I read recently that a large percentage of golfers in Europe don’t feel they are getting their monies worth during their round of golf.
High green fees, poor quality of locker rooms, badly maintained greens, slow playing conditions. These are a few of their gripes.
Here in Thailand I think playing golf is a lot more laid back than playing say in Europe, so maybe we don’t expect too much. But we all expect our round of golf to go smoothly.
Bangkok is in fact spoilt for choice when it comes to first class golf clubs. There are approximately over 60 clubs within the Bangkok metro region, several that can be called Championship courses.
Most of them are very well run, and your experience can be extremely memorable.
But of course you do need to avoid some of the rush hours such as national holidays, when the courses are busy with part time golfers.
I am sure that there have been occasions when you have had to wait on the tee boxes while a five ball ahead slowly putts out. Then they decide to play a game of cards, and grab a full course meal. I have known a round to take up to 5 and half hours which is painful.
The clubs that are popular however seem to adopt sensible policies with a maximum of four players per round and a good course marshal will cleverly move along the slow coaches, even giving their caddies a lift in the golf cart.
It is very rare to find a hold up at the Thai Country Club in Bangkok, where they still manage to push through over 55,000 rounds a year. And of course their facilities are top class being part of the Peninsula hotel group.
Maung Kaew Golf Club is another popular 18 hole course near to Bangkok’s airport that seems to work. They have great greens and very professional caddies who politely move the players along.
Of course every club will tell you they have a quite time. Maybe it is on Thursday afternoon’s or early on Monday’s. It’s worth asking the receptionist at the club, or even the caddies themselves, as they can give you the real information.
During the summer month’s some clubs have twilight rates starting at 3pm , so it is possible to play up to 7pm getting in a full round when it is not busy.
While the rest of the world seems to be announcing a golf recession with golf clubs closing down, it seems nobody told the golf course owners here in Thailand.
Every year we seem to have new courses opening. In the past 12 months we have had Riverdale Golf Club in Bangkok, brought to you by the same team that built Phuket’s Red Mountain Golf Club. Then there was the Royal Gems Golf City with a replica of the back nine holes at Augusta.
Both these clubs offer the golfing experience, and of course playing a round in the warm weather and to be assisted by a smiling Thai caddie helps too! Enjoy your next round in the Kingdom of golf and smiles!