Sometimes I think we forget that the game of golf is all about getting out in the fresh air to hit some balls and then have a cool drink with your fellow golfers afterwards.
However golf in the 20th century seems to be all about one upmanship, and this is being fuelled by the manufacturers with their massive marketing campaigns.
The ball will give you distance and this club will give you control and this putter is very responsive.
I was actually put off even considering lifting a club at an early age, when my Uncle tried to take around in the cart at his golf club in leafy stockbroker belt of Surrey. ‘No children’, said the stuffy club manager. We do not allow children on the course on weekends!
Now of course everyone is thinking of schemes to actually encourage youngsters to take up the game. Here in Thailand there is no such stuffiness. Clubs love to encourage kids to play, and even go out of their way to hold tournaments as well.
Of course there is the friendly banter among mates and the occasional wager on the match, but in general I have found playing golf in Asia a very friendly and enjoyable experience.
Sure we would all love to play at St Andrews, Troon or Augusta, but it’s a lot more fun to have four attractive caddies telling you that you have 190 yards to go or to aim one cup left on the green. Not sure if they all know why it is called ‘a dog left or right’, but at least they add glamour to the round.
The other big plus point here in Thailand, is that you really do get a variety of courses to test your game. It is not only challenging but also exciting to drive off a raised tee down across a valley of pineapples onto an undulating green surrounded by palm trees.
Thailand is in the business of providing the ‘WOW’ factor. And the good thing is that there are so many good golf clubs within easy driving distance. In fact it is not unusual to have three clubs all within a mile of each other.
Check out the 17th at Red Mountain in Phuket - it is literally 140 metres down a mine shaft. Disused thank goodness!!!
Chiang Mai Highlands mountainous holes are not only beautifully but are also very tricky.
Monkeys, pelicans, giant lizards….it all adds to your golfing experience in Thailand.
Seriously though, golf in Asia is all about experience, and let’s not forget it is all done with a big SMILE.