After Patong, Karon Beach and Kata Beach are the next likely places you might consider for a Phuket golf holiday.
Both Karon and Kata are some 15 or 20 minutes further south than Patong, so add this on to your journey times for golf at all the Phuket golf courses. Blue Canyon Country Club and Mission Hills Golf Club are both around 1 hour from Karon and Kata beaches. Loch Palm, Phuket Country Club, and red Mountain are all closer, but still will take about 30 minutes to travel to from either Karon or Kata.
Karon Beach, a long stretch of white sand, is smaller and less hectic than Patong, but still offers a full range of facilities, dining and activities. It is quite spread out and rarely feels crowded. Karon Beach features a number of 5-star golf resorts and is fast becoming the in-place for high end golfers in Phuket. The side sois are worth exploring, particularly the one that leads to a small art community, where some budding Thai painters have built a complex of galleries in which they live and work.
Nearby, on the beach road leading to Kata, is the football stadium, which hosts both local and international sporting events. Aroona Plaza, which opened a few years ago, houses a range of handicraft shops, good restaurants and cafes, a few bars and a hotel modeled on the Sino-Portuguese architecture of Old Phuket. The wide beachside avenue has a number of quality hotels and is ideal for taking an evening stroll up to Karon Circle, with its sculptures of workers commemorating Phuket’s tin-mining and agricultural past, and doing some shopping.
Kata Beach (and Kata Noi, a cosy little bay found at the end of a dead-end road, just a few minutes’ drive over the hill from Kata Beach) are very popular with families, due to the lovely palm-lined beaches, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife and varied accommodation options – all close to the beach. Most visitors relax in the evening in Kata’s many open-air bars, restaurants and shops. Some open late but they are very unobtrusive, however those who seek them out will find them. In southern Kata there are several upscale resorts and restaurants where fine dining is available. The sunsets here are some of the best in Thailand and Kata Viewpoint, offers a stunning vista across the three bays of Karon, Kata and Kata Noi.
So no matter what type of golfer you are, Phuket has something for you. From being near to the Phuket golf courses at the lively Patong beach, to staying slightly further afield in Karon or Kata to enjoying the tranquility that one expects form an island paradise, there are so many choices and such a wide range of resorts to suit any taste.
Do you want some insider information on some of Phuket’s lesser known beaches? Stay tuned for my next post!