When I lived in the UAE, only Mad Dogs and Englishmen would venture out to play a round of golf between June and September, when the temperatures rose to 52 degrees centigrade. Russian and Korean golfers also have a limited number of months to play due to their severe winters.
Thailand is luckily different!
Now having lived here in Bangkok for over a year, I am easily able to cope with a round of golf during almost all months.
Thailand has an all year round climate, that can best be described as tropical and humid for the majority of the country during most of the year.
The area of Thailand north of Bangkok has a climate determined by three seasons whilst the southern peninsular region of Thailand has only two.
In northern Thailand the seasons are clearly defined. Between November and May the weather is mostly dry, however this is broken up into the periods November to February and March to May.
The later of these two periods has the higher relative temperatures as although the northeast monsoon does not directly affect the northern area of Thailand, it does cause cooling breezes from November to February.
For example last week we played a round in Pattaya at Burapha Golf Club, and we actually experienced there seasons, dull, wet and sunny all in one round. Great fun!
The other northern season is from May to November and is dominated by the southwest monsoon, during which time rainfall in the north is at its heaviest.
Maybe back home it takes time for your local course to recover, whereas here they are used to the odd sudden downpour, and with excellent drainage, most courses are playable almost immediately after the storm moves on.
The caddies all have large umbrellas to protect you from the sun or rain, and you can buy golf bag waterproofs before you start your round.
The southern region of Thailand really has only two seasons — the wet and the dry. These seasons do not run at the same time on both the east and west side of the peninsular.
On the west coast the southwest monsoon brings rain and often heavy storms from April through to October, whilst on the east coast the most rain falls between September and December.
Generally speaking, the best time to visit Thailand is from November to February when the northeast monsoon is blowing cool, dry air which serves as a respite from the heat.
During this cool season, the temperature ranges from 18ºC to 32ºC in Bangkok, while in northern and northeast Thailand, temperatures can get quite cool with morning temperatures as low as 8º C to 12º C with the occasional 20º C day.
Nights can be particularly chilly and at high altitudes the temperatures can and do drop below freezing.
The summer period, or hot and dry season, is from March to June. At this time temperatures in Bangkok average around 34º C, but can often reach 40º C with the humidity levels of 75%.
Try and avoid April, unless you plan to be permanently submerged in the ocean, because this is the hottest month across the country.
The monsoons finish when the wind direction changes, bringing dry weather from the northeast. At best this season can be described as unpredictable and not the constant downpour of rain like you would expect. The middle months of this season may hold particularly heavy rains for the north of the country.
This is all great information to have, but in reality it's still possible to avoid the mid morning heat in April by booking an afternoon tee time say at 13.30hrs. The course will be a lot quieter and if you do happen to get caught by a storm, then you can always shelter at the many food and drink stops.
The rates are also slightly lower after April / May so you not only will find the courses less hectic, but you will also have some more cash to buy those cheap golf clubs in Bangkok.
Try a visit to the cooler courses in the North when a round at Chiang Mai Highlands can be very pleasant in the summer.
With sensible planning and friendly advice from your golf travel specialists you can really enjoy golf here in Thailand all year round.
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