Category Archives: Sports

What Surfing Just Taught Me About The Golf Swing

I have always loved surfing (although I am a high handicapper at it) and thought it was a fantastic escape from golf. Until today that is, as surfing a wave just brought the golf swing into a brand-new perspective. When you are out waiting for that perfect wave, everything is calm, peaceful and relaxing. Then, all of a sudden you start to feel the energy from the ocean beneath you. You turn to start slowly paddling to catch the wave, but instead the wave is actually going to let you ride it. As ...

Does Phuket Need to Reconsider Its Golf Strategy?

Phuket Golf has always been a major attraction for tourists from all over the world who love to spend their time staying in first class resorts on this beautiful Thai island. The same can be said for golf, and even the likes of Tiger Woods and Greg Norman have played here at the islands only true Championship course the famous Blue Canyon. For such a small island, it is unusual to find such a wide variety of golf challenges, from seaside to mountain layouts, and all within a maximum of 45 minut...

Young Thailand Golfers on Winning Trail

Golf in Thailand‘s youth policy especially in golf seems to be paying off. First a 15 year old Thai player wins in the USA, and Thai Juniors are confident of winning in Asia too next month. Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand won the 63rd U.S. Girls Junior championship recently, scoring a 2 and 1 victory over Dottie Ardina of the Philippines at Olympia Fields Country Club in the States. It was the first victory in a match-play tournament for the 15-year-old, who captured the AJGA Girls Junior ti...

Wildlife, Scenery and Outstand Golf…Khao Yai Thailand

When considering a golf vacation in Thailand it would be fair to say that most of us are likely to end up going with the flow to head for the popular destinations namely Phuket, Hua Hin , Pattaya and Chiang Mai. Naturally Bangkok has the largest selection of championship courses, so it is a great place to start your vacation. However one area which is gaining a lot of attention is Khao Yai., approximately 2 hours north of Bangkok. Khao Yai National Park, approximately 2 hours north of Bangkok, ...

Caddie Championship in Thailand

Thailand is well known as a hot golfing destination with over 260 great golf courses and those ever smiling Thai Caddies. Come rain or shine they read the greens, give you the yardage, hold your umbrella and if you are lucky even give your shoulders a quick massage too. After putting up with us holiday hackers, you would have thought they would have had enough of the golf course, but a large number actually like to play a round themselves. Smart thinking General Managers encourage them to play ...

Secret Thai Golfing Gem

Kanchanaburi is perhaps better known as the centre of Thailand’s gem industry, where mining has been going on for a number of years. Many tourists also head there to visit the River Kwai and the railway made famous in World War 2. However soon Kanchanaburi will add a new attraction, when the Blue Diamond Resort opens next March. The brainchild of Dr Prachin Eamlumnow, who has made his fortune organizing the Bangkok International Motor Show, Blue Diamond, is a huge 2,000 rai project, with a five...

Golf Comes With a Big Smile in Thailand

Having played my short golfing time in the UK, the Middle East and now in Asia, I have to say there is a definite magic in the air when you tee off at a Thai golf course that is hard to find elsewhere. Perhaps our definition of what makes a great round of golf may slightly differ from continent to continent. I have never experienced playing golf in Scotland and I am sure getting a good Scottish breakfast after a round at these historical courses must be awesome. Also it is hard to beat the qual...

What Makes a Great Golfing Experience in Thailand?

I read recently that a large percentage of golfers in Europe don’t feel they are getting their monies worth during their round of golf. High green fees, poor quality of locker rooms, badly maintained greens, slow playing conditions. These are a few of their gripes. Here in Thailand I think playing golf is a lot more laid back than playing say in Europe, so maybe we don’t expect too much. But we all expect our round of golf to go smoothly. Bangkok is in fact spoilt for choice when it comes to fi...

Young Guns in Thailand

On May 11th-13th 80 youngsters will line up at the Rose Garden Country Club near Bangkok to contest the 9th Mercedes Trophy Junior Golf Masters. These juniors aged between 12 and 18 years old have had to win through seven qualifying rounds held at various courses around Thailand, to get into this final and the winners will be then flown to Portugal for the Oceanico World Kids Golf Championship in July. Everyone keeps saying for golf to survive, we have to encourage youngsters into the game. Wel...

Thailand Golf in the Summer

Now we are well into the summer months, there are real advantages of playing golf in Thailand. The temperature is still bearable, and although there are rain storms, you can cope with a bit of planning. It amazes me how a major downpour back home in the UK can wash out a whole days play, as the British courses just were not built to handle a major storm. In Asia and especially here in Thailand, apart from creating some great courses, the designers spend as much time on the drainage. It obviousl...

Pineapples, Bananas and Thai Golf

Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin has all these and more, being one of Thailand’s new natural golf courses. Pirapon Nimatra is one of the few top Thai golf course designers who first saw the property as a mountain plantation. I actually started work on the course in 2005 although we didn’t open until 2008. I remember driving up a small road and then we walked the rest of the way, and what I saw was a fantastic piece of property. The contours of the land was excellent, however I was worried about the ...

I would like to play golf! What is the best way to learn fast?

Nobody is the same, but it’s like riding a bicycle, it looks hard to start with, but with practice and once you have grasped the principles, then it comes easier. Whereas most sports can be played when you are younger, the beauty of golf is that a 15 year old can have a competitive game with a 50 year old. So any age can start to take up the game of Golf. Here in Thailand clubs actually encourage beginners to play. Apart from being a great sport for every one of both genders and all ages, you a...

Why is Golf Different in Thailand?

Thailand’s leading golf course designer and builder, Pirapon Nimatra, is responsible for designing and renovating numerous courses in Thailand. Therefore who better to explain why playing golf here in Thailand different from the rest of the World? ‘First of all we have great weather and you can pretty much play golf all year around. Secondly the caddies do make the experience playing here just that much friendlier and fun,’ said Pirapon. ‘However from my perspective as a golf course designer, w...

Golf in Thailand is Still a Game to Enjoy

Sometimes I think we forget that the game of golf is all about getting out in the fresh air to hit some balls and then have a cool drink with your fellow golfers afterwards. However golf in the 20th century seems to be all about one upmanship, and this is being fuelled by the manufacturers with their massive marketing campaigns. The ball will give you distance and this club will give you control and this putter is very responsive. I was actually put off even considering lifting a club at an earl...

Matteo the World Golfer

Matteo Manassero’s been in Asia, the Middle East, off to the States, then to Europe and now back in Asia all since January. I caught up with him this week at the Maybank Malaysian Open where he had arrived on Monday to really taken in playing back on the slower greens. I first asked Matteo what were his recollections of playing in his first Royal Trophy? ‘It was amazing. Nobody expected us to win and we as a team were on a high and felt we could win. Everything went right from the beginning actu...

Masteritist at Fever Pitch Here in Bangkok

Well I did try everything to kick this dreadful disease…..but in the end the power of seeing a certain 21 year old from Northern Ireland win a green jacket, meant I woke up at 1.45hrs this morning in Bangkok and turned on the TV to watch the 75th Masters. If you were a Hollywood script writer I don’t think you could come up with such a dream finish. At one stage there were seven players tied for the lead! Of course initially I was rooting for Rory McIlroy, but he seemed to disintegrate on...

Major Winners in Asia

Sometimes everything just falls into place and as a journalist, all the travelling and waiting around just pays off. Being based here in Bangkok, the big names on the professional circuit tend to side step playing in our local tournaments, perhaps with the exception of the popular Royal Trophy. Therefore twice a year I need to stock up with pictures and stories by covering the bigger events here in Asia. On Tuesday I therefore flew to Kuala Lumpur. This week was very unusual, as the 50th running...

Masteritist… a Very Serious Golfers Disease

I thought I was really suffering big time over the past five days, with what I thought might have been the dreaded Asian flu. Blame it on the changeable weather we have been having over here in Thailand, but I had the mother of all coughs, a cold and just lost all my energy. Swallowing all antibiotics under the sun, it just would not go away, and I was really getting concerned. One of the problems that goes with flu and a bad cough, is you really don't get into a deep sleeping pattern, so I ...

Masters Means Armchair Golf This Week

With the low season here in Thailand just started, the green fees are now reasonable, the weather is still very pleasant and the courses are exceptionally green. This is a great time to get the clubs out of the cupboard and head to one of 280 wonderful golf courses dotted around this beautiful country. The Koreans have returned home to play in the own back yard so the courses are also not too busy. But I am afraid this will not be enough to entice me away from my home this week. No I have...

It’s not all golf you know…..well almost

Golf for many of us is a very serious addiction. We have to have our regular fix! Come rain or shine, business meetings or trade exhibitions, we will make all the excuses needed to arrange that very crucial meeting which just happens to clash. That is our ‘speak’ for sod it I am going to play a round of golf anyway. Here in Thailand a lot of business is conducted on the golf course and in some companies, it is seen as an actual asset if you can play golf. There are corporate tournaments, amateu...

Hole in one – Thailand Golf

Thailand Golf Vacation Arnold Palmer in 1986 got a hole in one during practice at a tournament, so a film crew turned up for the next day during the pro am, and told him they wanted to see if he could do it again. He got out his 5 iron and amazing Arnie got his second hole in one on the same hole. Two days running! David Toms got one at a Major on and went on to win the PGA as a result. Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee aced the 181-yard, par-3 fifth hole Saturday for the seventh hole-in-one in fi...

Old Age Pensioner Breaks Golf Record In Bangkok

Having written my blogs covering other golfers making news for the past few months, please accept my apologies if this time I blow my own trumpet. Firstly I admit that I am not a good golfer. My handicap registered by the Emirates Golf Federation a few years back is a mere 28, although some of my friends call me a bandit. Here in Thailand I normally average 105 on my card, and that is tough going as it seems I am apparently allergic to sand! In fact as a journalist, I try to write my articles an...

Asian Golf Hits a New High

The conclusion of the 2011 Avantha Masters at the DLF Golf and Country Club in New Delhi was just the result everyone was hoping for, when India golfer SS P Chowrasia won his second European Tour International Schedule victory in his 74th European Tour event. This is a huge boost to sport in the region, where golf is now the fastest expanding sport in India, normally the home to Cricket. SS P made European Tour history with his first win at the 2008 EMAAR –MGF Indian Masters, by winning on his f...

Playing Golf in Thailand

We all like to experience playing a round of golf in a different part of the world, so if you are used to playing in the cold regions of Europe or the States, then you are in for a treat when you arrive here in the Kingdom of Thailand. Their tourist adverts promote Thailand as the Land of Smiles and they are very proud to promote vacations in their country, especially golf holidays. It’s not surprising as there are over 250 golf course scattered across the country. You cannot beat playing a rou...

Why Do I like to Play Golf in Thailand?

Why? Because I can get out into the fresh air, hit some balls and enjoy the company of some friends, for maybe five hours. OK maybe we don't always want to be with them all the time, so if they are fading their drive to the left, maybe if I want some peace and quiet I will drive purposely to the right. But that is being a bit extreme! Golf is just the right type of sport, where we can play badly, but still feel it was all worth it, and enjoy a drink at the clubhouse afterwards. Perfect! Pe...

Why We Like to Play Golf in Thailand?

Apart from over 280 wonderful golf courses to select, the fantastic variety of layouts from seaside to mountain tracks, plus those smiling caddies, Thailand also has on offer a great climate too! When I lived in the UAE, only Mad Dogs and Englishmen would venture out to play a round of golf between June and September, when the temperatures rose to 52 degrees centigrade. Russian and Korean golfers also have a limited number of months to play due to their severe winters. Thailand is luckily differ...

Festivals Abound in Thailand

There are amazing festivals held annually around the World, that most of us would definitely add to our list of must see events to see. There is the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the Rio Carnival in South America, the Notting hill Gate Carnival in London, to name a few. Here in Thailand we are very fortunate as they have many festivals each year, and some are actually quite unusual. If you are planning a golf vacation here in Thailand and want to bring the family, it is definitely worth checking o...

Westwood to join Jaidee in Asia

Asian golf legend and three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will compete in the inaugural US$750,000 Indonesian Masters next month, joining world number two Lee Westwood of England in the elite field at Royale Jakarta Golf Club. Organisers announced today that PNTS, one of Indonesia’s fastest growing off shore bulk cargo handling companies, Garuda Indonesia, the national flag carrier, and Mercedes-Benz have also signed up as sponsors of Indonesia’s newest Asian Tour tour...

Thai Golf Balls Launched

Well do you have a favourite golf ball, or do you just tee off with any old brand? Of course if you are lucky to be a professional on the PGA, European or Asian Tours, the manufactures are keen to give you loads of their balls for free. Maybe that's why they theatrically like to throw a brand new golf ball into the lake after a double bogie. However for us happy weekend hackers here in Thailand, golf balls can be a very personal purchase. Maybe you get sucked in by the manufactures marketin...

You Are Never Too Old to Play a Competitive Game of Golf in Thail

For the majority of sports, age definitely does become a handicap. For example it is highly unlikely that a 58 year old can easily have a fair chance of beating a 20 year old at tennis. The youngster will most likely run circles around the older guy. Although an older player maybe able to score a great goal in soccer, he is most likely to run out of steam and will ask the manager to take him off after half an hour for a breather. Whereas Golf is one of the sports that is truly a game for all age...