Pattaya Golf and City Update

Laem_chabang_caddie_resize Here is the latest Pattaya city and golf scene information. I had the good fortune of spending a long weekend in Pattaya these past 3 days and I came away with two thoughts.

(1) The city continues to be unimpressive, in spite of the enormous ongoing construction projects, and (2) it is shame that there is such excellent golf in the area. Let me explain.

First the golf. Playing at my 2 favorite courses (Laem Chabang and St. Andrews 2000) was pure joy. The golf clubs were fully booked each day, but despite the popularity, my 5 hour rounds were of reasonable speed. Golf course conditions were superb as the fairways reminded me of someone’s living room carpet and the greens were both rolling fast without a hint of top dressing and at the same time were able to hold well struck approach shots.

The 800+ yard St. Andrews 4th and 13th par 6 holes, usually a comedy act for me, proved to better than expected as I was able to make par and bogey, respectively. These 2 holes alone made my day, as I was able to get match play points against my opponents and bragging rights for the best scores of the day.

At Laem Chabang, I usually opt for the more challenging Mountain 9 together with either Lakes or Valley courses. However, as the course was fully booked, I was assigned the Lakes-Valley courses. Playing this combination makes me re-assess prior recommendations concerning the Mountain course as my feeling is that all 3 of the 9’s are of excellent quality and any of the combinations will satisfy golfers of all abilities. In fact, in my opinion the Lakes course is probably the best of the 3 nines in terms of quality and variety and when combined with the Valley course it probably makes the better match of 18 holes.

Now, here are my thoughts on Pattaya city itself.  I am always hearing about ongoing improvements as more and more infrastructure projects get announced and completed. However, as will all past visits, on this trip I could not find anything. The town is as dirty as ever, continues to attract the lowest type of traveler, and is over run and over crowded with girls plying their street trades, almost all of whom are quite ugly. For these types of activities even Bangkok a much better choice as the selection is wider and quality higher.

In any case, the Pattaya golf courses should not be dismissed solely on their proximity to Pattaya city and my recommendation to take full advantage of the excellent golf in the area is to stay at one of the better resorts such as the Dusit or Marriott. It is here where you can get good service on par with the quality of the top nearby courses (no pun intended)!

I am sure there are other satisfactory options and would be interested in hearing from some expatriates who live in the area or golf visitors having recently traveled to Pattaya. Please feel free to post a comment here or drop me at Golfasian.

12 comments

  1. Sparky

    “”my 5 hour rounds were of reasonable speed”” .
    I get the impression from your writings that you are a cartballer ? .

  2. Niftee

    When golfing in Pattaya I prefer to stay outside of the city but go in in the evening to eat at one of the great restaurants there, such as Bruno’s, or Shenanagins, or Jamesons, or at one the excellent fish restaurants on Walking Street, such as the Lobster Pot. Upmarket there is the Royal Cliff, more reasonably priced the Welcome Jomtien Beach Hotel. If you must stay in town, I can recommend the Sugar Hut Hotel as a back to nature, exotic alternative to the usual hotel accommodation. The rooms are Thai-style bungalow houses, each equipped with a fabulous indoor garden. Wild rabbits and many other animals and birds roam the hotel.
    P.S. What’s a cartballer?

  3. steven Gudelj

    I too just played St. Andrews and Laem Chabang and agree with the courses are superb.
    We stayed at the Woodlands and were very happy with the rooms and service.
    I found Pattaya a great place to visit, food was good and the town was playful.

  4. Pradip Patel

    We are a fourball and want recommendations for four round of golf at excellent courses preferably not more than 30 to 45 minutes from the hotel and 5 star accomodation in Pattaya city.
    Any recommendation on good travel agent will also help.
    Thanks

  5. Sparky

    Mark
    Although I am fond of none of them , I can understand why you ‘push’ Laem Chabang , St.Andrews Hill and Pattana .
    But its a total puzzle to me what you see in Burapha . Although both back 9’s have some interesting holes , you will have switched off by the time you reach them due to the boredom of the front 9’s .
    Some holes are so short that the local societies play from the back tees , which the course has counteracted by narrowing the fairways with thick rough . A horrible idea on a resort course in my opinion .
    There seems to be very little strategy to many holes and the bunkering is often baffling .
    The main hazard seems to be the cartpaths .
    To quote from their website :
    Burapha Golf Club has been specially designed and created to evoke the elegance and traditions of the great clubs in America.
    Will someone tell these Clowns that they need to start building Thai courses in Thailand ! .
    Mark , I await your thoughts on what you see on this ‘Chonburi’ course , and please dont reply that its a “Championship Course”
    Best Regards
    Sparky

  6. Spanky,
    Good to know you agree with my assessment of Laem Chabang, St. Andrews, and Pattana. As for Burapha, I also like and recommend this course, especially the 18 holes that was used for the Thai Open Championship last year. The course is also both scenic and well kept. The views from the holes that play atop the hills are stunning, as on clear days the Laem Chabang port can be seen in the distance.
    On a difficultly scale, I also agree with you, and would rate it lower than the aforementioned 3 courses, but higher than other nearby courses like, Treasure Hills, Noble Place, or Siracha.
    Which courses are your favorites in Bangkok and Pattaya or other locations in Thailand? It would be interestung to know.

  7. Neil cameron

    Noble Place is a very good golf course,more of links style with great bunkering.Also outstanding greens usually.
    If you come from cental Pattaya these courses are around 1 hour each way longer in the evenings due to heavy traffic.

  8. Sparky

    “”Noble Place is a very good golf course , more of links style with great bunkering”” .
    Neil , considering where you come from and the great courses you have played , You really should know better ! .
    Like Mark ,this type of skewed logic must come from living in Thailand .
    Best Regards
    Sparky

  9. Sparky,
    While I do appreciate comments, I have started this blog for the sole purpose of discussing golf in Thailand and not making judgments on others nor name calling.
    It is fine to post your course suggestions and recommendations on where to play or even discuss your best and most successful golf travels around the country.
    This would be most interesting and I am sure every one will be love to hear about your experiences.
    Thanks for your understanding. Also, are you living in Pattaya now? Would you be interested in becoming a guest blogger?
    Mark

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