Welcome to Thailand Golf Zone

Newbie Golf in Thailand

Contrary to popular belief and Swedish regulations, golf is fun and easy to learn, as my teaching pal pro Tony Meechai often says. With an abundance of great courses and fantastic coaches, Thailand is one of the best places in the world to learn the game. Here is a primer for golf newbies.

The Absolute virgin stage

Don’t waste your money on something you may not like. Go to a second-hand shop, buy a 7-iron, and go hit balls at a driving range. One club. That’s it. Learning the game will come from repetition and practice, not having THB 50,000 of the greatest gear and snappy threads.

The OK, I think I like it stage

This seems like it could be fun. Get some coaching.  Not an intense program, just some preliminary pointers that can help transform that wild lurch into something resembling a controlled golf swing. People who have played “hit object with stick” games like cricket, baseball or hockey often have a combination of good hand-eye coordination with some pre-learned swing habits that often have to be un-learned. Remember, a golf swing is perhaps the single most un-natural movement the human body can make so it has to be learned from scratch. Yes, it feels weird – learn it right and stick with it. Again, the key is repetition. Remember it is now PERFECT practice that makes perfect.

The I want more stage

This usually happens after you have hit a few really good shots and have decided that the feel of a flushed 7-iron is better than pretty much anything legal. At this stage add a few more hours of coaching and maybe go for a full set of clubs so you can start getting ready to hit the course. Again, there is no substitute for the number of balls struck, and you should start making mental notes of how often you hit it well.

The getting ready to launch stage

Making the transition to the course is a big deal so it is time to put things into perspective. Firstly, remember that golf is a social game where the camaraderie comes before the score. Everyone is there to enjoy the day and they don’t want a self-obsessed jackass in their group. Learn the etiquette of the game – it’s actually more important than the rules. Your playing partners will graciously accept that you are a newbie and cut your skills a lot of slack but screw up the etiquette and you will find yourself testing your friendships and ultimately playing alone. Read up on the etiquette and learn by watching and observing like a shy teenager at your first high school dance.

The tally-ho stage

The first time on a golf course is a heady mixture of excitement, nervousness and fear. You are going to hit a bunch of bad shots and be a slow player. All normal – accept it with a sense of humour and gratitude. So, do not launch your newfound passion on a Saturday morning, golf’s prime time. Instead, your first foray into the golfing world should be limited to 9 holes when the course is quiet, typically late afternoon. Play. Practice. Improve. Repeat. And don’t forget to enjoy the walk as you grow in the greatest game on earth in one of the truly great places to play.

Pattaya Golf Courses Update

Over the last several years I have rarely ventured to the Eastern Seaboard, and found myself quite out of touch with what is going on there. Recently this has changed and experiences over the last couple of months have reconfirmed three of my long-held beliefs, and updated my knowledge base:

Pattaya is a great place to play golf. Period. Nobody does golf like Pattaya. The entire region is interconnected and is a golfer’s paradise. Not so long ago the hotels were a collection of a hit-and-miss independents, but in recent years the chains have accepted Pattaya as a viable location and most of the international brands now have a presence there, giving the tour operators a much wider range of options to satisfy the needs of their customers. Along with ever-present seaside vibe, the buzz of being an international destination and the legendary/infamous nightlife, the infrastructure is changing and becoming a higher-quality city. Along with a rapid growth in world-class shopping malls has come a growing number of really good quality restaurants in mouth-watering settings being run by really sharp people.
Something for everyone.  The beauty of Pattaya lies in the variety of golf courses on offer. Naturally, the higher the price, the better the course, the amenities, the conditioning, and all the little trimmings that make for a 5-star experience that draws the tourist golfer and discerning local. At the top end of the price spectrum are places like the newly-opened Chee Chan, and stalwarts Phoenix, Laem Chabang and Siam Country Club with its 3 superb courses. However, the real value lies in the many 2, 3, and 4 star courses in the region. Sure, the clubhouse may need an upgrade and the carpets are past their sell-by date, but if you are there to play the game with your friends and not be an interior design critic, they are magic. Clubs like Emerald in Ban Chang are an example of this – it is cheap, cheerful and rather tatty, but the course layout is fantastic and the walk with the regulars who play there is simply a delight. It’s a kind of symbiotic relationship – these courses generally play well, are user-friendly, and are remarkably inexpensive, making the game accessible and affordable. In return, these players help keep these courses financially viable.  In the middle of these two extremes are a wide range of tracks that carry some of the finest designer names in the game, many of them challenging and in great shape like Patana and Burapha, and all points in between. Simply spoiled for choice.
October is a great time to play. A quick survey has shown that there is the usual low-season pain in the region right now with the predictable drop in the number of rounds being played. Added to this has been wildly fluctuating weather which saw bone dry courses three weeks ago suddenly have their reservoirs filled by torrential rain.  The good news is that the courses have rebounded well and are back in good shape. With the Hua Hin Golf Festival ending on Sept 30, the Eastern Seaboard in October will be the place to get great value with great playing conditions, particularly if you can get there on weekdays.

Beating the Low Season Blues

As many of the readers here know, Hua Hin is home to some of Thailand’s best courses, and the best time of year to play here is during the annual Hua Hin / Cha Am Golf Festival, which has taken place every year during the months of August and September since the Tourism Authority of Thailand kicked it off 15 years ago on 31 July, 2004.

It has grown to be a very popular event, with courses offering heavily discounted green fees and hotels joining in to offer reduced room rates to entice golfers from Bangkok and around the region. There is a roster of 10 courses this year, led by Black Mountain and Banyan, which regularly scoop up a large number of the coveted awards handed out at the Asian Golf Awards every year.

So, a few weeks ago I
headed out to Hua Hin with a merry band of group of very sociable golfers to
play two courses over the weekend and discovered that you really do get what
you pay for.

For even the best courses, low season means going into survival mode, as the lucrative tourist golfer who makes up an enormous part of Thailand’s golf and hotel sector disappears, meaning that maintenance budgets and other operating costs are cut back. For the golfer looking to play a premium course for a budget price the Festival is absolutely fantastic, and the courses get a bump in revenue from discounted green fees, so it works all round – unless you are expecting to get the best quality.

The courses we played
were in less than brilliant nick, with rock-hard, fungus-infested greens,
weed-covered fairways, and beat-up teeboxes. I have played these courses in
high season, when you pay a premium but get grade-A maintenance. For me it was
a shocker. A golf course is a living, breathing thing and if left neglected
will suffer, as these courses have.

The case must be made
for the development of the local industry, starting with exposing middle-school
students to the game. In Thailand, junior golfers almost all come from wealthy
families, who start their kids off very early with the dreams of achieving a
golf scholarship to an overseas university. With enough determination, money
and practice, anyone can learn – and excel – at the game of golf, even
achieving competitive quality.

However, the majority
of golfers play for the enjoyment, the exercise, the camaraderie, the gambling,
the prestige of belonging to a club, and any number of other reasons.
Additionally, golf teaches honesty, respect for tradition, effort, honour, fair
play, etiquette, and personal achievement – traits that people of any
generation can benefit from.

These are things that
kids can benefit from by starting early and getting golf into the Thai public
middle school system is a way to create a future generation of golfers that
keep Thailand’s courses busy year-round. Kids don’t need a full set of clubs or
even good clubs. They just need one club and the experience of whacking a ball
and decide if they enjoy it. Take the class to a driving range once a week. Get
some driving nets. Just get some exposure for the masses to the game.

In many parts of the
world golf is an everyman sport, with all ranges of the socioeconomic spectrum
represented – not just the elite. It’s time for Thailand to get its youth
involved in the sport so that the low season blues can fade into memory.

What Can Your Thailand Golf Holiday Look Like? 3 Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make

So you’ve decided to take a golf trip to Thailand and enjoy playing a few games on your vacation? You couldn’t have chosen a better location. Fringed with stunning coastal beaches, lush hinterland greenery, cultural richness and the most spectacular golf courses in the world, what could go wrong? Plenty if you’re not careful. Here’s how to make your holiday amazing… and avoid these mistakes.

Inadequate Accommodation Research

There are plenty of great golf hotels in Thailand with world-class features and amazing services at a fraction of the cost of the Western world. But you could get all of this and more within the shortest distance to the best golf courses in the world. You may not understand ‘location’ as well as an experienced tour operator, so it pays to leave the accommodation booking to the experts. This way you’ll avoid choosing accommodation over an hour away from your preferred golf courses because you simply didn’t know…

Choose Courses With Facilities You Don’t Want

Thailand golf courses come with some of the best facilities in the world – full-service restaurants, massage and spa services, upscale bars and so much more. Some courses offer mountainous terrain, while others are flatter lands. Every person is different so you’ll want a course that appeals to your personality. But are you going to waste all your time trying to choose between the myriad of golf course options on offer in Thailand? Probably not! Let the experts do it for you so you can go back to your busy life without worry.

Book Courses At The Last Minute

It goes without saying that booking tee time on your preferred courses in advance gives you the opportunity to get the time slots you want at a more affordable price. But there’s a lot of research and time that goes into figuring all this out. However, if you leave it to the professionals then you simply need to tell them what you want and they’ll do the rest for you. Sound good?

Make your Thailand golf holiday truly unforgettable by avoiding the common mistakes that can come along with it. A professional golf operator can make your trip spectacular.

Double The Fun With Leisure And Play With A Vietnam Golf Holiday

For those who enjoy treating themselves to nature’s beauty, historical culture, and even a little golf while on holiday, Vietnam is the unanimous choice. The tranquil beaches of Danang; the historical pathways of Hanoi; the rocky islands of Ha Long Bay, there isn’t a part of this country that isn’t worth exploring. And when you combine that with a game or two of golf, you know you’re in heaven. With so many Vietnam golf courses at your disposal, you’ll double the fun with both leisure and play on your golf holiday.
Best Golf Courses In Danang
Known for being a French colonial port and one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Vietnam, Danang is a popular spot for tourists who want to combine sightseeing and golf. Check out these amazing Danang golf courses on your next trip here:
Ba Na Hills Golf Club
Ba Na Hills Golf Club is the very first golf course that was designed by Luke Donald in the world. This 18-hole par-72 mountainous course offers stunning vantage points so golfers can enjoy the beautiful valleys while taking in the natural topography during their game. The course has different elevations and is fringed with natural features like meandering streams and hardwood trees.
Montgomerie Links Vietnam
Nestled just off Danang Beach, Montgomerie Links Vietnam is a spectacular 18-hole par-72 course designed by Colin Montgomerie. Bringing together a stunning backdrop with vast greens and undulated fairways, this course is considered one of the best in Asia.
Best Golf Courses In Hanoi
Sitting on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi is known for its ancient architecture and historical culture with influences from different parts of Asia and France. But apart from the historical attractions, Hanoi golf courses are worth checking out:
BRG Kings Island Golf Resort
No trip to Hanoi is complete without a visit to the 54-hole BRG Kings Island Golf Resort. The Kings Course is the latest 18-hole course to open and features a modern layout with intricate bunkers and large fairways. The Lakeside Course is set along the lake with 14 holes of water play. The Mountainview Course offers gorgeous mountain views, along with glimpses of a nearby ethnic village. The course meanders through jungles and hardwood forests and is one of the most exciting courses in all of Vietnam.
Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club
The Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club is a 27-hole golf course built to challenging international standards. Set within an impressive valley and fringing forested hills, lakes and creeks, this course brings water into play on several holes. The thick rough presents a challenge even for professional golfers making this course an exciting experience for beginners and accomplished players.
Plenty of Vietnam golf holiday packages are available to suit different tastes and budgets. Check them out and choose one that’s most ideal for you on your next holiday.

Sun, Sand and Golf – A Tropical Paradise, A Golfer’s Retreat

Since time immemorial, Bali has been known for its glittering seas, exotic cuisine, and golden sands. But that’s just the tip of the ‘sand’ berg. There’s much more to Bali than just resorts and beaches, especially for golf lovers who will find everything they’re looking for in this tropical paradise – from challenging courses to easier ones for beginners. Draped with stunning natural beauty and different degrees of difficulty, Bali golf courses are some of the finest you’ll find.
Why You Should Golf In Bali
The best part about golfing in Bali is that you can combine a beautiful island getaway with a round of golf amid stunning mountainous scenery and meandering countrysides.

Bali has some of the most challenging courses set against the backdrop of beautifully maintained fairways and sprawling testing greens.
Enjoy the sun and sand of the beach and still get in a few holes on a golf course in a single day.
Warm year-round temperatures make this the perfect getaway at any time of the year.

Awesome Golf Courses In Bali
Now that you know why a golf vacation is the perfect idea in Bali, it’s time to check out some of the most phenomenal golf courses in the area. Check out this list below:
Bali Beach Golf Course
Bali Beach Golf Course is an interesting 9-hole course fringed with thick trees, swirling sea winds and protected greens. With no severe undulations and good putting surfaces, this course is the ideal choice for golfers of all levels.
Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club
Offering breathtaking views of the glittering Indian Ocean, Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club is a par-3 18-hole golf course that interlaces with ocean cliffs and elevated ridges. Occupying a central location between several 5-star hotels, this golf course with its natural landscape and intricate greens is a popular choice amid local and international golfers.
Handara Golf & Resort Bali
Handara Golf & Resort Bali is an 18-hole golf course and is considered one of the most spectacular worldwide. Enjoying an elevated setting in lush highlands within a volcano crater, this golf course astonishes with its beauty while catering to golfers of all skill levels. Enjoy a beautiful day in cool temperatures while taking advantage of this stunning golf course.
Bali Golf Holiday Packages
Why settle for just a holiday when you can combine it with your favorite sport? Bali golf packages are perfect for avid golfers who don’t have enough time to combine two different types of holidays together. With these packages, you won’t have to worry about doing any major research because most of the groundwork has already been done for you. You can even ask for a few customizations to suit your needs if you wish. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert golfer, there’s a course and holiday package that works perfectly for you in Bali.

A Thai-Riffic Golf-Inspired Holiday You Will Never FORE Get

Can’t decide whether to head to a golf course or go on vacation with your family? Why not do both? Thailand is the premier golfing destination of choice with its spectacular courses, incredible facilities, and exotic holiday offerings. You’ll fall in love with the many Thailand golf courses – giving you the chance to combine an exciting holiday with your favorite sport.
Combining The Best Of Both Worlds… In The Most Unique Places On Earth
Showcasing the rare opportunity to blend a holiday and sporting experience like no other, visitors to the region have an incredible selection of world-class golf courses to choose from… in the most unique places on earth.
Take A Golfcation In Chiang Mai
Many Chiang Mai golf courses bring this sport together with eclectic tourist attractions, so no one feels left out.
Chiang Mai houses a 27-hole course – The Lanna Golf Club. Offering spectacular views of the famous Doi Suthep temple and fringing the racetrack, this course makes it easy to enjoy a challenging day of golf. You can also explore other interests like horse racing without having to travel elsewhere.
Nestled against the framework of Thailand’s tallest mountain, Chiang Mai Inthanon Golf Course & Nature Resort is a relatively new course enclosed by tropical fruit orchards. Fresh mountain air and panoramic vistas make this an attractive golfing experience.
For the luxury adventurers keen on staying on the golf course, The Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club & Resort is the perfect solution. The backdrop encompasses some of the most unique natural scenery – within a valley – to make your golf holiday unforgettable.
Isaan’s Golfing Stunners
An underrated vacation destination in Thailand, Isaan is an off-the-beaten-track getaway with some stimulating golf courses and distinctive experiences if you’re willing to explore new regions.
The Singha Park Khon Kaen Golf Club provides a stern challenge for both novice and experienced golfers. Meandering through 9 lakes and engulfed with sand bunkers, natural stones, and native trees, take the time to enjoy the spectacular backdrop as you perfect your putt.
If you’re looking for an easy golf course with plenty of natural beauty, Dancoon Golf Club is an excellent choice. This regulation 18-hole golf club in Khon Kaen boasts generous fairways with reasonable undulations and slopes. End your day with a delicious Thai fare at the course restaurant.
Isaan golf courses have excellent layouts with different degrees of challenges, so you have the flexibility to choose one that most suits your style of stroke play.
Despite being best known for its pristine waters and unparalleled coast, Thailand brings much more to the table – especially for avid golfers who want to explore and experience more exotic and non-traditional destinations. Combine your love of golf and holiday with these fabulous golf holiday packages from Golf Asian and turn it into an experience you will never FORE get.

2018 Centara World Masters – Entries Now Open!

Hua Hin, Thailand, 4 September 2017 — Registrations are officially open for Thailand’s Most Enjoyed Week of Golf!
Even though the event was recently launched on 1st of September the event has seen a record number of entries in comparison to previous years.
Golfers were quick to rate the fourth annual Centara World Masters Golf Championship hosted in Hua Hin as the best-organised event ever so it came as no surprise to tournament organisers the moment entries started sweeping in.
“The 2017 Centara World Masters consists of magnificent courses in a great location and brilliant organisation. From the time you are picked up for your transfer to Hua Hin to your final transfer back home – everything worked and nothing was too hard. It’s a fantastic week and stress free holiday!” Chris Whelan
“Every moment spent during the Centara World Masters, whether you are a golfer or not, has WOW factor.” Pare Manihera-Duncan
“This is our fourth year at the Centara World Masters. We have to thank Go Golfing Australia and Golfasian for putting on such a wonderful event again. We just love coming back here. The caddies are wonderful. The organisation is brilliant. The accommodation at Centara Grand is first class and I recommend all golfers experience this tournament once and I’m sure like us, they’ll want to come back” said Karen.
Golf In Thailand, Hua Hin – New Courses For 2018
The Centara World Masters is a week-long celebration of golf, social and entertainment events in the popular seaside resort town of Hua Hin in Thailand.
Players have 4 outstanding tournament courses to look forward to at next year’s event. For the first time ever players will enjoy 1 round at each Springfield Royal Country Club, Black Mountain, Banyan Golf Club & Imperial Lake View.
While carts and caddies are included at all courses, each player has a caddie proudly wearing a bib with their name and country flag.
The event is open to all male and female golfers over the age of 35.
Centara Hotels and Resorts
Centara Hotels & Resorts is the major sponsor and most golfers choose to stay at the ideally located Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, Hua Hin. Established in the 1920s, the resort has all the modern luxuries guests want, while retaining its heritage and magic of elegant bygone eras. Taking full advantage of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin’s beachfront location, the opening night welcome dinner and gala presentation dinners are hosted around the resort pool with the beach and ocean as a stunning backdrop. Golfers gather each night during the tournament for 19th Hole festivities where tempting Thai cuisine and Chang beer flows and daily golf winners are celebrated.
For the fifth consecutive year, Centara Hotels & Resorts is proud to sponsor this fantastic golf tournament and of course to host so many golfers, guests and events at the iconic Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin. Look out for some extra special themed evenings and festivities at next year’s event that are sure to keep you entertained.
“At Centara, we have 37 hotels and resorts internationally, including many in golfing paradises such as Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Samui, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and in Vietnam’s Danang. We look forward to welcoming many more golfers, friends and families not only to Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas, Hua Hin, our very own home of golf, for the acclaimed Centara World Masters event next year, but also to our array of city and tropical beachfront locations year round” said Thirayuth Chirativat – Chief Executive Officer, Centara Hotels & Resorts.
Players also have THB 5,000 in resort room credit to look forward to if …

What Surfing Just Taught Me About The Golf Swing

I have always loved surfing (although I am a high handicapper at it) and thought it was a fantastic escape from golf. Until today that is, as surfing a wave just brought the golf swing into a brand-new perspective.
When you are out waiting for that perfect wave, everything is calm, peaceful and relaxing. Then, all of a sudden you start to feel the energy from the ocean beneath you. You turn to start slowly paddling to catch the wave, but instead the wave is actually going to let you ride it. As you paddle, you feel the energy building beneath you and it actually slowly pulls you back and up into the wave.
This energy builds as you are pulled gently back and it almost pauses for a moment. This is when you pop up, in this little pause as momentum shifts from pulling you back to slightly moving you forward. You are then part of this beautiful energy as it propels you forward, slow at the beginning and then increasing your speed as you accelerate smoothly down the face and are balanced, acting at one with this energy and being moved forward and along for a magical ride.
Now, how does this relate to golf? 
Well the best players are always moving a little at set up, they have taken their stance and may waggle or forward press and as they feel the energy from the ground up, like the wave, their club is slowly pulled back. Most struggling golfers are looking for a trigger or want to jerk the club back, instead of feeling or sensing the energy and letting the club simply move back with this flow of energy.
Then in most great swings, there is almost a little pause from the backswing before the forward swing begins, exactly as in surfing. The energy transforms from moving the club back and up to again from the ground up moving the player in the direction towards the target. The move is initiated from the ground up and the club smoothly accelerates almost in the shape of a wave through the ball and effortlessly to a full balanced finish.
The best golf swings simply use the energy and build it back and then let it accelerate the club through the ball to a full balanced finish. Whereas most golfers are trying to move the club back and then thrust it forward at the ball, trying to create the energy themselves instead of feeling the energy and becoming a part of it.
I truly believe that this energy is all around us at every moment. In golf and in life, we have to recognize this energy and be willing to accept it and feed off of it. It is not some mystical thought but a reality. The greatest in their respected fields, be it business, sports, music or art, harness this energy and ride the wave to the outcome. We all hear that if we truly want something the Universe conspires to give it to us. This is not achieved by just wanting, but by sending energy out and then be willing to use the energy sent back to you in a positive way. In golf, this is where true balance, finesse and power resides.
See you in the fairway in Thailand.

Why Indochina Should Be Your Next Golfing Destination

When thinking of Indochina, it is easy to conjure up thoughts of peaceful relaxation, Buddhist Monks, iconic temples and a deep-rooted history that awakens the soul and takes you back in time. It is true that one can find all of this in the various countries that make up Indochina: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia, but did you know that it is also a great golfing destination for a perfect getaway.
These very things that make Indochina unique add to your golfing holiday and this magical land will awaken and heighten your senses in every way. The sights and sounds away from the golf will make the trip even more intriguing and memorable, giving you an abundance of stories to share with those who have not had the pleasure of exploring this enchanting part of the world. Truth be told, there is so much to see and do that you will be taking more shots with your camera then your golf clubs as you soak up all the atmosphere that surrounds you.
Stacked Rice Paddy fields dot the landscape
The landscape is awe inspiring
No matter what destination you choose (and even better if you combine more than one) the landscape will leave you breathless as you travel to and from the golf courses.  Sweeping views across mountains and valleys with different shades of green from the rice fields dot the skyline.  Iconic limestone cliffs that seem to be rising out of the ocean will leave you mesmerized and sunsets that cast almost every hue of red and orange leave you breathless.
Each country will have its uniqueness in topography and scenery and needs to be seen to believe. Try to play a few golf courses spread out away from one another or even better, try to hop on a train and explore the wonderful country side between different destinations. Even a little long-distance travel won’t seem nearly as time consuming as you will be admiring the vistas during the journey.
Vibrant colours and mouthwatering flavours of Indochina delicacies
The delectable and delicious cuisines
There is nothing that will prepare you for the wonderful flavours and smells of the Indochina foods that seem to be everywhere. From five-star dining to upbeat street vendors, the sights and smells will have your taste buds craving to try dish after dish. The combination of fresh ingredients, herbs, spices and curries will produce wonderful smells that beckon you from all directions.
These countries are well known for their beautiful combinations of flavours and cooking techniques and have Chef’s from all over the world reproducing some signature dishes back home, but now you have the chance to taste the authentic delicacies that will have you craving more. Yes, be prepared to put on a couple pounds, as not only is the food enticing, but the prices are so affordable you will find yourself ordering a second or third dish while washing it down with the local beverages of choice.
If you are the brave at heart, you can also try some barbequed crickets, spiders and scorpions and decide for yourself if everything really does taste like chicken.
A Rock Buddha Head carving in Cambodia
History and Culture
These lands date back to the times of Dynasties and Kingdoms with relics and artifacts prevalent everywhere your adventure leads you.  The deep-history and culture is part of the lure and wonderment that makes up the spiritual energy that seems to emit itself as you explore and discover.
You will be feel like an archaeologist as you lose yourself in  Angkor Wat, Cambodia as the nature has harmoniously grown and slowly encompassed the ruins and artifacts. Maybe you …

Are You In The Right State of Mind To Play Your Best Golf?

We all want to play our best golf, whether at home, or especially if we are away on a Golfing Holiday in Asia.  The one thing that can bring a sour type mood to a beautiful Golf Vacation is playing poorly, as this not only upsets your day on the golf course, but all of a sudden, the food does not taste as good, the bed is not as comfortable, the sights and sounds all feel a little off. Yes, playing poorly affects us in many ways as we feel frustrated and wonder if this vacation was the right idea.
It doesn’t have to be this way if you play your own game and fully embrace being on a fabulous golf course away from home.  What do we have to do?  Well a lot of it has to do with some of your thinking, belief in yourself and commitment to the shot. We can sum this up by three things: See it, Feel it, Trust it.
See It

Before we ever try to hit a shot, we have to have some idea of what we are trying to do, especially if we are in a bad lie or a spot of trouble off the fairway and amongst some trees or shrubs. We need to be able to see and visualize the shot we want and are capable of hitting. Seeing it goes beyond merely picturing the shot in our head.  We have to be realistic and actually be able to see ourselves hitting this particular shot. What does this mean? Well, I can close my eyes and picture myself jumping completely over my entire car, but the fact is that I do not have the skill to do this. Seeing yourself hit the shot means visualizing something that you are actually skilled to do, something you can see yourself hitting successfully.
Once you assess the lie, the window or gap in the trees, the amount of curve or carry you need, the entire situation, then you need to see the best shot that you are capable of and a shot you can see yourself pulling off.  Try to get the clearest picture in your mind’s eye, the shape, the curvature, the flight, the ball landing and rolling or spinning back, whatever the shot, if you can see yourself hitting it, this is the time to picture the complete shot. See it.
Feel It

Now that you have a picture of the shot you want to hit and can see yourself hitting it, we need to get some kinesthetic feel involved. We need to feel the shot. This can be done in several ways. Some players like to take a full or rehearsed practice swing, some like a slow and smooth motion of practice, some might just take it to a position on the backswing as a check point, and others may just need a waggle or simply feel the shot in their hands, or adjusting their feet to feel something. Whatever your method, try to get your body in sync with the picture of the shot that you are seeing. Try to completely feel the shot with as many senses as you can. It goes beyond just a practice swing for practice swing sakes, it is to feel the shot with your entire being that you want to hit.
The great Canadian Legend Moe Norman once told me he could not only feel the shot he could taste it. He could taste the ball in the air going directly where he wanted it to go. I believe it was Paul Runyon (who possessed one of the greatest short …

To Rent Or Not To Rent – That is the Golf Holiday Question

One of the most frequent questions we receive before guests book their Thailand golf holiday with us is “Should I bring my own clubs” or “Are the rentals at the courses any good?”. The answer to this question has a lot to do with you as an individual golfer, but here is what I can share.
As far as the quality of rentals goes, the majority of Thai (and other Asian country) courses and resorts that we deal with will have new updated equipment from a top of the line club company. Most courses now days have a rental agreement with a top manufacturer where they will only rent that companies clubs and advertise the brand on their website, in turn the manufacturer will replace the equipment for the latest technology every year or at the most every two years.  So yes, the equipment is the top of the line but it is still used and a duffer may have been the first to use that driver and on his first swing roofed his drive causing a sky mark, so expect the odd blemish.
Now I stated that the decision is an individual one whether to bring your own clubs or not, here are some tips to help you decide.
Bring your own set if:

Playing multiple times at courses in a close proximately to each other
Going to continuously comment “I would have done much better with my own sticks”
Blame every single mishit on the clubs, ultimately driving your playing partners crazy
Have very custom-tailored clubs to your specs (a course is not going to have a 4” long 5up clubs)
Cannot putt without anything but your beloved “Scotty”
Are a raving club thrower (let’s face it, it’s not polite to throw other people’s clubs)
You carry a picture of your clubs in your wallet next to your family photos (You will miss them too much)

Try some rentals if:

You are in the market for a new set and would like to test drive some modern equipment on the golf course
You will be doing quite a bit of traveling within your holiday and don’t want the hassle of lugging around clubs
Are going for the pure joy of enjoying the scenery and experience and score is not your priority
Have a persimmon driver and wonder why your buddies keep out driving you
Usually comment “wow, those rentals are better than my own set” when visiting courses
Prior to your trip, your friends ask “You’re not really bringing those relics are you?
Would just like to try something new on the golf course and compare to your own clubs

With some horror stories of airlines losing golf clubs, as one US Open qualifier found out can be a serious inconvenience, many decide to leave their clubs at home for their golfing holiday. The pros of this is that many of the Indochina courses do have the latest and greatest with many of our Thailand courses carrying TaylorMade rentals and our Vietnam courses almost exclusively with Titlesist including Scotty Cameron putters. This could give you the ideal on course test of some of the newest equipment.  It can also give you the ability to blame the odd missed fairway, green or putt on the rentals, and hey, don’t we all want to blame something else other than ourselves? Or you may just want to feel free of the hassle dragging your clubs to and fro if you are playing several different courses or countries during your trip.
The cons are that the equipment is different than yours and may take a little of getting used to. The other major factor is the cost. Most courses charge $30 – $60 …

Planning A Golf Holiday With Your Friends – Just Don’t Be “That Guy”

We all love a golf getaway with our friends, one full of laughs, experiences and memories that last a lifetime. Every time you meet afterwards, a story will come up and whisk you all back to the holiday, rekindling happy thoughts of the fantastic adventure you shared together.
However, from time to time there is always “that guy”.  The stories seem to take a different tone, a “I can’t believe he did that” or “how embarrassed he must be” comment instead of bringing back joyful memories. Who is “that guy”?
The perfectionist who thinks he is everyone else’s coach and will comment and offer advice after every swing whether it is on the range, during the round or afterwards in the nineteenth hole. You know the one. He shoots a higher score than everyone else, but insists he knows everything there is to know about the golf swing and will constantly tell you everything that you are doing wrong.  Or worst, after you hit a good shot, he will comment that you got lucky or got away with one there. Don’t be this guy.
The fisherman who cannot walk by a water hazard without grabbing his trusty ball retriever and begins fishing for balls. As everyone else is continuing the hole, he stays there fishing for ball after ball and then realizing half of them are not worth playing and throws them back into the hazard. Your ball retriever becomes your most played club during the round and everyone else is just becoming annoyed. Don’t be this guy.
Qualifier for Team Rolex.  This is a term that is used for someone that is constantly playing slower then slow. He is the one who is so meticulous over every shot that he slows down the entire group turning what could have been a nice leisurely round into a six-hour painful encounter. He looks at every putt from six different angles, constantly throws grass in the air on a perfectly calm day, and takes four looks at the target after setting up before striking the ball. As the late legendary Moe Norman once asked me “the target doesn’t move, does it?” From that point on, it is one look and then fire.  Team Rolex is nothing to brag about, don’t be this guy.
The tour star who thinks he plays by half yardages and berates his caddie for every missed shot. Sure, the caddies yardages or reads may be slightly off from time to time, but in reality plenty of their advice or guidance is helping you a lot more than it is hurting you. Also, these caddies probably worked in the rice fields before this job, not on tour. Be patient with the caddies as they are a great addition to the round and bring a sense of joy and appreciation to the game. We all miss some shots from time to time, and sometimes it is just that, a missed shot. Enjoy the experience of a caddie and don’t be this guy.
There is always something guy.  The greens are too slow, the greens are too fast, the course is too dry, the course is too wet, the course is so short, the course is impossible long, it is too hot today, it is always raining, the group in front of us is so slow, why is the group behind playing so quick, the fairways are too narrow, the course is a wide-open pasture. We all know this guy, there is always something that he will complain about no matter how good the day, the course or the experience is. The rest of the group is …

Alpine Golf Resort Chiang Mai – Northern Thailand’s Most Funky Golf Course?

Emerging from the lush greenery like a beacon in the night, Alpine Golf Resort rests among the rolling hills outside the beautiful city of Chiang Mai.
As soon as I made my first steps into the entrance hall of the hotel I was unexpectedly hit with a sense of awe as the foyer led itself to a gorgeous rocky backdrop that disappeared into a tranquil water garden teeming with vibrant colorful fish. Now, like most of you, I try to find the “wow” factor on each of my new adventures, and I was pleasantly surprised to be enthralled by Alpine Resort’s unique charm within my first few moments of arriving.
With our room keys in hand, we went up for our first look at where we were sleeping. Upon entering, I noticed the size of the rooms as they were spacious which granted me a sense of warmth and comfort. After making myself at home I went to check out the balcony’s views. Even in the falling rain, the golf course laid itself out into a stunning spectacle of top class landscaping and maintenance. My anticipation was so high I could hardly wait until the next morning’s tee time.
After exploring the room and taking in the sweeping views of the course on our balcony, we decided to hit the restaurant for dinner. However, having grazed our way north our dinner was fairly light as we could only focus on the coming day’s round of golf. Tomorrow would be a different story.
The next morning, we proceeded to have a nice chat with the staff in order to ensure the activities we had planned for our travelers were good to go.
We then made our way across to the Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Club as it is included in two of our four games during the tournament week. Now, I have had the experience of playing both courses as well as the full 27 holes at Highlands and I can say that it was a great experience to have the opportunity to play Highlands again. There are three separate 9s at Highlands, and the new 9 was incorporated and designed in such a way that it fit in seamlessly with the two others.
After a good round, we decided to cool down at the clubhouse with a nice beer before heading back to hotel to clean up before our dinner.
Now, after last night’s light meal, we decided to finally put hotel kitchen to the test. The menu was quite comprehensive so we decided on sharing a mixture of small plates along with icy beer amongst our small groups of 3. Next, we moved on to our main entrees. Even though I can’t say I speak for the others, my dinner was superb and I am supremely confident that everyone will enjoy the menus that we have created for the upcoming Asia Golf Week in November.
The following morning, we had a quick run about the newly designed 9 at Alpine that was recently completed. To say that this was probably the funkiest golf course I have ever seen would be an understatement. Its “funkitude” was on another level along with its quality landscaping. This further fueled my motivation to give it a try.
Bright and early we ventured out in the cool brisk morning at the newly constructed B & C design Alpine Golf Course. Holes 10 to 14 were in excellent condition. They used to be part of the old Alpine back 9 and gave little indication of what was to expect ahead.
Next thing we know we turn the corner and seemingly step into an alien …

World Golfers Arrive in Thailand for 2017 Centara World Masters Championship

Hua Hin, Thailand, 11 June 2017 — Golfers from every continent have started arriving in Thailand for the fourth running of the Centara World Masters Golf Championship, Asia’s biggest and richest tournament for club golfers.
Franking Thailand’s golf tourism appeal, more than 500 visitors from 21 countries will arrive this weekend in Hua Hin for the start of the Championship on 11 June. The tournament has attracted big numbers from Australia, New Zealand, India, Myanmar and UAE.
The event’s international standing has brought golfers from France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, United States, United Kingdom and Iceland. South East Asia is well represented with 67 players from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Korea and 12 from host country Thailand.
The Centara World Masters is open to golfers aged 35 and over, with competition across 18 divisions based on age and handicap. Golfers will play two rounds at the country’s top-ranking Black Mountain and Banyan golf clubs. Golfers will compete for more than 1.5 million Thai baht in prizes.
The tournament is a collaboration between Golfasian and Australian based Go Golfing Travel. Tournament director Mark Hawley from Go Golfing has confirmed Hua Hin’s natural beauty, welcoming locals, world class golf resorts and the Centara’s charming beachfront resort hotel is a winning combination and a big reason golfers return year after year.
Originally known as the “Railway Hotel”, the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin first opened in the early 1920s, just as the fishing village of Hua Hin was being discovered by the world via the opening of a new railway line to Malaysia. Thailand’s most refined beach resort was fortuitously graced by the newly-built Railway Hotel, which was designed to classic colonial lines.
Now considerately restored and expanded to include all of the recreational and guest facilities that travellers expect from a beach resort, the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas remains one of the ‘grand old hotels’ of the East. “Centara Grand does a great job pampering the throngs of golfers attending the Centara World Masters and is the event’s social and entertainment hub.”
In 2013 Hua Hin was voted best golf destination in Asia and the continued growth and success of the Centara World Masters showcases the destination’s golf and tourism experiences on a grand scale. Many participants are extending their stay in Thailand to visit Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket. The tournament is a major boon for tourism in Hua Hin during low season is expected to inject more than 85 million baht into the Thai economy.
The tournament website www.ThailandWorldMasters.com has scores for all players and event photos.
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Pascal Orczech
Director of Business Development / Golfasian Co., Ltd.