Major golf destinations share several things in common. They include,
1. Three or more golf courses of international standard
2. A range of golf resorts to accommodate all levels of price and luxury
3. Easy to get to/from
4. Reasonable prices
5. Non-golf activities such as cultural, gastronomic, spa, and/or beaches
Koh Samui has technically three golf courses, However, only Santiburi Samui Country Club is 18-holes and of international standard. The course is a spectacular example of a tropical island layout, perhaps even Thailand’s best. However without any comparable courses on the island one would have to play multiple rounds at Santiburi Samui to have anything more than an isolated holiday round of golf.
The best thing about Koh Samui is that it caters to every holidaymaker, from backpacker to exclusive jet setter. Resorts run the gamut from simple beach bungalow to private hideaway villas overlooking the sea.
Koh Samui has a nice little airport that has more than 20 flights a day to Bangkok and a few even to international destinations like Singapore and Malaysia. While not the easiest island to reach, it nevertheless is quite convenient to arrive any time of the day on a short connection through Bangkok.
Thailand is reasonably priced and Koh Samui is no exception. Food and drinks are inexpensive, accommodations are priced similarly to other areas of Thailand, and transportation is cheap and abundant on the island. Golf however, will run around US$200 a round. Also be sure to take some extra change (around US$10) to tip your caddie after you finish your golf.
The nicest thing about Thailand is that there is something to do for just about everyone. A dive around Koh Samui or a sea adventure to one of the nearby islands is popular for golfers and non-golfers alike. Of course, Thailand invented massages (or if they didn’t they should have), so this is a must after every round of golf. Finally, Thailand is becoming the world’s kitchen, and great food is synonymous with the country. Samui has some of the best kitchens in the Kingdom.
So is Koh Samui a Thailand golf destination? Well if there were more golf courses it most certainly would be. However, with only one 18-hole course available for play (and an expensive one at that), other Thailand golf destinations like Hua Hin or Pattaya are much preferred by real golf enthusiasts.