Category Archives: Thailand Golf Courses and Playing Conditions

Golfing in Thailand: A Personal Short Story (Part 1 of 4)

Yesterday Mr. Shankar Balan sent me this short story about his personal golf experiences last week in Bangkok. The full story will be published in next month’s Golfline Magzine, India. However, after reading the story, I fell in love with Shankar’s writing style and I immediately asked him if I could use it on the site. He graciously agreed and thus I decided to devote the next 4 days to  the world’s first posting of the best parts Shankar’s story, another Thailandg...

Presidential Golf Thai Style

Bush, Regan, Ford, and Carter: they all played the game, but I bet they never were on the links or entered the club house at Bangkok’s President’s Country Club. I on the other hand had the good fortune to play at this semi-private course last Friday. Upon driving up to the front gates I was greeted by a horde of smiling caddies dressed in pink caddie uniforms. After being assigned (actually I selected) an able and most cheerful caddie, I entered the cavernous club house, its size a...

Thailand Mother’s Day golf

It was Mothers Day here last Saturday and to celebrate I had to play golf at one of the better Pattaya courses, Burapha Country Club. (What a way to celebrate, huh? Well someone has to do it!) Although not especially my favorite (see below), this 36 hole course is always nice and windy as it is located along a small mountain ridge that overlooks the city of Chunburi and with views of Pattaya Bay possible from the higher elevated holes. The 2 courses are of a split design, one being a resort co...

Thailand Golf Weather Report

The rain is over or is it coming late? The last few weeks have seen ever increasing days of better and better golf weather. The usually heavy rains are for the most part over and were short lived this year. Form North to South the golf weather is as follows; Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai: Scattered showers with partly cloudy skies. Daytime golfing temperatures around 30C (85F). No reported rain outs. However, usual heavy August rains may be on the way anytime during the next month.

Most Improved Bangkok Golf Course

When I first heard the name “Lam Luk Ka” my reaction was “what is that?” It sure did not conger up an impression of a championship golf course. Well this is Thailand and as they say anything goes here. In reality Lam Luk Ka is the name of a sparrow like bird in Thai, so I guess if a great golf course in the USA can be named Winged Foot then what’s wrong with a course named Lam Luk Ka in Thailand. It has been a few months since last playing Lam Luk Ka and what I can say is that this course, espe...

Alpine Golf in Bangkok

Have you ever heard of this course? Have you ever played it? Well as the name implies it is a hilly golf course near Bangkok with very pleasing hole to hole elevation changes. However, in addition to the “alpine” setting, what sets this course apart from others in the area is the immaculate conditions and maintenance. Alpine is in such good condition that is ranks right up there with the Thai County Club as one of the 2 best courses in Bangkok. I had the opportunity to play at Alpine last weeke...

10 Best Reasons to Come to Thailand to Play Golf (Part 1 of 3)

As an expatriate living and working in Thailand, I cannot think of many better places to come and play golf. I have been fortunate to play golf all over the world including the most popular golf tourist destinations, such as the United States, Scotland, Spain, Caribbean, and Mexico. I have also played in several other Asian countries, like China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and Australia, but still find Thailand a pretty difficult experience to beat. Over the next few days I will exp...

Thailand Golf Vintage?

Will it be a 1995 Chardonnay,  an aged 1986 Cabernet, or  a robust 2004 Shiraz? No, no, no, this is not a post about fine wine, but rather a gem of a golf course located 28 KM south of Bangkok called The Vintage Club. While not a household name among the major Bangkok golf courses, nevertheless this golf club boasts a fine course indeed. It hosts the Thailand amateur tournaments each year and the design and maintenance conditions are clear reasons why. I played at the Vintage club for...

Playing Golf in Thailand on a VERY Limited Budget (Part 3 of 3)

Another all together different low cost golf holiday option is to consider staying at one the many golf resorts which are located throughout Thailand. Many of these resorts host excellent courses, with both hotel and apartments for rent at the course. Some will have additional facilities such as a swimming pool, fitness and spa’s, and for the standard available, the prices tend to be more favorable then traditional  hotels located in the in the vicinity. Other advantages include specially ...

Playing Golf in Thailand on a VERY Limited Budget (Part 2 of 3)

For the more budget conscious golf traveler, Thailand can provide much more economical alternatives for you, by simply looking outside the more popular tourist locations. Here are 2 relatively unknown golf destinations to consider. Many of the courses located north of Bangkok, in Nakorn Ratchasima province, the location of Thailand’s largest national park (Khao Yai), can provide golf for some amazingly low prices, $10 US dollars per round on the weekdays. A couple of these courses that I like i...

Mini Thailand Country Club

You might be wondering what does the title of this post mean? Everyone knows Thai Country Club (TCC), the site of many majors and where Tiger Woods won in 1998. Well I have just found (actually re-discovered) a course that is very similar to TCC in so many ways that it begs the name mini-TCC. The course is Green Valley Country Club which is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed course and located only 15 kilometers south of Bangkok, a short 30 minute drive from town. Just look at this picture of ...

Phuket Golf Course Update

After one month of solid rain I am glad to report that the Phuket golf courses are returning to their generally excellent conditions. Last week I had the opportunity to play Laguna, Blue Canyon, and Loch Palm. Of the 3 only Loch Palm showed any serious signs of weathering. Laguna, being built on a good sandy base was not surprisingly in the best condition. Although I am not too fond of the front nine, mostly open and flat, the entire course played well. The back nine, especially holes 16, 17, a...

Golf Caddies of Thailand (Part 2)

Here is the continuation of the post I started yesterday. Caddies are very knowledgeable about the rules of golf, and quite amazingly, after only a few shots they can club you extremely accurately. The more experienced ones are a fantastic assistance on the greens, being very accurate with their assessment of the speed and line of your putt. They will mark and clean your ball on the green, leaving you only to put the ball in the hole. Remember; do not blame them if you miss as it means you have...

Tiger Played Here!

Have you ever dreamed of standing on the tee box where the professionals play to see what it is like? Well here is a photo from the Thai Country Club (TCC), Bangkok’s finest golf course. It is here where Tiger Woods in 1997 drove the green at the 380 yard, 10th hole. The only problem was that Tiger not only missed the eagle putt, but also the birdie and had to settle for a 3 putt par 4. He walked off the green so angry that he actually cursed at a few of the spectators. Locals who were at...

Exclusive Phuket Blue Canyon Country Club

Here is a great photo of the 18th hole at Phuket’s famous Blue Canyon Country Club. This is the course where in 1994 Tiger Woods won the Johnny Walker Classic coming from behind to overcome a 9 shot deficit and beat Ernie Els in a sudden death playoff. The photo will be part of an upcoming campaign from Blue Canyon and to my knowledge this is the first posting anywhere on the internet! It is even not on my Golfasian web site yet. This is a "must play" course if you visit Phuket...

Golf Holiday in Pattaya or Hua Hin: Pro’s and Con’s (Part 2)

This is the second part of this post comparing two major choices for a great golf holiday in Thailand. Today’s post will cover the city of Pattaya. Tomorrow I cover Hua Hin. The city of Pattaya is located 100km south east of Bangkok, on the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand. It is an easy 2 drive from Bangkok now and when the new airport in Bangkok opens in 2007, you will be able to be in Pattaya in just over an hour after touchdown. The region around Pattaya hosts a huge variety of go...

Golf Course in USA

Here is a great photo from The Tradition Club in Myrtle Beach, SC. It was taken earlier this year and sent to me a few weeks ago by a good friend Mr. Ted Walton from Canada. Ted and I have been trading emails regularly and he plans to visit Thailand later this year. The shot reminds me of some of the Thai golf courses with loads of water and heavily guarded greens. I think Ted may comment more on this picture and I also hope he gives out his contact. For anyone wishing to get some great custom ...

Thailand Golf On The Runway

For an experience of a lifetime you must try playing at Kantarat Golf Course. This course is located right between the runways of Bangkok Airport and it is really an exhilarating experience driving and putting while a jumbo jet is landing a mere 200 meters away. I had the fortunate experience of playing at this course last weekend and while the golf is nothing spectacular, the sights round were! Read more about the Kanrarat course from this brief excerpt from Time Magazine Asia in the continuati...

Thai Country Club Update

Yesterday I had another opportunity to play at the Thai Country Club. This is the course just 40 minutes South of Bangkok that run by the Peninsula hotel group and  is home each year to the Asian Volvo Masters. It is constantly rated as one of the top 10 courses in Asia. If you have not played here, you need to try at least once. (Although I want you to know, once will not be enough!) To summarize, playing at Thai Country Club is a total golfing experience. From the moment you drive up and ...

Pattaya Golf: Playing and My 5 Favorite Courses (Part 3)

Here are the last 2 of my favorite Pattaya golf courses. 4. Burapha Golf Club consists of 36 holes, on rolling hilly terrain. This excellent course demands both length and accuracy. The course used to be a members only course but now accepts visitors. Course A/B is my personal favorite, and requires a variety of shot-making to master this course. Although not overly tight, well placed bunkers and water hazards means you need to be careful with your tee shots. This will give you the opportunity t...

Pattaya Golf: Playing and My 5 Favorite Courses (Part 2)

Pattaya Golf Courses (Part 2) Here are the next 2 of my favorite Pattaya courses continued from yesterday. 2. St. Andrews 2000 Golf Course was originally designed to replicate a Scottish Links course. Subsequently it was redesigned and in the process has left one of the most challenging courses in Thailand. There are 2 par 6s (yes that is not a typographical error) each measuring some 800 yards from tee to green, which just make then quality for the 3 longest golf holes in the world. This is uni...

Pattaya Golf: Playing and My 5 Favorite Courses (Part 1)

Pattaya Golf Courses (Part 1) This is a sister article to my posts last week about golf in Bangkok. Also, due to the length of the course descriptions I will again post this article as a multi-part series. Pattaya can now be easily be reached from Bangkok by car in around 1.5 hours due to the completion of the superhighway and motorway between the 2 cities, There have always been some excellent golf courses in the Pattaya areas but many golfers shunned the idea of going to Pattaya due to the cit...

Bangkok Golf – My 5 Favourite Courses (Part 2)

My Favourite Bangkok Golf Courses: (Part 2 of 2) This is the second part of my favourite Bangkok golf courses. I have saved these 3 gems for last, but certainly not least. If anyone has any comments or other courses on their favourite list, I would most interested in hearing from you as my list by far contains only a small sampling of possible best course choices. 3. Navatanee Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones Course that opened in 1973 and shortly after hosted the World Cup of golf. Because of ...

Bangkok Golf – My 5 Favourite Courses (Part 1)

My Favourite Bangkok Golf Courses: (Part 1 of 2) Bangkok has an abundance of excellent golf courses located throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. Depending on how you count, there are approximately 75 full 18 hole courses that can be reached within around 1.5 hours or less from the center of the city. Deciding where to play during your Thailand golf holiday can often be difficult. So being a resident of Bangkok I thought I would write about and pass on information about  five of my f...

Bangkok’s Newest and Best Golf Course: Almost

Windsor Park Course D Yesterday I had a chance to play at Windsor Park and Golf Club. If you are not familiar with this course it is because it recently underwent a name change. The former name was Panya Park and it was one of the 5 Panya group courses in the mid-90’s. I believe it was sold another investor around 2000 during the troubled economic times here, but that is another story for another post. Up until now the course had been a very nice Bangkok style (i.e. flat and open) 27 holes, 3 ni...

Great Golf in Thailand

When is the perfect time of year to play? I often get asked about the best time of year to play golf in Thailand so I thought to share my experience on this topic. Without doubt, the best time of year for golf is from November through January. This is the cool and dry season, with average temperatures only around 20 degrees centigrade. On the other hand, this is also the peak season for visiting tourists. As such, one should be prepared for busy golf courses and it is a must to plan your holiday...