By Ian Morgan – Golfasian’s Hua Hin & Phuket Manager
Having played golf all around Thailand over the last 11 years, there are very few areas I haven’t seen. So living in Hua Hin it’s amazing I have never taken the road north to look at Kanchanaburi and the surrounding area. The main attraction was to see Grand Prix Golf Club which so many of my friends have talked about; surely it wouldn’t be as good as they said? On this occasion my journey started in Bangkok and I decided to play a new course called Nikanti on the way to Kanchanaburi. Only 6 months old, it was in immaculate condition and a very unusual concept of six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. A really enjoyable experience and it’s one of those courses that makes you want to go back.
So on to the Grand Prix Hotel before playing the new course. The views, the condition and the whole set up was wonderful and certainly in the top six courses I have played in Thailand. No expense has been spared to make this one of great golfing experiences in Thailand. After golf I was lucky to be invited to lunch by the owner Dr Prasad whose dream to build something special has come true. Sad to leave this set up, but it’s a 40 minute drive south to the Ancient Town of Kanchanaburi and the famous River Kwai. The scenery in this area is magnificent and I am surprised by the quality of the courses and the amazing value. My favourite was Nichigo, a picturesque parkland-style course on the banks of the River Kwai. Wonderful views from all three nines, and looking around made me feel like I was in the mountains and rolling hills of Chiang Mai. Evergreen Hills Golf Club was another good golfing experience and again some wonderful scenery, but beware they do allow 6-balls, so it could be a slow round.
So back to Hua Hin, and I decided to play Royal Ratchaburi to break the journey on the way back home; this was a truly Thai Experience. Not much English spoken in these parts, but I loved the old style course and to see the monkeys running down the fairways was an unusual experience.
Overall I was expecting Kanchanaburi to be a little run down and the courses not in good shape, but apart from Mission Hills the courses were in excellent condition and for those golfers looking for a different, typically Thai experience….try it!. Not just for golf either, and although I didn’t have time on this trip there is so much to see. The River Kwai Bridge, Hellfire Pass & the Memorial Museum, Death Railway and the Erawan National Park with its famous waterfall to name just a few things worth seeing here.
You won’t be disappointed and I will be returning very soon.