip each year to see as much of South East Asia as possible. In Thailand we have golfed in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya. We have also golfed in Vietnam and Cambodia (Siem Riep and Phnom Penh).

There is so much to like about golf in Thailand, but in particular we think the hotels are outstanding because of their superb service and the friendliness of staff. We like the Westin in Bangkok because it is on the BTS transportation line. In Hua Hin the Centara and the Hilton are located on a beautiful beach and are right in the center of town. For the golf, of course having a caddie is a real treat. They are really good with yardages and reading greens.

The courses for the most part are in great shape and most are excellent designs. My favorite courses are Black Mountain and Banyan in Hua Hin, St Andrews and Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Thai Country Club and Summit Windmill in Bangkok. The weather is usually great. In 6 years I was only forced to abandon one game due to a rain storm. We always walked until this year when we started using a cart because of medical issues.

Post our rounds of golf, in the beach towns we would return to the hotel and enjoy the facilities, in Bangkok we shopped. The shopping compared to Canada in terms of choice and variety is incredible.  Of course having a post golf massage is wonderful.  Renowned for its cuisine, the restaurant choices are amazing. The shopping centers have great restaurants and the prices are incredibly reasonable.

We keep coming back because of the value, choice and wonderful, varied experiences. We think Thailand is hard to beat as a golf destination.

Your Views on Golf in Hua Hin

Your Views on Golf in Hua Hin

Hi, my name is Craig Philpott. I am from the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. I travelled to Hua Hin with 4 mates from Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane.  I have played golf for approximately 30 years. My handicap is 4 at the moment. I am a member of Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane. Nudgee is a members’ course but open to guests as well.

This was my first time to Thailand. We selected Hua Hin so we could watch a member of our club, Scott Hend, play in the Thailand Classic, which he duly won so we now have to return next year! Three of the members on the trip have known Scott for quite a few years so this was a cause for much celebration.

My first impression of Thailand was “how good is this”. We were picked up by Golfasian at Bangkok airport and transported straight to our hotel at Hua Hin in a very comfortable vehicle. Check-in was swift and I was in my room within 10 minutes of arrival. Next morning we enjoyed a very good breakfast before heading to the front of the hotel ready for golf. The Golfasian driver was waiting for us and we were on our way. We played Sea Pines first and I would recommend this course to anyone. It’s a very good course with great views out to sea on the first, second and the last few holes. Played Banyan and it was everything I had been told it would be. A course with everything, tight holes, wide open holes, trouble for the unwary but playable for all; also in very, very good condition. Springfield Royal was next. Due to the drought it was very dry, which meant not only were the fairways firm (although well grassed) but the large dams were dry. Tee blocks, fairways and greens were in remarkable condition considering the lack of rain the course has received over the past 2 years. I would love to play this course again once the rains return and replenish the water holes. Majestic was next and it also was quite dry once off the fairways. Very playable for all standards and an enjoyable course. Again, would like to play this course after rain as it would be a great test. The staff have done a great job to have it in the condition it was in. Black Mountain was the last course we planned and it was in absolutely great condition 4 days after the Thailand Classic. Not sure what I can say about this course apart from it was a privilege to play such a wonderful layout. Playing from the 7000 yard tees I somehow eagled the 18th, driver, 3 wood and a 3 metre downhill putt. Black Mountain rates in the top 6 courses I have played, sitting alongside the Palmer course in Hawaii, Cottesloe in Perth Western Australia, Royal Adelaide, Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona & Torrey Pines South course.

We liked everything about the trip. Caddies were great; all very pleasant and very informative. It didn’t take long for them to work out our strengths and weaknesses. The price may be leaning towards the top of the scale but when everything is as well organised as this trip was it was well worth the money. Condition of the courses was fantastic when all is considered. Favourite course was Black Mountain but the others were very enjoyable. There were many favourite holes but due to my eagle the 18th at Black Mountain is at the top. The 14th & 15th at Springfield Royal would be great holes when the dam is full; what an awesome sight from the tee blocks. The 3rd & 18th at Banyan were great, 1st, 2nd, 16th, 17th & 18th at Sea Pines – fantastic. Majestic also had some great holes but I can’t remember which numbers. Weather was beautiful…couldn’t ask for better. One player had 38 stableford points one day which was the best in the group. My best was 34 at Sea Pines, maybe I was enjoying the courses too much to concentrate. The best day was the Thursday at Black Mountain. Everything about this day will be remembered for a very long time.

After golf we did a little bit of site seeing but mostly visited restaurants and bars, checked out the markets and did some forward planning for our return which will be asap. Everyone we encountered was smiling and happy. Fantastic local people who were only too willing to chat and give us ideas on what to do.

I’ve already recommended Golfasian to others and will continue to do so for anyone who wants a fantastic golf holiday in Asia. A huge thank you to Ian Morgan and his team in Hua Hin for a job well done.

Your Holidays in Focus

Your Holidays in Focus


J Kirby 1Hi, my name is Joe. I started playing golf in 1992 as a club member at Amstel Golf Club, but am now playing off a 10 handicap at Drouin Golf and Country Club at Drouin Victoria in Australia. The Drouin course is predominately couch fairways set amongst a picnic day racecourse, quite picturesque. My lowest playing handicap has been 7.

Before this trip, I had travelled to Thailand twice before, backpacking, and not staying in any one place for any length of time.

A local Drouin member had taken a group of friends to Thailand last year and had organised another trip in May 2015, so I decided to join this group along with a few others who hadn’t been to Thailand golfing either. I didn’t know these members, but by the time we left Hua Hin the 12 of us had become good mates. All agreed to return next year.

We all agreed it was sensational. The golf courses are well above par, the food great, the night markets and social activities were sensational.

Having had such a magnificent time golfing in Thailand, I couldn’t wait to go again.

I found Golfasian on their website and their Asia Golf Week tournaments caught my eye. They were available at a great price, including golf, caddies, carts, accommodation, all overland transfers plus group dinners. I booked in for the Chiang Mai amateur tournament, apprehensive at first not knowing anyone, but was soon put at ease with some supporting emails from Mark Penfold, director of events.

Upon arrival at Chiang Mai I was promptly picked up for my transfer to the hotel. The group meeting that night was full of expectation and excitement. As the week rolled on new friendships grew and the golf became more competitive. The beautiful courses at Alpine, Chiang Mai Highlands and Gassan were very challenging and a real test, particularly as it was a competition. If it wasn’t for the knowledge of the caddies I’m guessing many of us would have really suffered.

Kirby Alpine CNXThe Alpine Golf Resort had been set up for the ASEAN championships, so it was very tough with its Bermuda rough and tight fairways.

The last round at Chiangmai Highlands Resort and Spa surrounded by the local hills was also tough but very scenic and easy on the eyes. My score of 34 points wasn’t good enough to hold off the better players on the day. The courses selected by Golfasian, that I have seen so far, are top quality layouts making you think about every shot.

The location of the hotels were excellent, very close to all amenities, bars, restaurants and markets. The golf course transfer drivers were efficient; always on time and very polite.

Although the weather was hot, which I don’t mind, the caddies were always on hand with an umbrella and a cold drink or parking the golf cart in the shade; the ultimate indulgence.

J Kirby 2After the round a nice cool drink, snack and some good stories were exchanged in the beautiful club houses, before returning to the hotel for an evening meal.

I am extremely impressed with the professionalism of Golfasian. I really can’t think of anything that could improve the Chiang Mai amateur championship tournament.

I urge those thinking about it to just do it, you won’t be disappointed. I’m off to Hua Hin in March 2016.

The perfect Father/Son golf trip – Hua Hin

The perfect Father/Son golf trip – Hua Hin

My name is Aki Mustonen. My father, who accompanied me on this very special father/son trip is Timo. We come from Finland; Dad lives in Helsinki and I live and work in Beijing.

My father started playing golf in Finland at the age of 35. Once my sister and I arrived he stopped playing but once I became old enough (aged 10) he got me a couple of modified clubs and I was able to practice with him occasionally. At that time I was more interested in football and ice-hockey so one day I informed him I was no longer going to play golf. My dad continued playing occasionally and once we moved to China in 1998 he joined a golf club there, and again I occasionally joined him. At this time his handicap was 12.

I was finally bitten by the golf bug when I attended the Sports Institution of Finland at age of 22. To my pleasant surprise we had access to a free 9-hole practice course. Very quickly my handicap dropped to the low 20s, also playing golf quite a bit with my father. My current handicap is 18 but I’m looking to drop to 10 this year.

Vierumaki Golf Club
Vierumaki Golf Club

In Finland I belong to Vierumaki golf club, which has 2 tree-lined courses (pine trees and lots of heather) and the practice facility which the Institute uses.  The “Cooke” is a championship course and challenges all levels of players: the 18th and 13th holes were included in Golf Digest magazine’s readers’ Dream 18 golf course.

This was not the first time we had travelled to Thailand having previously been to Bangkok, Koh Samui and Phuket with the entire family. This was, however, the first visit to Hua Hin which appeared to have a good golf pedigree and was still relatively convenient for Bangkok.

Our first Thailand golf experience was something very special for both of us. Thanks to Golfasian everything was taken care of in advance so all we had to worry about was to wake up, have breakfast and play golf. In Finland we always walk, but in Thailand we used carts for almost every round because it does get very hot during the day (caddies appreciated it too!). Additionally, our two favourites, Black Mountain and Banyan are quite hilly.

IMG_1393One part of the golf experience was the energetic and friendly caddies with whom we got to share our rounds. Not only were they keen to laugh and joke around with us but they also proved to be very capable at reading the tricky greens, especially at Black Mountain. Thanks to one amazing caddie and her green-reading skills I scored my best round at Black Mountain, 84 from the back tee! Some of the caddies also respected the Finnish tradition of enjoying a small “nip” of cognac when a birdie was scored 🙂 although I have to admit it didn’t happen too often. Another part of the golf experience was meeting nice people who joined us to make a 4-ball. It’s interesting to hear stories and backgrounds from different people around the world.

IMG_1611After golf we would have a shower to freshen up, drink a beer (or two…) and have a snack at the club house. On a few occasions (3) we enjoyed ourselves so much we played an additional round. If we had time we would go back to our rented villa which was part of the package and enjoy the sunshine by our pool, perhaps the Black Mountain Water Park or even at the beach which is 20 minutes away. Generally we had dinner in town at one of several restaurants before heading back to bed and preparing for a new day’s golf.

In conclusion we were really satisfied with how everything ended up for us in terms of transport, accommodation, golf and free time. Hua Hin has a lot of beautiful golf courses and we found that it was perfect to be able to focus on the best course as far as we are concerned, Black Mountain, while also taking the opportunity to play three others. Two weeks was the right amount of time to get in a lot of golf but still have enough time for other things.

We highly recommend Golfasian services as well as Hua Hin for those who are looking to enjoy a memorable golf experience.

Thailand Golf Holiday Experiences

Thailand Golf Holiday Experiences

Hi, my name is Bob Wood. I am from the Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane in Australia.

Bob Wood HI1I have played golf for over 50 years but have become more serious in recent years after my retirement from Secondary School teaching. I play off a handicap of between 6 & 8, depending on the benevolence of the golfing Gods and am a member of Caloundra Golf Club a parkland course north of the town of Caloundra and just a few kilometres inland. I usually play competitions at my club 3 times a week.

Recently, on a golfing trip to Thailand I had my second hole in one at Lam Luk Ka Golf Club one hour north of Bangkok on the 145 metre par 3, 12th (the first was last year at The Royal Gems). It’s always great to see the ball go in off the tee on a par 3 but particularly good fun when you are on holiday playing with friends in beautiful surroundings.

This is my 6th Thailand golf holiday with like-minded golfing addicts from Australia. I consider Thailand to be the best golfing experience in the world. The courses are excellent and the caddies in the main are friendly, competent and diligent; they add to the ambience of any day. The friendliness of the Thai people in general is overwhelming.

West Course 12th
West Course 12th

Our Thailand destinations have included Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hua Hin all of which offer the full cultural and golfing experience without the hassles of big city traffic and crowds.

All our trips have been expertly organised by Golfasian, whom we have found to be friendly, well organised and reliable.

Your Views of Golf in Thailand

Your Views of Golf in Thailand

My name is Steve Madden and I live in Sydney, Australia.

pennanthills1I have played golf since I was a young boy, however it’s only in the last 4-5 years that I have had time to play on a regular basis. My current GA handicap is 13 and I am a member of Pennant Hills Golf Club in Sydney. With its roots established over a hundred years ago Pennant Hills is considered a “Private” A Grade golf course, featuring tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain. Whilst not long by modern standards the par 71 course is still demanding.

I have played golf in Thailand many times originally playing in Phuket whilst on holiday with my family in 2006. I first came across Golfasian when I saw their advertisement in an Australian golf magazine and they have looked after me ever since.

Resize1There aren’t many destinations I haven’t visited: Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Pattaya have all been sampled. Most times I have travelled with a group of like-minded male golfers all of whom love the experience of playing “Golf in a Kingdom”. Golf in Thailand is great because of the quality of the courses on offer, the hot and humid climate and the post-golf activities. Although the price of golf is quite expensive (if you choose to play some of the best courses) it is well worth the money in my opinion. A point to consider is that as a full service company, Golfasian packages include transfers to and from the course, accommodation and green fees plus caddy. You are collected promptly, delivered directly to the course and chauffeured in well-kept mini vans that have plenty of room for you and your golf gear. After golf the driver delivers you back to your hotel without any hassles, capping off a great day’s golf.  I also thoroughly enjoy the great attitude of the caddies that form a large part of the unique experience. Their friendly nature and willingness to provide advice and guidance makes golf in Thailand something you keep coming back for!! The humidity can sometimes be challenging but I love this type of weather so it isn’t a problem.

Personally I love visiting Thailand for the culture, food and night life. Most of the hotels that we have stayed at have been first class including the Sofitel Bangkok, the Holiday Inn Bangkok and a recent stay at the Shangri-La Bangkok which is right next to the Chao Phrya river, a wonderful bustling thoroughfare that harks back to the 19th century when Bangkok was a significant Asian trading centre.

resize2After a great day’s golf you can relax by the pool or grab a massage before heading out for dinner. The cost of food ranges from cheap but delicious street food to a top quality dining experience; Thailand has a taste for all budgets! Then it’s back to the room for a rest before another day’s golf!

The best thing about booking your golfing vacation with Golfasian is that they take the hassle out of planning. All you have to do is turn up and swing the club! I would highly recommend Golfasian to anyone looking for a great golf experience in Paradise!!!

What do you think about golf in Thailand?

What do you think about golf in Thailand?

My name is David Rendall. I recently travelled to Thailand with a golfing party of 12, the majority from Scotland & Ireland, however a couple of our group are based in Dubai and Thailand.

Pumpherston GC 16th
Pumpherston GC 16th

Most of the guys are members of the same golf club, Pumpherston, which is 10 miles from Edinburgh. Pumpherston is a lovely parkland course but also features a lot of water; it’s a very modern design considering its age. I have been a member for the last 25 years and currently play off 12, however our group’s handicaps range from 5 to 18.

Ready for the match
Ready for the match

Our group have holidayed in Thailand for the last 6 years, initially for a friend’s 50th birthday celebration. We have golfed all over the world; America, the Caribbean, China, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Canaries. Finding that the cost of golf in mainland Europe had become very expensive prompted us to venture as far afield as Asia. We love the quality of the courses in Thailand with Hua Hin a favourite (Thailand’s “Myrtle Beach”); in particular, Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Sea Pines are some of our favourites. We have booked with Golfasian for the last 5 years through a mutual friend and have never looked back. Golfasian’s attention to detail is superb…they never let us down.

In Hua Hin, where possible we always stay in a small 3 star hotel right in the centre of town, La Maison, which has rooms that are a good size and a first class breakfast. The staff are always delighted to see us, perhaps because our group of 12 fills the bar each early evening while we exchange stories after our round, prior to heading out to dinner. We tend to play a Ryder Cup-style event every day teeing off around 10.30am

Royal Hua Hin
Royal Hua Hin

We love all the courses but have a soft spot for Royal Hua Hin which is a great test of golf and is designed by a Scotsman. The caddies’ knowledge of the greens is amazing; your eyes tell you it’s three holes right but the caddy says half a grip left…an oft-repeated phrase follows “why you not listen” but always with a twinkle in their eyes. My favourite day was last November. I started with a triple bogey 7 on the 1st at Banyan, par at the 9th saw me out in 35 gross and 7 up. I didn’t play that well on the back 9 but won the match 6&5 so happy days. The weather in November is perfect, just before we return home to the bleak Scottish winter.

After golf we normally have lunch at the course (losers paying the bill) and enjoy a few beers before Golfasian’s Khun Noh (best driver in Hua Hin and a very good golfer) returns us to the hotel. Some of the guys go for a nap or do some shopping prior to us all meeting in the hotel bar at 7pm for a few drinks. Hua Hin has some wonderful restaurants from the Moon Smile (Thai) to some great Italians. The French restaurant next to La Maison, La Paillotte, is fabulous. We have even found a very good Indian restaurant so everyone is happy with the quality of the food.

All in all Thailand golf ranks amongst the best in the world as an experience as far as we are concerned. If you haven’t tried it, I thoroughly recommend it and am confident you won’t be disappointed.