Leave it to the Japanese to not only design great golf courses by individuals, but also by corporations. That’s right major Japanese companies are also involved in golf course design and they also have left their mark on Thailand golf courses.
One of the more interesting Japanese golf course developments in Thailand is Bangpra International Golf Club, which was originally built in 1958, one of the first golf courses in the Pattaya area. Then in 1988, the course and facilities were completely updated as a joint venture between the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Japan Golf Professional Inc., although the design is officially attributed to the Japan Golf Promotion Co., Ltd. This was the first project as a purpose built golf facility to promote golf tourism in Thailand and today remains one of the best kept mature courses in the Pattaya area.
Bangpra is laid out over undulating land in a gently sloping valley surrounded by densely wooded forests near the city of Chonburi. There are lots of tropical flora and bougainvillea bushes of all colors on every hole, making Bangpra one of Pattaya’s prettiest and one of my favorite Pattaya golf courses. The greens are undulating and slick and can be treacherous should you find yourself on the wrong side of the hole. Large mature pine trees are found on almost every hole which serves to frame the fairway in a style only found better established courses.
Another Japanese company, Sumitomo Construction Co. Ltd., built Royal Lakeside Golf Club (1993), in Bangkok. The course has a peaceful riverside setting with some holes running right alongside the Bangpakong River. Golfers always enjoy pleasant breezes. A unique feature of this course is that you can sail right up to the club house in your private yacht, dock at the marina, and get in a full 18 holes before sailing into the sunset out over the Gulf of Thailand.
In fact, I do not know of any other Thailand golf course that has caters to boaters with their own private marina. Other than this, Royal Lakeside also appeals to golf travelers. The courses is located halfway between Bangkok and Pattaya and makes for a good stopping point for those Thailand golfers wanting to break the journey down the elevated super highway. Give it a try next time you are headed that way and let me know what you think. Most golfers in the area appreciate the fresh air, nice course, and great chance to practice up on the way to their end golf destination.