Welcome to Thailand Golf Zone

No need to go to Q School to play in our tournaments

With all the issues with the PGA and LIV golf, just entering tournaments these days is really tough.
However, throughout the year, golfers from around the world can play Asia’s finest public and private golf courses in a multi-day tournament format, unlike anything else ever produced for amateur golfers.
And the good news is they don’t need to go to Qualifying School or even Monday’s pre-qualifier to enter that week’s tournament!
Golfasian seems to have hit on a successful format where amateurs can play in tournament-style events with competitors from around the globe.
Not only are there great courses to conquer but even your caddie will have a bib with your name on the back just like Tiger at the Open!

Over 600 players turned up for their Centra World Masters in Hua Hin last year https://www.thailandworldmasters.com/ and there are tournaments planned in 2023 in Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin even Danang in Vietnam.
There is still time to enter the Amari Hua Hin Skins Golf Week 2023 in March so check out the full list of events here https://www.golfasian.com/events/ and start practicing.
Possibly the friendliest tournaments in Asia and certainly a lot more fun too.
 

Whats your take on this situation???

The rules of golf are difficult to understand at the best of times, however what’s your take on this scenario?

I think most would ask the referee to enable to the player to remove the obstruction…..or is it a gimme and move on quickly.
What’s your take here?

Climate change is making playing golf more comfortable in Thailand

It seems that in parts of Thailand in January 2023, the lower temperatures and humidity are making playing golf even more enjoyable in several regions of the country.
Using the historical data supplied by https://www.worldweatheronline.com/ it would appear that whereas other parts of the planet including Europe are experiencing a mini heat wave in January, here in Thailand the weather is actually cooler.
Looking at the January figures in 2013 compared to today in 2023, temperatures are lower and so is the humidity, which is great if you are considering booking a golf vacation.

Nikanti
As an example, if you were playing golf in Bangkok  in 2013 the average temperatures were between 26-33c whereas in 2023 the average temperature was down to 22-33c. Humidity plays a big part in your round of golf and in 2013 the average humidity was 68% but in 2023 it fell to 42%.
 
 

Blue Canyon
Phuket’s average temperatures did drop from 26-29c in 2013 to 25-28c in 2023 while humidity stayed roughly the same. The good news was although they had 125mm of rain in 2013, only 4.6mmfell in January 2023.
 
 
 

Chiang Mai Highlands
Chiang Mai in the north of the country is normally cooler anyway, so in 2013 it was actually a bit cooler averaging 14-33c compared to 17-33c in 2023. Humidity in 2023 was down 2% to 45%.
 
 
 

Siam Country Club
Finally, Pattaya  which is very popular for golf vacationers has enjoyed a very pleasant January this year. Back in 2013, the average temperature was 26-31 compared to 21-26c in 2023. Over 7.8mm of rain fell in 2013 and humidity was 72%. This year no rain was recorded, and the humidity was down to just 54%.
Not only are the courses in tip-top condition but it is now great to play here all year round.
Don’t expect snow here, but they do get some cool misty mornings with dew in northern Thailand, so pack your pringle sweater!
 
 
 

What is he smiling about????

At most of Thailand’s 260 golf courses, there are a number of deep bunkers, undulating fairways, deep rough, trees, and of course some tricky water hazards.
As many of us have experienced teeing off with a nice new Titleist Pro V1 is a great feeling.
However, this can all be very short-lived if your second shot goes into the lake surrounding the fairway.
What makes matters worse is when some smiling Thai pops up holding your ball.
Try getting it back is almost impossible as he knows a new Titleist Pro V1 will get him a lot more in the second-hand shop.
Collecting lost golf balls is a very lucrative and coveted job, especially if you can get a contract at a top golf club all year round.

Many end up in second-hand golf shops often on roads near the golf clubs.
Some even have arrangements to even sell them back to the golf club which will then offer second second-hand and balls in their pro shops.
This is big business especially when you think on any given weekend an average golf club could have 400 rounds and most golfers tend to lose at least one ball a round into the water.
That could work out at 400 x 260 golf courses which means a staggering 104,000 golf balls could be lost in the rough or in a lake.
Maybe a bit of an exaggeration but then you also have players losing balls during the week too.
Sobering thought, which is why one wonders if is it worth paying so much for a box of new balls when a good second-hand ball will still be good for a few birdies!!!!
Golfasian the leading Asian tour operator said many of their clients are now buying second-hand golf balls as it saves their clients a lot of money when taking a golf vacation in Thailand or Vietnam.
It would be great to hear from you about how many golf balls got wet on your last round of golf.

What is he smiling about?

At most of Thailand’s 260 golf courses, there are a number of deep bunkers, undulating fairways, deep rough, trees, and of course some tricky water hazards.
As many of us have experienced teeing off with a nice new Titleist Pro V1 is a great feeling.

However, this can all be very short-lived if your second shot goes into the lake surrounding the fairway.
What makes matters worse is when some smiling Thai pops up holding your ball.
Try getting it back is almost impossible as he knows a new Titleist Pro V1 will get him a lot more in the second-hand shop.
Collecting lost golf balls is a very lucrative and coveted job, especially if you can get a contract at a top golf club all year round.

Many end up in second-hand golf shops often on roads near the golf clubs.
Some even have arrangements to even sell them back to the golf club which will then offer second second-hand and balls in their pro shops.
This is big business especially when you think on any given weekend an average golf club could have 400 rounds and most golfers tend to lose at least one ball a round into the water.
That could work out at 400 x 260 golf courses which means a staggering 104,000 golf balls could be lost in the rough or in a lake.
Maybe a bit of an exaggeration but then you also have players losing balls during the week too.
Sobering thought, which is why one wonders is it worth paying so much for a box of new balls when a good second-hand ball will still be good for a few birdies!!!!
It would be great to hear from you about how many golf balls got wet on your last round of golf.

Thai Caddies getting smart

Caddies are all part of the fun of taking a golf vacation in Thailand and now it seems at last the golf clubs are realizing they deserve to be dressed elegantly as well.
In the past, caddies often had to rely on the club’s owners to order their uniforms.

Not being fashion very conscious, they would just buy the fabric and get a local to make up their uniforms.
Let’s face it even the prettiest caddies can look drab in some of the old fashion outfits that they were forced to wear.
Most caddies have to also buy their uniforms and although they try to improve them with a bit of home tailoring, it is hard to look good in a sack and silly hat.
Move forward to 2023 and the image of each golf club is important, including how the caddies look too.
If they feel good wearing a well-designed outfit, they will also perform better.
Another factor is choosing the right fabric that is not too hot to wear and can also protect them from the sun.
Here are a couple of new uniforms.

Nikanti  is very chic.

However I have to say Lotus Valley  north of Bangkok certainly wins on the brightest stakes.
Let us know what you think about caddies and their uniforms.
Maybe you have some photos to share.
 

No travel restictions to Thailand

In typical Thai style, the Minister of Public Health has now backtracked on earlier regulations regarding Travel restrictions.

As from January 9th he has stated that International travelers arriving in Thailand are NOT required to show proof of vaccination.
In addition, foreign tourists are not required to show ATK or RT-PCR test results
Bottom line the orginal plan to test everyone was proofing a logistical nightmare especially for their busy airports.
Best to check with your airline first to get all the up to date information.
So all of us at Golfasian look forward to welcoming you here from some great golf vactions soon.

Have you played these new Bangkok courses yet

Just when we thought the recession would see the end of new courses opening in Bangkok up pops four new courses.
Some of you may have visited Stonehill which hosted the LIV Bangkok event last year.

Siam Country Club Bangkok
Another new arrival was Siam Country Club Bangkok.
However without much fanfare to new clubs have also appeared, namely Phoenix Golf Golf Bangkok and Flora Ville Golf & Country Club.

Flora Ville
Sounds like the same team from Phoenix Gold Pattaya are behind this Bangkok course while some Korean developers own Flora Ville. https://www.golfasian.com/golf-courses/thailand-golf-courses/bangkok/flora-ville-golf-and-country-club/
Do let us know if you have played any of the courses and what were they like.

Hua Hin in 2022: Outlook bright for Centara World Masters host

The return of the Centara World Masters Golf Championship to Hua Hin is a boost for one of Thailand’s most popular beachside getaways, coming amid the broader easing of entry requirements and an ongoing pick-up in international tourism in 2022.

Golf travel: Seven little things that can stay with you (and keep you coming back for more)

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference when traveling. It’s the small touches that together combine to make a lasting impression and stay with you long after you’ve arrived back home.

Thailand’s golf appeal is as simple as ABC

By Mark Siegel
Why do golfers from all over the world choose Thailand over other destinations? The answer is as simple as ABC.

It’s Back in 2022! Reasons to get Excited About This Year’s Centara World Masters Golf Championship

The Centara World Masters Golf Championship returns to Hua Hin in 2022 (8-14 May), and there’s a good many reasons to get excited about this year’s instalment.

End of Term Report on Golf

With the current Google generation, golf has been competing with families, whose main source of exercise is using their fingers on a computer or mobile.
How many Dad’s these days are shouting upstairs to their teenagers…Who wants to join me for a round of golf?
So where is golf going into the next decade? Will we even be playing golf in 50 years’ time? So, let’s look at some facts.
33,161 Golf Courses
Golf is available around the globe, and according to a recent R & A survey, there were 33,161 golf facilities in 2008 of the world’s 245 countries.
The majority of worldwide supply is located in the western hemisphere. North and South America are home to 55% of world supply; The U.S. alone claims 45% of the world’s total courses.
Europe has the second largest regional share with 22% of the world’s total, followed by Asia with 14% and Oceania with 6%.
With 60% of the world’s population on 31% of the earth’s land mass, Asia is home to 4,570 golf facilities, representing 14% of the total count.
But with 176 golf projects in various stages of design, development and construction, Asia now claims 32% of all new undertakings currently identified worldwide.
Resort Golf
Although in the past club membership financed the clubs, today that mix is shifting decidedly towards the resort side, with the vast majority of new projects intended to attract tourism. To pay for these expensive projects most golf resorts will also come with a real estate element as well.
Development in the last twenty years there has been phenomenal growth in Asian golf, with Thailand (250 golf facilities), India (267) and China (383) now among the top-20 countries in course supply.
Vietnam now boasts around forty golf courses, with many more in the construction stages. With its varied topography and long coastline, Vietnam has also become a serious golfing country.
Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Golf today is a sport that transcends entertainment, lifestyle, health and community. However, it is a multi-billion-dollar industry that is experiencing some of its most tumultuous times.
Everyone in the industry is fully aware that they need to attract youngsters to take up the game. Luckily a new generation of players are making it at the top of leaderboards around the world, providing an enticing new dynamic for fans, broadcasters and sponsors.
It is estimated that there is a total of 60 million golfers in the world. Despite some recent dips in participation, golf continues to attract new players. It’s estimated that the number of golfers will increase by 3 million through 2020.
In 2012, Thailand was ranked as the third largest golf destination in the world, behind only the United States and Spain. That may be surprising, as the United Kingdom is regarded as the home of golf and boasts many famous, ancient destination courses.

Asian Kids Winning Tournaments

South Korea and Thailand are starting to see more youngsters playing golf. This is partly due to the excellent teaching courses available at a lot of the schools. But also, because both the Asian men and particularly the young Asian female stars on the LPGA are winning, and therefore are becoming local heroes.
Thanks to programs like First Tee, more children are getting in on the game. In 2010, there were 2.5 million junior players between the ages of 6 and 17.
It is an expensive game to take up, however with the help of governments and associations, more and more free golf equipment is being donated, to encourage kids to play.
It will not be easy; however, all the tours, associations and individuals are talking up the game, so we can all live in hope!

What is the Hardest Hole?

Have you ever wondered about the stroke index shown on your scorecard? A common misconception is that stroke index simply gives an indication of a hole’s difficulty. Learn more.

Steeped in Tradition

Golfers like tradition, and who has dreamed of playing St Andrews in Scotland, arguably the home of golf.
Well as the British empire expanded across the world during the 19th Century, the Scots were being employed to build new factories, bridges and railroads, and in their spare time, decided that Asia could do with a few of its own golf courses.
Now according to the records, the oldest course built-in South-East Asia was The Royal Calcutta Golf Club back in 1829. Apparently, it was the oldest anywhere in the world outside of the UK and the second oldest outside of Scotland.
It has now had a third routing and that layout was opened in 1910. I am therefore not sure if there is an older course in Asia.
In this new decade, according to the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, there are more courses currently under development and construction in Asia, than in any other continent—207 of them, in fact.
However, if you like to follow tradition, there are still plenty of old courses across S.E Asia open for play.

Some Old Favorites
Renowned as the oldest golf course in Vietnam, Dalat Palace Golf Club is situated in the South-western highlands, 1500m above sea level in the temperate highlands of Dalat. Home to the French when they were governing the country, the cooler weather makes it a perfect place for playing golf in a tropical country.

Royal Hua Hin is the oldest 18-hole international standard course in Thailand, and is only 5 minutes from downtown Hua Hin. It was established in 1924 by a group of Scots building the railway and the club house is still next to the existing railway.

Cambodia Golf & Country Club is the oldest golf courses in Cambodia. The first nine holes have wide fairways and are dotted with palm trees and other local trees while the second nine feature numerous water features. It has a Colonial-style clubhouse, and is 35km from Phnom Penh city.

City Centre Golf

Royal Selangor Golf Club, right in the heart of busy KL, is the oldest golf course in Malaysia, which was has been around for about 100 years now. This course has two 18- and 9-holes courses respectively. Its located in the prime section of the golden triangle against the back drop of the famous Twin Towers.

In 1891 they opened the Singapore Golf Club, agreeing that golf could be played on Tuesday’s and Wednesdays on the grounds of the city’s racecourse. They then decided to moved to Bukit Timah, and in 1938 it was renamed The Royal Singapore Golf Club after King George V1 became the patron of the club. By the 60’s membership had declined so in 1963 they merged with the Royal Island Club to form The Singapore Island Club, still open to this day.
It is worth booking a round at these classic clubs, as you could never afford to buy such prime real estate ever again, and then play 18 holes right in the centre of these amazing locations.
Written by Mike Bridge
Online Editor of Thai Golf News and a member of the International Golf Travel Writers Association.