My name is Aki Mustonen. My father, who accompanied me on this very special father/son trip is Timo. We come from Finland; Dad lives in Helsinki and I live and work in Beijing.
My father started playing golf in Finland at the age of 35. Once my sister and I arrived he stopped playing but once I became old enough (aged 10) he got me a couple of modified clubs and I was able to practice with him occasionally. At that time I was more interested in football and ice-hockey so one day I informed him I was no longer going to play golf. My dad continued playing occasionally and once we moved to China in 1998 he joined a golf club there, and again I occasionally joined him. At this time his handicap was 12.
I was finally bitten by the golf bug when I attended the Sports Institution of Finland at age of 22. To my pleasant surprise we had access to a free 9-hole practice course. Very quickly my handicap dropped to the low 20s, also playing golf quite a bit with my father. My current handicap is 18 but I’m looking to drop to 10 this year.
In Finland I belong to Vierumaki golf club, which has 2 tree-lined courses (pine trees and lots of heather) and the practice facility which the Institute uses. The “Cooke” is a championship course and challenges all levels of players: the 18th and 13th holes were included in Golf Digest magazine’s readers’ Dream 18 golf course.
This was not the first time we had travelled to Thailand having previously been to Bangkok, Koh Samui and Phuket with the entire family. This was, however, the first visit to Hua Hin which appeared to have a good golf pedigree and was still relatively convenient for Bangkok.
Our first Thailand golf experience was something very special for both of us. Thanks to Golfasian everything was taken care of in advance so all we had to worry about was to wake up, have breakfast and play golf. In Finland we always walk, but in Thailand we used carts for almost every round because it does get very hot during the day (caddies appreciated it too!). Additionally, our two favourites, Black Mountain and Banyan are quite hilly.
One part of the golf experience was the energetic and friendly caddies with whom we got to share our rounds. Not only were they keen to laugh and joke around with us but they also proved to be very capable at reading the tricky greens, especially at Black Mountain. Thanks to one amazing caddie and her green-reading skills I scored my best round at Black Mountain, 84 from the back tee! Some of the caddies also respected the Finnish tradition of enjoying a small “nip” of cognac when a birdie was scored 🙂 although I have to admit it didn’t happen too often. Another part of the golf experience was meeting nice people who joined us to make a 4-ball. It’s interesting to hear stories and backgrounds from different people around the world.
After golf we would have a shower to freshen up, drink a beer (or two…) and have a snack at the club house. On a few occasions (3) we enjoyed ourselves so much we played an additional round. If we had time we would go back to our rented villa which was part of the package and enjoy the sunshine by our pool, perhaps the Black Mountain Water Park or even at the beach which is 20 minutes away. Generally we had dinner in town at one of several restaurants before heading back to bed and preparing for a new day’s golf.
In conclusion we were really satisfied with how everything ended up for us in terms of transport, accommodation, golf and free time. Hua Hin has a lot of beautiful golf courses and we found that it was perfect to be able to focus on the best course as far as we are concerned, Black Mountain, while also taking the opportunity to play three others. Two weeks was the right amount of time to get in a lot of golf but still have enough time for other things.
We highly recommend Golfasian services as well as Hua Hin for those who are looking to enjoy a memorable golf experience.