Everyone knows that great golf, fantastic culture, and a comfortable resort are all key ingredients of a successful Thailand golf trip. However, the importance of a qualified driver who doubles as a friendly tour guide is often overlooked. I’ve had the opportunity to meet several godsends as well as some more goofy type drivers during my Thailand golf travels.
On the positive side, golf tour operators who employ their own salaried drivers usually can make a Thailand golf holidaymaker’s trip very rewarding. The drivers who work for these companies have superior English language skills and can discuss everything from Thailand’s historic past to the state of Thailand’s economy. Also, what a relief one gets from not having to stress about navigating to/from the golf courses each day. It is so smooth that the kilometers on the road just melt away and some even wish that their journeys golfing in Thailand were longer than the typical 30 minute transfer time from hotel to golf course.
On the other hand, drivers with little (or no) English ability are often the norm when driving is outsourced or subcontracted out to a local transportation company. Not only does this lead to frequent miscommunications between Thailand golfers and their driver, it also defeats one of the main benefits of golfing in Thailand in the first place. That is to enjoy cultural interaction with the locals. Finally, drivers who are not specialized in Thailand golf tours may not even know the way to get to the golf courses as many courses have very similar sounding names, even for Thais (e.g. Royal Gems and Royal Gems City).
Some of my best memories are of my own Thailand golf trips that we made with the ever friendly Montri from Golfasian. He has 15 years customer service experience with both touring Thailand golfers and aboard cruise ships. Big hearted and endlessly solicitous of his customers’ welfare, Montri is famous for always having a “yes, no problem” attitude.
Not just a driver and guide, Montri is often summoned to be a spare playing partner. He gets out so often at the Thailand golf courses his handicap has dropped from a paltry 18 to where he now regularly breaks 85. I never have seen a driver strike the ball so well or be so sorry to see one of his client’s Thailand golf tour end.