Here is a Bangkok golf course review from my friend Greg Haney, an American scratch (well almost!) golfer in Thailand. Greg has significant playing experience and will be writing for the Thailand Golf Zone from time to time.I think you will find his writing style interesting and informative. Greg likes to focus on the technical aspects of golf and as such provides unique insight into each golf course.
Lakewood is a J. Michael Poellet (California based) designed course located at the 18km mark of the Bangna Trad Highway. JMP Design’s other Thailand course is Rajpruek.
The course has 3 nines, Rock, Wood and Lake and plays from approximately 6200 yards from the white tees, 6679 from the blues and 7100 from the tips depending on which rotation one plays. All three nines are similar in design with subtle doglegs, slightly undulating greens and water. Fortunately the water (as any OB) should only seriously come into play on a few holes.
Fairways are generally wide and the Bermuda grass course is in excellent condition. The fairways drain well, are somewhat spongy which provides a good lie but important to note; because of the sponginess there will be virtually no roll on your drive. This of course means the course plays longer than the indicated yardage. Also impacting the length of play is the fact that the prevailing wind is at most times in your face and usually on the longest holes! The Bermuda rough is typical Bermuda rough and generally not too severe however during the rainy season, it becomes more dense thus requiring at times the need to merely take a lofted club and get back on the fairway.
The Bermuda greens are the weakest point of the entire course. Generally they are maintained at a slow 8 on the stimpmeter which although comforting for many golfers actually makes putting more difficult as one must provide more hit to the ball rather than a smooth stroke as is the case with faster (hence smoother rolling) greens. The graininess of Bermuda greens will grab a ball that does not have proper speed and turn it away from the hole. They do however hold very well so one can fire at the pin. At times when they are maintained at 9 or 10 on the stimpmeter, they roll much better.
This is a fine course with excellent service and a good course to play as you get your game in shape. if you would like to play at Lakewood or include it as part of any Thailand Golf package, drop me a line at my Thailand golf vacation company and I will take care of the posting duties.