Category: Thai Culture and Thailand Country Information

Cars, Kids, and Pets in Thailand

Cars, Kids, and Pets in Thailand

Fortuner_thailandToday, the third and final part of the “living in Thailand for golf” series will cover Thailand car options, Thailand schools, and for those of you who like pets: how to bring your dog or cat to Thailand?

Bringing your car to Thailand is not a good idea. Cars can be shipped, but it very expensive. A more practical solution for getting wheels in Thailand is to rent, lease or buy your own car. Buying a car is around 10% more expensive than in Europe or the USA. I recommend that you look at the new Toyota Fortuner, an excellent SUV and the first automobile designed in Thailand. A popular choice for a sedan is the Toyota Camry. The new model resembles a Lexus and has many standard features of its more expensive cousin. If you are an outdoors type person and like trekking in the countryside you could also consider a pick up truck. Popular models are available from Isuzu, Mitsubishi, and Toyota.

Driving in Thailand is a lot easier for you if you have an automatic transmission, especially if you will live in one of the main golf destinations like Bangkok, Chiang Mai,or Phuket. Whatever car or truck you chose make sure you purchase first class insurance, which runs about US$600 per year. That way you will be fully insured, whether any accidents are your fault or not.

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Buying a Home to Golf in Thailand

Buying a Home to Golf in Thailand

House_in_phuket_thailandLast post covered how to play golf in Thailand everyday by retiring here. Today I will discuss how to buy property in Thailand to live out your golf dream. Thailand land ownership is limited to Thais; however there are 3 common ways foreigners can still “buy” property in Thailand.

1. The most common way to own your home is by being the largest shareholder of a Thai company who owns the property. Of course, this entails setting up a Thai company beforehand.

2. A second option is to engage in a 30 year lease with a Thai individual, including an automatic 30 year renewal. Technically, this is not ownership, but I guess 60 years should be enough for most of us.

3. The third and probably most preferred option for a foreigner wishing to buy a home is to select a condominium, where foreigners can own up to 49% of the units for sale.

In spite of what is reported by the main stream press, I know many people who have followed these proper procedures and don’t have problems. I guess it pays to avoid any shady shortcuts or other methods involving Thai “girlfriends” or so called “wives”.

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Retiring To Thailand To Play Golf

Retiring To Thailand To Play Golf

Golf_retirement_thailandFrom time to time, clients of my Thailand golf travel company, after visiting Thailand for a golfing holiday, tell me that they so love the country, its culture and its people, and naturally the golf that they would like to retire to live permanently in Thailand. This is good news for me, as I take personal pride in knowing that others can enjoy the rest of their lives here, and the seed for this decision was initially planted or prompted by them having a memorable Thailand golf vacation.

In the next two postings, I will address some things to consider if you are considering a move to Thailand.

If you are going to retire in Thailand and if you are over 50 years of age you should obtain a Retirement Visa. It’s that simple. If you don’t then you will be doing a "visa run" every month like tens of thousands of other foreigners.

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Thai Hospitality, It Makes Your Golf Day

Thai Hospitality, It Makes Your Golf Day

Thai_golf_receptionist_girlsI have been traveling to Thailand now for just over 15 years and, during this time, have made many friends both Thai and farang (foreigner). As a avid golf traveler, most of these friends are linked to the Thailand golf scene – or maybe a local bar, but that is another story. Also, as an owner of a golf travel agency I regularly get asked to play golf at many different courses throughout Thailand and in particular the Bangkok area.

A couple of weeks ago, I, and a visiting friend from Phuket, were asked to make up a foursome at Thai Country Club. My friend, Brian, is English, but we won’t hold that against him, and it was his first ever visit to this course. I, on the other hand, have played there on many occasions, recommend Thai Country Club to practically all of our golf visitors and am pretty well known by everyone there. They greet me by name at any rate. Well, this particular day, we were playing with a member, an American,  and a German expatriate friend of his. Before golf  we all met in the restaurant where they serve some of the best food in Bangkok. If fact for lunch there is a buffet fit for royalty and if you have followed my fascination and particularity with Thai food, then you know that is saying something!

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Newest Thailand Golf Blog

Newest Thailand Golf Blog

Golf_dream_thailand_2 Have you ever wanted a place to share your Thailand and Asian golf stories or just read about the antics of an expatriate Thailand golfer who knows more about golf in Thailand than anyone in the world?

Well look no further. The word is out; Thailand’s newest golf blog can be read at where else than http://www.thailandgolfblog.com, what an appropriate name indeed!

The Thailand Golf Blog author has lived, worked and played golf for over 30 years all around the Far East, with spells in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and, of course, Thailand. He first visited Thailand in 1977 and eventually relocated to the Land of Smiles in 1991, setting up and running one of the first inbound Thailand golf tour agencies, with offices for golf in Bangkok and golf in Phuket. He now spends most of his time in his native United Kingdom, living with his Thai wife, and is a frequent visitor to Thailand, where he intends to finally retire.

He has made regular contributions to this blog and since then I have invited him to author Thailand Golf Blog in his own inimitable style. You are welcome to post and comment on the new Thailand Golf Blog, preferably in the same light hearted way as the author. Or you can email him at nifteenev@golfasian.com.

Enjoy the reading and let me know what you think!

Ladies Golf in Thailand

Ladies Golf in Thailand

Hua_hin_golf_ladies Whenever I am traveling overseas and extolling the attractions of golfing in Thailand, sometimes I hear men whining, “Oh, my wife would not let me go on a Thailand golf trip”.  In fact, I am seeing a growing trend where couples are favoring a Thailand golf tour over more traditional destinations. Also, my Thailand golf travel company is hosting more and more dedicated lady golf groups.

Thailand is indeed a ‘Paridise For Lady Golfers‘, not just because of its wide range of golf courses, but also thanks to all those other pluses that most ladies enjoy – fabulous spas, world-class cuisine, lots of value-for-money shopping. Plus, contrary to the old days in Europe and the USA, there’s little golf sexism here. Ladies are very welcome everywhere! Clubhouses have changing facilities for ladies, there are ladies only spas and beauty salons, plus ladies are not only welcome but encouraged to eat/drink at all 19th holes.

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Bangkok, Thailand: What Is So Special?

Bangkok, Thailand: What Is So Special?

Bangkok_thailandI am always asking myself why I like Thailand so much. Previously, when living in New York and Singapore, I couldn’t wait to get out of town every weekend, as I found myself to be much happier on the golf course.

So what is so different about Bangkok?

1. It can not be the terrible traffic jams although this seems to be becoming the norm in all major cities of the world.

2. It can not be the smog that periodically envelopes the city.

3. It can not be the pedestrian walkways that break a western safety rule every 5 feet.

4. It can not be the local tourist attractions as I have seen them all countless times.

5. Maybe it is the variety of golf in Thailand. As mentioned in prior posts, with over 60 courses to choose from, Bangkok just may have the most golf courses within easy access as any major capital in the world.

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Happier Family Life and Better Golf In and Out of Thailand

Happier Family Life and Better Golf In and Out of Thailand

Golf_researcher_3One of my pet dislikes is when money is spent on so-called research by scientists, only for them to come up with what was already blindingly obvious, or if in Thailand the not so obvious.

You may have come across a recent example of this. Sports psychology researchers at Exeter University in the UK have pronounced that a happy home life can make you better at golf. They found that the emotional support a golfer receives off the course is directly linked to the quality of his performance on it. They measured the level of support that 117 amateur male golfers received in their personal lives (I wonder how?) against the quality of their game.

Those with more emotional backup performed up to 24 per cent better;  how many strokes is that? “We often speak of the ‘moral support’ sportsmen get from their friends and families, which helps their performances,” said Dr. Tim Rees of the University’s School of Sports and Health Sciences. “Perhaps, then, it is not surprising that golfers benefit from good social networks off the course. What was surprising to us was the extent to which this affected their performance”.

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Thai Golf Societies

Thai Golf Societies

Thailand_golf_club.jpg As with many other places in the world, Thailand has its fair share of golf societies (clubs). There are many regular golf groups in the main Thailand golf destinations for travelers, especially Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Hua Hin. Apart from the natural tendency for golfers to play with the people they socialize with, there is one other very good reason for this. Thailand golf club memberships can be very expensive, even though memberships can be traded or sold.

In any case, most golfers want to have the opportunity to play a variety of golf courses. If you are not a member of a golf club, it is difficult for you to maintain an official handicap. A number of the golf societies in Thailand are registered as USGA member clubs, thus enabling them to issue official handicaps. Some have their own society handicapping system. Many of the clubs and societies are named after Thailand’s more respectable drinking establishments. The Crown Royal Pub has a golf group which plays every week-end, either Saturday or Sunday. The group is a registered USGA club which results in their “clubhouse” being listed in the USGA Handbook as The Crown Royal Pub, Soi Patpong II, Bangkok! I can just imagine the first time golf traveller wandering around Patpong mystified as to why he cannot find a golf course!

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Phuket Golf Road Show

Phuket Golf Road Show

Phuket_golf_packageAre you planning a Phuket golf holiday and do you live in one of the following countries: Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Korea, Hong Kong, UK, Sweden, Russia or India? If so, read on!

Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit announced recently that to promote Phuket to foreign tourist markets the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will be going on a 14-country road show. If you can attend this, you will have every opportunity to find out all about accommodation in Phuket, things to do and see, and of course, golfing on Phuket’s six fine golf courses, Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket Country Club, Loch Palm Golf Club, Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Thai Muang Beach Golf and Marina, and Mission Hills Country Club. It is possible that representatives from these clubs will be on hand to provide any information you need.

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Thai Golfers Stomach

Thai Golfers Stomach

Thai_golfer_nokSometimes, I as an amateur golfer in Thailand together with my professional golfer friends often look for new local talent at the driving ranges around Bangkok.

This week, continuing with my regular visits,  I once again bumped into this Thai lady, who is the girlfriend of a very good friend of mine.  An attractive 28 year-old lady, Nok (Thai for ‘bird’) is of slightly larger stature than the traditional Thai but by no means does that mean she is a big girl. Nok possesses a talent that I have to explain.

Having seen her taking past lessons with the local Thai professional, Nok has conquered the grief of over setting her wrists, collapsing her left side and a straightening her right leg. This time, as before, I was really looking forward to seeing her get her usual joy from hitting one crisp strike after another. Imagine my feeling when she turns up and cannot hit a single shot! Balls are topped off the tee and flying in all directions. Definitely not the norm for Nok and she was not a happy girl.

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Thailand Golf Pigs

Thailand Golf Pigs

Thailand_golf_chinese_new_yearNo, I do not think Thailand golfers are “pigs”, read on:

A popular time to be in Thailand for a golfing holiday is in February, which often coincides with Chinese or Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Pig and the start of the New Year falls on February 18.

The first-time Thailand golf visitor may register a bit of confusion as to why the timing of some important Buddhist and traditional holidays seems to float across the calendar rather than occurring on fixed days each year as is customary in the West. The answer is such holidays are scheduled according to the ancient Thai lunar calendar, rather than the western Gregorian calendar which has been official in Thailand for many years.

However, the traditional lunar calendar is very much in use for determining Thai holidays. Rural Thais still mostly count the date according to the phases of the moon, and Thai calendars commonly show both the western date together with the Thai lunar date. Astrologers also use lunar calendars to fix auspicious days for weddings, journeys, new houses, and similar important occasions.

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Pok Daeng; A Thailand Golf Game For Thais

Pok Daeng; A Thailand Golf Game For Thais

Mountain_shadow_golf_green Further to my recent post, Thailand Golf Gaming, the Thais love to gamble and all over the Thailand golf courses’ gaming is prevalent. A few years back I learned a hard lesson when, playing at the old Natural Park Hill Golf Course in Chonburi, near Pattaya  and now called Mountain Shadow Golf Club. That day a Thai friend of mine introduced me to a golf gambling game the Thais all play called Pok-Daeng, the same name as a popular Thai card game.

Pok-Daeng is best described as a sort of variation on poker, where each player (golfer) gets to bet and double down the previous bet after seeing his initial hand (drive). It starts with a bet of one unit, say 100 baht. The 1st player tees-off and, if he has a good drive, says “double” – that means he doubles the bet to 200 baht to the other 3 players. The 2nd player tees-off and, if he says nothing that means he bets 200 baht against the 1st player. The 3rd player tees-off and, if he is in a great position, says “double” – that means he now bets 400 baht against the 1st player but 200 against the 2nd. The 4th player tees-off and says nothing – that means he bets 200 baht against the 1st and the 3rd players, but 100 baht against the 2nd player.

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My Winter Golf Life Over 20 Years

My Winter Golf Life Over 20 Years

San_jose_municipal_golf_course_1The other day I was thinking about my Thailand golf life today and that of 20 years ago. Boy how time flies (but that is the subject of another post entirely)!

February 3, 1987 San Jose, California

It’s 7.30am on a Sunday morning. I jump out of bed looking forward to my regular Sunday Stableford match with friends at San Jose Municipal Golf Course. Opening the curtains to check the weather, I find an overcast sky with a smattering of rain, a howling wind and the temperature somewhere around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Nothing put my golf off back then and even my dog thinks I am crazy to go outside!

Arriving at my golf club some 30 minutes later, I struggle to get my clubs out of the trunk of my car, get my umbrella out over my head, and haul my clubs on my back all the way from the parking lot to the club house, all the while expecting my umbrella to turn inside out from the wind. Eventually, I make it to the self-service coffee stand at the snack bar in a semi-bedraggled state. Meeting my friends, I put on every item of clothing stored in my golf bag and including turtle neck shirt, sweater, and wind breaker before moving out again to the first tee.

Some 4 and a half hours later I arrive back after 18 holes of so-called golf. Four red noses head for the 19th hole to try and get some warmth back into our bones and count up my earnings from the days match. (OK, that part is not so bad!)

Welcome to winter golfing in the USA and now fast forward 20 years!

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Songkran Festival Golf in Thailand

Songkran Festival Golf in Thailand

Songkran_thailand_golf If you are thinking of a Thailand golf trip in next few months, why not aim to be here in April and join in Thailand’s Songkran Festival. Songkran is the Thai New Year celebration which starts on April 13, when the sun moves into Aries. This national holiday customarily lasts for three days, and even longer in Chiang Mai and Pattaya. The word ‘Songkran’ originates from the Sanskrit meaning ‘beginning of the solar year’. So, the holiday-loving Thais get to celebrate New Year three times each year: the Western New Year on January 1, the Chinese New Year in February, and the Thai New Year in April.

Traditionally, Thais visit temples at this time of year to offer food to the monks and to participate in bathing ceremonies for Buddha images. Another custom is the releasing of small fish into rivers and canals. This merit-making act is thought to come from the old practice of collecting small fish from dried out pools, to keep and later release back into the wild.

These days, during Songkran festival most people throw water on one another to keep cool and have fun. It is the one time of year where the Thais and visitors freely mix together and let their hair down, so to speak. Whatever part of Thailand you happen to be in, you can go out on the streets and enjoy the good fun. But watch out, and keep your cool the first time you get wet!

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Best Tips For First Time Thailand Golf Visitors

Best Tips For First Time Thailand Golf Visitors

Golf_royal_hua_hin When playing golf in Thailand it’s not always necessary to do as the Thais do. Indeed certain Thai customs such as resting on one’s haunches for hours at a time, or sleeping atop a motorcycle, might present some physical difficulties to the average Western golf traveler.

However, if you are planning your first golf tour in Thailand, or even if you have stayed and played golf in the Land of Smiles in the past, here is a list of 10 things for you to avoid doing – and some you should remember always to do.

1. Never say anything which might be considered disrespectful of the King or Royal Family. In general, do not make direct criticisms of things not to your liking; you may unwittingly offend your Thai listener.

2. The head is considered by Thais to be the noblest part of the body, so as a general rule, avoid touching people on the head, and certainly, on a beach for instance, never step over a person’s head.

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Golfing in Chiang Mai During Special Festivals of Northern Thailand

Golfing in Chiang Mai During Special Festivals of Northern Thailand

Chiang_mai_golf_course Chiang Mai is now one of the best cities to visit in Thailand for both golf and culture. There are now over 9 championship courses in the area to ensure balanced golf variety, scenic beauty, and challenge. In addition, the Northern Lanna, people of Chiang Mai  love celebrations and holidays and Chiang Mai has more occasions to celebrate than all other destinations.

If you are quick, you can catch the International Horticulture Exposition. This is scheduled from November 2006 through January 2007 at the Royal Agricultural Research Center, Chiang Mai. The expo, also known as Royal Flora: Ratchaphruek 2006, will celebrate His Majesty the King’s Diamond Jubilee of His Accession to the Throne and His Majesty’s 80th Birthday anniversary in 2007. The exhibition is divided into 14 weeks with different themes.

There is great golfing in Chiang Mai, some notable courses being Chiang Mai Green Valley Country ClubChiang Mai Highlands Golf and Spa, Chiang Mai Lamphun Golf Club, Gassan Khutan Golf and Resort, Gassan Lake City Golf and Resort, Mae Joe Golf Club, and Royal Chiang Mai Golf Resort, and the newest course just opened this month, Gassan Marina Golf and Resort.

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Thailand Golf Joiners at the Hard Rock Pattaya

Thailand Golf Joiners at the Hard Rock Pattaya

Hard_rock_pattaya_joiner_1Nick, a good Thailand golf buddy of mine who had recently returned from a long weekend Pattaya golf trip with six of his best friends was in a state of shock when he saw his Thai wife looking through his credit card bills. Being a curious and non-trusting type, his wife asked him to explain a 1,500 baht charge marked “joiner” from the Hard Rock Hotel in Pattaya (see photo at left).

Fortunately my friend was quite fast on his feet, maybe due to other past and similar occurrences, and explained that he and his friends had engaged in some play boxing which accidentally damaged the hotel room where they were staying. Upon checking out and learning of the room damage, the hotel management demanded the big foreigner pay the repair bill. The room needed a new joiner to “fix the door” my fiend told his now slightly confused Thai wife, who, by all accounts, accepted the explanation, albeit reluctantly.

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Thailand Golf Tips Or Giving Tips in Thailand? (Part 2 of 2)

Thailand Golf Tips Or Giving Tips in Thailand? (Part 2 of 2)

Thailand_tips Thailand golf is what you are all here for and in today’s continuation post I will cover common tipping practices on the golf course, in bars, and while traveling on the road here.

On the golf course, tips are one of the main ways the caddie generates their income. Although you pay a caddie fee in the cost of your green fee, only a portion of this goes to the caddie so the emphasis is then on them receiving good tips. At my golf travel company a 300 baht minimum is suggested to all Thailand golf holidaymakers. Although you can consider paying more, 500 to 1000 baht, if you have a particularly excellent caddie that helps you shoot under your handicap or you feel overly generous. Certainly any caddie that gets a 500 baht or more tip, will be the pride of her group for the evening.

As for the bars tipping again is expected, although certainly not compulsory. Although the girls employed in many of these establishments will very tactfully try to ensure you buy as many drinks as possible, a small tip at the end is expected. A guideline here would be to leave around 50-100 baht ($1.25 to $2.50 US), especially if you are satisfied with services received.

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Thailand Golf Tips Or Giving Tips in Thailand? (Part 1 of 2)

Thailand Golf Tips Or Giving Tips in Thailand? (Part 1 of 2)

Thailand_golf_tip_sheet1I bet you thought I would post another golf tip. The next 2 articles deal, not with golf advice, but rather with gratuities. I find this an even more appropriate discussion topic since many golf travelers to Thailand may be wondering about local practices.

Although not traditional in Thailand, you should plan to tip drivers, porters, and restaurant and bar staff and of course your golf caddies.

However, please note that the level of tipping is still extremely small in comparison to that in the US and Europe, where as much as 10 – 15% of your bill in a restaurant would be expected. In Thailand, tips are much less and the following is a guideline which will ensure you are neither offending, nor over generous whilst tipping.

In hotels, a porter will take care of your luggage both whilst checking in and leaving. A tip of around 20 baht (50 cents US) is sufficient, although if you would like to give more, then this will be gratefully received.

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Thailand Golf Caddies Re-loaded (Part 2 of 2)

Thailand Golf Caddies Re-loaded (Part 2 of 2)

Thailand_golf_caddies_resizeIn yesterday’s post  I wrote about what to expect from your caddie. In return, she will appreciate being treated with politeness and respect. It is normal to offer your caddies refreshment when you stop at a drinks kiosk.

Find out from your Thailand golf travel agent about the ‘going rate’ to tip your caddie and, if she has performed well, double it – remember, her tip may be all she is earning that day.

Most especially, the spirit of sanuk sanuk, which translates as "fun and games", is a basic feature of the culture of the Thai people, and your caddie will enjoy your company more if you are smiling and joking. On the other hand…

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Thailand Golf Caddies Re-loaded (Part 1 of 2)

Thailand Golf Caddies Re-loaded (Part 1 of 2)

Thailand_golf_caddy Thailand golf caddies raise so many questions for golf travelers here that I thought to completely re-write, including some original photos,my prior Thailand Golf Caddies article.

As regular golfers in Thailand know, one of the undoubted joys of playing golf here is being aided and abetted by our delightful lady caddies. Yet, first time visitors are sometimes nervous about having to take a caddie (even when they rent a golf cart), perhaps feeling that their standard of golf is not up to being observed at close hand.

Don’t worry! The caddie is only interested in making your golf round as enjoyable as possible.  She sees her job as allowing you to concentrate on playing your game and, if you play well, she joins in your delight.

Most Thai caddies are female. Generally, they are attractive, friendly, polite, and radiate pure femininity (see photo above). Apart from carrying your golf bag for you, the caddie will also, when asked to do so, advise you on the layout of the course, forewarn you of hazards, give you yardage’s and even suggest which club to play.

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Golf History Thailand (Modern Times)

Golf History Thailand (Modern Times)

Thailand golf history is steeped in tradition as covered in last Friday’s post. Here is my information about the modern times golf history in Thailand. You can recognize many of the courses mentioned, and feel proud when you step up to the tees there, not only are you playing a a great course, but one with a royal history.

Navatanee_world_cup_1 Modern times golf was introduced into Thailand at the beautiful Navatanee Golf Course in Bangkok, which was purposely constructed in 1973 and hosted the World Cup of Golf, in 1975.

Even more recently, Thailand is now hosting world class golf tournaments attracting such players as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, and Nick Faldo to name but a few.

Courses such as Blue Canyon in Phuket have played host to international tournaments together with Thai Country Club and Alpine Golf Club in Bangkok during the last few years.

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Golf Thailand History (Ancient Times)

Golf Thailand History (Ancient Times)

Thai_golf_history Thailand golf history is very interesting and I am sure some aspects of it will surprise many of you. Take a look at this and then when playing on some of the mentioned links, you can appreciate not only the beauty and challenge, but also the full story of where you are playing.

On this first of 2 parts, I will cover Thailand’s ancient golf history, from the 1906 to 1965.

Although Thailand is perceived by many as a very new golfing destination, history shows that golf was actually played here as early as 1906 at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club course. Whist not as old as other countries many people will be surprised by this statistic.

More detailed records show that His Majesty King Vajiravudh expressed an interest in this new sport and in 1923 granted permission for the construction of the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course in Hua Hin District.

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Thailand Square Club (and Final Coup Story)

Thailand Square Club (and Final Coup Story)

I promised to get back to posting about golf, but before starting today I wanted to make everyone aware of  this great article summarizing the series of events that took place in Bangkok last week and authored by one of my favorite writers. By the way, if you need any more information about the situation in Thailand, you can contact me anytime at my Thailand golf vacation company or just leave a comment.

Now on to to the main post of the day.

Square_club_face Have you ever been on course and hit one that flies directly left or right of the target line and thought to yourself that you should adjust your swing to improve accuracy? Well maybe your swing is not a problem at all and a simple alignment check and adjustment is all that is called for.

However simple and dumb as it may seem, so many of those errant shots are not caused by an imperfect swing, but rather by feet or a body that are not aligned to the target.

I tried this simple but effective tip on course last week and I must have improved my accuracy by 5-10%. No swing thoughts needed at all,  just align and shoot normally!

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Thai Coup 9-22-06 Update

Thai Coup 9-22-06 Update

Government_house_922 Here is the latest status in Bangkok, Thailand:

Today has been a totally normal day in the city, with business going on as usual. Banks, Stock Exchange and Government Offices were open. Some business news:

The opening of the stock exchange was successful. After a sharp fall minutes after opening, the market stabilized and closed just 1.42% lower, or 9.99 points.

The Thai Baht had weakened in the last days, however strengthened to 37.41 to the US$ dollar, back from US$ 37.76 to the US$ on Wednesday. Before the change of government, the Thai baht was at  37.39 to the US$.

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Thai Military Coup Update

Thai Military Coup Update

Thailand_army What would you do if you were to bump into these guys at the train station on your way to the office (I really did yesterday) ?

Here is my up-to-the-minute Thailand situation report as well as my assessment of how things will progress going forward and advise for travellers coming to Thailand.

The military coupe d’etat in Thailand has been reported worldwide in the last 24 hours and I trust you are aware of the main events. I am glad to report that the situation in Thailand is very calm and peaceful as of 8:44 AM Thursday morning.

In the last 24 hours the following has occurred;

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Thailand Golf Etiquette – Special Do’s and Don’t’s (Part 2 of 2)

Thailand Golf Etiquette – Special Do’s and Don’t’s (Part 2 of 2)

Golf_with_caddies Here is the final part of the unique points to consider when playing golf in Thailand. I hope you find this interesting and useful.

Caddies are a unique feature of Thai golf, and predominantly female, they perform a great task in very tiring conditions. Always be polite and courteous to your caddy, and you are sure to get a great service. Although the language can be a problem, there are ways to get around this. Tips are greatly appreciated by the caddies and I recommend 300 baht (around 7 US) or more if you are pleased with her service. 

Call holes at par 3’s are also a fairly unique feature. When all of your group’s balls are on the green, simply have your caddy mark the ball, then stand aside and let the group behind play their tee shots. You then proceed onto the green and complete the hole. The concept of this is to speed up play but I am not convinced that it works at all. However, it is a rule on many of the courses and must be adhered to.

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Thailand Golf Etiquette – Special Do’s and Don’t’s (Part 1 of 2)

Thailand Golf Etiquette – Special Do’s and Don’t’s (Part 1 of 2)

Thailand_golf_2006 Thailand has no doubt become one of the leading destinations in the world for visiting tourists. There are now over 200 courses with new one’s appearing on a regular basis to accommodate the large numbers of visiting tourists. Over the next 2 posts I will provide some special information that is unique to Thai golf and if well understood will ensure that you have an excellent time on the links here.

Golf in Thailand can be a bit different to what you are used to, and certain aspects of etiquette must be strictly adhered to. You must remember that you are in a country that has completely different culture and customs, and you must adapt to this as a visitor.

The Thai style is certainly a bit more relaxed when organizing things, and although this can lead to great frustration, it is very impolite to show this, and certainly will not lead to any great assistance. A simple smile and show of courtesy goes a very long way in Thailand.

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Nighttime activities, will they influence my golf in Thailand? (Part 2 of 2)

Nighttime activities, will they influence my golf in Thailand? (Part 2 of 2)

Nana Here is the second and final part of my post. Hope you enjoy and please do comment on anything shown or mentioned.

Whether you want to play pool, sit and joke with the girls in the many beer bars, enjoy the numerous go- go bars and shows on offer, or sample a special type of massage, then it is all readily and openly available.

On many occasions I have witnessed both first time visitors, and many people who know Thailand well, caught up in the amazing atmosphere which certainly adds to an additional handicap whilst playing golf the next day. Golf in Thailand is difficult enough with the challenging courses and hot climate, but add a hangover and only a few hours sleep – well I don’t need to say anymore.

That is not to say I do not recommend it. Heck,  I came here myself as a single golfer for almost 15 years  until meeting and marrying my beautiful Thai wife 4 years ago and even now once in a while I can be persuaded to join some friends for a night out on the town. I appreciate that the main purpose many people come is to combine the nightlife and golf, and I am just trying to make the first time visitor more aware of what to expect.

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