Category Archives: Thailand Golf Courses and Playing Conditions

Golf In Cambodia Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Cambodia (6): Golf in Cambodia has been introduced only in the last 10 years and as such there are only 6 courses, 3 in Phnom Penh and 3 in Siem Reap. Although Phnom Penh is the capital the courses here are either private (Phnom Penh Grand) or in serious need of maintenance (Cambodia Country Club and Royal Cambodia). On the other hand the three Siem Reap golf courses welcome visitors and ...

Golf In Australia Versus Golf In Thailand

Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Australia (10): Most courses are set up for serious Australian golfers, who comprise some 10% of the overall population. The average Australian golf course is by far better than most other countries top courses. The top Australian courses include Royal Melbourne, Barnbougle Dunes, and New South Wales, all of which have hosted major PGA events. Thailand (7): Thai golf courses vary from av...

Golf In Thailand Versus Golf In The Rest Of The World

In the next 20 or so posts I will compare and contrast golfing in Thailand to golfing in other countries around the world. Using golf course quality, service, scenery, value for money, and overall experience as the five equally weighed factors I will rank each destination to see how it compares with golf in Thailand and to determine whether or not Thailand is really the best golf destination in the world. Let’s get golfing!

Santiburi Samui Country Club Review

The course designers have done a wonderful job integrating Santiburi Samui Golf Club into the jungle and mountains that are synonymous with the region. The Samui golf course plays through an elevation change of over 100 meters – yes 100, which makes Santiburi Samui one of Thailand’s hilliest golf courses! As golf course it really tricked out and really a better creation of panoramic views than easy pars. There are many aspects to this course that will frustrate, as lost balls can be expected fo...

Tips On Playing Thai Country Club

Most of you know that my home course is Thai Country Club. Having played this excellent Bangkok golf course more-or-less one time per week for the past 3 years, my scores have ranged from a few over par to over 90. Looking back on my rounds I can see a few things in common that led to good scores. 1.    Stay out of the rough. Hitting fairways in regulation is the single biggest key to scoring well at Thai Country Club. The rough at Thai Country Club is formed by thick Zoysia grass that is next t...

Siam Country Club Playing Tips

I had the good fortune of playing at Siam Country Club Plantation Course in Pattaya this week. A usual the course was in excellent condition and in fact just two weeks prior Siam Country Club Plantation Course was awarded the best conditioned course in Asia by the readers of Asia’s largest golf publication. In order to get maximum enjoyment and a good score at Siam Country Club Plantation Course I realized 4 very important points. 1.    Use your B-game: Why this sounds counterintuitive I found t...

Happy City Golf Resort Update

Happy City Golf Resort now provides Northern Thailand golfers 3 international standard Chiang Rai golf courses; the other two being Santiburi Chiang Rai and Waterford Valley. Happy City boasts a total of 29 holes, with 2 of those closed as ‘maintenance holes’ on any given day. Five sets of tees offer challenges for every level of golfer. I recommend picking your tees carefully and maybe moving up a set from where you normally play as the course is quite long. The master project includes 5 large ...

Jack Nicklaus In Thailand

As with everything Jack has done in golf, one name stands out among them all: the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, perhaps the greatest player of all time and now one of golf’s design gurus. Nicklaus’s 18 Major victories remains unchallenged, as does his name on more than 300 courses around the world that were designed personally by the Golden Bear or by his company, Nicklaus Design. Six of these courses are in Thailand and while they may be just a sprinkling of his work, Nicklaus and his fellow des...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (10 of 10)

Here is the final one of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Thai Country Club, Bangkok Owned and operated by Peninsula Hotels and the only golf course in the Peninsula portfolio, Thai Country Club on Bangkok’s outskirts opened in 1996 and has hosted six Asian tour events including the Asian Honda Classic in 1997 (won by Tiger Woods), the Johnnie Walker Championship in 1998 (won by Vijay Singh) and four Volvo Masters Championships between 2005 and 2008. Tiger’s 1997 win was especially memorable as...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (9 of 10)

Here is the ninth (actually 2) of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Siam Country Club, Pattaya In 2007, Schmidt-Curley redesigned Siam Country Club’s Old Course that was designed by Isao Mazumi and originally laid out in 1970. It was the first privately owned course in Thailand was the first Thai course to ever host an LPGA event, the 2007 Honda LPGA Thailand. The same event has since returned 4 times since and will take place once again in February 2013. The Old Course at Siam Country Club is s...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (8 of 10)

Here is the eighth of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Santiburi Chiang Rai Country Club, Chiang Rai One of the world’s great golf designers, Robert Trent Jones Jr, designed Santiburi Country Club, 7km from Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. One of five courses in his Thai portfolio, it is also his best. Established in 1992, Santiburi Chiang Rai presents a memorable golf experience. As Chiang Rai’s first golf course, it is the top course in the region known as The Golden Triangle. The cool morni...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (7 of 10)

Here is the seventh of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Red Mountain Golf Club, Phuket Red Mountain, near Phuket’s main tourist location of Patong, is one of the most dramatic courses in Thailand. Opened in 2008, the 6900-yard sister property to nearby Loch Palm Golf Club winds its way through a stunning former tin mine in the heart of Phuket's central highlands. It’s not difficult to see why this golf course was named Red Mountain. It is harder, however, to imagine how such a dramatically...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (6 of 10)

Here is the sixth of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Laem Chabang International Country Club, Pattaya Laem Chabang is the best of the six courses that golf legend Jack Nicklaus has designed in Thailand. This 27-hole complex offers three 9-hole courses (Lake, Valley and Mountain), each a close-to-nature experience that is visually appealing and, at times, quite challenging. The Pattaya golf course layout is a rewarding and challenging one with plenty of hazards, bunkers, sand traps and water haz...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (5 of 10)

Here is the fifth of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket The island of Phuket, one of the world’s top tourism destinations, also has a worthy reputation for golf. For the past 20 years Blue Canyon has been a highly sought-after golf destination for visitors. Located near Phuket’s international airport, Blue Canyon Country Club’s Canyon Course was the original 18 hole layout and leaped to fame when it was selected as the venue for the 1994 Johnnie Walker Classic. ...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (4 of 10)

Here is the fourth of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort, Chiang Mai Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort is one of Thailand’s golfing gems.  Built on a “power spot”, the hermitage of the revered Kuba Sivicha monk who founded the famous temple on Doi Suthep, the site is breathtaking in every direction and literally tingles with an energetic aliveness. Few courses anywhere in Asia have the scenic beauty, combined with challenging golf as this ...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (3 of 10)

Here is the third of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin Black Mountain, named as the best Thailand golf course and best championship layout in Asia Pacific in 2011 by Asian Golf Monthly, opened in 2007 and quickly picked up awards including best new course in Asia (2007) and second best course in Thailand (2008). In 2012 it the only Thailand golf course to make it to Golf Digest’s 100 Best Courses Outside the USA list. Playing a whopping 7550 yards of the champio...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (2 of 10)

Here is the second of my top 10 Thailand golf courses. Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin The seaside town of Hua Hin, on the western side of the Gulf of Thailand, 200 kilometers south of Bangkok, has become a popular destination for both Thai and international visitors. The preferred holiday destination of the Thai Royal family for more than a century, the region boasts eight excellent golf courses, of which Banyan Golf Club is one of the standouts. Opened in 2008, Banyan Golf Club leaped to fame when ...

10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (1 of 10)

Foreign golf tourists who come to Thailand never fail to experience the unique package of attractions that make the Land of Smiles one of the top three golf tourism destinations in the world. There are many reasons why a golf holiday in Thailand is so enjoyable and why visitors come back again and again – including the quality of Thailand’s 260 courses, all but a few of which are open to visitors. As everywhere, the top courses stand out from the rest and rank among Asia’s great layouts.  ...

Hua Hin Golf Gets Even Better and Offers Better Values Too!

Recently I have been spending more and more time golfing in Hua Hin. It seems that this seaside resort is living up to its billing as the “home of golf in Thailand” as the eight area courses put efforts to continually better themselves. Here is a case in point. Earlier this year Black Mountain was voted 98th best golf course outside the USA by Golf Digest. This was the first time any Thai golf course has made it to the list and you would think that Black Mountain would pause to celebrate and re...

Chiang Mai Golf Magic

I am used to the frenetic pace of golf in Bangkok or golf in Pattaya, so whenever I head north get a real treat when I golf in Chiang Mai. For the best Chiang Mai golf resort, I check into The Chedi Chiang Mai where I feel always welcome at Chiang Mai’s only five-star hotel located on the Mae Ping River.  Close by, I explore the temples and check out the night bazaar, a mere five minute walk away. For the best golf in Chiang Mai, I drive out of town past rice fields, buffaloes, and mountains to ...

Cheap Thailand Golf

Thailand golf rivals the world’s greatest golf destinations with challenging layouts by ‘A’ list designers. If there is a difference in Thailand, it is the value. Thailand golfers enjoy championship golf at greens fees of around $100 – $150 USD which is typically less than you’d pay in Hawaii, the Caribbean, Scotland, South Africa, and other premium golf destinations around the world. But world-class aside, here is a novel idea for the adventurous. Thailand also has many off-the-beaten-pat...

Night Golf In Thailand Is Over!

June marks the end for night golf in Thailand as courses such Panya Indra in Bangkok, Laem Chabang in Pattaya, and Summit Green Valley in Chiang Mai shut off their lights in exchange for low priced summer golf days. The night Thai golf season typically runs from November to May, where you can tee-off anywhere from 3-7 PM and finish by midnight! That’s right golf in Thailand until midnight is not only possible, it is fun and affordable.  Green fees run around $30-40 US Dollars. My favorite ...

Bangkok’s New Replica Golf Course

Damaged by the great floods in December 2011, Asia’s first and only replica course, The Royal Gems Golf City, is now reopened in Bangkok’s outskirts. Imagine playing famous holes as the ‘church pew bunkers” at Oakmont Country Club, the “Island Green” at TPC Sawgrass, Royal Troon’s “Postage Stamp”, and the “Road Hole” of St. Andrews Old Course? If they are not enough to tantalize your appetitive for great golf holes, then maybe the back nine of Augusta National including “Amen Corner” will. Last...

Hua Hin’s Hidden Golf Gem: Kaeng Krachan Country Club

Everyone knows the best regarded Hua Hin golf courses are Banyan Golf Club and Black Mountain Golf Club.  How about other Hua Hin golf courses for the more adventurous? Located an hour north and 40km inland from Hua Hin in the Thai Kaeng Krachan Estate lies what might just be Hua Hin’s least known, most under rated and best valued golf course? The 27 hole Kaeng Krachan Country Club is hardly known by the locals, no less Thailand golf holidaymakers. After travelling due north from Hua Hin ...

How To Judge Green Speed Of Thailand Golf Courses

Recently I have seen green speeds on Thailand golf courses run from a slow 7 on the stimpmeter at Majestic Creek Country Cub in Hua Hin to a speedy 10 at Red Mountain Golf Club in Phuket.  At other times, like after a professional event, green speeds can run as high as 11 or 12. Siam Country Club Old Course was like this in February after the Honda LPGA. With such a great variation in green speed and importance on distance in lag putting, how can the visiting golfer in Thailand be successf...

The Best 18 Phuket Golf Holes

Golfing in Phuket is great from May until July as the courses are not crowded, accommodations very reasonably priced, and the weather is generally overcast with little other than a late afternoon shower to cool things off. Therefore it is timely that Ian, our semi-pro Phuket resident, has for a bit of fun put together his Phuket “Dream 18”, which when you take time to think about the golf options, it’s not that easy Hole 1, Blue Canyon, Canyon Course – Not the easiest opening hole and a fairly t...

Sea Pine Golf Course: Nice But Be Aware Of….

The newest Hua Hin golf course is the Sea Pine Golf Course (also known as the Army Golf Club II).  This golf course opened is the pride of the Royal Thai Army and much better than any Thai municpal course I have seen. Designed by active Major General Weerayudth Phetbuasak (same designer as Suwan Country Club in Bangkok and Phokeethra Coutry Club in Siem Reap), Sea Pine is a good track with 4 holes longing the beach that play like a links-styled course.  The majority of the other Sea ...

Santiburi Chiang Rai Country Club

Chiang Rai in far northern Thailand is a bit off the beaten path for most foreign tourists golfing in Thailand. However the Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed Santiburi Chiang Rai Country Club is a name that often comes up when Thai residents talk about their favorite Thai golf courses.  While there is no one single outstanding quality to the course, it is instead a combination of factors that all come together in creating a thoroughly enjoyable playing experience: the scenery with rolling te...

Pattaya Golf Update

This past weekend I had the opportunity to watch the Honda LPGA at Siam Country Club as well as play two of my favorite Pattaya golf courses. The ladies second event of the 2012 season was won once again by the world’s #1 Yani Tseng. It was a good finish as she and AI Miyazato were in the race until the last hole. In spite of IMG missing my ticket delivery, the ladies professional golf tournament went off without a hitch and I still managed to get admission to watch the ladies on their final day...

LPGA Shines In Thailand

Thailand knows how to put on a show, and the top LPGA players will be at the Honda LPGA Thailand this month. With the worlds 59 best lady golfers in attendance, the Siam Country Club in Pattaya will be the perfect backdrop to kick off the LPGA tour season in style.This popular tournament was launched in 2006 when a certain Miss Hee-Won Han from South Korea won the inaugural event. Since then the likes of Suzann Petersen from Norway, Lorena Ochoa from Mexico , Ai Miyazato from Japan, Yanni Tseng ...