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 its age you have many large and mature trees bordering the fairways, yet they are not overly narrow. There is not so much water as other courses in Bangkok, yet where there is; it certainly plays on your mind, especially the unforgiving, yet very challenging 9th hole.
Navatanee is very enjoyable to play, and extremely well maintained. The one point I do not like is that motorized golf carts are compulsory. In my opinion, this not only detracts from the beauty of the golf course, it also unnecessarily adds to the playing cost.
4. Legacy Golf Club was formerly known as Natural Park Ramindra. This is a very good Jack Nicklaus designed course, although not everyone’s favourite.
The clubhouse could do with a bit more attention, and some local folks remember this course when it was not so well run by the former owners. However, over the last couple of years the maintenance of the course has returned to first class. Typical for Jack Nicklaus designed courses, you are faced with large fairway waste bunkers and well positioned water hazards on many of the par 4’s and par 5’s. You need to be on top of your game, especially tee shots, to score well on this course.
Although the fairways are not so tight, Nicklaus ensures you have to think your way round the course to get the best reward. Some demanding second shots are required onto tricky sloping greens. Finally, the greens themselves have probably shown the best improvements of any course in the area over the past few years. They are now all in good to excellent playing condition and will delight even the most fanatical player.
The one point that I have to mention is that for some reason this course caters to Thai players over foreigners by offering preferred (i.e. lower priced) green frees to Thai nationals. Many foreigners here disgust this practice and as a result boycott courses (and other businesses) that practice two tiered pricing schemes. My personal feeling is that TIT, “this is Thailand”, and there is no pioint in trying to fight the system. At least Legacy openly published the two rates, while many other businesses practice the same thing and then try to hide it by only providing their pricing information in Thai language.
5. Thai Country Club is a course for the total golfing experience. It exemplifies everything positive about playing golf in Thailand this golf course is a must. Not short of money, this is easily noticed from the minute you arrive to the time you depart. A stunning clubhouse (voted the best in Asia), fantastic facilities, and more than attentive staff, ensure you are totally relaxed prior to your game.
The course is always in excellent condition, with plenty of variation between the holes. Check out the 10th tee where there is a plaque showing where Tiger Woods drove the green from! Yes, he also did convert that drive into an eagle.
Although the fairways are not to demanding, great attention needs to be paid to your approach shots into well guarded greens.
This course hosted the 2005 Volvo Asian Masters, and received great comments from the top professionals who played. The greens always strike me as a little “thin” based on how they look, but every time I play on them my putts roll true and very fast. Obviously looks do not tell the true story here!