The first difference they mentioned was the locations and settings of golf courses. The courses in France tend to all be in beautiful surroundings. For example, there are no Thailand golf courses in the grounds of a 14th century chateau, although there are some with Buddhist shrines dotted around notably Royal Hua Hin Golf Club or Royal Ratchaburi in Kanchanaburi province.
Then they talked about food; obviously very important for French people. As with most golf clubhouses in Thailand, they found the cuisine excellent and a good value and the facilities diversified and well kept. They said French golf courses rarely have restaurants and if they do the French golfers would not dare to eat at them. Also, they told me most club houses in France have only basic toilet facilities, a far cry from the fully equipped locker rooms, spas, massage and relaxation areas, smoking lounges, swimming pools etc. They just golfed at Blue Canyon Country Club the day before, and could not believe that facilities with high standards are free for golfers! Only a hotel in France would have of such quality and then again the use of the aforementioned items would be changed extra
The third point and biggest difference they spoke at length about is that there are no caddies on French golf courses; they have to take a pull-cart or a buggy, or worse carry your own clubs. Every Thai golf course, however, has its caddies. They are Thailand’s secret weapon in making golf such good fun. These brightly clad ladies, in smart uniforms and Thai hats, know lots about the course, smile almost all the time, and read putts far better than the French golfers could on their own.
The last point they mentioned I found quite amusing. Over a cold beer in the club house they told me the story of their embarrassment and shock after their first round when they went into the lockers at Mission Hills Country Club found a smiling young lady handing out bath towels. Thinking that they had wandered into the Ladies Locker Room parlor by mistake, they apologized and made to leave, saying they thought that this was the Gentlemen’s Locker Room. “Ah, Monsieurs”, she replied, charmingly “this is the men’s locker room!”
Having a chance to think about things and as I wrote this article on the airplane home to Bangkok last night I realized how good Thailand golf really is. Other countries may have courses of higher quality or better scenery, but no where in the world can match the total golf experience of Golf Amazing Thailand!