Category Archives: Thailand Golf Courses and Playing Conditions

Pete Dye in Thailand Golf

Here is the first in a series about famous golf course architects and their activities in Thailand. Pete Dye, through Dye Designs Inc., is associated with three golf courses in Thailand: Subhapruek Golf Club in Bangkok, Khao Kheow Country Club in Pattaya, and Thai Muang Beach Resort in Phuket. All three feature Pete Dye trademarks: tough par 4’s (especially the closing holes) where you need to hit straight, tricky par 3’s, the subtle use of water hazards and, of course, the railway sleepers (...

Thailand Golf Course Architects: A Series

Most people coming for a Thailand golf holiday are surprised by the golf course quality and list of the major golf architects who are represented at Thailand golf courses. In fact you can find golf courses built by Pete Dye, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Ronald Fream, Ron Garl, Schmidt-Curley, Peter Thomson, Desmond Muirhead, and the list just goes on as a who’s who of famous world-class golf course designers. Over the next few articles I will hi...

Navatanee Golf Club, Bangkok Thailand

Navatanee Golf Club, a Bangkok Thailand Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, is located just inside the outer ring road making it one of the closest golf courses to the Bangkok city center, and my home! The course made headlines in 1975 when it hosted the Golf World Cup and put Thailand on the global golf map. Navatanee has it’s supporters as well as those who criticize this members only course. On the positive side Navatanee is, in my opinion, the best example of a Bermuda grass golf course in all ...

Rachakram Golf Club, Bangkok Thailand

Here is another golf course review by soon to be golf professional Greg Haney, now in the USA, but in the process of taking up residence in Thailand.  Ratchakram Golf Club, opened December 2006 is in the Bangsai area of Ayutthaya province, north of Bangkok. Designed by the same Thai golfer who designed Phuket Country Club, I found the course to be a great layout offering a tremendous variety of memorable holes. I never did find out the types of grasses used, but nevertheless the fairways p...

Dragon Hills Golf, River Kwai Thailand

Dragon Hills Golf and Country Club is, in a nutshell, a true hidden gem.  The golf club is located in a remote part of Ratchaburi, Thailand, at the periphery of the Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Hua Hin triangle, 1 ½ hours from Bangkok. The approach to the course is via secondary roads winding through remote, yet lush farmland and pineapple plantations. The golf course has been designed to make the most of the fabulous setting as the undulating fairways wind through and around 2,400...

Phuket Red Mountain Golf Club Review

Are you thinking about playing a new course this year on your Phuket golf holiday? Well my friend Dr. Glenn just returned from Phuket where he played at the Red Mountain Golf Club. Here are some of his comments. The Phuket Red Mountain Golf Club course layout is friendly for shorter to medium length hitters, but requires good control from the tees.  Long hitters from the tees that do not perfectly execute their drives will be in immediate trouble and will require many extra balls to complet...

Suwan Golf and Country Club Reloaded

Last week I and two other American semi-professional golfers had the good fortune to again play Suwan Golf Club. Here is an updated golf course review. Suwan is a two year old championship Bangkok golf course just west of town. It was designed by the Weeyos Group and although not a top designer name, this is a very well designed course. The par 72 course measures 7125 yards from the tips, 6721 from the blues, and 6378 from the white tees. It consists of beautiful rolling terrain, some doglegs a...

Lakewood Golf Club, Bangkok Thailand

Here is a Bangkok golf course review from my friend Greg Haney, an American scratch (well almost!) golfer in Thailand. Greg has significant playing experience and will be writing for the Thailand Golf Zone from time to time.I think you will find his writing style interesting and informative. Greg likes to focus on the technical aspects of golf and as such provides unique insight into each golf course. Lakewood is a J. Michael Poellet (California based) designed course located at the 18km mark of...

Most Improved or Ruined Thailand Golf Course?

I golfed at Muang Kaew in Bangkok last week and after not playing there since last season I have to say that this is the most improved Thailand golf course by far while at the same time may also be ruined for good. How can that be? What is so good about Muang Kaew now? Someone, probably the course superintendent, is doing great work. The greens and surrounding areas are in near perfect condition. Adding to the already challenging design that was put into play in 2003 when Lee Schmidt and Brian C...

Thai Hospitality, It Makes Your Golf Day

I 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, wer...

Suwan Golf and Country Club, Bangkok Thailand

Everyone that plays golf in Bangkok knows nearly all Bangkok golf courses are basically flat with lots of water due to Bangkok being a vast river plain.  Golf course construction budgets are not normally large enough to include large scale earth movement needed to create a hilly golf course. But please, don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining about the golf in Bangkok as there are many fabulous courses here and I have to say that it is by far and away the best area for golf that I have had...

Bangkok Expat Golf Pro’s Top 12 Thailand Golf Course Picks

The other day in “the Big Mango”, I bumped into Steve Kirk, the first expat golf professional  to work in Thailand many years ago, following service with the Royal Calcutta and Shek O, Hong Kong golf clubs. Steve is the author of "The Thailand Golf Map", one of the most comprehensive guides to Thailand golf courses, albeit now slightly outdated and quite difficult to find on sale. Over a glass or two of the amber nectar, we got around to discussing our favorite courses. I have sh...

Golfing Among Thailand Condominiums, A Thana City Course Review

Not having played at Thana City Golf and Country Club in a few years, I thought to give this prior top course a try and check on conditions. Here is my up-to-date course review. Thana City was one of the first courses built along the Bangkok to Pattaya corridor. It is just 18km from downtown Bangkok and I was able to reach the course in less than one hour, even in heavy traffic. The golf course now boasts mature tree lined fairways which unfortunately show the course’s age. Plain grasses, reeds ...

Johnnie Walker Classic 2007, A Great Phuket Golf Tournament

Those of you who were in Thailand last week and were lucky enough to be able to get to the Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket for the Johnnie Walker Classic would have enjoyed a fantastic tournament. The final day in particular lived up to all expectations as a new star was born when South African Anton Haig won his first European PGA Tour event in a dramatic playoff. Twenty-year-old Haig joined the likes of Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Nick Faldo to become a Johnnie Walker Champion...

Krungthep Kreetha Golf Club, Bangkok Thailand

Do you not find it frustrating that there some Thailand golf courses that you play on where you normally score well, and others which, for some reason, you struggle on? One of the later such golf courses for me is the Krungthep Kreetha Sports Club on the eastern side of Bangkok, only around 30 minutes from the Sukhumvit and Silom tourist areas. Krungthep Kreetha is not well known among travelers who golf in Thailand as it is rarely included in Bangkok golf packages. The original golf club opene...

6 Best Phuket Golf Vacation Activities

Here are my six suggestions to insure complete Phuket golf vacation satisfaction: 1. Golf: Well what else would be number one? The magnificent seven! There are no less than 7 (or 8 depending on how you count) golf courses in (or near) Phuket. They are, in specific order of my personal preference; Blue Canyon Country Club Canyon Course (18): expensive, nevertheless a famous must play. Loch Palm Golf Club Old Course (18) and New Course (9): new course maybe the best in Phuket as of February 200...

Best Bangkok Thailand Golf Value

In response to several readers’ comments doubting the intention of this Thailand golf blog, I thought it good to finish my writing on value golf and review a golf course that I just plain enjoy, and one which my Thailand golf vacation company does not have any commercial dealing with. No doubt about it, 600 baht (approximately $17 US) for weekday green fee at Bangsai Country Club is a bargain and this course is a real treat. The clubhouse is most unspectacular, but if you don’t mind that and hav...

Alpine Golf Club, Bangkok Thailand

Here is a great write up from a Bangkok Thailand golf pro who has just played Alpine Golf and Sports Club for his first time. Constructed in 1996 and probably the only one of Bangkok’s golf courses that can claim to be hilly, Alpine golf is one of only a handful of member’s only club’s in Thailand. Alpine golf  has already achieved international recognition by hosting the 2000 and 2004 Johnnie Walker Classics won by Tiger Woods and Miguel Angel Jiminez, respectively. The Par 72 layout range...

Chiang Mai Thailand Golf Overview (Part 4 of 4)

Here is the final post in my Chiang Mai golf overview, otherwise known as the three ‘Gassans’: Gassan Khutan Golf Club and Resort and Resort is located one hour south of Chiang Mai. Khuntan means “Devil Mountain’ and this 18-hole, 7,100 yard, par-72 course created in 2004 is devilishly difficult. When you stand on the tee of the par-3, 5th hole and face a mid-iron shot to a tiny island green, in the middle of a huge lake, into the teeth of swirling winds, you will know why this course is aptly...

Chiang Mai Thailand Golf Overview (Part 3 of 4)

Here is the third post in my Chiang Mai golf overview. Today I will finish discussing  the most traditional northern Thailand golf courses and start mention more modern and recent additions to the Chiang Mai golf scene. The older courses also include the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Resort, designed by 5 times British Open winner Peter Thomson using elements from a British links style course. The Royal Chiang Mai also features bumpy gently rolling fairways, pot bunkers, and closely mowed areas ar...

Chiang Mai Thailand Golf Overview (Part 2 of 4)

Here is the continuation of my Chiang Mai golf overview. For the next 2 or 3 posts, starting with the most traditional northern Thailand golf courses and going all the way through to the most modern championship Chiang Mai golf courses, I will review each golf option and, hopefully, convey the range of available area golf choices. Chiang Mai is also known as the ‘Land of a Million Rice Fields’, and that is certainly your first impression as you ride out from your hotel to the golf course. The t...

Subhapruek Golf Club Course Review

The Pete Dye designed Subhapruek Golf Club is one if Bangkok’s hidden gems and my favorite courses near town. While perhaps not in the top 3 or most famous courses (TCC, Alpine, and Navatanee), Subhapruek is just behind in terms of course quality and challenge. It is rarely included of golf packages or played by visitors due to the booking difficultly, only Thai language is spoken. Subhapruek plays in the shadows of Assumption University, which make for an interesting back drop. The course ope...

Bangkok, Thailand: How Much Golf Can One Play?

A little known fact:- Within about an hour’s drive of Bangkok city center there are approximately 60 golf courses! Most budding golf travelers assume that, like most cities in the world, Bangkok only has a few courses within ‘striking distance’ and that the best golfing locations in Thailand are at the seaside resorts of Pattaya, Phuket, or Hua Hin. Whilst these locations are very good for golf, Bangkok truly reigns supreme for choice of course. Obviously, the actual standards of courses vary ...

Pattaya Golf and City Update

Here is the latest Pattaya city and golf scene information. I had the good fortune of spending a long weekend in Pattaya these past 3 days and I came away with two thoughts. (1) The city continues to be unimpressive, in spite of the enormous ongoing construction projects, and (2) it is shame that there is such excellent golf in the area. Let me explain. First the golf. Playing at my 2 favorite courses (Laem Chabang and St. Andrews 2000) was pure joy. The golf clubs were fully booked each day, ...

Muang Kaew Golf Club, Bangkok Thailand

Constant upgrading continues at Muang Kaew Golf Club and it will be interesting to see how the course copes with the addition of the new motorway which cuts right through the course.  Scheduled to open in 2008, the freeway will complete the western out ring road around Bangkok allowing for through traffic to bypass the city. Hopefully, for those of us golfing in Bangkok, this will reduce the traffic in the city center. However, I am not holding my breath. Muang Kaew Golf Club is one of the ...

Cascata Golf Club: Thailand’s Newest Golf Course

For Thailand’s golf new years first post I thought it appropriate to take a look at Thailand’s newest golf course, Cascata Golf Club. Opened only 2 months ago, this championship golf course is located in the Bangkok suburbs quite near the popular 36 hole Lam Luk Ka Country Club. Like its neighbor, driving to Cascata Golf Club takes around 80 minutes from Bangkok’s city center. Although a little further than most of the Bangkok golf courses those making the journey to Cascata will be well rewarde...

Vintage Golf in Thailand: One of the Best 1st Holes in Bangkok

Hole 1, Par 4, at The Vintage Club Most locals will be surprised at my choice for best starting hole in Bangkok. Admittedly the Vintage Club’s 1st hole isn’t a spectacular golf hole, but what appeals is it’s a relatively easy starting hole that will only punish you if you hit an extremely errant shot. Most golf travelers have probably never even heard of the Vintage club, as it is not on the typical playing circuit or any Bangkok golf package that I have ever seen advertised, it should be! The ...

Best Par 4 Golf Hole in Thailand

With so much great golf in Thailand, this is a hard one, but my personal favorite would have to be the 13th at Blue Canyon Country Club, Canyon Course in Phuket. The tee shot is over a massive canyon, which doglegs sharp right (see photo). This is a perfect risk-reward hole where all players can choose how much they want to chew off.  390 yards from the back tees, the longest hitters may go for the green, and from the forward tees, most players will choose to cut some portion of the daunti...

Best Par 4 Golf Hole in Bangkok

Golf in Bangkok is about the most varied in the world, with over 72 courses to choose from. I’ve golfed at most of the golf courses in Bangkok but a few of them for not quite a while. As with everyones favorite’s in life, this account is my personal best of, and you are free to disagree with my most preferred hole, which I’m sure you will! So here we go, my favorite Par 4 in Bangkok is the 2nd at Bangsai Country Club in Ayutthaya. Except for the sometimes wet conditions, this hole is an ...

Royal Golf and Country Club, Bangkok

Golf courses around Bangkok are plentiful and Royal Golf and Country Club is one of my favorites. Located in Latkrabang – very near to the new airport it is now easily the most convenient golf course  if you are flying into or departing Bangkok and want to get in a quick round.. Like just about every course in the Bangkok area – and, perhaps, even more so the most! – The Royal is very flat. However, each hole is extremely well laid out allowing for a wide variety of hole shapes and lengths...