Oftentimes I get asked about the supply and demand of the Thai golf courses. While I am no expert about the economics of golf courses and the Thai golf industry is some 20-30 years old, new golf courses are still coming online at a rate of around 5 per year. Some of these projects are completely new construction like Nikanti Golf Club in Bangkok and Katathong Golf club in Phang Nha. Others, such as Chiang Mai Highlands, are expansions, and lastly there are renovations. Laguna Phuket Golf Club and Gassan Lake City are two examples of the later that are being undertaken in 2014.
Nikanti Golf Club is located west of Bangkok and other than Royal Gems Golf City is probably the most unique Thailand golf course. Three six hole loops, each with two par-3, two par-4, and two par-5 holes make it play a par-72, but in a rather unconventional way. Also, the all-inclusive one price fits all is a new concept here. Green fee, caddie fee, golf cart, caddie tip, and food and beverages are included in the admission price for all golfers. It will be interesting to see how this price structure is accepted by locals and visitors.
Katathong Golf Club is also newly constructed in Phang Nha province. The surrounding scenery is as nice as Red Mountain in Phuket, though the course design and conditions leave allot to be desired. Also, the location is a bit out of the way, however for Krabi golf visitors, it is the best option around.
The original 18 at Chiang Mai Highlands are already the best track in Northern Thailand. Now with an additional 9 under construction by the same architect, Lee Schmidt, who has also built Amata Spring Country Club, the Highlands new nine is sure to be a hit.
Laguna Phuket is set to reopen in January 2015. The same architect who designed the Laguna Lang Co course in Vietnam was brought in for the job and judging from the first 9-holes that were already remodeled last year; the course will come online as one of Phuket’s best.
Gassan Lake City will be renamed Gassan Legacy once re-opened later this month. Once again, Schmidt-Curley was brought in for the remodeling job. From what I hear the course will be more playable with better grass and bunkers. Let’s see!
Well that’s it for the new Thailand golf course roundup this year. With the new additions Thailand will continue to lead the rest of Asia as the prime choice for golf holidays in 2015 and beyond.