Hong Kong (6): There are some excellent golf courses in Hong Kong; many with great views over the surrounding South China Sea. The only public golf course is also one of the islands best. The 36-hole Gary player designed Kau Sai Chau Golf Course is set on an island just off the coast. Other standouts, albeit private, include the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Fanling Course; home of many professional PGA events.
Thailand (7): Golf in Thailand can be played across the country and of the 250 or so courses, 60 are worthy of visitors. The number one Thai golf course and only course in the 100 best courses outside the USA is Black Mountain in Hua Hin.
Hong Kong (4): The island state is better known for shopping bargains than service and the same carries over to the golf clubs. Notably missing are caddies, which makes Hong Kong one of the few places to golf in Asia where one can carry his/her own bag.
Thailand (10): Thailand on the other hand is all about service excellence. Golf clubs are as visitor friendly as any place on earth. How hard could it be to play with a smiling caddie by your side through the whole round?
Golfing Experience (25%)
Hong Kong (7): Hong Kong is best known for shopping and fast-paced Chinese business culture. That being said golfing in Hong Kong is pretty good. If you are invited to join a round of golf in Hong Kong it will be a memorable experience for sure.
Thailand (10): Everyone knows about Thailand a major tourist destination. However, the Thai golf experience is unique in the world. Every golfer should try a Thailand golf trip before it is too late.
Value For Money (20%)
Hong Kong (4): Golf in Hong Kong is expensive, period! Everything from green fees, hotels, transportation, and entertainment will set the visitor back more than they would pay at home.
Thailand (8): Thailand golf holidays are relatively affordable, in spite of the green fees being more expensive nowadays then they were in the past. Accommodations, transportation and entertainment however are all very affordable making overall trip costs lower than average.
Overall Verdict (100%)
Hong Kong (5.35): There are now 10 golf courses in Hong Kong and more if you count Macau which is amazing for a relatively small island. However, unsurprisingly for a heavily populated country the golf courses are private, often full, and all but two do not welcome visitors without an accompanying member. Golf visitors are therefore best advised to stick to a shopping stopover and carry their sticks to other Asian golf destinations.
Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins easily over the Hong Kong due to the appeal to golfers from all over the world. It is so good that every year more and more foreign golfers chose to make Thailand their permanent home.
Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey.