Living here in Thailand perhaps we take for granted the pleasures of playing a round of golf.
Back home in Europe, the snow has put paid to the pre Christmas round with your golf buddies. Can’t get the car out of the deep drifts!!!
Here we are experiencing our own milder weather… still a beautiful 25c with a cool breeze!
No panic with the traffic to get to the course on time here though. Just relax in the back of your limo, while your driver takes you directly to a Thailand golf course.
Open the car door and immediately a smiling caddie says ‘Sawadee Ka ‘ and will take your clubs from you, and will even offer you a welcome drink and a cold towel.
When it’s time to go, the starter will check your ticket, and then you are all ready to go.
If you have never played with a caddie before, the experience can be a bit daunting to begin with, however you soon realise that they are there to make your round that bit more enjoyable.
Most of the caddies at Thailand's golf courses are girls aged between 18-25yrs old and they make their living by caddying maybe 4-5 times a week. The club normally charges the golfer a caddie fee of around Baht300 and then it’s up to you to give them a tip at the end.
If you ask them how much, the normal response is ‘It is up to you.’ Probably Baht300-500 tip for 18 holes is the norm, although if you go round in a low score or get a hole in one, then their tip can increase.
Not only are the often very pretty and fun to be with, they know each hole as they see everyone play the course all year round. So they can give you the best advice on where to aim from the tee box, and how to read the greens.
They will also hold your umbrella and fan you to keep you cool. If you stop at one of the drink stops, its often nice to offer them a drink too.
Most caddies have nick names like Beer, Oil or Chop. Easy to remember!
At the end of the round, your caddie will ask you to count your clubs before taking them back to your car. They will often give you a card with their name and number on. You then slot it into the box marked poor up to excellent!
If you liked your caddie, make a note of her number, in case you return and want the club to book her for your second round there.
Here’s just another reason why playing golf in Thailand is such a great experience.