This week I had the pleasure of playing the Hua Hin golf courses. In general, Hua Hin is seeing less golf visitors due to the resurgence of Phuket as the number one Thailand golf destination. Hua Hin golf clubs, resorts, and golf travel operators have all experienced a slowdown this past season. This week despite the Hua Hin Jazz Festival being in town, Hua Hin was relatively quiet.
That being said, the golf courses, costs, and weather conditions are all favor some excellent golf. Specifially,
Black Mountain Golf Club: After replacing 10 “sinking” greens, the course is back to excellent playing conditions, Currently there are only 2 temporary greens (#10 and #11) due to hole #11 being re-laid out. Management continue to invest heavily in maintenance and this is evidenced by the new internal waste areas, improved tee areas with wider variety of difficultly levels, and the aforementioned greens upgrading. Black Mountain is being readied for the Asian PGA event to be held March 2009.
Springfield Golf Club: All 3 nines are open for play. The original Nicklaus course is in as good of condition as I have seen in anytime in the past 3 years. The greens all roll true with no signs of grain, bunkers are well manicured, and the fairways double cut daily to give the look of a championship course that Springfield really is. I particularly like the park land feeling as each hole is individually framed with no development, roads, or noise (other than the birds).
Banyan Golf Club : Construction progress looks to be behind at Banyan, and I doubt they can make the planned August opening. While 9 holes are playable, there are still many bare areas and greens are not yet fully grown in. The course design is of the same vintage as Black Mountain (modern with extensive under fairway drainage, new grass strains for greens and tee areas, and exact to plan bunker placement and shaping. Let’s see if the design pays off and where Banyan Golf Club will rank among the other Hua Hin golf courses!
Imperial Lake View Golf Club : Nothing has changed over the last year. The older course is a fun parkland layout and the newer one more challenging with many waste areas and well guarded greens. Maintenance is adequate although I prefer the greens to be faster and the fairways with fewer muddy areas.
Palm Hills Golf Club: This course continues to be one of my favorites. Wide fairways and fluffy rough do little to penalize errant tee shots. The view of Hua Hin from the holes 13 and 14 gives a good perspective of the city’s recent growth. Green definition and bunker edging could be better, although this only cosmetic and does not get in the way of play.
Majestic Creek Golf Club : I did not play Majestic Creek, but heard that the course is for sale. If anyone has any information about this, please let me know as I know an interested party.
Milford Golf Club: Time did not allow for a visit to Milford. If anyone has played Milford recently, I would be interested to hear of their experiences.
Overall, the Hua Hin golf scene is in good shape. With 8 golf courses in the area, a nice downtown area, and relatively less development than other beach resorts the Thailand golf destination makes for a good alternative to pricier Phuket and lower quality of Pattaya.