The Vintage Club Golf, Bangkok Thailand, January 2008

Vintage_golf_club_bangkok_thailandHere is a fresh review of one of the lesser known Bangkok golf courses.

The Vintage Club was designed by Arthur Hills, a top designer from the state of Michigan, USA who has designed more than 180 courses worldwide and renovated or modified more than 120 others.

Fairways are quite generous and provided a fair amount of roll on tee shots. They were just a bit dry, but not to the point of making any negative impact on play as they were still in fine condition as was the rest of the course. The rough was cut short and water comes into play often, but since the fairways are wide, one can play away from the lateral hazards.

This course is entirely Bermuda grass which only became an issue when the greens seemed to be running less than the posted 9 on the stimpmeter.  Perhaps they were slower as we played in the afternoon. It took a while to get comfortable with hitting putts harder in order to have the proper speed but the greens did roll smooth and true with solid strokes and they were in excellent condition.

Approach shots to some greens are somewhat a challenge as the entrances to these greens are flat and raised bunker edges obscured views of the green surface. Of course raised bunkers are normal, but often the green surface will be somewhat raised from the fairway or sloped so that golfers at least have a view of the putting surface.

When standing in the fairway on numerous holes, it was difficult to discern the green layout even though the pin was visible. However using a range finder and having a pin sheet with the yardage location of the pin + or – from the center helped to alleviate this problem but still a major part of the green surface was not visible.   

One must be careful on some of the approach shots as the fringe areas are closely mowed and sloped toward water hazards. A well played approach shot could roll down into the hazard if it has too much side spin.

The caddies were pleasant and good, starter very well organized, kiosks ladies friendly and the front receptionists quite amiable. Clubhouse and shower facilities are quite nice, restaurant offers an extensive menu and the food was fine. We teed off around noon and had the course to ourselves, what a delight!

The Vintage Golf Club makes a good addition to a Bangkok golf holiday, especially if you are looking for a new course known mainly by the locals.

3 comments

  1. Tim K.

    Good review, a few questions as I will be in Thailand (for the first time) in a few weeks and am looking forward to playing some golf there. What are the green fees for the course, is it better to play during the week, do courses in Thailand have slope ratings (just curious as I have been on a USGA rating team for a few years). I am going up to Chaing Rai for a couple of days and have a recommendation of a course that is a must play up there.
    Any suggestions as to where to play would be appreciated.
    TK

  2. Greg

    TK,
    Some courses have done the USGA course and slope rating. More common is just a course rating either without a slope or with a questionable slope rating. There are a number of very good courses in the Bangkok area, Lam Luk Ka, Muang Kaew, Alpine, Thai CC, Suwan, Royal Golf & CC, Lakewood, The Vintage, Subhapruek and more. Don’t know where else you plan to go or how long you plan to stay but let us know and maybe we can book a golf tour for you.
    Always better to play during the week, much less expensive and less crowded. Some weekdays can get busy at certain courses depending on whether or not there is a competition or a tour group. Most of the courses I listed above are 45 to 90 minutes drive depending on traffic. General green fees during the week at this time of year )high season) will range from 1400 baht up to 4000 baht (approx 33thb/US$) plus 250 baht for a caddie while walking and a caddie tip ranging from 200 to 400 depending on quality.
    I just reverted back to your message again and realized you said you have been on a rating TEAM. This is something I was considering doing here in Thailand as it is definitely needed………same goes for other Asian countries as well. Let me give you an example of one that does not make sense. A slope of 129 from blue tees measuring 6546 yards…….and the same slope rating of 129 from the tips at 7052 despite the fact that the course rating is 71.3 vs 73.9……..by the way, yards are used in Thailand…..some other Asian countries use meters ugh! Hope this helps.

  3. A m4/3 rangefinder camera would be very interesting. If V-C made three or four lenses for it that were fast, smallish and relatively cheap (as they’ve been able to do in M-mount) I think there’d be good demand for it. Say, a range of lenses equivalent to 28/35/50/75 at f/2 or faster.

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