Golf in Asia Press Releases

  • Newbie Golf in Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Tour on October 31, 2019 at 9:49 am

    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. The post Newbie Golf in Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Pattaya Golf Courses Update
    by Thailand Golf Tour on October 24, 2019 at 9:39 am

    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. The post Pattaya Golf Courses Update appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Beating the Low Season Blues
    by Thailand Golf Tour on October 17, 2019 at 9:28 am

    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. The post Beating the Low Season Blues appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • What Can Your Thailand Golf Holiday Look Like? 3 Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make
    by Thailand Golf Tour on May 27, 2019 at 10:12 am

    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. The post What Can Your Thailand Golf Holiday Look Like? 3 Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Double The Fun With Leisure And Play With A Vietnam Golf Holiday
    by Thailand Golf Tour on February 1, 2019 at 2:26 am

    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. The post Double The Fun With Leisure And Play With A Vietnam Golf Holiday appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Sun, Sand and Golf – A Tropical Paradise, A Golfer’s Retreat
    by Thailand Golf Tour on January 21, 2019 at 2:31 am

    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. The post Sun, Sand and Golf – A Tropical Paradise, A Golfer’s Retreat appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • A Thai-Riffic Golf-Inspired Holiday You Will Never FORE Get
    by Thailand Golf Tour on January 9, 2019 at 5:07 am

    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. The post A Thai-Riffic Golf-Inspired Holiday You Will Never FORE Get appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • 2018 Centara World Masters – Entries Now Open!
    by Thailand Golf Tour on September 4, 2017 at 9:05 am

    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 ... The post 2018 Centara World Masters – Entries Now Open! appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • What Surfing Just Taught Me About The Golf Swing
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 27, 2017 at 8:06 am

    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. The post What Surfing Just Taught Me About The Golf Swing appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Why Indochina Should Be Your Next Golfing Destination
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 17, 2017 at 7:45 am

    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 ... The post Why Indochina Should Be Your Next Golfing Destination appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Are You In The Right State of Mind To Play Your Best Golf?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 15, 2017 at 10:14 am

    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 ... The post Are You In The Right State of Mind To Play Your Best Golf? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • To Rent Or Not To Rent – That is the Golf Holiday Question
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 10, 2017 at 7:30 am

    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 ... The post To Rent Or Not To Rent – That is the Golf Holiday Question appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Planning A Golf Holiday With Your Friends – Just Don’t Be “That Guy”
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 7, 2017 at 9:07 am

    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 ... The post Planning A Golf Holiday With Your Friends – Just Don’t Be “That Guy” appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Alpine Golf Resort Chiang Mai – Northern Thailand’s Most Funky Golf Course?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on July 25, 2017 at 6:35 am

    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 ... The post Alpine Golf Resort Chiang Mai – Northern Thailand’s Most Funky Golf Course? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • World Golfers Arrive in Thailand for 2017 Centara World Masters Championship
    by Thailand Golf Tour on June 11, 2017 at 3:00 am

    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. Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/centaraworldmastersgolfchampionship ——————————————————- For photos and more information, contact: Pascal Orczech Director of Business Development / Golfasian Co., Ltd. pr@thailandworldmasters.com The post World Golfers Arrive in Thailand for 2017 Centara World Masters Championship appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Updates – Coming This Year Lotus Valley Stay & Play
    by Thailand Golf Tour on May 29, 2017 at 8:43 am

    One of the few Gary Player–designed golf courses in Asia, and the only one in Thailand, Lotus Valley Golf Resort has a unique look and feel as well as a progressive thinking management team and Board of Directors. They have plans to upgrade their championship golf facility with the addition of a modern, purpose-built hotel complex. Consistently featuring in the Asian Golf Awards as Best Value Golf Experience this pedigree course has even more ambition. Golfasian talks to General Manager Derek Schade who recently returned to Lotus Valley having completed his contract with Chiang Mai Highlands. Golfasian            You return to Lotus Valley after a 2 year absence, what lured you back? Derek                    I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Highlands, but the opportunity to spearhead Lotus Resort’s development wasn’t something I could turn down. Both the Owners and Directors are very innovative in their thinking and open to ideas from the whole Team. This is a very collaborative Project and I’m delighted to be a part of it. Golfasian            Tell our clients what’s in store Derek                    Gary Player’s original design was reinvigorated about 6 years ago by Jon Morrow and Turf Pro Golf’s Craig Bertram, keeping the original routing but enhanced by Bertram’s re-shaping of the green complexes. Notwithstanding, Lotus Valley remains at heart a Gary Player design. It is a golf course which is challenging, strategic and visually stunning. Most of all, it is great fun to play. Thus we offer a thoroughly modern, world-class layout and thinking-man’s golf challenge. On the playing side I am therefore focusing on outstanding year-round conditioning and maintaining our high standards. Another area for improvement has been addressing Lotus Valley’s relatively remote location, lying as it does an hour plus from the centre of Bangkok. The vast majority of Members come from local manufacturing facilities, located in this rural area due to Government measures that encouraged foreign investment, particularly targeting the Japanese. There has been an acknowledgement that a significant slice of the wider golfing market needed exploiting to permit further expansion. Two steps have been taken to address this shortcoming. First, the establishment of a Lotus Valley sales presence in Bangkok’s Ekamai which will act as a transport hub providing a shuttle to the course. Additionally, there are plans for an adjoining small hotel allowing golfing guests to enjoy a Bangkok shopping day prior to their golf. Complementing this and key to its success, we have recently broken ground on a purpose-built boutique hotel at the Resort itself with design features aimed to meet the needs of discerning golfers such as bespoke club storage, plus onsite massage facilities and a swimming pool to treat those minor aches and pains post your golf. Once complete, we will present to the market a total quality experience with one of the best golf courses in the country, excellent practice facilities, a five star clubhouse with food and beverage to match and on-site accommodation of the highest calibre. All this in value-for-money packages for which the Resort is renowned. It’s exciting to work with a Board of Directors who are so forward thinking.  Any ideas seen to be a benefit to guests are accepted no matter who suggests them.  There is a wealth of experience in our Board Meetings since the Directors come from a variety of professionally run businesses; it’s refreshing and I’m learning a lot. Golfasian            Having not played Lotus Valley for some time you’ve got us excited about all the plans. We wish you all the best with your new role and the successful completion of the club’s expansion project which will no doubt further enhance what is already a top Thailand venue. Golfasian looks looks ... The post Thailand Golf Updates – Coming This Year Lotus Valley Stay & Play appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Cambodia Golf – Siem Reap Gateway to Angkor
    by Thailand Golf Tour on May 23, 2017 at 4:39 am

    Hi, my name is Philip Crowther. I am British, originally from the Great Yarmouth area of Norfolk and took up golf about 20 years ago while in my early forties. I predominantly played on seaside links golf courses in the UK and have worked and played golf in many locations around the world. Sadly, old age and lack of playing opportunities have slipped me back to a 28 handicapper these days. The Winner Although I have played in many locations around Asia, this was my first golfing visit to Cambodia. I organised this trip with five of my male work colleagues. Four of our wives came on the trip, but did not play golf. However, they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves with shopping, spa treatments and visiting Angkor Wat. Angkor Golf Resort This was a 6-day visit and we stayed at the Aviary Hotel in Siem Reap, playing 3 days golf at Phokeethra & Booyoung Country Clubs and the final round on the Nick Faldo course at Angkor Golf Resort. The hotel, staff and service were first rate and I quite happily recommend the hotel and would stay there again. The Cambodian people were wonderful, friendly and readily accepted ‘No’ when you didn’t want to buy something. Overall the golf experience was fantastic, all the courses were in very good condition. However, the Faldo course at the Angkor Golf Resort was quite clearly the best of the three. The whole package, from their free driving range facility to the caddies, course and club house / restaurant were 5 star. The bunkers on this course were also very consistent throughout the course, and I know because I found enough of them on all three courses. The Red Piano Most nights we all met up for a group dinner on Bar Street, with the Red Piano Bar Restaurant quickly becoming our local haunt. I cannot recommend this experience too strongly. We were looked after very well by Golfasian, from their handling of the enquiry to all the logistics, everything went smoothly. As for golfing in Siem Reap, it’s ideal for golfers and non-golfers, particularly couples. Now it’s just a case of where next? The post Cambodia Golf – Siem Reap Gateway to Angkor appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf – Golfasian Regulars
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 24, 2017 at 7:03 am

    Pacific Golf Club, Carindale Hi, my name is Bill Donovan. I have played golf seriously for 34 years. My current handicap is 10 and I am a member of Pacific Golf Club at Carindale in Brisbane. Pacific is an 18-hole championship golf course in a parkland setting, with water on 16 of the holes. It is a very challenging layout. This is my 6th trip to Thailand and my 3rd trip to Hua Hin. Our group, 6 males all from pacific Golf club, have been to Hua Hin 3 times, Pattaya twice and once to Chiang Mai. Hua Hin is our favourite golfing destination in Thailand. We have booked the last 5 trips through Golfasian and they have been fantastic. Our last 3 trips have been booked through Fai at Golfasian and she has done a terrific job. Many years ago, one of our friends went to Thailand and absolutely raved about how good everything was and this prompted us to organise a trip. Most of our trips involve 6 games of golf. We play 2 games then have a rest day. We normally go there for 10 days. Thailand is fantastic, the people are friendly and always happy, the food is fantastic (even in the street stalls) and the beer is also relatively cheap. Accommodation is really good and we always try to get a hotel near the entertainment areas so it is an easy walk home. Through Golfasian, we always have breakfast at the hotel, then lunch at the golf course. The meals at most of the club houses are great and what better than to have a shower and change, then a cold beer with a nice lunch to recharge. The Group with caddies at Springfield Our group really enjoyed the golf courses, the caddies, the course designs/layouts; bottom line, there is nothing to not like about the whole experience. We have done trips to Singapore and Malaysia but prefer Thailand. We always schedule our trips in November hoping that it may be a bit cooler, and fortunately our last trip was really good, as it can get very hot. The caddies are great fun but also quite knowledgeable mostly. After a couple of holes they know your distances and what club to hit, and are also good green readers in the main. Our favourite Thailand golf course is Black Mountain in Hua Hin. It is just a great course in terms of conditioning, design and overall presentation. Realistically, we haven’t come across a ‘bad’ course yet. I was a bit disappointed with Burapha as my logic is, when travelling for golf, you want to play great courses and designs. I found Burapha a bit boring. The last trip we played mainly “ambrose” and “3BBB” stablefords, which made the trip very relaxing, and not too competitive. On one ambrose day, my group had 7 birdies in a row!! After golf we always went for a massage. I usually had a traditional Thai massage and they are fantastic. We tell the masseuse that we are in Thailand playing golf so they tailor the massage more along sports lines. If we finished golf early, we would either go shopping or have a swim in the hotel pool. Each night we all went out for dinner at various restaurants and the food is great and not expensive. After dinner, we sometimes went to the markets shopping and some of the group continued on for a few drinks and games of pool, while the others went back to our hotel In Chiang Mai. We went on an elephant trek and some did the Tiger temple on a ... The post Thailand Golf – Golfasian Regulars appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf – Courses that might “Suit Your Eye”?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 22, 2017 at 7:16 am

    The picture at the head of this article is of Tiger Woods after one of his 8 victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational played at Bay Hill. The phrase “This course really suits his eye” is mostly used by golf commentators on US television networks about professional golfers on the Tour. They are almost always referring to a player who is returning to a tournament venue as the defending champion. The premise is, this player has won here fairly recently and is therefore filled with positive memories. Therefore, no matter how well or poorly he has played during the past 12 months all those “pictures” in his mind of birdies, chip-ins and one-putts will give him (or her) added confidence…it will all come flooding back and the tempo, swing and optimism will follow. I’m sure this is true, but I’m not so sure this is the whole story, and what if anything can we amateurs take from this and use to our advantage? Whether you appreciate it or not, we all have courses that suit our eyes and afford us the chance of a better score on the day. I’m guessing most readers will hit the ball left to right; did you know that Jack Nicklaus-designed courses favour a left to right ball flight as he did? Notables are; Springfield in Hua Hin, Laem Chabang near Pattaya, Legacy in Bangkok, Kirimaya in the Khao Yai National Park (narrow fairways and tough) and Mission Hills in Phuket. These quality courses may unlock a positive swinging day that brings you back time and again. Royal Lytham GC in the centre of town The gorgeous Lam Lukka There may be other influences that would build positivity from the opening tee shot, and lead to a good round. I love to play in beautiful surroundings and would rather avoid electricity pylons and other signs of Man’s presence. One of the best courses in the world (ranked 57th), Royal Lytham, home to the Open Championship (British), is a superb links-style course bordered by a housing estate and railway line which never really “did it” for me. If I’m going to play links golf, I’d much prefer it to be at Royal Dornoch in a far more remote and wild part of north western Scotland; the course is a great favourite of Tom Watson. In Thailand, arguably the country’s most prestigious and best-conditioned course, Amata Springs, is similarly surrounded on one side by an industrial estate which for me is a big turn-off. I would rather play at a far more humble, though picturesque course such as Lam Lukka north of Bangkok. Black Mountain A Thailand golf round is about the overall experience, perhaps having a caddie for the first time or enjoying a cold drink every 3 or 4 holes at the excellent refreshment stops.  Banyan and Black Mountain in Hua Hin do this particularly well (in fact they do pretty much everything very well which is why they are so popular). Chiang Mai provides much cooler weather in the months Nov-Mar and has superb courses so maybe that’s where your best golf lies? Finally, be smart about the tees you select…the championships tees are there for the pros; leave them to it! When you are choosing courses and destinations to play in Thailand a balance of considerations makes sense, but give some thought to the courses themselves and ask for advice about how to match your skills to get the best from your day. The post Thailand Golf – Courses that might “Suit Your Eye”? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Tour Operator Golfasian Teams Up With Golf Hideaway
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 21, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Bangkok, Thailand & Hong Kong, China — Golfasian, Asia’s largest inbound golf tour operator has teamed up with Hong Kong’s most popular indoor golf lounge Golf Hideaway to provide exclusive golf holidays and prizes to Hong Kong golfers. “The aim of the partnership with Golf Hideaway is to expand Golfasian’s reach to the Hong Kong market while at the same time offering the golf lounge members with exclusive Asian golf holiday deals, Thailand golf tournament slots and prize sponsoring,” explained Pascal Orczech, Golfasian’s Director of Business Development. “We are delighted to partner with Asia’s Number 1 golf travel company, Golf Asian.  Our customer base at Golf Hideaway will benefit tremendously from this strategic alliance,” said Golf Hideaway’s Owner & Head Professional, Derek Crampton. About Golf Hideaway: Golf Hideaway is Hong Kong’s original indoor golf lounge with over 3,000 square feet featuring two state-of-the-art Full Swing Simulators, a separate lounge / bar area with full size pool table and darts board. About Golfasian: Established in 1997, Golfasian has been recognized as the leading dedicated golf tour operator in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Indonesia. We specialize exclusively in golf holiday tours, for both individuals and groups. By selecting the best value-for-money hotels and the finest golf courses you are assured of a truly memorable golfing experience. The post Thailand Golf Tour Operator Golfasian Teams Up With Golf Hideaway appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Play until you’re Old and Grey? Nagging Golf Injuries – Ignore at your Peril
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 6, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Bobby Jones said “The best exercise for golfers is golfing” and I know what he means. In general it’s a pastime which involves getting out in the fresh air, walking for several hours and loosening up with some aerobic “swinging”…gotta be good for you right? Unless you are doing it for a living or it’s your dedicated sport, you probably took it up as the exercise for your twilight years, whenever they may have started. The snag is, because you might be playing in later life, you are more susceptible to the risk of stresses and strains that golf can present and you’re probably unprepared for them. The reason I am writing about golf injuries is because it is now 6 months since I played a round due to a knee injury, made worse by playing golf and ignoring the problem. The eventual outcome was surgery, and now, with perhaps another 4-6 months before I play again, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the matter and perhaps prompt some readers to consider any nagging pains and what they might do about them. Better still, some may be in the peak of health and rather than take their chances on what might be on the horizon, head any issues off at the pass. First, a disclaimer…I am not a physician (sports or otherwise) of any kind, just someone who has had a lot of time to deal with a golf injury, researched the issue for many hours, and endeavoured to fix myself so that I can return to the links better and stronger as a golfer. I’m also not going to talk about general fitness, health and well-being (diet, exercise etc) because all of us are bombarded daily by the common sense of leading a healthier life; it’s something we either adopt willingly or not. When we talk about golf injuries, if you are someone of a “certain age” I’m sure you know to what I’m referring, but for younger readers here are some common problems they might not yet be experiencing: Back Pain– Poor posture causes mechanical stress leading to disc related problems Golfer’s elbow/Tennis elbow– An inflammation of the tendons attached on either side of the elbow Shoulder pain– Several conditions such as rotator cuff tendonitis, impingement, or tears pain Knee Pain– There are many conditions that affect golfers including torn meniscus, ligament tears, and osteoarthritis Carpal Tunnel Syndrome– Repetitive stress in the hands causing numbness and pain DeQuervain’s tendonitis– Inflammation of the tendons at the base of the wrist that control the thumb Trigger Finger– Causes the finger to lock up from a swollen flexor tendon catching in its sheath I’ll focus on my own particular experience; meniscus tears, cartilage degradation and general deterioration of the left knee…it’s worn out! If you look at the attached picture of the knee’s anatomy, it’s quite a simple but ingenious structure. In Layman’s terms, the knee connects the lower leg bones to the upper and allows the leg to hinge. A joint, it is stabilised by ligaments (strong “elastic bands” either side), cushioned by cartilage (in this case a disc-like pad called the meniscus) plus a layer of cartilage on the end of the bones, and protected by the Patella (knee cap) a triangular bone at the front. Completing this clever piece of kit are the leg muscles and hamstrings that provide strength and support. Now remember I described it as a hinge, I did not say it is designed to swivel, hence its incompatibility with the game of golf. Awesome for walking and running, the knee is badly designed for the rotation of a golf swing; remember your left foot is at right angles to the target at ... The post Play until you’re Old and Grey? Nagging Golf Injuries – Ignore at your Peril appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Vacations – A Lady’s View
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 3, 2017 at 2:15 am

    I am Sally Chappell, a mature Lady golfer. I live in Leeds England, and have been a member of Rawdon Golf and Lawn Tennis club for 14 years.  My handicap is 26, which I consider not bad as our course is a very challenging one, hilly with lots of trees.  My friend Elizabeth Leach and I have played golf in Florida, Portugal, Turkey and Cyprus, and this year decided we would like a trip away in January, so Thailand seemed to be the ideal place for some good weather.  How right we were, the sun shone for the whole two weeks which enabled us to play golf in ideal conditions. We were recommended by a friend to book with Golfasian, and Ian Morgan organised everything to our requirements with perfection. We travelled with Emirate airlines via Dubai and unfortunately our journey out was delayed by 8 hours. We were a little apprehensive that would cause a problem with the transportation from Bangkok, but the worry was unfounded as the delightful, friendly driver was waiting for us when we arrived. Our stay at the Laksasubha hotel was everything we had hoped; beautiful rooms, extremely friendly, happy staff, and a delicious breakfast every day served almost on the beach. We looked forward to the new experience of having a caddie and were definitely not disappointed. Our first round was at Sea Pines, a very picturesque course, particularly the holes around the bay.  The game at Springfield Country Club was so enjoyable, made so by the very friendly, efficient and fun loving caddies.  Pressure was definitely on us as far as the golf was concerned when Elizabeth and I realised our caddies were betting on our play, 10 baht per hole!  My favourite course was Banyan, probably because I got a birdie on the par 3 4th hole. Every evening began with cocktails (of course) in the hotel bar on the beach, then we ate at various restaurants in the town.  Two days left of our holiday and we were told about Svensons Ice Cream Parlour, very fortunate we didn’t hear about it at the beginning of our stay, otherwise we would have had to buy bigger clothes. We both thoroughly enjoyed our golf holiday in Thailand. Hua Hin is a very relaxing resort destination, and we both felt safe wherever we walked. We have returned home with lots of very happy memories, thanks to Ian Morgan and his staff at Golfasian. The post Thailand Golf Vacations – A Lady’s View appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailands Royal Resort
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 30, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Hua Hin is the oldest and most traditional of the Thai resorts. It combines the attractions of a modern holiday destination, 5 star hotels, fabulous restaurants, gorgeous beaches, first class golf courses, with the charm and fascination of a traditional fishing port. Which is exactly what it was like when I first visited, more than two decades ago. While most other Thai holiday destinations cater mainly to foreign tourists, Hua Hin is a holiday resort for foreigners as well as Thai nationals. Besides it’s great 5 mile long beach Hua Hin provides the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand while it’s yet virtually undiscovered as an international Golf destination. Green-fees and other costs are among the lowest in the world and course maintenance and services are kept to a very high standard. Golf in Thailand was started in Hua Hin, with Royal Hua Hin being the first course, designed by a Scottish railway engineer no less. Hua Hin has another 9 fantastic courses, all worth a visit. Jack Nicklaus has Springfield Royal Country Club, which presnets the golfer with 27 wonderful holes, all beautifully designed. Sea Pines, a kind of links course, is the newest, opened just five years ago. The signiture 16th hole has that “wow” factor, with beautiful ocean views. Must plays are Banyan and Black Mountain. Black Mountain has held several PGA games over since it’s opening and has won many awards and honours.  The same can be said for Banyan, which has now been open for 9 years. It’s the course I’ve played most, not only for the golf, but the apres golf is perfect, sundowners are perfect. The resort of Hua Hin was discovered in the early 1920s by King Rama VII as an ideal getaway from the sultry metropolis of Bangkok. The tranquil fishing village was turned into the Royal resort and consequently became popular among Thailand’s nobility and upper-class. Today’s visitor to Hua Hin will still sense this special atmosphere and old world charm. Besides sun-filled days on the 5 mile-long beach there are leisure activities for the whole family from watersports and shopping to golf. The area around the town let’s you discover fabulous national parks with fantastic peaks, caves and waterfalls. In the evening the winding streets have a great variety of shops and markets that make for a relaxed stroll, and the restaurants built on stilts into the sea offer superb seafood prepared in the age old traditional Thai way. Hua Hin has all the ingredients for a very special holiday experience. So, why not enjoy the sites, sounds, tastes and, of course, the golf, in Hua Hin. Golfasian can take care of everything. For a full and comprehensive quote, or just for some advice, please don’t hesitate to email info@golfasian.com The post Thailands Royal Resort appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Just Do It, The Golfing Way
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 27, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Everyone likes a good time, right, experiencing new cultures, playing on the best golf courses known to man. Well, I’ve something to tell you, so do we. So much so that we’ve been organizing and holding our own “tournaments” for some time now, and as time has rolled on, these tournaments have turned out to be, not only hugely popular, but sell out events, which are now growing in numbers, venues and countries.   So, what are the advantages to registering for one of Golfasian’s events? There are lots of reasons, most of them individual to you. But, at the top of my reason list, you don’t have to do anything; I mean nothing, except turn up and play. Let me explain how it works. First of all, you’ll need to chose which event works best for you and your party. Moving on, once this is done and your departure date arrives, you’ll be met at the airport and transported to your hotel. A welcome chat will re-confirm where and when you’ll be playing, and how things will take place each day. Day one, you’ll be picked up at your hotel for each round, enjoy a fantastic day of golf, meeting lost of new people. All golfers meet at the 19th hole afterwards for a bit of food and a few beers, and generally chat about the day, then transported back to your hotel, with all your unforgettable memories.  Day two, see day one. Honestly, it’s that easy and that fun. Taking part in an organized event is always a little bit of a gamble, especially if you’ve never partaken in one before. But, once that gamble has been made, then it’s plane sailing, and you’ll definitely want to repeat the experience. There is, of course, the added bonus of winning one of the many prizes on offer. The Centara Masters is most probably our largest event, attracting around 600 players. This has become our signature event, a real celebration of golf, becoming the biggest tournament for club golfers in Asia.  The hotels we use are always first class, with plenty of activities to keep the non-golfers busy. You can get a choice of which hotel you would prefer to use. For 2017 we are holding the following showpiece events. It’s super easy to register, just click on the links below: 12-18 March Amari Hua Hin Golf Week Thailand Courses Black Mountain x 2 Banyan x 2 19-25 March Amari Pattaya Golf Week Thailand Courses Laem Chabang CC Burapha CC Siam CC Waterside Siam CC Plantation 11-17 June Centara World Masters – Hua Hin Thailand Courses Black Mountain x 2 Banyan x 2 18-24 June Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 ball Champs Thailand Courses Siam CC Old Course Siam CC Waterside Laem Chabang Siam CC Plantation 13-19 August Accor Vietnam World Masters 2017 Vietnam Courses Montgomerie Links x 2 BRG Danang GC Ba Na Hills   So, go on, take the plunge, register for one of our events, be one of the growing number of golfers to experience the trip of a lifetime. Golfasian can really take care of everything. For a full and comprehensive quote, or just for some advice, please don’t hesitate to email info@golfasian.com The post Just Do It, The Golfing Way appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Is it at the dry cleaners?!!
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 23, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Make sure it’s clean, free of moths and it still fits you! Then you’ll be ready with all the other green-jacketed brigade as next month sees the 80th US Masters. It’s always held, same time every year, during the first full week of April and it’s the first of the years Majors. The US’ Jack Nicklaus has won it the most times, 6 if you were wondering, the last time back in 1986. Since then he’s put his vast knowledge of the game to a few Thailand golf courses, Springfield in Hua Hin, Legacy in Bangkok, Mission Hills in Kanchanaburi & Mission Hills in Phuket and Laem Chabang in Pattaya. Thailand loves this event, so much so that they created a course in Bangkok, one of South East Asia’s best kept secrets, The Royal Gems Golf & Sports Club, which replicates the back 9 of Augusta.  We can book this for you, maybe make a dream come true. The Masters is steeped in history and, as you would imagine, has a number of traditions. For instance, did you know that since 1949, a green jacket has been awarded to the champion, who must return it to the clubhouse one year after his victory, although it remains his personal property and is stored with other champions’ jackets in a specially designated cloakroom. In most instances, only a first-time and currently reigning champion may remove his jacket from the club grounds. Another odd one, the day after the tournament closes, The Bobby Jones Scholars from Also, the University of St Andrews in Scotland, play a four-ball round on the course – the last people to do so before the green keepers start the process of repairing and restoring the course to pre-tournament standard. However, of all the traditions at the Masters, none is more endearing than the annual Par 3 Contest. This beloved event, held on Wednesday of Tournament week and now televised around the world, is above all a family affair. Wives and girlfriends, children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews-all happily serve as caddies. The sight of toddlers, outfitted in miniature Augusta National jumpsuits, toting a light bag or tending a flagstick more than twice their height brings smiles to onlookers near and far. Back in 1934 the winner, Horton Smith, won $1,500. The purse in 2016 was worth around $10 Million, with the winner, England’s Danny Willett, collecting close on 20% of that, very nice for a few days work. The first non-American to win was a South African by the name of Manny Zerman way back in 1992. By the way, if you had looked at my dates in this article and thought “they don’t quite add up”, just to explain, between the years of 1943-1945 the Masters was cancelled due to World War II. Wherever you decide to watch this grand event, I hope you all enjoy it immensely, as will I. If you wish to come play any of the courses mentioned above, and even the famous Royal Gems, please do not hesitate to email info@golfasian.com The post Is it at the dry cleaners?!! appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Sand, Sea…………And A Seven Iron
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 20, 2017 at 8:00 am

    When people think of Thailand, and its paradise beaches, most think of the southern Islands, coconut trees, lying in a hammock swaying in the breeze, watching the sun go down with a cocktail in hand. Well, Phuket is all of that, and so much more. Phuket is one of those southern islands, surrounded by the beautiful and diverse Andaman Sea. Phuket and Golf go together very well, it’s a match made in golfers heaven. There are no less than eight championship golf courses just waiting for your visit. Most probably the best known in is Blue Canyon Country Club, the site of Tiger Woods’ 1998 Asian victory, and which has two championship layouts, the Canyon course and the Lakes course, both are a must play. Jack Nicklaus also has Mission Hills Golf Resort, a gem in Phuket. Some of the holes have the most amazing views looking out towards Phang Nga Bay, worth the admission fee alone.  Then there’s Laguna Golf Club and Red Mountain, the list just goes on and on.   There are numerous daily flights from Bangkok, as well as the many international flights, so Phuket makes for a great dual destination, so play in Bangkok and head down to the Islands.   Phuket has an abundance of nightlife, full of fantastic restaurants offering the freshest seafood, as well as a huge choice of accommodation. No matter what you budget, there will be something to suit you perfectly. How about the first class JW Marriott Resort & Spa. Set in the most spectacular location, on the pristine sands of the world-famous Mai Khao Beach, this hotel welcomes you with 5-star guest rooms and suites and an impressive array of luxury amenities. Make yourself comfortable in their resort, which showcases sleek wooden floors, terracotta tiles, stunning views and much more. Dine at one of their 11 first-class exquisite restaurant and bar options, or experience the local delights within a short walk. After golf, enjoy their award-winning Mandara Spa.  Or choose the Hyatt Regency Resort, one of the few phuket hotels terraced up a steep hillside overlooking Kamala Cove at the southern tip of Kamala Beach. Their 201 rooms are larger in comparison to many of the Phuket hotel rooms available. Most of their rooms offer unobstructed panoramic views of the Andaman Sea with its spectacular tropical sunsets.   So, why not enjoy the sites, sounds, tastes and, of course, the golf, in Phuket. Golfasian can take care of everything. For a full and comprehensive quote, or just for some advice, please don’t hesitate to email info@golfasian.com The post Sand, Sea…………And A Seven Iron appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • There’s A Giant In Bangkok
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 16, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Choosing the right hotel is always a trying task, and with the enormous number of promotions, deals and programs out there, it can be downright overwhelming. It doesn’t help that these days most hotels have Websites full of tantalizing photos and slick promotional information that make you believe you’ll be bathed in luxury as soon as you step foot into the lobby. How can you tell if a hotel will live up to its own hype and, more importantly, if it’s the right hotel for you and your party? Difficult indeed. Large, giant hotels, were plentiful in Bangkok, or so it seemed. The first time I ever stayed there, more than two decades ago, I stayed in the Silom area in the biggest hotel I’d ever seen, let alone been in. Th ere aren’t actually too many of them around anymore, what with the large number of “Boutique” hotels coming up. Not that there’s anything wrong with these, quite the contrary. However a few years ago, there was an impressive, old hotel called the Imperial Queens park, located along Sukhumvit Road in downtown Bangkok, surrounded by several of the city’s most vibrant shopping, business and entertainment districts. That iconic hotel has now been completely renovated, into the Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, which boasts 1,360 rooms and suites. The rooms are all practically brand new, it’s only just opened, and it still has that new smell. The breakfast is most probably the best choice I’ve seen in town, offering everything you could possible need in the morning to get you fired up for the days activities. This hotel really gives you a feeling of space. There are five restaurants to choose from at the moment, with another one on the roof opening very soon. Its modern design, intuitive technology and authentic experiences are aligned to challenge the status quo and address the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s discerning travelers. Close proximity to Phrom Phong’s BTS Skytrain Station really helps, as well as the EM District, a new shopping district, being just around the corner. If you are traveling with non-golfers, they will be set.   We are more than happy to help and guide you through the process; we know the hotels very well in Bangkok, and can help  all in your party make the most of their trip.   How about combining this hotel in a golf package. It’s popular with a lot of golf travellers.  So, why not enjoy this beautiful hotel in the heart of Bangkok. Golfasian can take care of everything. For a full and comprehensive quote, or just for some advice, please don’t hesitate to email info@golfasian.com The post There’s A Giant In Bangkok appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • GOLF – IN THE BEST CITY ON EARTH
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 13, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Bangkok has always been a favourite for travellers around the globe; it’s the heart of Asia after all. Packed full of great shopping, the best street food ever (I can vouch for this) and a hugely diverse cultural heritage, Bangkok is THE go to city. Hotels are plentiful, all priced very competitively to suit your budget. Location is very important in Bangkok, being close to the bts (sky train) is a must. Feel free to email any questions you may have in order to pick the right hotel. The Continent is a hotel we use a lot, not only because of its superb value for money and its great location, but also because the hotel itself offers everything you will need to make the most of your stay. A beautiful roof top bar & restaurant, plus the pool, give the best views over the city. The Westin Grande, in the same area, also offers the opulence needed from a luxury stay. Situated right next to the famous Terminal 21 shopping mall, as well as some of Bangkok’s top eateries, this hotel has become one of our best selling hotels. Both hotels are easy to get in and out off, making the transfers to the golf course easy.   Now, golf in Bangkok is becoming a must for golfers from all over the world. The only difficulty is how to pick which courses you want to play at! For the best advice, it’s best to ask, as I’ve pretty much played them all. There are around 40 courses within the area, and new ones being designed as we speak.  The newest of these is Nikanti. Located 35 km’s west of Bangkok, around an hour’s journey from most downtown hotels. Nikanti is Asia’s first 18 hole par 72 course comprising of 3 six hole layouts Each individual layout consists of two par threes, two par fours and two par fives. The design allows for starts at three different points on the course adding to your flexibility in the number of holes played. Yet whatever your handicap, you’ll definitely enjoy the day. All-inclusive rates include: green fee; golf cart with GPS technology; caddie fee; and meals before, during and after each round. Of course the one that usually springs to every golfers mind is The Royal Gems Golf City, indeed a unique course. This is Asia’s first course that incorporates copy holes from around the world. Included on the front nine is the Road Hole from St Andres, the Postage Stamp from Royal Troon and Sawgrass’ famous 17th Island Green. To top it all, the back nine copies the back nine of the Augusta National, including Amen Corner. Greg Norman, Gary Player and the late great Arnold Palmer have their courses in Bangkok. Jack Nicklaus also has a number in the area.   So, why not enjoy the sites, sounds, tastes and, of course, the golf, in Bangkok. Golfasian can take care of everything. For a full and comprehensive quote, or just for some advice, please don’t hesitate to email info@golfasian.com The post GOLF – IN THE BEST CITY ON EARTH appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Tours – Great Getaways
    by Thailand Golf Tour on February 21, 2017 at 3:14 am

    Hi, my name is Wayne, that’s me second from the right. I’m from Figtree in New South Wales, Australia. I’ve played golf for almost 30 years and am a member of Port Kembla Golf Club which is a short distance south of town on a beautiful spit of land bordered to the west and east by water and the beach. The course is long at 6,300 metres, tree-lined, and a legitimate championship test. I am currently playing off a 6 handicap. My first time golfing in Thailand (indeed my first visit) was in June 2015.  The courses looked great on the internet & I’d heard people were really friendly. I travelled with 5 mates from the Figtree Hotel Social Golf club and returned in 2016 with 3 from the 2015 trip plus one other…all blokes. In 2015 we played 5 rounds in Pattaya and Bangkok with the following year taking in Hua Hin as well; 7 rounds in total this time. We travelled both times with Golfasian whom we found on the web. Our first impressions were outstanding. The tour was so very well organised from the collection at the airport to departure, absolutely seamless.  Straight away Thailand made a big impression and was a wonderful experience.  The people are so friendly; nothing is a problem, everyone is smiling…it all seemed very carefree. Whether that’s the case behind the scenes it makes for a fabulous visit. We liked all our hotels, as good as anything I’ve ever stayed at: great locations, service and amenities. Despite it being Thailand’s low season and the start of the “rainy” period we had great weather, only a little hot.  You couldn’t ask for more: great courses, delicious food and most of all the friendliness of the people. Our caddies were very good at their job and were prepared to have a good laugh. My favourite course(s) were the Jack Nicklaus-designed Laem Chabang Country Club (what I expect of a top championship course) and The Royal Gems which is a replica course comprised of many famous holes throughout the world including Amen Corner from Augusta.  I’ve been watching the Professionals play these holes for years and now I was able to play them myself.  Black Mountain was just magnificent and Khao Kheow Country Club a gorgeous layout, with Nikanti such a wonderful overall experience. After golf we’d spend an hour or 2 in the pool, have a few beers with the boys then all go out for dinner & a few drinks. All in all it was exactly what I had hoped for and more…I’ll definitely be back. The post Thailand Golf Tours – Great Getaways appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Green Aerification…Spoiling My Golf Trip?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on February 12, 2017 at 8:09 am

    In all likelihood it could spoil that day…it’s certainly not helping. A common question from clients intending to travel with Golfasian is; “While I’m there, will the greens have been aerated?” Showing up to a golf course only to discover that it has recently undergone an aerification process is never a good thing. Clients have, after all, paid a relatively large sum to travel to play overseas. You were expecting the golf course, and especially its greens, to be in great shape. Instead you find them full of little holes or covered in sand or other topdressing. Golfasian understands that the golf course aerification process can be especially frustrating to golfers. Aeration usually involves removal of half inch plugs that are subsequently filled with sand (topdressing); another word for this is coring. Other aerification techniques use machines with tines, or knives that simply poke holes through the soil; these have far less impact on the smooth roll of your ball but all in all a green isn’t at its best post maintenance of this kind. But I can hear a great big “so what…I don’t want to play greens like that when I’ve travelled 2,000 miles to play golf, what are you doing about it?” The good news is that generally significant aeration takes place twice a year and at a time which is logical. When would you rest your soccer team….post and pre-season in all likelihood and greens get the same treatment. Thus in Thailand aeration takes place in April when the rains arrive and high season ends, and September when the course is gearing up for the new high season with maximum traffic starting November. Are you aware that Golfasian publishes golf course maintenance plans every month in its newsletter? Course inspections are also carried out to give notice that the greens may be particularly challenging. Bottom line, everything is done to guarantee the client a great day on the links. Whilst trying not to be too tongue in cheek, does showing up to a golf course that is in the throes of aerification guarantee a bad time or a bad score? Consider the fact that PGA Tour legend Tom Watson shot a sizzling record 58 at his then-home course, Kansas City Country Club, just days after the greens had been aerated. Consider also that aerification is merely a short-term disruption that has long-term benefits for golf courses. When you see them, remember that without those little holes, the greens would eventually die…and with a more positive stroke a good score is still possible. But rest assured, if Golfasian finds out that your best interests aren’t being served, everything will be done to resolve the problem, rescheduling where possible. The post Green Aerification…Spoiling My Golf Trip? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golfing Thailand as a Single
    by Thailand Golf Tour on January 23, 2017 at 3:12 am

    Titirangi Golf Club My name is John Billington. I live in Aukland, New Zealand, which is the largest and most populace area in the country. I am a member of Titirangi Golf Club, a course designed by Alastair McKenzie on his trip south to design Royal Melbourne. I have played golf in most continents and especially on the McKenzie courses in California (including Cypress Point). I was a scratch handicapper but at 66 years I am now playing off a respectable 7. I have been travelling to Europe for sailing holidays regularly for the past five years and transit through Asia. I travel one way alone, meeting my wife in Europe and taking the opportunity to play some golf on the way. I started using Golfasian to arrange golf holidays in Thailand. It worked seamlessly for me with transport etc and because they tended to join me up with other groups I met many interesting people from all around the world whom I would not otherwise meet: Russians, Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Swiss, Scandinavians, and golfers from all over Asia; fascinating!! Red Mountain 1st The courses are all good, well-groomed and economical by world standards whilst facilities are of a uniformly high standard. Last year I spent a week on my own golfing in Phuket and recently a week in Chiang Mai. Red Mountain in Phuket is particularly stunning and a great test, whilst Alpine Chiang Mai is unique with its beautiful surroundings and varied types of holes providing different challenges. I usually stay in hotels in the city rather than at a resort because I enjoy sightseeing, the local markets and restaurants including the wonderful street food. Thai caddies are exceptional and great company; quite able to lift my spirits and get me back on track if I’m finding it difficult to find my rhythm. The Golfasian drivers are invariably courteous and efficient, providing recommendations on local attractions. I will return to Thailand soon, this time with a group of friends from Titirangi. We shall probably play in the Chiang Mai area because the climate is appreciably cooler, the countryside truly beautiful and mountainous and there is such a lot to do and see. I’ll leave the arrangements to Golfasian…they haven’t let me down yet! The post Golfing Thailand as a Single appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf in Myanmar
    by Thailand Golf Tour on December 23, 2016 at 5:32 am

    My name is Catherine Capozzi, and I’m from the golfer heaven state of Arizona in the US. Now, I live with my husband in India. Despite growing up in a place renowned for golf, I can’t say I’m very good at the sport: we don’t belong to any golf club, and the extent of our practice involves playing 9-hole courses around sunset at a discount. Nonetheless, my husband and I have made a concerted effort to improve our swing every time we go back to visit Arizona in the winter. And in this case, we decided to bring our burgeoning love of golf with us on vacation to Myanmar. Myanmar had been on my family’s radar for some time: We knew it was an up-and-coming destination that hadn’t succumbed to the usual touristy pitfalls of over development and pollution. We heard it was rustic, clean, full of Buddhist history, had amazing cuisine and friendly people. All of these things proved correct, especially the hospitality. The unspoiled nature was easily one of the best parts, and I was amazed at how pristine the country was. We didn’t think Burma and golf would go hand-in-hand, but the courses were actually quite beautiful. They unfortunately didn’t have left-handed golf clubs and we didn’t bring ours, so we had to alternate between using the back of a 5-iron for the left hand, or practising with my right and toting around the 7-iron as my defacto club (not that it helped). Thankfully, we found every bad swing rather amusing. If we were smart, we ‘d have brought our own clubs. The caddies were the real heroes of our game, because they were out in the rough fishing out my husband’s golf balls practically every shot. They also were so attentive, setting up the balls in a makeshift tee from grass tufts. The ladies were great sports. The courses were gorgeous. In Bagan, the course is situated among the famous pagodas so we enjoyed weaving our cart through these historic monuments. The Inle course was expansive and was very well-maintained. The weather was also cool here, but it started pouring rain around the 6th hole. One of my fondest memories of the trip will be how we careened down the course, making a beeline for the clubhouse as we all got drenched—especially the caddies, as they clung to the back while the rain pelted them. We gave up our golfing ambitions for the day once the rains hit, but we had a fabulous time. GolfAsian made our vacation effortless and so enjoyable. The group consisted of my husband, our 15-month-old baby, my mother, and me. I was a little worried that the itinerary was too hectic (three cities by plane in a week), but the organization made travelling a breeze: someone was always waiting for us on the other side, our guides were compassionate, responsive and informative, and all we had to do was show up. In Yangon, we were booked in a fantastic, spacious hotel called the Rose Garden. Our guide showed us some of the heritage buildings downtown, and gave us a tour of the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. We found Yangon to be lush, clean, vibrant, and full of friendly people. We had a great time visiting the market and buying jade, Buddha statues, paper umbrellas and other quintessential Burmese souvenirs. In our next stop, Bagan, we explored the ancient Buddhist monuments that pepper the rustic city. Tharabar Gate was easily one of our favorite hotels, and we enjoyed the amazing spread of local cuisine (as a vegan, I especially enjoyed the local chickpea-based tofu and fresh carrot salads. The peanut ... The post Golf in Myanmar appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • 8 Reasons Why You Should Never Choose Vietnam as Your Next Golf Holiday Destination
    by Thailand Golf Tour on December 21, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Vietnam is a truly bad choice for your next golf holiday destination. Here’s why. Note: Please don’t tell your friends. 1) The golf courses in the north of the country are plain ugly: Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club 2) …and in the center: BRG Da Nang Golf Resort 3) …as well as in the south: The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip 4) The caddies don’t know how to smile: 5) The hotels are uncomfortable at best: InterContinental Nha Trang 6) The beaches are a joke: 7) Cultural heritage is non-existend:   8) And as we all already know, the food is just disgusting: Now, you hopefully have a good idea as to why you should (not) book your next golf holiday to Vietnam! The post 8 Reasons Why You Should Never Choose Vietnam as Your Next Golf Holiday Destination appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf, Off the Beaten Track – A Golf Group’s Tale
    by Thailand Golf Tour on November 22, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Gary with Golfasian MD Mark Siegel Hi, my name is Gary. I am an Australian, originally from New South Wales, but now very comfortably domiciled in Perth, Western Australia with a wife of 35 years marriage and two grown up kids! I have played golf since my father stuck a golf club in my hands when I was about 10 years old. At 61 years old now, I guess you could say I have been a long-term golfer. I have been a member of private golf clubs since a junior, and a member of my current golf club, Melville Glades for the last 22 years. My current handicap is 4 … hard earned at my age! I also happen to be the President of the club and have been on the Club’s Board for the last 5 years.  Melville Glades is a parkland golf course in the Perth metropolitan area and will celebrate 50 years of operations in 2017. We have in excess of 1,100 members with member competitions every day of the week.  Oh, we also have a mob of around 200 kangaroos that live on the golf course which is a very special experience for our members and visitors. I have been to Thailand around half a dozen times, and have played golf in Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok and now Kanchanaburi. Thailand is renowned as the best and most enjoyable golf tourism experience in Asia, and the combination of well-conditioned courses, excellent caddy services and comfortable, luxurious Clubhouses, makes for a unique golfing experience for visiting Australian golfers. Gary at Black Mountain with Golfasian’s Hua Hin Manager Ian Morgan  My most recent golf tour included Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Ratchaburi and Hua Hin. We played 5 great golf courses, including Black Mountain, Thai Country Club and Grand Prix … all different with individual challenges. Royal Ratchaburi was a unique and most enjoyable golf experience playing in the countryside and through the mountains bordering Myanmar. With golf tours in Asia, you need to consider the time of the year and the prevailing weather conditions. There are obviously peak season times where prices increase, however I like to schedule my tours around the “shoulder” seasons where I can access some lower rates and then build some “value-add” into the tour price with things such as trophies, prizes, complimentary polo shirts etc. My most recent tour had 22 guests and most were golfing couples. Being a 10-night golf tour, we only arranged a couple of team dinners … this allowed the guests to “do their own thing”! Some couples teamed up with others for dinner and drinks, and others went out for massages and shopping … things Thailand are famous for! All in all everyone thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would like to sample another Asian destination, perhaps Vietnam. Let’s see what Golfasian can do for us!! The post Thailand Golf, Off the Beaten Track – A Golf Group’s Tale appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Good Caddy, Not so Good…Some Answers Why
    by Thailand Golf Tour on October 24, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Thailand’s caddies are one of its unique selling points generally because they work with an easy smile and just like the rest of Thailand’s renowned service industry just want you to enjoy yourself. But we golfers are far more demanding than just requiring a smile, we want Steve Williams on the bag. Therefore, that can’t be where the story ends. If you have golfed here for many years you will have played with good, less good and somewhat mediocre caddies, generally described as “bag carriers”. To better understand what makes one caddy better than another and the inherent challenges faced in order to create the Williams effect, I spoke with Derek Schade, GM of Chiang Mai Highlands, who launched Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort in Northern Thailand and managed 3 golf courses in total. GA – You launched an entire golfing organisation from nothing, so where exactly do you start when it comes to caddying? DS – In the case of somewhere like Highlands which is entirely surrounded by rural areas, you are starting very much from scratch. It helps that I can speak fluent Thai so at first I went into the community and spoke to various groups explaining what would take place, the jobs that were on offer and what caddies might earn. Used to back breaking work in the fields, riding around in a cart with people prepared to pay 4,000 baht for hitting a ball with a stick for 4 hours got their attention…there was easy money to be made! GA – I’m guessing things start slowly then become more involved? DS – Exactly. Our programme ran in 3 week-long phases. First they needed to understand the language and etiquette of golf; tees, bunkers, greens, other hazards, where to stand on the green, when to talk and when to remain quiet, what the players were aiming to achieve. It was basic understanding when obviously all this was a complete mystery. Following this we could look at more technical matters such as distances a particular club might travel and the flight of the ball, distances to aim points or trouble, greens and pins. Then how to rake bunkers and repair pitch marks. Finally it was all about adding value and enabling better scoring on behalf of the customer (player). Take distances to a pin on a par 3: the hole marker will have distances from various coloured tees, perhaps a simple map and of course the flag itself will indicate front/middle/back and that has to be taken into account. The vast majority of caddies would say the distance as they saw it on the marker or score card, but the smart ones could say 150 to the middle but the pin’s at the front so maybe 145 yards. Some could even factor in the wind and the cream of the crop would then be able to club players. The final skill was to learn how to read the greens…an art for the best of us let alone for a Thai girl from a village who one month prior was planting rice. GA – That’s a lot to learn in 3 weeks given the circumstances. DS – It was and we were on a deadline to open. Basically, once we were sure the caddies wouldn’t embarrass themselves or the club they were let loose on the course but an attempt was made to put together groups where promising caddies could help the less able. In the end it worked surprisingly well. GA – Impressive and it explains why some caddies are better than others. DS – I know it is frustrating to get a caddy less able than ... The post Good Caddy, Not so Good…Some Answers Why appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Amazing Asia Golf Double-Header: Vietnam & Thailand Combined
    by Thailand Golf Tour on October 24, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Hi, my name is Willy Ma.   I was born in Hong Kong and moved to Canada to finish high school.  I then attended college in the US and made Los Angeles my permanent residence.   I am a member at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, Los Angeles, California founded in 1924: Bing Crosby was club champion 5 times. I am also a member at Village Country Club at Lompoc, California in Santa Barbara County. My current SCGA Index is about 14. I started playing golf in the 1980s and take regular golf lessons from various golf schools and PGA Professionals so hope to get to single figures before too long. I often plan golf trips for my group of 8 to 16 golfers from all over the world aiming to play the world’s best courses. We’ve travelled to Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos as well as locally in US.   Golf in China used to be my favourite but after this Vietnam and Thailand trip arranged by Golfasian, I would come back in a heart-beat. I find Southeast Asians are the friendliest and most respectful people…..and our dollars go a long way. I would like to plan more trips to Southeast Asia and eventually find a place there to retire. My wife is also an avid golfer but she cannot deal with the humidity and mosquitoes. I also love the food and massages; the only way to end a day’s golf. There’s no place like Thailand. King’s Island GC, Hanoi On my recent trip to Hanoi, I loved all the courses we played in the itinerary except The BRM Legend Hill.  It didn’t seem like a Jack Nicklaus-designed course at all. Notwithstanding, my most memorable hole was a 498 yards par 5.  I was on in two with a 12 foot putt for an eagle; lipped out and made a birdie; very satisfying.  We played the blue tees at all venues and found the courses in Hanoi were very challenging and well designed. My preference has always been for old established courses rather than modern ones.  My best rounds on this trip were at Sky Lake and Kings Island in Hanoi, Springfield and Banyan in Hua Hin. Banyan GC Everything was perfect until the last round at Black Mountain in Hua Hin. I was so looking forward to playing there but the whole experience that day really disappointed me. The course condition was poor, muddy and wet with track marks all over the fairways. There was not one hole that was decent. On top of that, we backed into a group of beginner, older golfers from Australia. They were talking on the tee box most of the time and one guy in particular was always far behind his own group.  It was a five hour round and I had to wait five or more minutes to hit all my shots.  I asked our caddies to go around them but they were afraid to do so. I wish there were Marshalls at these courses and people would be more considerate of others.  I really wanted to quit after 9 holes. A shame things turned out that way because I’m sure such a prestigious course is wonderful in its prime. The hotel selections in the package were very good especially the Anantara Resort. I liked the Anantara for its location away from all the tourists, plus the staff there were excellent. The manager Sheldon was always there to greet us at the breakfast buffet which was a nice touch. We totally enjoyed the breakfast buffet which was a great way to start ... The post Amazing Asia Golf Double-Header: Vietnam & Thailand Combined appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Group’s Long Weekend Golf in Chiang Mai
    by Thailand Golf Tour on October 3, 2016 at 5:51 am

    My name is Tim Spriggs, an Englishman who lives and works in Singapore. For the past couple of years a group of friends and I have undertaken a short golf tour elsewhere in Asia, last year in Danang Vietnam and this year in Thailand. Whilst we play in Singapore, membership is prohibitively expensive so travelling works out cheaper and we enjoy exploring new places and their golf offer. We loved Danang, but having done quite a bit of research knew that Thailand would be great fun with superb food and some decent nightlife. Notwithstanding, we weren’t yet ready for a venue such as Pattaya and thought that Chiang Mai would be a sensible “christening”; for many of us this was the first visit to Thailand. Working with Golfasian came about because of a simple Google search. Their website was comprehensive and informative and our initial enquiry was responded to promptly which always impresses. We were given some excellent advice about which courses to play and where to stay, preferring downtown. This was only a 3-day trip but it felt good to have everything organised and allowed the golf to take centre stage. On the side, I worked with Mike Moyer of Fenix Golf to organise team shirts, caps and prizes: Mike was incredibly helpful given this was only a small order (8 players) and he really took care of us. Everything went without a hitch. Local travel arrangements, hotels and golf all materialized without a single issue. There are no compromises, no snags and no surprises. Every day we had some sort of team competition that culminated in a finale at Gassan Khuntan. The après golf started in the bar post the round with prizes and some “fines” various from appearing late for breakfast to not driving past the ladies’ tee (no names, no pack-drill). Chiang Mai was beautiful and the people at all levels so welcoming. The food is sensational and golf courses are magnificent. We first played Alpine which was notable for its superb and very challenging par 3s, then 36 holes at Highlands (our favourite) whose backdrop was breath taking, and finally Gassan Khuntan which was super-challenging. Khuntan is in a truly exquisite setting located in the lee of the northern mountains of Thailand. The extensive water hazards will challenge most golfers so bring your best game to this course. It is shameless and can strip away your dignity, but what a pleasure. You cannot talk golf in Thailand without recognising the delightful Caddies. Those gentle people who give intuitive advice, moral support, best club selection and playing strategies to suit the course and your game. My experience tells me to listen and follow their wisdom. All the group agreed that golfing in Thailand was special and are now planning a return. I would like to thank Golfasian for making it all possible in such a seamless way. We loved every minute and will return! The post Group’s Long Weekend Golf in Chiang Mai appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Fabulous Chiang Mai, a Great Golf Destination
    by Thailand Golf Tour on September 16, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Having moved to the area of Chiang Mai I am reminded how beautiful the place is, full of culture and fabulous to explore. Thailand’s most mountainous region (albeit “mini-mountains”) it supplies fabulous opportunities for great golf. Additionally, unlike Bangkok which tends to be hot all year round, Chiang Mai has a genuine “winter” period (end November until start April) when the temperatures can fall to the sublime mid twenties and prompt the actual wearing of a sweater (I only have one…threw all the others away). But that’s just the icing on the cake. Rather than go into great detail, which you will be better served by reading the Lonely Planet guide, I’ll provide an overview and give you just a taste. The city is relatively compact and much more residential in feel which makes exploring on foot easy and fun. Whilst it has modern shopping, high rise hotels and commercial areas there are also myriad back streets with markets, small craft and coffee shops plus what seems like hundreds of small hotels and guest houses that cater for visitors, particularly those backpacking in Asia. In those back streets you may come across a beautiful temple or ancient monument which appears unexpectedly.  As you’d expect in Thailand, you are never far from “street food”which in this part of the world is subtly different (try the local speciality, Khao Soi, which is a delicious noodle curry with just a hint of Indian spices), but in recent years, because of the influx of foreign visitors and residents from the four corners of the world, there are all manner of restaurants and cuisines available…I particularly like The Swan, a Burmese restaurant in the centre of the tourist area. Doi Inthanon Chiang Mai is surrounded by beautiful countryside, predominantly forest-covered hills and mountainous areas (whilst small nonetheless spectacular) including Doi Inthanon Thailand’s highest point. This terrain provides the wonderful backdrop to many of the area’s golf courses making them so different from others elsewhere in Thailand. Because the local area is largely rural the roads are quiet and in excellent condition because they don’t get so much heavy traffic and exploring in a car is actually pleasant and stress free. What of the golf itself? In Highlands, Alpine and the recently refurbished Gassan Legacy you have 3 of the finest courses in the country, all of which provide challenging yet rewarding experiences in gorgeous surroundings. There are others, of course, over a dozen and don’t forget the superb Robert Trent Jones Santiburi near Chiang Rai, only a couple of hours away.  So there you have it…Chiang Mai is one of Thailand’s unsung golf destinations , give it a try you’ll be delighted you did. For information on Chiang Mai Golf Packages go to www.golfasian.com/golf-holidays/thailand/chiang-mai/ or contact info@golfasian.com The post Fabulous Chiang Mai, a Great Golf Destination appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Living on a Golf Course in Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Tour on September 12, 2016 at 5:21 am

    Chiangmai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort. Courtesy of Richard Castka For some of us golfers it’s a dream, certainly for me. I’m sitting on the balcony of my rented condominium looking out over beautiful Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort in the north of Thailand, my new home. Am savouring the view but also having to pinch myself and acknowledge how lucky I am. It won’t be all plain sailing because the site is quite remote and my wife (also a golfer) and I have spent the last 9 years in bustling and bedazzling Bangkok so this is a huge change in tempo. However, we plan to give this life a go and see if our future lies here. This is day two and I have decided to write a blog about the experience. It won’t be about me, but hopefully give readers an insight into this area, it’s golf and this particular lifestyle…keeping things in the ‘Zone’.  The main reason I am writing, is that whilst I’m sure such blogs exist for places like Florida or The Algarve I haven’t seen such a blog for Thailand. I also won’t keep up the blog for too long, because as I said, it’s an insight only. On that note let’s see where the next several weeks take us. I’d value any feedback or questions. Wonder when we’ll play our first round? JC     The post Living on a Golf Course in Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Our Best Hua Hin Golf Holiday
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 29, 2016 at 4:08 am

    Hi, my name is Tony Spanjers. As you can see from the photo we were a group of sixteen, made up of “Captains and Presidents”, Captains being Orange and Presidents being blue. We played a two ball match play stableford format with Captains prevailing on this particular trip. We are all from Perth, Western Australia and are members of Araluen Golf Resort, which is situated in the hills South East of Perth. Those of us who are no longer working generally play every Saturday and Wednesday together. Our handicaps range from 7 to 27, so a fairly diverse mix of ability. For some time have been touring as a group, with numbers varying between 12 & 16, every year in July or August [winter in Perth]. Each year we choose a different tour director and different location. Last year we toured and played golf in Da Nang Vietnam, and 2014 we were in Pattaya. We have also been to China’s Mission Hills, New Zealand, the Gold Coast Australia, and sand belt, Melbourne Aust. We were all very happy and impressed by our Hua Hin golf tour, in fact we considered it our best tour yet from all angles. Prices were very reasonable (important as a few of our members aren’t working). The golf courses were excellent, especially Black Mountain Golf Club and the management of our itinerary and transport plus tee times was exemplary. Our only concern was the condition of the greens at Sea Pines but overall we were very happy with the caddies, the weather [only got wet once], the hotel which was in a great location in the centre of all the entertainment venues and had the most friendly staff, plus the Thai people in general. Our best score was a 49 points which was outstanding, from memory first game at Black Mountain…it wasn’t me! After every round, we enjoyed group beers, ate lunch, and collated scores and updated team positions, paying out prize money to first, second and third as well as settling personal bets. Back at the hotel it was a quick change and head for the pool’s swim up bar for a couple of hours. All would meet in the lobby around 8 pm and head off into the night and choose a local restaurant for dinner. After dinner some headed back to hotel, some to a nightclub or pool bar, eventually all ending up in bed ready for the battle to resume the next day. As I said, it was a great trip and one to remember. I’m confident Thailand will feature in future outings. The post Our Best Hua Hin Golf Holiday appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • A Big Fan of Golfasian
    by Thailand Golf Tour on July 28, 2016 at 8:06 am

    My name is Graham Cater, an Aussie who plays Southport Golf Club on the Gold Coast of Australia. It is there I hone my skills and test my mental strength to ready me for our annual Thailand Golf Tour. Playing golf in Thailand is not just about the game it is an exotic experience that has left me with the most wonderful memories from the Land of Smiles. Now I don’t always play well and I have been known to miss the odd easy putt but nothing can stop the enjoyment I get playing on some of the best golf courses in Asia. I first heard about golf in Thailand and Golfasian whilst playing with a group in Singapore. It sounded exciting and the more I investigated the practicalities of putting a tour together the more enthusiastic I became. Then it all came together in March 2012. I had contacted Golfasian and received a quick response from Bee. I was amazed at the efficiency with which Bee put our first golf tour in Hua Hin together. Local travel arrangements, hotels and golf all materialized without a hitch. Five years on and Bee is still looking after our group. She has become our good friend as have many of the wonderful staff of Golfasian.  Currently we are considering Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia for an extended tour, all of which are covered by Golfasian with their own in-country staffs. What makes touring so easy with Golfasian is their awareness of your individual needs. This is integral to their business model. There are no compromises, no snags and no surprises. Thailand is a beautiful country with a wonderful culture. The people are most welcoming, the food is sensational and golf courses are magnificent. I love the green curries, Pad Thai and the tasty whole fish with an accompaniment of shrimp and lobster, all washed down with a cold Singha beer.  What is surprising is how little it costs to have such a spread of dishes.  We play courses in Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Hua Hin. We consider Hua Hin our home-from-home destination. The sweeping fairways of the Pirapon Namatra-designed Banyan offer golfers a world class experience in spectacular surroundings. The championship course Black Mountain is everything you would expect and is acknowledged as the best golf course in Asia. Hosting both Asian and European Tour events it has won a string of international awards and is my favourite course. Gassan Khuntan in Chiang Mai is in a truly exquisite setting located in the northern mountains of Thailand. The extensive water hazards will challenge most golfers so bring your best game to this course. It is shameless and can strip away your dignity, but what a pleasure. You cannot talk golf in Thailand without recognising the delightful Caddies. Those gentle people who give intuitive advice, moral support, best club selection and playing strategies to suit the course and your game. My experience tells me to listen and follow their wisdom. From the mountains to the sea there is a golf course in Thailand for every golfer. It is such a relaxing experience, it is beautiful and such fun. Golfasian cannot improve your golf but they can give you a golfing experience you will never forget. I have recommended 60-70 golfers and friends who have also enjoyed the Golfasian experience and all returned with the same praise. Thanks for providing such outstanding service. The post A Big Fan of Golfasian appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Drought – A Golf Course’s Greatest Challenge
    by Thailand Golf Tour on July 25, 2016 at 7:59 am

    We are aware that Thailand’s tropical climate has a rainy season (Apr-Nov, see https://www.thailandgolfzone.com/thailands-rainy-season-how-does-it-affect-our-golf) and the remaining months enjoy hot and predominantly dry weather throughout, resulting in a tourist “high season” especially in respect of golfing visitors. The 4 main golf areas, Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai all have to manage their water in this period in order to sustain good playing conditions throughout the year. When water is scarce, there is the added challenge that community demand takes priority. Thus, sustainability becomes paramount and stockpiling precious water in the rainy season essential. Designers are very aware of this which is why water features abound in Asia and strategic reservoiring in the form of large lakes is no accident. A great deal of time and specialist expertise is invested in planning for water sourcing. We all want our courses to be lush and green and when conditions are parched, greens rock hard and fairways threadbare we notice; although every cloud has a silver lining and 40 yards run on your driver comes in very handy! Notwithstanding, drought conditions are bad for business…visitors expect the best experience and take good conditioning for granted so the 2015/16 dry season has been a significant challenge as genuine drought conditions prevailed for the first time in years. One prestigious golf course in particular suffered; Springfield Royal Country Club near Hua Hin. This superb Jack Nicklaus design was hit hard with its various lakes as low as 10% capacity and significant restrictions placed on water usage. Others in the area faired just as badly, but the 2 most prestigious local courses Black Mountain and Banyan weren’t impacted so severely, perhaps because they planned better or maybe they were just luckier. Black Mountain was of course hosting the True Thailand Classic in February and needed to be in prime condition in front of the television cameras but a few months later even they were seen to suffer “around the fringes”. The drought was certainly bad with almost no rainfall from November until late May; just a couple of showers in January which made no impact. It was the worst drought in Thailand in almost a decade. The last was in 2009 but this year was more severe. An additional factor is that Hua Hin’s population is also expanding rapidly and the growing demand for domestic water risks outstripping supply completely.  There are rumours of water pipelines from outlying areas that support Hua Hin but as yet nothing concrete has been announced. La Quinta, California This isn’t a new experience for global golf. In the United States, in areas that suffer from water shortages throughout the year and experience high household demand, such as California and Arizona, the golf community has always struggled with its water consumption, environmental credentials and aura of exclusivity. When Californians can’t clean their beloved cars because of hosepipe bans and on the television and lining magazine shelves there are glossy pictures of pristine, fabulously green fairways with what appears to an extravagant use of sprinklers used to maintain this idyllic lifestyle for the wealthy and privileged, naturally there is a clammer to close the whole industry down. Thailand doesn’t yet face this type of problem and water management is very clearly a challenging and complex issue as periods of severe flooding give way to drought. Nevertheless, the golf industry, which is an important and growing contributor to the country’s tourism offering needs to do all it can to plan for the threat of drought and manage its resources accordingly to minimise the risk of losing some courses altogether. Springfield Royal Country Club I shall end by saying that ... The post Drought – A Golf Course’s Greatest Challenge appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Your Views…Hua Hin
    by Thailand Golf Tour on May 19, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Hi my name is Paul Keefe. My wife and I live in Montreal in Canada. I am 72 and have been a Member of a golf club for 50 years. My current club of 33 years is Royal Montreal. We have 45 holes and our claim to fame is we are the oldest golf club in North America. We have hosted the President’s Cup and many Canadian Opens. My lowest handicap was a 12. While I was working golf was limited to 20-30 games a year but since retirement 10 years ago, I have been playing a lot of golf. My handicap increased over the years to 18. My wife and I first came to Thailand in 1990 for our honeymoon and since coming for golf for the first time 6 years ago we have seen many changes. On one particular trip we stayed for 8 weeks and loved the experience. We have tweaked our trip each year to see as much of South East Asia as possible. In Thailand we have golfed in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya. We have also golfed in Vietnam and Cambodia (Siem Riep and Phnom Penh). There is so much to like about golf in Thailand, but in particular we think the hotels are outstanding because of their superb service and the friendliness of staff. We like the Westin in Bangkok because it is on the BTS transportation line. In Hua Hin the Centara and the Hilton are located on a beautiful beach and are right in the center of town. For the golf, of course having a caddie is a real treat. They are really good with yardages and reading greens. The courses for the most part are in great shape and most are excellent designs. My favorite courses are Black Mountain and Banyan in Hua Hin, St Andrews and Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Thai Country Club and Summit Windmill in Bangkok. The weather is usually great. In 6 years I was only forced to abandon one game due to a rain storm. We always walked until this year when we started using a cart because of medical issues. Post our rounds of golf, in the beach towns we would return to the hotel and enjoy the facilities, in Bangkok we shopped. The shopping compared to Canada in terms of choice and variety is incredible.  Of course having a post golf massage is wonderful.  Renowned for its cuisine, the restaurant choices are amazing. The shopping centers have great restaurants and the prices are incredibly reasonable. We keep coming back because of the value, choice and wonderful, varied experiences. We think Thailand is hard to beat as a golf destination. The post Your Views…Hua Hin appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Your Views on Golf in Hua Hin
    by Thailand Golf Tour on May 2, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Hi, my name is Craig Philpott. I am from the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. I travelled to Hua Hin with 4 mates from Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane.  I have played golf for approximately 30 years. My handicap is 4 at the moment. I am a member of Nudgee Golf Club in Brisbane. Nudgee is a members’ course but open to guests as well. This was my first time to Thailand. We selected Hua Hin so we could watch a member of our club, Scott Hend, play in the Thailand Classic, which he duly won so we now have to return next year! Three of the members on the trip have known Scott for quite a few years so this was a cause for much celebration. My first impression of Thailand was “how good is this”. We were picked up by Golfasian at Bangkok airport and transported straight to our hotel at Hua Hin in a very comfortable vehicle. Check-in was swift and I was in my room within 10 minutes of arrival. Next morning we enjoyed a very good breakfast before heading to the front of the hotel ready for golf. The Golfasian driver was waiting for us and we were on our way. We played Sea Pines first and I would recommend this course to anyone. It’s a very good course with great views out to sea on the first, second and the last few holes. Played Banyan and it was everything I had been told it would be. A course with everything, tight holes, wide open holes, trouble for the unwary but playable for all; also in very, very good condition. Springfield Royal was next. Due to the drought it was very dry, which meant not only were the fairways firm (although well grassed) but the large dams were dry. Tee blocks, fairways and greens were in remarkable condition considering the lack of rain the course has received over the past 2 years. I would love to play this course again once the rains return and replenish the water holes. Majestic was next and it also was quite dry once off the fairways. Very playable for all standards and an enjoyable course. Again, would like to play this course after rain as it would be a great test. The staff have done a great job to have it in the condition it was in. Black Mountain was the last course we planned and it was in absolutely great condition 4 days after the Thailand Classic. Not sure what I can say about this course apart from it was a privilege to play such a wonderful layout. Playing from the 7000 yard tees I somehow eagled the 18th, driver, 3 wood and a 3 metre downhill putt. Black Mountain rates in the top 6 courses I have played, sitting alongside the Palmer course in Hawaii, Cottesloe in Perth Western Australia, Royal Adelaide, Troon North in Scottsdale Arizona & Torrey Pines South course. We liked everything about the trip. Caddies were great; all very pleasant and very informative. It didn’t take long for them to work out our strengths and weaknesses. The price may be leaning towards the top of the scale but when everything is as well organised as this trip was it was well worth the money. Condition of the courses was fantastic when all is considered. Favourite course was Black Mountain but the others were very enjoyable. There were many favourite holes but due to my eagle the 18th at Black Mountain is at the top. The 14th & 15th at Springfield Royal would be great holes when the ... The post Your Views on Golf in Hua Hin appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • What makes Nikanti Golf Club an unusual golf course?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 11, 2016 at 8:11 am

    It seems like the golf architect Pirapon Namatra (Ope) of Golf East listened quite a lot to Tina Turner’s famous song ‘Break every rule’ when he designed Nikanti Golf Club, Asia’s first 18 hole, par 72 golf course comprising three six-hole layouts each with two par-threes, two par-fours and two par-fives. Thailand’s 291st golf course was opened in May 2014. The Nikanti Golf Club is almost adjacent to Suwan Golf Club. When Pirapon Namatra (the designer of Banyan Club and part of the construction company responsible for Siam Country Club’s new Siam Waterside) invented and implemented his ‘triple-six’ concept, he introduced a new distribution of par-3, par-4 and par-5 holes. Rather than having traditional front and back nines, here there are three loops of six, each one returning to the stylish and soon-to-be sumptuously appointed clubhouse. The reason, flexibility. Don’t have time for a full 18? Just play 12. Want to have another go at the reachable but dangerous par-5 18th? Why not squeeze in that final loop of six? Nikanti is comprised of three six-hole layouts each with two par-threes, two par-fours and two par-fives. 6,789 yards from the back tees, each group of six holes is distinctive in look, design and play – offering several options of attack. Another example of uniqueness of the golf course is the focus on shot-making. This way, you will be able to test your ability to control the flight of the golf ball through adjusted swing paths. Bangkok courses are often criticized for their lack of elevation change, but that’s not the case here. It seems like that the developer and the architect Pirapon Namatra of Golf East, had considered the 4 most important issues of golf course development during the evaluation of the property: acreage, topography, soil, and vegetation. A good example of topography is the incorporation of the area’s naturally rolling terrain. As well as this he did not neglect the environmental aspects. By incorporating the native vegetation, the course was given character and beauty. It is also interesting that Nikanti is a pay-to-play development; it does not offer memberships. The elegant clubhouse, modern and luxurious, feels sumptuous and classy.  The Nikanti team has paid attention to the details when instead of providing regular golf carts they selected Club Car’s GPS-equipped golf carts. You will love the Visage GPS technology that can not only manage your score, but also navigate easily on the golf course, order food and drink or simply book new tee-times via the touch-screen interface. Thanks to Nikanti’s all-inclusive philosophy guests not only get for their green fee and GPS-equipped golf cart but also the caddy and lunch. The post What makes Nikanti Golf Club an unusual golf course? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Amateur Weeks – Spice up your Golf Vacation
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 4, 2016 at 5:28 am

    Golfasian, Thailand’s largest Inbound Golf Tour Operator, has been bringing clients to Thailand for amateur tournament golf since 2012. In the following year, for their Amateur Golf Weeks the venues were expanded to include Cambodia and Vietnam. Although the company has been providing Asia golf packages to clients throughout the world since the late 1990s, including transport, accommodation and golf, a gap in the market was recognised for a 5-star offer with an additional element…competition. Importantly, the tournament play would be run along professional lines with sponsorship, branded shirts, caddie bibs, sophisticated score keeping using the latest software, plus marshalling (in co-operation with course staff), rules officiating and of course prizes; all overseen by Tournament Director PGTAA qualified Mark Penfold, who has over 10 years of experience in the industry. “One of the most common responses when we ask clients what they most liked about their golf trips with us is everything is taken care of, I can just concentrate on my golf. When we introduced the competitive element we needed it to be very fair and transparent, giving participants the confidence that things were being run properly, just like they are at their home clubs. Elements like the caddie bibs add a bit of drama and uniqueness giving players the feeling that they are being taken seriously and playing for something that matters; this often brings out the best in them.” They mean it when they say 5-star. For Pattaya this year, the accommodation was at the Amari Ocean View and 4 rounds of golf were played at Siam Country Club’s superb triumvirate of courses plus the Jack Niklaus-designed Laem Chabang. The timing, in March, deliberately takes advantage of the recently finished Honda LPGA Thailand on the Old Course as well as the joint European/Asian Tour’s Thailand Classic at Hua Hin’s Black Mountain, ensuring both are in immaculate condition with lightning fast greens. But people shouldn’t be intimidated. Men and women of all ages are welcome and there are competition divisions for handicaps ranging from scratch to 40+. The scoring is along stableford lines so pace of play is maintained. Because it’s also about the social side either travelling with friends/spouse or forming friendships anew, there is an emphasis on the social side with both welcome and prize giving dinners plus daily happy hour gatherings for the latest scores update, near pins and assorted other giveaways. What do people think…? “As usual the whole 7-day event was memorable. Sure, the golf is the draw card but besides the great courses I loved the tension (not too serious) of the competition, the social events, catching up with old friends and making new. When the rest day came around it was a great opportunity to site-see, do some shopping and soak up the local culture. I’m hooked and can’t wait for the next one.” Richard – Sydney The post Amateur Weeks – Spice up your Golf Vacation appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • What makes Asia’s 1st replica golf course unique?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 29, 2016 at 9:37 am

    The Gary Roger Baird-designed Royal Gems Golf City’s life and operations did not start smoothly (in the 1960s and early 1970s Baird worked as a senior architect with Robert Trent Jones). Right after the opening in 2011, it suffered significant flooding in December. However, they were able to reopen the golf club in 2012. Royal Gems Golf City is Asia’s first replica golf course and combines 9 of the best holes in the world (see list below) like TPC Sawgrass, St Andrews and Oakmont. The back 9 of the golf course is the replica of Augusta National’s back 9 holes. Thus, you will be able to experience Amen Corner yourself.  Hopefully, when the hundreds of young trees mature and reach their full height then it will really be like at Augusta. What makes this golf course unique is that each hole has its own individuality and will challenge every player. This is the list of holes: 1- Oakmont #3 (Church pew bunkers) 2- Bay Hill #16 3- TPC Sawgrass #17 4- Doral #18 5- Royal Troon #8 (postage stamp) 6- St Andrews #17 (road hole) 7- Bethpage Black #7 8- Winged Foot #10 9- The Belfry #10 10-18- Augusta National #10-18 In its current form, Royal Gems Golf City is a par-72, 18-hole, 7,075-yard golf course. Royal Gems offers a combination of American, Scottish and Thai characteristics. Where we can play golf now, once there was a thousand rai of paddy fields. The remains of the paddy fields you can still see adjacent to the golf course. The golf club is situated in pleasant, natural parkland to the west of Bangkok. The course has a few lakes, fast greens, narrow fairways, deep rough and enormous bunkers. Use of the club is restricted to members and their guests only but Golfasian has managed to gain access for its clients. Royal Gems Golf City is one of the very few golf courses in Thailand to be an official member of the United States Golf Association and is approved for professional championships. The post What makes Asia’s 1st replica golf course unique? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Your Holidays in Focus
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 22, 2016 at 4:35 am

      Hi, my name is Joe. I started playing golf in 1992 as a club member at Amstel Golf Club, but am now playing off a 10 handicap at Drouin Golf and Country Club at Drouin Victoria in Australia. The Drouin course is predominately couch fairways set amongst a picnic day racecourse, quite picturesque. My lowest playing handicap has been 7. Before this trip, I had travelled to Thailand twice before, backpacking, and not staying in any one place for any length of time. A local Drouin member had taken a group of friends to Thailand last year and had organised another trip in May 2015, so I decided to join this group along with a few others who hadn’t been to Thailand golfing either. I didn’t know these members, but by the time we left Hua Hin the 12 of us had become good mates. All agreed to return next year. We all agreed it was sensational. The golf courses are well above par, the food great, the night markets and social activities were sensational. Having had such a magnificent time golfing in Thailand, I couldn’t wait to go again. I found Golfasian on their website and their Asia Golf Week tournaments caught my eye. They were available at a great price, including golf, caddies, carts, accommodation, all overland transfers plus group dinners. I booked in for the Chiang Mai amateur tournament, apprehensive at first not knowing anyone, but was soon put at ease with some supporting emails from Mark Penfold, director of events. Upon arrival at Chiang Mai I was promptly picked up for my transfer to the hotel. The group meeting that night was full of expectation and excitement. As the week rolled on new friendships grew and the golf became more competitive. The beautiful courses at Alpine, Chiang Mai Highlands and Gassan were very challenging and a real test, particularly as it was a competition. If it wasn’t for the knowledge of the caddies I’m guessing many of us would have really suffered. The Alpine Golf Resort had been set up for the ASEAN championships, so it was very tough with its Bermuda rough and tight fairways. The last round at Chiangmai Highlands Resort and Spa surrounded by the local hills was also tough but very scenic and easy on the eyes. My score of 34 points wasn’t good enough to hold off the better players on the day. The courses selected by Golfasian, that I have seen so far, are top quality layouts making you think about every shot. The location of the hotels were excellent, very close to all amenities, bars, restaurants and markets. The golf course transfer drivers were efficient; always on time and very polite. Although the weather was hot, which I don’t mind, the caddies were always on hand with an umbrella and a cold drink or parking the golf cart in the shade; the ultimate indulgence. After the round a nice cool drink, snack and some good stories were exchanged in the beautiful club houses, before returning to the hotel for an evening meal. I am extremely impressed with the professionalism of Golfasian. I really can’t think of anything that could improve the Chiang Mai amateur championship tournament. I urge those thinking about it to just do it, you won’t be disappointed. I’m off to Hua Hin in March 2016. The post Your Holidays in Focus appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • What is like an ultimate golf championship in Pattaya?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 16, 2016 at 11:06 am

    It seems like we are looking forward a very busy month in June. The next tournament, the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2-Ball Golf Championship ,will be held between June 19-25. Unlike the Centara World Masters Championship, the Pattaya event will be played in 2-ball format for each of 4 rounds, adding a new dimension to the concept. The championship will be held on 3 golf courses of the Siam Country Club and at the Laem Chabang International Country Club. Shall we use all of our annual holiday days to be able to participate in these two Thai amateur golf tournaments? At the same time, we should not forget that there will be in September (4th-10th) in Vietnam another great opportunity, the Accor Vietnam World Masters Golf Championship. Let’s see, what should we know about the 4 golf courses of the event! Siam Country Club: Old Course It is one of the more famous Thailand golf courses. The Siam Country Club, Old Course itself is one of the best in Pattaya. The golf course has hosted several international golf tournaments including the annual Honda LPGA Classic from 2010 onwards. The Honda LPGA Thailand celebrated its 10th anniversary in February 2016. The greens at Siam Country Club Old Course are large, roll fast, are excellently maintained, and extremely undulated. Depending on which of the 3 nines are played is a long 7,404 or 7,495 yards, which makes the Siam Country Club Plantation Course one of the longest golf courses in Thailand. Where we play today golf there was a sugar cane, tapioca and pineapple plantation. This where the name of the golf course is coming from. The 27-hole layout is routed through rolling terrain, with distant panoramic views of Pattaya Beach and Laem Chabang Port. The golf course was designed by Lee Schmidt of Schmidt & Curley. The Plantation Course has a decent experience in hosting top-notch golf events as well. It was the home of the 2009 US LPGA and the 2015 Thailand Open. When you will be there, I can strongly recommend visiting the “Bird Wings” clubhouse that sits on top of the hills. From the front balcony, view of the only “Triple Greens,” in Asia, 3 greens of 3 golf holes occupying almost 3,000 square meters. Siam Country Club, Waterside Course The 3rd golf course of the Siam Country Club was designed by IMG Golf. To make the golf course more challenging, we have to come over several lakes and creeks during the game. It is a par-72, 7,400 yards long golf course where you will not get bored and left unchallenged. To step to the challenge, on the fairways, we will find Paspalum grass while on the green ultra-dwarf Bermuda grass. All of the greens are basically flush with the fairways. Laem Chabang International Country Club Probably, this golf course has the most well-known golf course designer: Jack Nicklaus. Laem Chabang consists of 27 holes on 700 acres and each hole is different. The complex was opened in 1995. The Mountain 9 holes is 3446 yards in length around the beautiful hills of the property. The Lake 9 is 3419 yards, with a stream running through it and the Valley 9 is 3619 yards. This club has also got experience in hosting leading golf tournaments like the 2001 Volvo Classic and the 2002 Thai Senior Open. Packages For the event are available with six nights’ accommodation, transfers, breakfast, four rounds of golf including caddies and carts, welcome and presentation dinners, lucky prize draws and other benefits at the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort and Ibis Pattaya Hotel from THB33,625 (approx. USD930) twin share/THB43,760 (approx. USD1210) single.     The post What is like an ultimate golf championship in Pattaya? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • 7 reasons to play on the Centara World Masters Championship
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 10, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    How do you decide on which amateur golf championship is worth to participate? Based on the positive responses from golfers from 23 countries who played in the first Centara World Masters Golf Championship in 2015, I can strongly recommend to you to come and play this year. The Centara World Masters Golf Championship is Asia’s largest and richest amateur week of golf. The Centara World Masters Golf Championship will be hosted in the royal city of Hua Hin (Thailand), between 12-18 June 2016. Entry is open to all the male and female golfers over the age of 35 with an official handicap. All golfers play a 72 hole single Stableford event while “A” grade golfers are eligible to compete for the best stroke / gross. Over US $30,000 in prizes and lucky draws will be given away at the gala presentation dinner. The Centara World Masters Golf Championship will be held in 4 golf clubs: Banyan Golf Club: 18 holes par 72, 7361 yards; Black Mountain Club: 18 holes par 72, 7343 yards; Imperial Lake View Resort & Golf Club: 36 holes, par 72/72, 6915/7015 yards; Springfield Royal Country Club: 27 holes, par 72, 7043 yards. As you can see from the list, the organizers are providing the opportunity to play on different kind of golf courses where the quality of green’s and fairways’ conditioning are out of the question. I have collected 7 reasons why worth to play on the Centara World Masters Golf Championship: Banyan Golf Club: in 2011 was named as the 3rd best course of Thailand at the annual Asian Golf Monthly awards. In 2012, the club received the Asian Golf Monthly awards for Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific. Black Mountain Golf Club: it is the only course in Thailand ever named in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses Outside the US. The club has hosted 3 Asian Tour events. They were the “Best Course in Asia Pacific” in 2014 and 2015. The par-5 18th makes for a dramatic closing hole. Imperial Lake View Resort & Golf Club: The club offers 36 holes with 4 challenging golf courses: Mountain, Lake, Desert and Link, designed by Roger Packard and Ronald Fream. Springfield Royal Country Club: a TOP 10 golf course in Thailand ranked by Golf Digest; Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Has something to add to this story? Share it in the comments! The post 7 reasons to play on the Centara World Masters Championship appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Trips – Not Just for Golfers
    by Thailand Golf Tour on February 10, 2016 at 6:41 am

    My name is Steve Hall.  I am originally from England but migrated to Australia just over 8 years ago.  We live on the beautiful South West Coast of Australia in a small place called Australind, approximately 2 hours South of Perth.   Here we are fortunate to be able to enjoy the outdoor life; lovely beaches, many BBQ’s, beach fishing, numerous wineries and of course golf. I started to play golf with my sons when we first came to Australia and later, when we made friends with others who enjoyed the game too, I joined one of our local golf clubs called Sanctuary Golf Resort.  It is an 18-hole municipal golf course and can be quite challenging at times with its many lakes and sand bunkers. Although I have been playing the game now for several years, I still have a rather high handicap; one I would not care to mention, but I am slowly getting it down.  My wife says she is proud of me for my sheer determination in continuing on but I do enjoy the sport, more on a good day, and especially the social side which comes with it.  It is our third time in Thailand but our first time golfing.  We chose Thailand and especially Hua Hin because it was highly recommended to us by our son.  He stayed there with friends a couple of years ago and was very impressed with both the area and the golf.  I found Golfasian on the internet, emailed them with our requirements and went from there.  We travelled with friends of ours, Scott and Sandra.  Neither of our wives play golf so we needed to make sure that there would be enough for them to do whilst we were off enjoying the game.  Golfasian came up with a very attractive package and before we knew it we were booked and ready to go. We stayed in Hua Hin for seven nights at the Hotel Baan Laksasubha Resort. A beautiful Colonial, Thai-designed property located right on the beach and close to all the shops, bars and restaurants.  The rooms and grounds were kept very clean and the staff were so friendly and helpful.   The infinity pool overlooking the beach was a big hit for us. Our itinerary included three alternate days of golf where we played Springfield Royal Country Club, Banyan Golf Club and Black Mountain Golf Club.  The conditions of the courses were excellent but my favorite was Banyan because there I played a better game and although all our caddies were excellent, the caddies we had here were a lot of fun.  Whilst we played golf, the girls kept themselves entertained with shopping, massages, relaxing by the pool and lunch and cocktails at the beach bar.  After golf we would all relax by the pool with a cold beer.  What could be better.  In the evenings we dined at some of the wonderful restaurants Hua Hin has to offer.  The food was excellent and the people very friendly. On one of the none golfing days we took a taxi to a winery which was just under an hour away.  “Winery in Thailand” I hear you say.  Yes, we could not believe it either and it did not cost much to get there.  It was set in beautiful lush green surroundings and reminded us of one of the wineries not far from where we live.  There we sampled some lovely wines ready to then order with our lunch.  The food was tasty but the portions a little small. We spent another day fishing at the Hua Hin Fishing Lodge.  The surroundings were idyllic, relaxing and ... The post Thailand Golf Trips – Not Just for Golfers appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • The perfect Father/Son golf trip – Hua Hin
    by Thailand Golf Tour on January 18, 2016 at 10:47 am

    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. Vierumaki Golf Club 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 ... The post The perfect Father/Son golf trip – Hua Hin appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Worry-Free At The Golf Tee: Enriching A Well Protected Golf Lifestyle With Travel Insurance
    by Thailand Golf Tour on January 18, 2016 at 10:21 am

    The popularity of golf has skyrocketed across the world with several unexpected countries emerging as world-class golfing hubs. While the sport was previously confined to the shores of Europe and North America, the modern game has taken a turn towards the Orient with Asia emerging as a key travel scene for golf lovers. Paying tribute to the budding attractiveness of this sport in the region, unbeatable golf courses have rapidly sprung to life across Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and many other parts of the Asian sub-continent. But every time golfers step on to the golf course, they have potential liabilities –– whether as players or spectators. That’s why Golfasian has created a comprehensive golf travel insurance package designed to meet your every travel need. Remove Your Handicap By Choosing Golf Travel Insurance Golfing liabilities can arise from practically anywhere –– whether you’re practicing, playing, driving buggies or simply attending tournaments as a spectator. To protect yourself from harmful risks and losses, you’ll naturally want to equip yourself with proper on-course and off-course protection. With this in mind, Golfasian and Pacific Cross insurance have come together to offer an exclusive and all-inclusive insurance scheme for all golf enthusiasts looking to indulge in the lure of the game and the exquisiteness of the region. The next time you book a golf holiday, you may want to consider golf travel insurance, giving you access to the widest travel coverage at highly competitive premium rates. Minimize Your Liability With Comprehensive Golf Travel Benefits Golfasian provides a unique golf travel insurance package for golfers traveling to different parts of the Asian continent. Some of the highlights of Golfasian’s travel insurance include: Up To US$ 75,000 Worth Of Medical Treatment: Medical treatment includes fees for surgery, ambulance, medicines, tests, hospitalization and follow-up care. Up To US$ 65,000 Worth Of Personal Accident Insurance: This covers permanent disability or accidental death (inclusive of sight and limb loss). The maximum coverage will double when an insured person travels on public transport as a fare-paying passenger. Baggage Damage/Loss Up To US$ 800 And Baggage Delay Up To US$ 125: Any damage or loss of baggage that results from theft, burglaries, accidents or mishandling will be covered up to US$ 800 with a limit of US$ 250 per baggage item. Any baggage delay of at least 12 hours will be covered up to US$ 65 per item for purchasing emergency items like clothing and toiletries. Golfing Equipment Loss/Damage Up To US$ 2000: Any damage or loss to the golfing equipment of an insured person –– either in transit or at an accepted golf club will be covered up to US$ 2000 with a limit of US$250 per article. Loss Of Travel Documents Up To US$ 1500: Any loss of travel documents will be reimbursed up to US$ 1500 to cover the cost of replacing air tickets, travel expenses, passports and accommodation. The travel documents may be lost because of accidents or burglaries. Up to US$ 300 for Hole-In-One: If an insured person is able to score a Hole-In-One at an accepted golf club, then an allowance of up to US$ 300 is payable, if the person is able to submit a signed certificate from the golf club. Avail Of The Most Enticing Golf Holidays From Golfasian Whether you’re looking to take advantage of Thailand golf holidays, Malaysia golf holidays or Vietnam golf holidays, Golfasian has a bevy of enticing packages designed to meet your every travel need –– enabling you to relish in the spectacular backdrop of the Asian region by combining it with your favorite sport. And to help you transform into a smarter golf traveler, Golfasian empowers you with ... The post Worry-Free At The Golf Tee: Enriching A Well Protected Golf Lifestyle With Travel Insurance appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Great Thailand Golf Tournaments to Participate in During Spring/Summer of 2016
    by Thailand Golf Tour on January 8, 2016 at 5:08 am

    There are a slew of great amateur Thailand golf tournaments to participate in during the spring/summer of 2016. Some of the best tournaments are those located in southeastern Asian countries like Thailand & Vietnam. If you don’t mind a little traveling, you can enjoy some of the best golf experiences often at a rather low cost. Amari Pattaya & Hua Hin Golf Weeks (March 6-12 & 13-19, Pattaya/Hua Hin, Thailand) Almost 100 club golfers from 10 countries are expected to participate at the Amari Pattaya Golf Week on 6-12 March 2016 and the Amari Hua Hin Golf Week on 13-19 March 2016. These two week-long Thailand golf tournaments for all golfers (with and without handicaps), include four rounds of golf at Championship venues and nightly social and entertainment events. Also catering to the needs of non-golfers and traveling companions, a series of tours to the regions’ popular attractions and destination experiences will be offered. Amari will host this unique dual-destination golfing experience at two of its top locations in Thailand: Amari Ocean Pattaya and Amari Hua Hin. Centara World Masters Golf Championship (June 12-18, Hua Hin, Thailand) & Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Golf Championship (June 19-25, Pattaya, Thailand) Club golfers have quickly made the Centara World Masters Golf Championship in Hua Hin, Thailand, the biggest international tournament for club golfers in Asia. 750 golfers from 23 countries attended the second annual Centara Masters in June and similar numbers will contest this year’s event from 12 to 18 June 2016. With golfers keen to experience more of Thailand’s golfing holiday destinations, tournament organisers have added the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Championship from 19 to 25 June 2016. The Pattaya tournament will see may golfers extend their stay in Thailand to play the 3 courses at Siam Country Club and the highly ranked Laem Chabang. Away from the courses, Pattaya has pristine beaches, amazing restaurants, bars and shopping as well as exotic nightlife. The Centara World Masters is open to male and female golfers over the age of 35, with 15 divisions guaranteeing you play with golfers of a similar age and standard. The tournament is played over 4 rounds. Hua Hin was voted Asia’s Best Golf Destination and the Centara Masters will see golfers play at Black Mountain, Banyan, Springfield and the composite course at Imperial Lake View. The Pattaya tournament is played as a team of two, incorporating best ball, ambrose and aggregate competition. Golfers of all ages can compete and there are men’s, ladies and mixed divisions based on combined team handicap. Golfers play the 3 courses at Siam Country Club plus a round at Laem Chabang. Carts and Thailand’s experienced and ever-smiling caddies are included at all courses. Caddies also wear souvenir caddy bibs featuring players name and country. Both tournaments are hosted by Go Golfing Australia in partnership with Golfasian and the personalised service, supreme event organisation, big prize pools, nighty socials and dinners with world class entertainment ensure these event are lots of fun and great value. Limited places remain for both events in 2016. Play both events and save 10%. For more information visit www.thailandworldmasters.com and www.pattayagolftournament.com The post Great Thailand Golf Tournaments to Participate in During Spring/Summer of 2016 appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Holiday Experiences
    by Thailand Golf Tour on December 21, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Hi, my name is Bob Wood. I am from the Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane in Australia. I have played golf for over 50 years but have become more serious in recent years after my retirement from Secondary School teaching. I play off a handicap of between 6 & 8, depending on the benevolence of the golfing Gods and am a member of Caloundra Golf Club a parkland course north of the town of Caloundra and just a few kilometres inland. I usually play competitions at my club 3 times a week. Recently, on a golfing trip to Thailand I had my second hole in one at Lam Luk Ka Golf Club one hour north of Bangkok on the 145 metre par 3, 12th (the first was last year at The Royal Gems). It’s always great to see the ball go in off the tee on a par 3 but particularly good fun when you are on holiday playing with friends in beautiful surroundings. This is my 6th Thailand golf holiday with like-minded golfing addicts from Australia. I consider Thailand to be the best golfing experience in the world. The courses are excellent and the caddies in the main are friendly, competent and diligent; they add to the ambience of any day. The friendliness of the Thai people in general is overwhelming. West Course 12th Our Thailand destinations have included Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Hua Hin all of which offer the full cultural and golfing experience without the hassles of big city traffic and crowds. All our trips have been expertly organised by Golfasian, whom we have found to be friendly, well organised and reliable. The post Thailand Golf Holiday Experiences appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Surprising Chiang Mai
    by Thailand Golf Tour on December 17, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Having reviewed the superb Chiang Mai Highlands golf course recently, I just got back from another short trip to Chiang Mai, this time with visitors doing the tourist “bit”. Courtesy of blogs like this, for those of you who are novices to Thailand in respect of golf I’m guessing the destinations most familiar to you will be Pattaya, Phuket and Hua Hin (less so) for something that combines golf and other holiday-typical activities, in their case the beach. Chiangmai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort. Courtesy of Richard Castka Chiang Mai turns out to be a bit of a dark horse (although no beach which will become obvious when you look at the map), offering superb golf (see Chiang Mai golf) plus plenty of things to enjoy when away from the links. Chiang Mai is my second favourite city in Thailand, just slightly behind Bangkok which I have grown to love. One of the reasons is that unlike Bangkok which tends to be hot all year round, Chiang Mai has a genuine “winter” period (end November until start April) when the temperatures can fall to the sublime mid twenties and prompt the actual wearing of a sweater (I only have one…threw all the others away). But that’s just the icing on the cake. Rather than go into great detail, which you will be better served by reading the Lonely Planet guide, I’ll provide an overview and give you just a taste. The city is relatively compact and much more residential in feel which makes exploring on foot easy and fun. Whilst it has modern shopping, high rise hotels and commercial areas there are also myriad back streets with markets, small craft and coffee shops plus what seems like hundreds of small hotels and guest houses that cater for visitors, particularly those backpacking in Asia. In those back streets you may come across a beautiful temple or ancient monument which appears unexpectedly.  As you’d expect in Thailand, you are never far from “street food”which in this part of the world is subtly different (try the local speciality, Khao Soi, which is a delicious noodle curry with just a hint of Indian spices), but in recent years, because of the influx of foreign visitors and residents from the four corners of the world, there are all manner of restaurants and cuisines available…I particularly like The Swan, a Burmese restaurant in the centre of the tourist area. Doi Inthanon Chiang Mai is surrounded by beautiful countryside, predominantly forest-covered hills and mountainous areas (on a small scale admittedly but spectacular nonetheless) including Doi Inthanon Thailand’s highest point. This terrain provides the wonderful backdrop to many of the area’s golf courses making them so different from others elsewhere in Thailand. Because the local area is largely rural the roads are quiet and in excellent condition because they don’t get so much heavy traffic and exploring in a car is actually pleasant and stress free. What of the golf itself? In Highlands, Alpine and the recently refurbished Gassan Legacy you have 3 of the finest courses in the country, all of which provide challenging yet rewarding experiences in gorgeous surroundings. There are others, of course, over a dozen and don’t forget the superb Robert Trent Jones Santiburi near Chiang Rai, only a couple of hours away.  So there you have it…surprising Chiang Mai, give it a try you’ll be delighted you did. For information on Chiang Mai Golf Packages go to www.golfasian.com/golf-holidays/thailand/chiang-mai/ or contact info@golfasian.com     The post Surprising Chiang Mai appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golfing on the Enchanting Island of Phuket
    by Thailand Golf Tour on December 15, 2015 at 4:58 am

    When you contemplate booking your next golf holiday, the superior courses of Thailand are beckoning to you to come experience some of the best golfing in Asia. Thailand, known as the Land of Smiles, features excellent golf courses dotting the kingdom, and none of them is more in demand than those of Phuket. Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is easy to get to and a proven destination point for tourists of all stripes. For golfers in particular, Phuket’s array of amenities makes traveling to the island a no brainer when scheduling your perfect, getaway golf holiday. Top Golf Courses of Phuket, Thailand Variety is the spice of life, and Phuket provides plenty of spice when it comes to selecting where you want to tee up for a great round of golf. The island hosts more than a half a dozen superior courses with challenges and beautiful vistas built into the design concepts of each course. If you are coming to Thailand in search of great links and superior golfing conditions, you will find both at any of Phuket’s top professional courses. Red Mountain Golf Club The crème-de-la-crème of Phuket golf courses, Red Mountain Golf Club provides the ultimate golfing experience for experts and novices alike. Built on the site of an abandoned tin mine, the 18-holes of Red Mountain Golf Club meanders across multiple elevations dominated by dense jungle terrain on the one hand, and towering cliffs of soft red rock of the former mining operation while providing some of the most challenging holes on the island. As the highest course on Phuket Island, you will be afforded incredible views regardless of which hole you playing. Additionally, this award-winning course is centrally located just minutes from famous beaches like Patong and Karon, so this provides a prime opportunity for the non-golfing members of your family to enjoy their vacation while you explore every inch of this awesome golf course. Blue Canyon Country Club Blue Canyon Country Club, located just minutes away from Phuket International Airport, provides the closest links for new arrivals, and the club is strategically placed to take advantage of the many amenities along the island’s west coast. Blue Canyon offers two distinct golfing experiences: The Canyons and The Lakes. The Canyons, set in a natural environment that features 80 bunkers and ten holes where water plays a challenging role, is a championship-grade course with greens that run both fast and true. By comparison, The Lakes course navigates around three dozen bunkers and 17 holes that are impacted by the water hazards that lend the course its name. The Incredible Caddies of Phuket In the world of golf tourism, the Kingdom of Thailand has a secret weapon at its disposal that places it far above its competition, its cadre of highly qualified caddies. Rooted in the kindness of the Thai people, Thailand’s caddies are not only extensively trained in the fine art of golf, but they also deliver a fun experience for the more than 600,000 golf tourists expected to travel to Thailand this year. Friendliness is a way of life in Thailand, and guests are made to feel as if they are members of the family immediately upon disembarking from the plane. The post Golfing on the Enchanting Island of Phuket appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Top 3 Reasons to Golf in Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Tour on December 11, 2015 at 3:35 am

    For the true golf aficionado, distance means nothing unless it pertains to judging which club to grab from your golf bag to make that sweet shot on the back nine. As such, the world is your oyster when it comes to locating the next great golfing destination, and Thailand is the pearl you will find when you schedule your Thailand golf holiday. A fully inclusive Thailand golf package puts you directly on the green for some of the best golfing that the world has to offer. With more than two hundred established golf courses in the country, an already well-established and robust tourist industry, superior climate, and some of the nicest people in the world, Thailand golf excursions are a perfect way to spend your holidays. 1. Great Golfing Options as Varied as Thailand Itself As mentioned, with more than two hundred golf courses peppered throughout the country, the Kingdom of Thailand golf scene is already well established and awaiting your arrival. Even better, the rich environmental diversity of the country affords a Thailand golf holiday that directly matches your preferences. For example, the experience of golfing in the highland mountainous regions affords breathtaking vistas rivaled only by the courses along the stunning beach resorts of Phuket and Hua Hin. Additional options include excellent golf courses in close proximity to the vibrant nightlife of the nation’s capital of Bangkok. In short, you decide on the Thailand golf experience that you want and there is a Thailand golf package aimed at meeting those specific desires and expectations. 2. The Rich Cultural Diversity of Thailand Beyond offering stunning Thailand golf options, the country itself features one of the oldest and unique cultures in the world, so there is something to do for everyone in your traveling party. These adventures encompass everything from exploring towering waterfalls, visiting ancient Buddhist temples, trekking through jungle terrain atop an Asian elephant, or shopping in high-end boutique shops in the famed shopping districts of the country. For “foodies” in your party, Thailand offers incredible cuisine that combines both international flavors and rich homegrown tastes in an explosion of flavors on your taste buds. Whether the motivation is a Thailand golf holiday or a Thailand pleasure getaway, there is something for everyone when you visit the nation that goes by the moniker, “Land of Smiles.” 3. Well Established Tourism Infrastructure With a reputation as a visitor destination point owing to its rich cultural traditions and brilliant natural beauty, scheduling a Thailand golf holiday is easy because of the already well-established tourist industry. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is dedicated to supporting the development of an international Thailand golf industry, so there is a wealth of information available to plan your Thailand golf holiday. From five-star rated hotels dominating the skyline to charming Thai style bungalows nestled along the coastline, there is a large array of accommodation options regardless of where you decide to tee up within the country. Plan Your Thailand Golf Holiday Today If you are looking for a golfing experience unlike any other, consider planning a Thailand golf package that is without compare. Offering a beautiful climate year round, warm and inviting people, and plenty of thongs to do both on and off the award winning golf courses, a Thailand golf holiday is a great way to spend your time away from the office. Award winning Golfasian offers customized golf holidays in Thailand and it’s neighboring countries. The post Top 3 Reasons to Golf in Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Chiang Mai Highlands – Just got better
    by Thailand Golf Tour on November 3, 2015 at 3:27 am

    This month I was invited by the General Manager, Derek Schade, to review Chiang Mai Highlands’ new nine holes which opened to the public on November 1st. Derek had only taken up his post at Highlands recently after a successful period running Lotus Valley Golf Resort. There was a “return of the prodigal son” element as he had previously managed the Golf Club and enjoyed working closely with the inspirational owner Khun Vichai who persuaded him to re-join the Team.  As I hadn’t played in the area for several years, and given Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort was in the running for the 2015 Asia Golf Awards Best Golf Resort in Asia Pacific (they subsequently won!), I took the opportunity to explore the whole facility and give readers an insight into what the complete package offers. First, golf in the Chiang Mai area is a wonderful experience not just because of the spectacular backdrop of lush, verdant hills. It is also due to the general climate which is just that bit more forgiving than central and southern areas of Thailand with temperatures and humidity 5-20% more favourable. As its name would suggest Chiang Mai Highlands takes particular advantage of the locale and the designers Schmidt-Curley, who have delivered several projects in Thailand, notably the prestigious Amata Spring home to the Thailand Golf Championships, were eager to leave their mark yet remained sensitive to the beauty of the region. They were able to create something challenging and rewarding yet natural, sitting comfortably within its surroundings. Lee Schmidt was the actual designer of the original eighteen and designed the new nine. Whilst subtly different in that the fairways on the new ‘C’ Course are wider and more forgiving, plus the greens much larger with distinct tiers, it is clear all 27 holes have the same DNA. Every shot requires an element of strategic thinking followed by sound execution in order to steer clear of hazards. These are natural in the form of young and mature trees or streams that meander throughout the course, plus bunkers that define the “smart” landing areas off the tees as well as approaches to the greens. These aren’t the only architect’s tools in use because the lay of the land allows for significant slopes and undulations, complemented by mounding that provides for a great or otherwise lie and/or line to the green.  Many greens have severe run-offs but they are a large target so it’s not all penal. Just like the original eighteen this nine exercises the brain and cannot be overcome by brute force alone. A case in point is the first hole; a 545 yard par 5 that doglegs left at a distance of about 300 yards from the blue tees. Standing on the tee you’ll straight away see the owner’s sensitivity to the environment because only 80 yards from the tee on the right sits a quite lovely tree that ever so slightly prevents a completely unimpeded view and on many courses would have been removed; I’m glad it’s there. Bunkers at 250 yards on the left dictate a drive that favours the quite open right hand side but then you wonder if the chance of getting on in two is out of the question.  It probably is for all except the likes of Rory McIlroy because once the hole turns left the ground climbs sharply to the multi-tiered green which slopes from front to back and provides for 2 very different pin positions. Even for a layup second the left side is peppered with bunkers such that the right hand side, and far right ... The post Chiang Mai Highlands – Just got better appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf Club membership in England versus Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Tour on September 23, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Last Sunday I turned up to play alone at Lam Lukka and was sensibly paired by the starter with 2 Thai gentlemen. After a few polite introductions we completed the first 3 holes and at the first drinks stop started a more involved conversation. This was about the differences between being a member of a club in Thailand versus England where I come from.  First of all I need to say that this is my experience and there are some generalisations, but in the main I believe the following are valid observations. I have been a member of 5 clubs in England and am a member of 2 here in Thailand. They are very different propositions. The vast majority of clubs in England are member-owned and through their affiliations are subject to the governance of the English Golf Union and its various Associations. There is similar infrastructure in Thailand but understandably not so mature in its development. An English golf club has a very formal hierarchy with an operational organisation managed by the Club “Secretary” who takes care of the running of the course and its facilities. This is also true of Thailand albeit the post is more practically described as the General Manager, but there the similarities end because this hierarchy is far more evident day to day in England. Because Members are effectively shareholders of the club they participate in the management of the organisation by virtue of a standing Committee which influences rules and guidelines for play, dress codes, social matters, pricing and other matters.  Importantly, two posts on the committee are filled by the Captain and Lady Captain who are voted in by the other Members as their representative for the year and who fulfil an important role which is far more than ceremonial. The reason for these positions originally was because there has been a long tradition of competition in English golf both internally within the club, playing for various trophies, as well as external competition between local and regional clubs in tournaments managed by the various Associations: thus you need a team Captain. Whilst the position of Captain is quite demanding and expensive because they are expected to participate in all things social as well as playing probably 200 times a year and certainly twice every weekend, there are perks. The Captain will have their annual subscription waived, enjoy a rather prominent car parking position next to the front door of the clubhouse and best of all as far as I was concerned, have absolute right of way on the first tee…they turn up and as a function of courtesy you step aside…wonderful! Not all Captains used that privilege, can’t think why not? Another unusual tradition is that the Captain plays with all prospective new members so it is important to be on your best behaviour that day and create a good impression. But what of the day to day for us lowly types who seek only to play and not get involved with the organisation, bureaucracy and politics (there was a lot of that going on)? Just like Thailand I tended to play with a regular group of various ages; a common theme being they were very sociable. The difference was I probably met that group because on joining the club the first thing I did was sign up for the inevitable weekend competition. In this way I met people both on the course and afterwards when it was customary to get together in the bar and say hello over a civilised drink. On one occasion this turned out to be an unexpected event when I arrived ... The post Golf Club membership in England versus Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Your Views of Golf in Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Tour on September 21, 2015 at 6:42 am

    My name is Steve Madden and I live in Sydney, Australia. I have played golf since I was a young boy, however it’s only in the last 4-5 years that I have had time to play on a regular basis. My current GA handicap is 13 and I am a member of Pennant Hills Golf Club in Sydney. With its roots established over a hundred years ago Pennant Hills is considered a “Private” A Grade golf course, featuring tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain. Whilst not long by modern standards the par 71 course is still demanding. I have played golf in Thailand many times originally playing in Phuket whilst on holiday with my family in 2006. I first came across Golfasian when I saw their advertisement in an Australian golf magazine and they have looked after me ever since. There aren’t many destinations I haven’t visited: Phuket, Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Pattaya have all been sampled. Most times I have travelled with a group of like-minded male golfers all of whom love the experience of playing “Golf in a Kingdom”. Golf in Thailand is great because of the quality of the courses on offer, the hot and humid climate and the post-golf activities. Although the price of golf is quite expensive (if you choose to play some of the best courses) it is well worth the money in my opinion. A point to consider is that as a full service company, Golfasian packages include transfers to and from the course, accommodation and green fees plus caddy. You are collected promptly, delivered directly to the course and chauffeured in well-kept mini vans that have plenty of room for you and your golf gear. After golf the driver delivers you back to your hotel without any hassles, capping off a great day’s golf.  I also thoroughly enjoy the great attitude of the caddies that form a large part of the unique experience. Their friendly nature and willingness to provide advice and guidance makes golf in Thailand something you keep coming back for!! The humidity can sometimes be challenging but I love this type of weather so it isn’t a problem. Personally I love visiting Thailand for the culture, food and night life. Most of the hotels that we have stayed at have been first class including the Sofitel Bangkok, the Holiday Inn Bangkok and a recent stay at the Shangri-La Bangkok which is right next to the Chao Phrya river, a wonderful bustling thoroughfare that harks back to the 19th century when Bangkok was a significant Asian trading centre. After a great day’s golf you can relax by the pool or grab a massage before heading out for dinner. The cost of food ranges from cheap but delicious street food to a top quality dining experience; Thailand has a taste for all budgets! Then it’s back to the room for a rest before another day’s golf! The best thing about booking your golfing vacation with Golfasian is that they take the hassle out of planning. All you have to do is turn up and swing the club! I would highly recommend Golfasian to anyone looking for a great golf experience in Paradise!!! The post Your Views of Golf in Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Which golf ball should I play in Thailand?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 31, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Of all the variables that determine a golf ball’s performance compression may be the most mysterious. You’ll know it as a number on the ball, usually 90 or 100. If you see slow motion videos of balls impacting the club face you’ll see it as the ball deforming or “mushing”. The ball launches as this compression releases. Generally, professional advice says the faster you swing the less compression you need but there are way more issues to consider namely spin speed generated, feel, control, etc but let’s leave that to Phil Mickelson. By and large, for Thailand, you can play with a ball with less compression and avoid the 100 models. This is because generally the greens are softer so the ball stops more easily, which means less spin is required. We amateurs like less spin because that means less deviation in the shot trajectory. Another issue is the air is “thicker” and a firmer ball will penetrate the moisture laden air more effectively. As I’m blogging I expect a thousand replies about why a Srixon Z-Star SL suits someone better than a Taylor Made Burner and they’d be right because a lot of it is how the ball feels for you and what works. Nevertheless, science says my premise is sound. Actually, my best advice is to use the “water balls” you can buy at great prices near to the entrances of many gold clubs in Thailand then when it inevitably revisits the lake where it was plucked from you won’t mind so much. The post Which golf ball should I play in Thailand? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Is Thailand Golf Good for the Blood Pressure?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on August 13, 2015 at 8:01 am

    Two things have happened to me in the past several days, neither of them very good and both I regret. First I became frustrated that a Golfasian client wasn’t appreciating Thailand golf for what it is, an overall experience rather than the ultimate golf environment, like say Myrtle Beach in the States. Then stupidly I fell into a very similar trap albeit subtly different, even after 15+ years of playing here and almost 8 living in the country. The ingredients for the client’s frustration were not getting what was expected in terms of quality of golf, and not being allowed to tee off when they had booked because the course starters wanted to bring groups forward and they had people to fit in.  I can empathise with the frustration but because people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones I’m not going to criticise!  My frustration was far less forgivable and entirely self-inflicted…I became agitated at the level of traffic on my way to the course (it’s my road after all isn’t it??) compounded by the totally unhelpful behaviour of a great number of drivers who made the situation worse than it needed to be (as far as I was concerned), and finally the police-operated traffic lights (don’t even go there).  This didn’t get better when arriving ready for golf in a bad frame of mind already and heading for the 1st tee I saw a group of 5 golfers ahead of me chatting away merrily with an empty fairway in front of them then, after an age, each “bonked” 2 balls off the tee in various directions and at various distances accompanied by much laughter…these guys didn’t have a care in the world while I was re-living my hour of hell in the car. Both the client and I have lessons to learn. In terms of Thailand’s golf offering this blog aims to provide a wider perspective on golf in Thailand, espousing how wonderful it is, yet it also tries to educate all those who care to visit about the vagaries of the experience.  I’ll aim to do a bit of this now. So let’s lay it on the line…there are some generally accepted great courses here (I’m thinking Alpine Bangkok/Nikanti {?}/Amata Springs/Black Mountain/Banyan/Siam Plantation amongst others), some excellent ones (Chiang Mai Highlands/Thai Country Club/Springfield/Santiburi {both of them}/Red Mountain), a huge selection of decent ones and a plethora of also-rans. What puts them in the latter category: generally they are let down by sub-standard conditioning of playing areas throughout and if that’s the case they are probably badly managed in all sorts of ways and also lack investment for all sorts of reasons?  However, the Pete Dye designed course in Thailand is rarely going to be of the standard of its US counterpart but its genetics are the same. The lesson here is, if you want US-style conditioning you are going to pay for it and even then it isn’t guaranteed; rather bizarrely I have played Alpine when it was immaculate and again when it was very “scruffy” and that’s being kind. Actually the real lesson is, if you want US-standard conditioning play in the US. The advice here is look beyond the greens that aren’t running at 11 on the stimp metre and bunkers that have unseemly grass sprouting from their edges (check out Whistling Straits at the PGA Championship this weekend) and appreciate that you’ve paid a fair fee, can still hit the ball well and can very definitely have a good time, which is what it’s all about (see my other blog Pattaya Golf – Take the Rough with ... The post Is Thailand Golf Good for the Blood Pressure? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Don’t get carried away
    by Thailand Golf Tour on July 23, 2015 at 5:28 am

    It’s all relative, but we’ve all had that “banner” golf round, when everything clicks…when we’re “in the zone”. It may be scoring less than a hundred for the first time or breaking par, but all of us had to keep going right to the 18th to reach that milestone, keep the concentration, the rhythm and the focus. I was engrossed by Eddie Pepperell at the Open Championship on Sunday. One of England’s brightest new talents, he was having a fabulous day, remorselessly chasing down the leader’s score of -10, “peppering” the pin and rolling in everything he looked at.  He reached the 17th tee having just had yet another birdie and now tied for the lead; so far a blemish-free round. Admittedly, the famous St Andrews 17th, the Road Hole, is one of the most fearsome holes in golf, but to these guys the drive isn’t that challenging, albeit requiring about a 300 yard blow there is lots of room both right and especially left where most bale out.  Clearly, Eddie suddenly felt he was bullet-proof and picturing a birdie even here taking the lead on his own, he lashed at the driver, came out of the shot and sprayed it right into the grounds of the St Andrews hotel and out of bounds. To my mind, he didn’t put the shot in perspective, recognise the danger or just take stock…he was “pumped up” having tied the lead. The point is, we are all subject to the same thing, losing focus. Pepperell wasn’t under pressure, he just let adrenalin take over and didn’t take a moment to consider that this was an important shot in his round which required his full attention.  The lesson for all of us, whether a par at 18 is required to break 90 or holing a six footer means we shoot 68, is we need to continue what has been a fabulous day’s golf by staying in the moment as much as possible and not get carried away. Probably it will be nerves that we have to deal with, but whatever it is, we must find a way to continue our momentum and go back to basics with our pre-shot routine and good fundamentals; that’s what got us to this position, this moment of glory. Good luck, and reach that milestone! The post Don’t get carried away appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • My Kanchanaburi Adventure
    by Thailand Golf Tour on July 2, 2015 at 3:36 am

    By Ian Morgan –  Golfasian’s Hua Hin & Phuket Manager Having played golf all around Thailand over the last 11 years, there are very few areas I haven’t seen. So living in Hua Hin it’s amazing I have never taken the road north to look at Kanchanaburi and the surrounding area. The main attraction was to see Grand Prix Golf Club which so many of my friends have talked about; surely it wouldn’t be as good as they said? On this occasion my journey started in Bangkok and I decided to play a new course called Nikanti on the way to Kanchanaburi. Only 6 months old, it was in immaculate condition and a very unusual concept of six par 3s, six par 4s and six par 5s. A really enjoyable experience and it’s one of those courses that makes you want to go back. So on to the Grand Prix Hotel before playing the new course. The views, the condition and the whole set up was wonderful and certainly in the top six courses I have played in Thailand. No expense has been spared to make this one of great golfing experiences in Thailand. After golf I was lucky to be invited to lunch by the owner Dr Prasad whose dream to build something special has come true. Sad to leave this set up, but it’s a 40 minute drive south to the Ancient Town of Kanchanaburi and the famous River Kwai. The scenery in this area is magnificent and I am surprised by the quality of the courses and the amazing value. My favourite was Nichigo, a picturesque parkland-style course on the banks of the River Kwai. Wonderful views from all three nines, and looking around made me feel like I was in the mountains and rolling hills of Chiang Mai. Evergreen Hills Golf Club was another good golfing experience and again some wonderful scenery, but beware they do allow 6-balls, so it could be a slow round. So back to Hua Hin, and I decided to play Royal Ratchaburi to break the journey on the way back home; this was a truly Thai Experience. Not much English spoken in these parts, but I loved the old style course and to see the monkeys running down the fairways was an unusual experience. Overall I was expecting Kanchanaburi to be a little run down and the courses not in good shape, but apart from Mission Hills the courses were in excellent condition and for those golfers looking for a different, typically Thai experience….try it!. Not just for golf either, and although I didn’t have time on this trip there is so much to see. The River Kwai Bridge, Hellfire Pass & the Memorial Museum, Death Railway and the Erawan National Park with its famous waterfall to name just a few things worth seeing here. You won’t be disappointed and I will be returning very soon.        The post My Kanchanaburi Adventure appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • What do you think about golf in Thailand?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on June 20, 2015 at 8:46 am

    My name is David Rendall. I recently travelled to Thailand with a golfing party of 12, the majority from Scotland & Ireland, however a couple of our group are based in Dubai and Thailand. Pumpherston GC 16th Most of the guys are members of the same golf club, Pumpherston, which is 10 miles from Edinburgh. Pumpherston is a lovely parkland course but also features a lot of water; it’s a very modern design considering its age. I have been a member for the last 25 years and currently play off 12, however our group’s handicaps range from 5 to 18. Ready for the match Our group have holidayed in Thailand for the last 6 years, initially for a friend’s 50th birthday celebration. We have golfed all over the world; America, the Caribbean, China, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Canaries. Finding that the cost of golf in mainland Europe had become very expensive prompted us to venture as far afield as Asia. We love the quality of the courses in Thailand with Hua Hin a favourite (Thailand’s “Myrtle Beach”); in particular, Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Sea Pines are some of our favourites. We have booked with Golfasian for the last 5 years through a mutual friend and have never looked back. Golfasian’s attention to detail is superb…they never let us down. In Hua Hin, where possible we always stay in a small 3 star hotel right in the centre of town, La Maison, which has rooms that are a good size and a first class breakfast. The staff are always delighted to see us, perhaps because our group of 12 fills the bar each early evening while we exchange stories after our round, prior to heading out to dinner. We tend to play a Ryder Cup-style event every day teeing off around 10.30am Royal Hua Hin We love all the courses but have a soft spot for Royal Hua Hin which is a great test of golf and is designed by a Scotsman. The caddies’ knowledge of the greens is amazing; your eyes tell you it’s three holes right but the caddy says half a grip left…an oft-repeated phrase follows “why you not listen” but always with a twinkle in their eyes. My favourite day was last November. I started with a triple bogey 7 on the 1st at Banyan, par at the 9th saw me out in 35 gross and 7 up. I didn’t play that well on the back 9 but won the match 6&5 so happy days. The weather in November is perfect, just before we return home to the bleak Scottish winter. After golf we normally have lunch at the course (losers paying the bill) and enjoy a few beers before Golfasian’s Khun Noh (best driver in Hua Hin and a very good golfer) returns us to the hotel. Some of the guys go for a nap or do some shopping prior to us all meeting in the hotel bar at 7pm for a few drinks. Hua Hin has some wonderful restaurants from the Moon Smile (Thai) to some great Italians. The French restaurant next to La Maison, La Paillotte, is fabulous. We have even found a very good Indian restaurant so everyone is happy with the quality of the food. All in all Thailand golf ranks amongst the best in the world as an experience as far as we are concerned. If you haven’t tried it, I thoroughly recommend it and am confident you won’t be disappointed. The post What do you think about golf in Thailand? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • The Opening Tee Shot – Some trickier than others
    by Thailand Golf Tour on May 23, 2015 at 5:26 am

    I can’t remember when I lost my first tee traumas. I remember having them; feeling super conscious about people watching and living in fear of a top, shank, massive slice (probably) or a huge pull. But they’ve gone, not because I’m a superb golfer but rather I have definitely gained in confidence since those days and as a single figure player I’m not supposed to have traumas…nerves maybe but not traumas. Importantly, I have also conditioned myself to be more positive in my approach to any shot, particularly that of the opening one. Nevertheless, things aren’t that straightforward and with all the positivity in the world some shots are more intimidating than others.  In general terms I’d rather not have a long par 3 to start with simply because long irons are the weakest part of my game and there just seems to be less margin for error and more likelihood of a bogey which isn’t the ideal start; plus my short game needs “warming up” as it’s the second weakest part of my game!  When I asked colleagues at Golfasian there was definitely a theme…water left and right of the landing area are a big psychological issue no matter how generous the fairway, particularly with a strong crosswind, although a long water carry off the tee wasn’t worrisome and personally I’d rather grip it and rip it anyway.  Let’s look at some examples and perhaps you can post some of your own. Alpine (Bangkok) 1st About 400 yards this isn’t a straightforward opener. Rolling hillocks left and right, water to the right and well placed bunkers all command your attention. You need to stay just right of the centre fairway and get the ball out there at least 250 yards to launch your day in the best possible way. Easy as that? Royal Golf Lat Krabang 1st Why is this tough? Because a fade is a no-no and almost always goes in the water if the shot is over 220 yards. Easy for you natural drawers of the ball but I have to work at it and the first tee isn’t where I want to start. Trees immediately left block starting things out there so basically it’s a draw or very straight hit…terrific. Pattana 1st Water left and right with a tight-ish fairway; take a look at the picture for goodness sake. Brings me out in sweats. Red Mountain 1st   It’s like a cobra; beautiful and deadly with jagged hills left and right. The fairway pinches in at a crest with lots of danger lurking beyond that’s all blind. First time there and you are relying on your caddy’s words of wisdom and a very smooth straight shot. Banyan 1st   This picture is taken from above the the fairway looking up towards the green; much easier from here. You tee off from 240 yards directly right of here. You can see the lake at the corner on the right and everything slopes down towards it so basically it’s a magnet. In truth a well-placed iron would do the job but likely leave a long shot into the green. Hit something long and the fairway shrinks to nothing. I like a 3 wood left centre and let the slope feed the ball towards the corner. Be confident and it isn’t that hard but who’s confident on the 1st? Got any to add? The post The Opening Tee Shot – Some trickier than others appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Is Innovation in Thailand Golf Tourism Possible?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 22, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Every commercial organisation is looking for an edge, something different, unique; golf tourism is no different. The stock formula has worked for decades because the market has very identifiable requirements with a few adjustments around the fringes, namely the location, style and class of the offering which therefore dictates the price. Historically, the USA and likes of Spain/Portugal have dominated as preferred golf holiday destinations with the UK close behind due to its association with the history of the game.  If it wasn’t treading the links in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris you were after, like as not in Europe the lure would be great weather which is what every golfer craves; helps the feeling of well-being and soothes the aches and pains which all lead to a smoother swing and a better score…at least that’s what we all believe.  This accounts for Carolina and Florida as the most prolific USA golf destinations. Add to great weather a Jack Niklaus (or other named) masterpiece in excellent condition and the stage is set perfectly. The only remaining item essential to all holidays is good accommodation perhaps by the sea or another exotic location with great views, and the easy availability of wonderful food and drink.  Make it all appear tremendous value and you have a recipe for success, something not lost on the industry’s leaders. Thankfully, due to cultural differences Asia provides some of those special details which make a great deal of difference, namely a natural inclination to make customers happy by providing superb service, particularly true of Thailand the Land of Smiles. One of their secret weapons is the female caddy who can turn a bad day of golf into a bearable, even pleasant one. When Asia appeared on the scene (excluding Japan which is parochial and a separate case) the opportunity was there to innovate but to a degree the advice given, mostly by western consultants, was do it like us but a bit better, but more extravagant (aided by the global shift in economic influence and power, hence money). This was as a result of an industry ruled to a large degree by conservatism. Signs of this abound, you only have to take a look at Mission Hills in China to see it is all about grandeur, famous names and a heritage from the last 20-40 years. Naturally the facilities are extravagant, quite superb, but is it innovative or just a good idea scaled up? The good news is that golf tour operators were prepared to explore different ways of doing things and signs of golf tourism innovation are manifest in Thailand courtesy of a collaboration between the Bangkok-based inbound golf tourism operator Golfasian and Australia’s Go Golfing. Go Golfing pioneered the concept of full-blown amateur tournament golf managed along professional lines (Tournament Director/Official scoring etc) for golfers over the age of 35 of all abilities who want the holiday experience but aren’t averse to a bit of excitement while on the golf course; the formula is proving popular. There are several key components to the golf: don’t play medal golf but rather a points system (in this case stableford, widely used in Australia) which keeps pace of play acceptable and create several “divisions” based on age, gender and handicap so everyone plays in groups of a similar standard and age plus has the opportunity to compete for what can be extravagant prizes. Importantly, stay at great hotels and finally make sure there is plenty of socialising at the end of every day so people can meet and greet, the holiday atmosphere is maintained and things aren’t taken too seriously. ... The post Is Innovation in Thailand Golf Tourism Possible? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Pattaya Golf – Take the rough with the smooth
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 17, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Undoubtedly Thailand golf is gaining in profile and quality thanks to a growing golf tourism market and increased television exposure of tournaments such as the Thailand Classic (Black Mountain) and Thailand Championship (Amata Spring). These 2 courses compare with some of the best in the world but understandably with that comes a price premium. I can see that someone arriving to play in Thailand probably will be looking for something special but perhaps they might wish to look further for an experience that is equally rewarding in different ways, but at a relatively bargain price. Siam Country Club First of all I’ll qualify this. If your home course is always in superb condition and that’s what your game is used to undoubtedly anything less than perfect might affect how you play and therefore how good a day you have. Standing on the first tee your eye may be drawn to imperfections instead of your target. If the greens you are used to are billiard smooth and 11 on the stimp then putting might be a frustration as your silky smooth stroke repeatedly comes up short or the ball takes the odd unfortunate hop. Pattaya has some tier one courses with excellent conditioning year-round, notably those of Siam Country Club which are always immaculate, but because of a different level of investment or expertise, the majority are most definitely good/decent rather than excellent and in high season get a lot of traffic. The key is to take the odd rough patch in the fairway, badly raked bunker or slow green in your stride and adapt. Make the day about the experience from start to finish rather than anticipating the score; you might very well be surprised how things turn out.  For me it starts at the bagdrop where every single time I am treated like I have just arrived at Augusta National. The clubs are lifted from the boot (trunk) of my car by a nice lady and delivered to the first tee (or driving range) as if by magic. One of the things Thailand does very well is club houses which are generally very lavish even amongst tier 2/3 clubs. We change in a place that is spacious, well appointed and staffed such that clean shoes after the round are the norm for only fifty baht…this is lavish treatment. Khao Kheow When I’m ready for golf there are several venues where early in the round, if not the first tee, I can simply take in the view and appreciate how fortunate I am to be playing golf in the sunshine, with friends and in such surroundings: the Pete Dye-designed Khao Kheow springs to mind, as does the spectacular Wangjuntr (Highland Course) in the feature picture and Nick Faldo-designed Emerald which is a little off the beaten track. I have played all of these in good/decent conditions as well as relatively “agricultural” but enjoyed every occasion just because it was fun and incredibly affordable. What surprised me most was I tried to concentrate on taking the rough with the smooth, focusing on accuracy rather than power, positive chipping and putting rather than finesse and lo and behold the scores weren’t that bad at all. Emerald Golf Club To cap it all, when I’d showered and changed and was enjoying a drink and some banter with the group, usually on a terrace overlooking the 18th, I felt good about the day…as good as if I’d played immaculate Siam Plantation. The difference is I had more cash to spend on Pattaya’s nightlife so the day just got better and better. The post Pattaya Golf – Take the rough with the smooth appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand’s rainy season – How does it affect our golf?
    by Thailand Golf Tour on April 9, 2015 at 4:27 am

    Thailand’s rainy season runs from approximately May to November when it gives way to the cool season ending in the particular hot and humid month of April. Both terms are slightly misleading (we will deal with rainy) given Thailand has a tropical climate so temperatures are generally high throughout the year although the high ground in the north around Chiang Mai can produce genuinely frigid weather. Rainy season is influenced by the south west monsoon, but Thailand does not actually experience monsoon conditions; persistent heavy rain. Due to a measure of protection from Myanmar, rather Thailand experiences late afternoon storms and significant downpours that may result in flash floods although lasting no more than 60 minutes. So what does this mean for us golfers? First, let’s examine a fact…in 15 years of playing golf here, I have been rained off the golf course completely only once, mainly due to the rather impressive lightning at the time plus I was near the end of a poor round; interestingly, those braver than me with better scores finished much to my astonishment. Several rounds have been interrupted, some for up to an hour but that has been very rare.  The fact is, Thailand golf course designers took the climate’s impact into consideration. Thailand’s courses drain superbly, such that even in the face of a deluge they recover to full playability in only a matter of 10-15 minutes, particularly the greens (the bunkers do have the odd puddle). While back at home in the UK, if there was a downpour we’d huddle under some trees if too far from the clubhouse, here there is a drink/snack stop every 3 holes so not only is there shelter nearby, but also the opportunity to get to take a break with your companions. Interestingly, because it is the tropics, many of the storms are spectacular and an experience in themselves. Bottom line, dealing with the weather as it affects our golf simply requires either planning or patience. First, the storms are extremely predictable, mostly occurring at about 4 in the afternoon so it is sensible to book rounds that end before then. Secondly, if weather occurs take it in your stride and be confident it isn’t the end of the day for you: accept the interruption and use the opportunity to discuss your round thus far or simply enjoy what inevitably is a spectacle. The post Thailand’s rainy season – How does it affect our golf? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • 10 Reasons Why You Should Never Choose Thailand as Your Next Golf Holiday Destination
    by Thailand Golf Tour on March 30, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Thailand is a truly bad choice for your next golf holiday destination. Here’s why. Note: Please don’t tell your friends. 1) The golf courses in the north of the country are plain ugly: Alpine Golf Resort in Chiang Mai 2) …and in the center: Thai Country Club in Bangkok 3) …as well as in the south: Mission Hills Phuket 4) The Thai caddies don’t know how to smile: 5) It’s almost impossible to find a massage or spa: 6) Nightlife is non-existent: 7) Nor are there any nice rooftop bars: Vertigo Grill & Moon Bar in Bangkok 8) The hotels are uncomfortable at best: Rest Details Hotel Hua Hin 9) The beaches are a joke: 10) And as we all already know, the food is just disgusting: Now, you hopefully have a good idea as to why you should (not) book your next golf holiday to Thailand! The post 10 Reasons Why You Should Never Choose Thailand as Your Next Golf Holiday Destination appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • 2014 New Thailand Golf Courses
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on November 23, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Oftentimes I get asked about the supply and demand of the Thai golf courses. While I am no expert about the economics of golf courses and the Thai golf industry is some 20-30 years old, new golf courses are still coming online at a rate of around 5 per year. Some of these projects are completely new construction like Nikanti Golf Club in Bangkok and Katathong Golf club in Phang Nha. Others, such as Chiang Mai Highlands, are expansions, and lastly there are renovations. Laguna Phuket Golf Club and Gassan Lake City are two examples of the later that are being undertaken in 2014. Nikanti Golf Club is located west of Bangkok and other than Royal Gems Golf City is probably the most unique Thailand golf course. Three six hole loops, each with two par-3, two par-4, and two par-5 holes make it play a par-72, but in a rather unconventional way. Also, the all-inclusive one price fits all is a new concept here. Green fee, caddie fee, golf cart, caddie tip, and food and beverages are included in the admission price for all golfers. It will be interesting to see how this price structure is accepted by locals and visitors. Katathong Golf Club is also newly constructed in Phang Nha province.  The surrounding scenery is as nice as Red Mountain in Phuket, though the course design and conditions leave allot to be desired. Also, the location is a bit out of the way, however for Krabi golf visitors, it is the best option around. The original 18 at Chiang Mai Highlands are already the best track in Northern Thailand. Now with an additional 9 under construction by the same architect, Lee Schmidt, who has also built Amata Spring Country Club, the Highlands new nine is sure to be a hit. Laguna Phuket is set to reopen in January 2015. The same architect who designed the Laguna Lang Co course in Vietnam was brought in for the job and judging from the first 9-holes that were already remodeled last year; the course will come online as one of Phuket’s best. Gassan Lake City will be renamed Gassan Legacy once re-opened later this month. Once again, Schmidt-Curley was brought in for the remodeling job. From what I hear the course will be more playable with better grass and bunkers. Let’s see! Well that’s it for the new Thailand golf course roundup this year. With the new additions Thailand will continue to lead the rest of Asia as the prime choice for golf holidays in 2015 and beyond. The post 2014 New Thailand Golf Courses appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Laguna Phuket Golf Club Update
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on July 31, 2014 at 12:30 am

    The recently redesigned Laguna Phuket Golf Club is both a strategic and memorable golf experience. The redesign by golf course architect Paul Jansen has highlighted the character of the existing property making for a memorable golf experience. Golfers are now asked to think their way around the golf course as each hole offers a multitude of shot options and both nines have good variety. The Phuket golf course is more undulating than before which has helped improve the surface conditions considerably as well as provide strategic interest. Fairway tiers, depressions and mounds now dictate some of the play as golfers are given the opportunity to maneuver their way around the golf course using the humps and bumps to propel their ball towards the target. The fairways are wide – some as much as 50 yards wide – but golfers still need to position their ball to have an advantage on their next shot. Many holes on the front nine are dictated by the existing water bodies which have been landscaped to look very natural whereas the back nine meanders through some wonderful mature trees. Both nines take advantage of many existing and outstanding trees which influence some of the play and frame many of the holes. The rough areas are mix of wood chip and native grasses which makes for a very sustainable model of golf. There are fewer bunkers than before instead the new bunkers have positioned to create strategic interest and are visually strong and natural in appearance. There are multitudes of risk / reward options over all 18 holes as golfers can expect to play a variety of interesting and imaginative shots. In summary the new Phuket golf course is a visual treat and very playable for all levels of golfers. The post Laguna Phuket Golf Club Update appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Siam Country Club, Waterside – Comparison With Old and Plantation Courses
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on June 10, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Most golfers in Pattaya agree that the Siam Country Club Old Course and Siam Country Club Plantation Course are the two best golf courses in Pattaya. However, if there are any complaints about the two courses, it is that they are both quite difficult for high handicap golfers. Around the greens it is not uncommon for weekend golfers to take five or more shots to get up-and-down as the slopes, elevated greens, and bunker complexes require accuracy and precision in chipping and putting. Perch yourself one afternoon above the Old Course’s 18th and you will see what I mean! With this in mind, the owners of Siam Country Club have given the design brief to IMG to develop a new golf course that is friendlier and accommodates a wider variety of golfers. The Waterside Course takes advantage of gentler terrain and does away with raised greens and high-lipped bunkers to create a more balanced course with many excellent scoring opportunities. That is not to say the course is easy. In fact the closing two holes on both the front and back nines are 4 of the best holes around. Playing around a massive lake they take advantage of strong “Waterside winds” and make use of a spectacular “stadium effect” around the greens. Other holes on the new Waterside Course play through and around large tracts of native grasses. Many of the Par-3 and Par-4 holes are shorter than those found on the Old or Plantation Courses leaving the course yardages more manageable for average length hitters. Facilities at Waterside include a contemporary clubhouse with large atrium and Japanese style rock garden in the center and extensive practice facilities that resemble an international golf academy rather than golf course, and 18-hole putting course, all first class to match the golf course and other Siam Country Club courses. The Siam Country Club, Waterside Course is a welcome addition to the Pattaya golf scene. As a frequent Thailand golf visitor, I would be very happy playing these three as the main courses of any Pattaya golf holiday. The post Siam Country Club, Waterside – Comparison With Old and Plantation Courses appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Is Koh Samui Golf For Real?
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on May 15, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Major golf destinations share several things in common. They include, 1.    Three or more golf courses of international standard 2.    A range of golf resorts to accommodate all levels of price and luxury 3.    Easy to get to/from 4.    Reasonable prices 5.    Non-golf activities such as cultural, gastronomic, spa, and/or beaches Koh Samui has technically three golf courses, However, only Santiburi Samui Country Club is 18-holes and of international standard. The course is a spectacular example of a tropical island layout, perhaps even Thailand’s best. However without any comparable courses on the island one would have to play multiple rounds at Santiburi Samui to have anything more than an isolated holiday round of golf. The best thing about Koh Samui is that it caters to every holidaymaker, from backpacker to exclusive jet setter. Resorts run the gamut from simple beach bungalow to private hideaway villas overlooking the sea. Koh Samui has a nice little airport that has more than 20 flights a day to Bangkok and a few even to international destinations like Singapore and Malaysia. While not the easiest island to reach, it nevertheless is quite convenient to arrive any time of the day on a short connection through Bangkok. Thailand is reasonably priced and Koh Samui is no exception. Food and drinks are inexpensive, accommodations are priced similarly to other areas of Thailand, and transportation is cheap and abundant on the island. Golf however, will run around US$200 a round. Also be sure to take some extra change (around US$10) to tip your caddie after you finish your golf. The nicest thing about Thailand is that there is something to do for just about everyone. A dive around Koh Samui or a sea adventure to one of the nearby islands is popular for golfers and non-golfers alike. Of course, Thailand invented massages (or if they didn’t they should have), so this is a must after every round of golf. Finally, Thailand is becoming the world’s kitchen, and great food is synonymous with the country. Samui has some of the best kitchens in the Kingdom. So is Koh Samui a Thailand golf destination?  Well if there were more golf courses it most certainly would be. However, with only one 18-hole course available for play (and an expensive one at that), other Thailand golf destinations like Hua Hin or Pattaya are much preferred by real golf enthusiasts. The post Is Koh Samui Golf For Real? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Will Khao Yai become Thailand’s Newest Golf Destination?
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on March 25, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Khao Yai, relatively unknown outside of Thailand golfers,  is a mere 2 hours from Bangkok and is the home of Thailand’s second largest national park. Will this area develop into a full-fledged golf destination for tourists? The short answer is maybe and here are the reasons why and why not. Why? Good proximity of Khao Yai to Bangkok and it can also be linked easily with Pattaya for a 2-center golf holiday. Critical mass of golf courses. With 10 courses in the area, Khao Yai has more than enough golf courses to make it into a viable golfing destination. The 3 best courses are Rancho Charnvee – well-maintained Bob McFarland design, Panorama – mature parkland layout, and Mountain Creek – challenging 27-hole Seve Ballesteros course. Low prices. Green fees start at $15 USD a round and even the better courses mentioned above all have special weekday rates as low as $20 USD. This is a steal for 18-holes of golf anywhere! Golf resorts. Most of the Khao Yai golf courses have on-site accommodations the best of which are the 5-star resorts at Mountain Creek and Kirimaya. Weather. December to February is absolutely perfect golf weather in Khao Yai with daytime highs around 25 degrees centigrade and no rainfall to speak of. Why not? Non-golf activities. If you are looking for nightlife, there is none in Khao Yai. Basically the area is a dawn to dusk place with little on offer after dark. There are some sight sightseeing tours in Khao Yai and if relaxing by the pool surrounded by nature is what you enjoy, then Khao Yai might just be the place. Quality. The good courses and resorts mentioned above are really good. However, beyond these the quality goes down fast and they are better suited for local golfers, not tourists. Weekends and public holidays are very busy. Khao Yai is a weekend destination for Bangkokians escaping from the hustle-and-bustle of the city. It is best to avoid traveling to Khao Yai Thursday to Sunday and on any public holidays. Getting around is tough. Unlike Hua Hin or Chiang Mai, transportation in Khao Yai is an absolute must. There are no taxis and the distances between golf courses and resorts can be as much as 50 kilometers. The good news is that there is no traffic and the roads are excellent, so getting from place to place is fast and easy. Weather, outside of the winter months Khao Yai can get very hot. Make sure you bring a golf umbrella for the sun as the rays will burn you if you are not used to being above sea level and near the equator. The late summer months of September and October can also be very wet. Make sure you play in the mornings to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms. Well there you have it. If you are looking to golf in Thailand and prefer to be off the beaten path, then a few days of golf in Khao Yai is for you.  Just make sure you stick to the better courses and golf resorts there and you will have a great time. The post Will Khao Yai become Thailand’s Newest Golf Destination? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • 2 Phuket Golf Courses Are Sisters
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on February 19, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Although sister courses, the only thing in common about Loch Palm Golf Club and Red Mountain Golf Club is the common drive way entrance and pedigree. Owned by MBK (the same company who owns the famous Bangkok shopping center), each of these two Phuket golf courses presents itself to the visiting golfer in very different ways. Loch Palm is set tranquilly set around a large palm tree lined lake, hence its name of the old Scottish term “Loch” combined with the tropical setting “Palm”. The front nine plays across the flat lands of the former open-cast tin mine, while the back nine plays around some of the cliffs created just before the site was abandoned some 80 years ago. Most holes feature wide fairways which are quite forgiving and allow golfers of all abilities to have a relaxed day golfing in Phuket. In fact, I actually enjoy Loch Palm more than any other Phuket golf course. Red Mountain is another story completely. Having displaced the venerable Blue Canyon Country Club as the best Phuket golf course, Red Mountain features challenging golf among spectacular scenery. The course was dramatically carved from the hills and jungle and affords views of the Andaman Sea from several of the holes. The signature hole is the par-3 17th. There you will find the highest tee ground on Phuket. When you hit into the encroaching rain forest your ball seems to drop forever down to the tiny green 60 meters below. Accuracy is critical on this hole as with many of the others that make up Red Mountain. If you can’t decide between the two sisters, why not just play both and decide which of these two Phuket golf courses is right for you? Then, don’t forget to stop in either of the clubhouses afterwards to discuss your point of view among friends! The post 2 Phuket Golf Courses Are Sisters appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Pattana Golf Resort
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on February 10, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    It is very rare these days that I get to play a new course in my own backyard. Therefore, when my golfing buddies suggested playing at Pattana Golf Resort in Pattaya, I jumped at the change with much excitement. Pattana is a bit out of the way as getting to the course involved around a 1 hour drive from Pattaya or 2 hour ride from Bangkok. Either way the drive is pleasant enough as the road are good and there is little traffic along the way. Upon arrival I immediately saw the large club house, golf resort, and collection of golf villas. With this kind of infrastructure Pattana must be catering for long staying golfers and those looking for intensive stay and play packages. That being said we were assigned the A&B Courses out of the 27 holes at Pattana. I am told that B and C are the better 2 courses and can at least attest to the fact that the B nine is indeed batter than the A nine. The A Course starts out on the left side of the clubhouse and is characterized by allot of mounding and fairway moguls. I am not a big fan of this design trick, but nevertheless the out holes play reasonably good with many doglegs and even a Par-6 to make the Par-37 front nine play a quite long 3686 yards. The 1st hole on Course B is a man made island fairway that plays to an elevated green, not exactly an easy way to start a round, but a clever design nevertheless. The rest of the B holes have a distinct parkland feeling with large Oil Palms lining most fairways and excellent framing from one hole to another. Greens are better manicured than the A Course and putts roll faster, especially downhill and down grain. Overall Pattana Golf resort is a solid ‘B grade’ course and one of the better golf courses in the Pattaya area that still allow walking. This makes for a good value for money (for walkers anyway) and an overall pleasant golfing experience. I am sure anyone playing Pattana will have an enjoyable day out. The post Pattana Golf Resort appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Where To Golf In Thailand – A City Or A Resort?
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on January 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Thailand has 5 main golf destinations, two are cities (Bangkok and Chiang Mai) and three are beach resorts (Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket). Bangkok is home to over 10 million residents. However, it’s safe to say that Bangkok has the most golf courses of any destination in Thailand. There are 60 golf courses located within 1 hour from the center of Bangkok; of which 20 or so are well-suited for visitor play. Bangkok also has world-class hotels, the best restaurants in Thailand, and a wide range of cultural attractions, shopping and nightlife. The downside is that travel time getting to and from the golf courses can be a bit longer than other destinations due to city traffic. I often recommend a few days in Bangkok at the beginning and/or end of any Thailand golf trip and also recommend weekday golf if possible (when the courses are less crowded and green fees are lower). Hua Hin is a smaller seaside resort popular with overseas golf visitors and weekend expatriates from Bangkok. It is located on the Gulf of Thailand about 3 hours from Bangkok Airport by highway. There are eight golf courses in the area, of which two (Banyan and Black Mountain) are world-class. Hua Hin is a quiet and relaxed beach resort, though doesn’t offer a lot in the way of cultural attractions and the beaches are not as nice as Phuket. The nightlife in Hua Hin is much more subdued than other areas which can be a plus or minus depending on your point of view. Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard has over 20 golf courses and offers good value, as prices for golf, hotels, dining and nightlife are generally less than other areas. Siam Country Club’s Old and Plantation Courses are considered the best Pattaya golf courses as both have hosted US LPGA events. Together with the other Eastern Seaboard golf courses the area has arguably the widest range of appeal to both visiting and expatriate golfers. Pattaya is also conveniently located and is less than two hours from the Bangkok Airport. The downside for some is that the beaches are not as clean as other areas, the nightlife caters mostly to single male travelers and there are only a few interesting nearby sights to visit. Phuket is a beautiful tropical island with excellent beaches, countless options for hotels, dining and nightlife, and sports seven golf courses. Blue Canyon made Thailand famous on international the golf scene in 1997 when the first Johnnie Walker event was staged and won by no other than Tiger Woods. More recently, Red Mountain has emerged as the most spectacular course on Phuket, if not all Thailand. The downside is that Phuket is the most expensive area for golf and golf holidays, particularly during high season from November through April. That being said, the cost of a Phuket golf holiday is still very reasonable compared to other high quality international golf destinations. Phuket has some nice shows, cultural attractions, and loads of non-golf. Phuket is a one hour flight from Bangkok and with over 25 flights a day is very easy to reach. Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, presents a very different environment. The culture and atmosphere here is more relaxed and peaceful. There are numerous universities in the area, and despite having a population of over 1 million it feels much smaller. Chiang Mai has some of the best cultural attractions for tours (ancient temples, elephant camps, mountain trips, tribal villages), and also 8 golf courses. Chiang Mai Highlands is constantly ranked the best course in Northern Thailand and Alpine Chiang Mai is a close second. Further, ... The post Where To Golf In Thailand – A City Or A Resort? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf Holiday Destination Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on December 25, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    Why golf in Thailand?   Thailand is probably the most spectacular golfing destination in the world, the beauty of her golf courses expresses it all.  We have lush greenery year round with palm trees and every other type of tropical flora and flowers creating a feast for the eyes.  Beautiful lakes and waterways, birds you’ve never seen before become a breathtaking walk in the park.  Churchill was so wrong when he said “golf is a good walk spoiled” – he never played in Thailand! The challenge of golfing in Thailand is also an important aspect and I promise that you can never get bored.  Many of the courses are designed by the world’s most famous golf architects creating challenges that even the best golfers dream about.   For all levels of golfers from their respective tee boxes the challenges abound.   Even for the beginner it’s game on, but set up with wide enough fairways and safe passages around water. Also great planning, as you get a refreshment kiosk twice every nine holes unlike other places where if you didn’t load up before the first tee you get one chance at the turn.  Cold drinks, chicken legs, sticky rice, fresh tropical fruit, and sandwiches – a quick bite before you move on.  Even a cold beer if you are so inclined.  Some of the courses even have a cold moist towel right out of the fridge at each stop (now that is refreshing)!  After your round the clubhouse restaurants provide some of the best Thai, Japanese and Western cuisine at reasonable prices. A great part of the golfing experience in Thailand is the caddies.  Honestly, how many golfers have had a caddie along with them during their round of golf.  They are all women and speak a decent amount of English to make for good golf communication.  They know the golf courses like the backs of their hands, reading your putt lines (even lining up the ball), telling you distances, which club to use, sometimes even a little coaching – but always full of positive encouragement.  This makes for a great social golf day out with your added gallery and applause after your good shots. Thailand has numerous courses that offer night golf with decent lighting, as many Thai’s prefer to stay out of the sun.  It is a challenge in and of itself, but adding golf and romance to the mix.   It is the perfect time to play with your partner on holiday. With warm weather, the stars above and perhaps a bottle of wine in your golf cart surely becomes a relaxed and romantic evening out.  Definitely let this be one of your experiences when golfing in Thailand. On a final note; Thailand enjoys the best weather regardless the time of year.  Mid November thru March is optimal, where we have cooler and rain free days.  Green fee and caddy fees are very economical for the quality of the courses you can enjoy.  Come and experience the friendly hospitality of the Thai people and their superb golf courses.  Hope to see you out here for one of your most memorable golfing holidays ever! The post Golf Holiday Destination Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Resorts Offer Unlimited Golf Packages
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on November 28, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Mission Hills Phuket Nowadays golf resorts like Mission Hills Phuket and Bangkok Golf Club are offering unlimited golf holiday packages. These golf vacations are nothing new, but in fact they may be only a ploy to lure visitors to less than ideal courses. Think about it, there are only 12 hours of daylight in Thailand and the weather is generally hot and humid all year long. Therefore, how many round of golf can you play in a day? For most of us it is only two, and this is waking up very early and pushing it. So an unlimited golf package is in reality a 36-hole a day deal. And then there are the onerous the terms and conditions so that that every resort puts on their “unlimited” golf packages. For instance, you may see stipulations that “free,” replay rounds: •    Are only available on a space available basis •    May only be for a 9-hole replay •    Are only valid on the course you paid to play •    Are not available on the area’s top courses •    Have certain time of the year restrictions •    Do not include mandatory golf cart and caddie fees •    Must be played on the same day as the paid round •    Must be played during certain times of day If you can live with the terms then an unlimited golf deal may represent a good value for you.  Just be sure to read the fine print and ask lots of questions before you book anything. Better yet, ask a local tour operator for advice and factor in his/her information. The post Thailand Golf Resorts Offer Unlimited Golf Packages appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Thailand Golf Fried Eggs (Kai Dao)
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on November 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Thailand golf courses are notorious for having soft sand. Many of the budget courses here use normal beach sand to fill their bunkers. This powdery and fluffy sand tends to promote many fried eggs or as the caddies call them in Thai “kai dao” because of the circular splash pattern created around the ball in the sand. When you look at it from the top, it looks like a yolk sitting in the middle of a fried egg. Don’t panic if you find yourself with a fried egg at a Thailand golf course. The shot is difficult for sure, but easier to hit than you might think. With soft sand behind as well as under the ball, you can power the ball out of the sand to escape in one. Make some key adjustments to your stance and swing and you’ll get out. First, as the Thai’s say “jai yen yen”, relax. Stay calm and set a simple goal to get out in one. Then, square your stance and turn your clubface inwards at address, shift your weight forward, and play the ball in the back of your stance. Turning the clubface inwards lets you use the clubface’s leading edge like a shovel to slice through the sand. Shifting your weight forward and playing the ball back encourages you to hit down on the ball. Also, choke down on the club, grip the club firmly, and keep your wrists solid throughout the swing. You’ll meet a lot of resistance when your club hits the sand, so you’ll need to keep your wrist solid. Take your normal backswing. Then make a smooth transition to your downswing. Come down hard into the ball; almost as if you were shoveling sand. Aim to enter the sand just beyond the lie’s outer circle. Be sure to accelerate through impact. A helpful hint is to imagine burying the club like a shovel in the sand and leaving it there. The ball comes out low with little backspin. It runs when it lands. Hitting a fried egg in Thailand isn’t as hard as you might think. Make these adjustments and you will never have to fear fried eggs when golfing in Thailand. The post Thailand Golf Fried Eggs (Kai Dao) appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf’s Great Legends In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on October 22, 2013 at 2:03 am

    Wherever and whenever you play golf in Thailand, you’ll find courses designed by some of the best golfers, including Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, and Arnold Palmer. Jack Nicklaus is the great who left his mark the most in Thailand. Six Thailand courses are Jack Nicklaus designed. The two best by far are Laem Chabang International Country Club in Pattaya and Springfield Royal Country Club in Hua Hin. Coincidentally, both opened for play in 1993. Laem Chabang, a 27-hole complex, offers three 9-hole Courses, each challenging in their own right and all well-maintained throughout the year. Springfield Royal Country Club another 27-hole layout has two great 9-hole Courses (A and B Courses) and one mediocre one (C Course). Moreover, playing conditions at Springfield range from good during the drier months (November to March) to average the rest of the year. Sir Nick Faldo has been involved in three course designs in Thailand, all built in the 1990’s close to Bangkok. Summit Windmill Golf Club in particular is a hilly layout on Bangkok’s otherwise flat terrain and is a worthwhile day’s golfing in Bangkok. Conditions are generally good and the newly renovate clubhouse facilities are very nice. The in-locker room massage is a great way to unwind after a round. Another great, Australian Peter Thomson, designed one of Thailand’s best kept secrets, Ayodhya Links. The super-private 2007 track keeps such a low profile it is not even listed in any of Thai golf directory or on Google maps. With only 10 golfers a day, conditioning is always perfect. Get an invite from a member and you will be in for a treat of a lifetime. Greg Norman has designed one course in Thailand, Thana City Golf & Sports Club, near Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. The course plays host to the Thailand Open and is so close to the airport that it is very popular for travelling golfers making their way into or out of Thailand. The Arnold Palmer designed Bangpoo Golf and Sports Club is south of Bangkok and opened in 1994. The course and facilities however are rather basic and not representative of Palmer’s great name. Whether on a Thailand golf holiday or merely in Bangkok for a quick business trip you can play a golf course designed by a great golf legend. The post Golf’s Great Legends In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Let These Asian Golf Courses Be the Judge Off Your Skills
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on October 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket As the name suggests, Blue Canyon Country Club is built on the edge of the canyon. The club features two courses; both carefully blend in the natural surroundings to give the courses their unique character. A feature of the course is its tough and stubborn nature, surrounded by freshwater lakes and natural hazards accompanied by slick Bermuda Tiffdwarf greens. This Course is both a pleasure and grief blended in together. Challenging your wit and technique, this course is a joy to behold and after finishing a round, the sense of accomplishment is unparalleled. Definitely the highlight of the course the 17th par 3 hole that has famously troubled even the legendary Tiger Woods, so if you get to finish the course you will join the elite club. Montgomerie Links, Danang City Vietnam’s Montgomerie Links is a world-class, partially private and perhaps the swankiest course you’ll find around the Asian golfing circuits. With its close proximity to the country’s Central Coast and Da Nang International Airport, Montgomerie Links is ideally situated alongside the East Sea and the picturesque Marble Mountains. The view alone is worth a trip, and also provides a good outlet to regroup mentally as the course is a definite brain teaser for amateurs and Pro’s alike.  The 18-hole, golf course was designed by the renowned, Colin Montgomerie. The Saujana Palm Course Also known by its nickname "The Cobra" and many have tried to doge its bite but, the golfers are the ones who keep biting the dust. The Saujana Palm golf course has had the privilege of hosting the last 13 Malaysian opens and is a mainstay of the Asian golfing circuit. With thick forestation on either side of the course, and the many fairways, water, and sand hazards in sizeable proportions, just getting to the green might prompt you to high five your caddie. Past winners of the Malaysian open include the former world number one, Fijian, Vijay Singh. The Cobra's with its oober fast putting surface is probably the hardest to putt on in the world, including those at Augusta. Only the best survive the course, others simply lie. If you think the local courses around you don’t challenge you enough may want to consider an Asian golfing vacation to these tough and exotic courses. They will challenge you to improve every aspect of your game, and if you ever get frustrated with yourself, there is enough beauty around to calm yourself down so that you can conquer the course. Related articles 10 Best Thailand Golf Courses (5 of 10) The post Let These Asian Golf Courses Be the Judge Off Your Skills appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Will Thailand Become The World´s Biggest Golf Destination?
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on September 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Lately Thailand golf tourism has skyrocketed to an estimated 750,000 arrivals in 2012, up 50% over the past three years. This is worth an estimated US$2 billion in revenue to the Kingdom. There is no doubt that Thai golf tourism is riding on the back of a general tourism explosion, with total foreign arrivals doubling over the last seven years to more than 22 million in 2012. While I personally would like Thailand golf to become the biggest golf destination in the world, I doubt that this will ever happen. Here is why. While Thailand was once considered an excellent value-for-money among golfers worldwide, green fees have steadily and substantially increased in the past 5 years. Nowadays it can cost as much as $200 US to play at Thailand’s best courses such as Siam Country Club in Pattaya or Red Mountain in Phuket. Even an average golf course in the Kingdom can cost $100 US around, especially if you consider the cost of compulsory caddie, golf cart, and transportation to/from the course. Secondly, with increasing number of golf visitors, Thai golf courses have become crowded. This is especially true in the peak season. During the months of January and February it is not uncommon to experience 5 plus hour round golfing in Thailand. These are the months where Many Thai golf courses host 200-250 golfers a day, 7 days a week, 30 days a month. Finally, the one area that Thailand has enjoyed a big advantage over other golf destinations is service. Where else do you get a pleasant caddie assigned to you for 4 hours and only pay $20 US ($10 US caddie fee and $10 US tip)? This luxury is still around, but speaking to the golf courses retaining and attracting good caddies is becoming more and more difficult. Not only do golfers themselves sometimes “buy out” caddies, but other less strenuous and higher paying jobs are also tempting work alternatives for Thai caddies. In summary, while golf is Thailand is still an experience to remember for a lifetime, there are clear signs that the sensational growth in golf tourism may slow or worse hit a brick wall soon. The post Will Thailand Become The World´s Biggest Golf Destination? appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Turkey Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on September 4, 2013 at 12:49 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%) Turkey (8): Golf in Turkey is well-developed, especially the area around Belek (Antalya). There are some 15 golf courses to choose from here, all being located only 30 minutes from the main resorts. Most modern golf course architects are represented including Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye and Robert Trent Jones Jr. Thailand (7): Thailand has 280 courses open for play. The best of these courses are located in one of five major golf tourist golf destinations. Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Phuket are the main sea side resort areas. Chiang Mai is northern Thailand, and the capital of Bangkok has 60 courses within a one hour’s drive from the city center. Service (25%) Turkey (4): There are all-inclusive 5* resorts near the Belek golf courses. However, while the standard of rooms and facilities are high, the services levels are not. Be prepared for long queues and mediocre service. At the golf courses there is an absence of caddies and limited facilities or food/beverages. Thailand (10): Golf in Thailand equals service. Thai hospitality is some of the world’s best and the Thai golf courses are no exception. Caddies are compulsory at all Thai golf courses for every golfer whether or not golf carts are used, thus ensuring excellent service is available at all times. Golfing Experience (25%) Turkey (4): Turkey has developed golf tourism and Belek offers top golf courses, but not much else. Local sights and authenticity is missing is this area. Istanbul, on the other hand, which does have a wide variety of cultural and historical experiences, offers very little in the way of golf. Thailand (10): The Thai Golf Experience is hard to describe and must be seen to be believed. Don’t take my word for it; give it a try and you might just get addicted and become local. Anything and everything is possible when you golf in the Kingdom of Thailand. Value For Money (20%) Turkey (9): Golf in the Turkey is very reasonably prices with green fees as low as $50 US Dollars. Add to this low cost charter flights and the all-inclusive programs at the resorts and you have the makings of one of the least expensive golf destinations in the world. Thailand (8): An overall Thailand golf vacation is affordable as hotels, entertainment, and food are all reasonably priced. Green fees however are much higher now as compared to years past. It is not uncommon to spend $200 US Dollars for a round of golf at top courses like Blue Canyon Phuket. To get the best deals buy a package with golf, hotel, and transfers from a local golf tour operator and travel during the summer months of July and August. Overall Verdict (100%) Turkey (6.0):  Turkey is the one of the best golf destinations near to Europe.  It is great for cost conscious golfers looking for a short-break or hardcore golfers wanting to play 36-holes a day. Those looking for a golf and culture holiday might best look towards other golf destinations. Thailand (8.7): Thailand wins over Turkey due to its wider appeal across all golf travel sectors. It is so good over so many aspects that many golf tourists now make Thailand their annual home away from home. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Turkey Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on August 27, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%) Singapore (8): For a small island state Singapore has allocated land for close to 30 golf courses. The quality ranges from good at course like Orchid and Raffles to world-class at Laguna National and Sentosa Island. Thailand (7): Of the 280 golf courses in Thailand, 60 are up to international standards. Thailand’s best courses include Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Black Mountain in Hua Hin. Both have played host to major professional golf tournaments and have been heavily honored by major golf journalists. Service (25%) Singapore (6): Singapore is a well-developed international tourist destination and as such the service is generally good from those working in the service sector. The main thing missing from golf in Singapore are caddies as labor costs are prohibitively expensive to enable this. Thailand (10): The Thai people are renowned for their friendliness and this shows on the golf course as well. Locals golf side by side with golf visitors and all Thailand golf courses include individual caddies as standard. Golfing Experience (25%) Singapore (6): Singapore enjoys a hot and humid climate all year round. Daytime temperatures vary little through the year and are around 30 degrees centigrade. Singapore has a range of accommodations, international restaurants, as well as some interesting sites for visitors Thailand (10): Interesting Thai culture and world renowned nightlife ensure as good of a time off the course as on. Golf in A Kingdom is all about the Thai golf experience. My favorite non-golf activity is a foot massage. After all, it is only $10 US and can be found on practically every street corner. Value For Money (20%) Singapore (4): Golf in Singapore is very expensive. Green fees at the Sentosa Serapong Course are $300 US a round. Accommodations are also very expensive as a good 5* hotel room costs over $300 US a night. Food and entertainment, while also nice, are also expensive compared to neighboring countries. Thailand (8): It is true that Thailand golf courses have continually raised their green fees over than past 5 years and many of the better Thai golf courses now charge over $100 US for a round. The good news is that lodging and other costs are very reasonable, so a Thailand golf holiday is less expensive than you might think. Overall Verdict (100%) Singapore (5.90):  Singapore is not big a golf destination in and of itself. Most golfers prefer to combine Singapore with other destinations like nearby Bintan or Malaysia. Also, Singapore can be considered for a short stopover as Singapore Airlines has many good connections to other Asian golf destinations. Thailand (8.70): Thailand is a very popular golf destination for golfers from Europe, Asia, and Australia. For a truly special golf experience where everyone leaves a winner, Thailand is hard to beat. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Russia Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on August 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%) Russia (5): There are only 20 golf courses in Russia and most are located in and around Moscow. The best golf club is the Jack Nicklaus designed Tseleevo Golf and Polo Club. The inaugural Russian Open and first ever European Tour event played in Russia was held at Tseleevo in 2013 Thailand (7): Thailand has 280 golf courses and many have won numerous “best of” awards including Black Mountain Golf Club (100 Best Courses Outside the USA, Golf Digest 2012) and Thai Country Club (Best clubhouse in Asia, Asian Golf Monthly, numerous years Ina  row). Service (25%) Russia (4): Service is missing when golfing in Russia. Caddies are notably absent and to date golf is considered an elitist game. Hardly any Russians know the proper golf rules or golf etiquette. Thailand (10): Service with a smile is standard all over Thailand and the golf courses are no exception. You should plan on meeting friendly locals during your round and making many new friends on a Thailand golf holiday. Just don’t be surprised if you miss your Thai caddie when you return home and play without one. Golfing Experience (25%) Russia (5): Golf in Russia is only played from May to October as Russia has a cold climate that only allows for golfing 6 months of the year. Moscow, where most of the Russian golf courses are located, has a range of accommodations, restaurants, and cultural attractions, but service is generally average. Thailand (10): Thai culture is unique. This combined with numerous attractions, and excellent nightlife makes for well-rounded golf trips. Golf in A Kingdom is focused on the Thai golf experience. My favorite activity after golf is a $10 US foot massage. It is so soothing after walking 18 holes. Value For Money (20%) Russia (3): Golf in Russia is expensive. Green fees can be as high as $300 US a round. Accommodations, food, and entertainment are also much more than most other golf destinations. Thailand (8): Thailand green fees used to be particularly inexpensive. Nowadays, it can cost upwards of $200 US to golf at a premium Thai golf club like Thai CC in Bangkok or Red Mountain in Phuket. The good news is that lodging and other golf trip costs are still reasonably priced, so that a Thailand golf package won’t cost as much as you might think. Overall Verdict (100%) Russia (4.35):  Russia is not really a golf travel destination. The season is short, golf is expensive, and tee time availabilities are poor. If you happen to be in Moscow in the summer for other reasons, then a quick round of golf might make sense. Thailand (8.70): Thailand is a premium golf holiday destination and for good reason. There are 9 excellent golf areas with courses tourists can play. For a truly special golf experience with a high level of enjoyment, Thailand is at the top. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Russia Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Qatar Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on July 30, 2013 at 12:56 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Qatar (7):  There is only 1 golf course in Qatar and since 1998 Doha Golf Club has hosted a European and Asian Tour event; the Qatar Masters. The quality of Doha Golf Club somewhat makes up for the lack of other courses. Thailand (7): The best courses in Thailand are located in the major cities and resorts. Pattaya sports over 20 courses and in 2012 was voted the best golf destination in Asia by the Association of International Golf Tour Operators. Service (25%)Qatar (7): Service is one of the strong points at Doha Golf Club. From manicured fairways to greens, from the pro shop to the restaurant, everything about the club is first class. Thailand (10): Service, hospitality, and Thailand are synonymous with each other and golf is no exception. Friendly locals golf side by side with golf visitors which is a nice touch. All Thailand golf courses include individual caddies as standard. Tour caddies will be missed most when you return home and play without one. Golfing Experience (25%)Qatar (5): Qatar enjoys a hot and dry climate. Golf is best played from October to March. Temperatures approaching 50 degrees centigrade make golf unbearable during the summer months. Doha, the capital city, has a range of accommodations and international restaurants, but not much in the way of cultural attractions.  Thailand (10): Interesting Thai culture, excellent attractions, and world renowned nightlife ensure a great time off the course. Golf in A Kingdom is all about the Thai golf experience. For example, try a foot massage after golf. After all, it is only $10 US and can be found on practically every street corner. Value For Money (20%)Qatar (5): Golf in Qatar is expensive. Green fees at Doha Golf Club are $150 US a round. Accommodations, food, and entertainment, while very nice, are also higher than most other golf destinations. Thailand (8): Thailand golf courses have continually raised their green fees over than past 5 years. The most popular Thailand golf courses like Black Mountain Golf Club now charge $120 US for a round. The good news is that lodging and other golf trip costs are still, so that golfing in Thailand won’t set you back as much as you might think. Overall Verdict (100%)Qatar (6.10):  Qatar is not really a golf destination in and of itself as there is only 1 course available for play. Combine Qatar with other destinations in the Middle East, like Dubai or Abu Dhabi for example, or for a short stopover, then it makes sense to give golf in Qatar a try Thailand (8.70): Thailand is the third most popular golf destination after the UK and Spain for golfers from Europe. It ranks first for golfers from Asia and Australia. For a truly special golf experience with a high level of enjoyment, Thailand is hard to beat. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Qatar Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Portugal Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on July 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%) Portugal (9):  Even though there are only 70 golf courses Portugal is one of Europe’s best golf destinations. The Algarve region is the most famous golfing area and the best course there is Victoria Golf Vilamoura, home of the 2013 Portugal Golf Masters and tour stop for the European Tour. However, my course in Portugal is the Seve Ballesteros designed Porto Santo. This traditional links course plays along the Atlantic Ocean and is as good as golf gets! Thailand (7): There is good golf cross the country with most of best courses in Thailand in and around Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin. Thai Country Club has hosted more professional golf events than any other Thai golf course. Black Mountain Golf Club is the only golf course in Thailand to be rated in the top 100 courses outside the USA by Golf Digest. Service (25%) Portugal (6): The golf in Portugal is good, but don’t expect much in the way of service on the golf course. There are no caddies, hardly any Portuguese play golf, and it is very difficult to find Portuguese workers who have a service mindset. However, the golf resorts in Portugal can be excellent. My most memorable experience was at the Four Seasons Country Club, Quinta do Lago. Thailand (10):  Service, hospitality, and Thailand are synonymous with each other and golf is no exception. Thais golf as much as the visitors and you can always meet friendly locals on the golf course. Caddies are standard at all Thailand golf courses and will be missed by every visiting golfer on their first round back home. Golfing Experience (25%) Portugal (8): Portugal enjoys a pleasant climate that makes most of the year good for a golf holiday. Sunny days prevail from March to mid-December. The main golf areas are good for relaxing on the beach, while the cities, especially Lisbon, provide for good culture and entertainment options. Thailand (10): Interesting Thai culture, excellent attractions, and world renowned nightlife ensure a great time off the course. Golf in A Kingdom is all about the Thai golf experience. For example, try a foot massage after golf. After all, it is only $10 US and can be found on practically every street corner. Value For Money (20%) Portugal (6): Golf in Portugal can be expensive with green fees at the better courses commonly over $150 US a round. Nowadays however, many golf tour operators offer stay-and-play packages at very affordable prices as the market is quite competitive and golfers have so many destinations to select from. Thailand (8): It is true that green fees at Thailand golf courses are higher than they used to be. One round of golf at a top Thailand golf course such as Siam Country Club in Pattaya can set you back $175 US including caddie fees and tips. Fortunately everything else in Thailand is reasonably priced. Resorts, transportation, food and drink are priced less than most other premium golf destinations. Overall Verdict (100%) Portugal (7.40):  Portugal is a top golf destination and in fact it is my favorite place to golf in all of continental Europe. The weather is excellent, courses are varied and for the most part of high quality, and the cities are packed with things to do and see. Thailand (8.70): Thailand and Portugal are both high quality, albeit very different golf destinations. For shirt trips Portugal cannot be beat. For a unique golf experience with world-class service and enjoyment, Thailand is the undisputed leader. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks ... The post Golf In Portugal Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In New Zealand Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on June 25, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)New Zealand (10): With over 400 golf courses, New Zealand is a golfer’s paradise. My 2 favorite New Zealand golf courses are Cape Kidnappers and Paraparaumu Beach, both of which rival any of the best golf courses in the world. Many other great golf courses in New Zealand can be found around the big cities of Auckland and Christchurch and also among the smallest country towns. Thailand (7): There is good golf available in Thailand, with the best courses mostly located around Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin. Riverdale Golf Club in Bangkok is a good example of one of the newer top courses while Laem Chabang International Country Club is a time tested Jack Nicklaus design in Pattaya. Service (25%)New Zealand (8): Golf in New Zealand is well developed and Kiwis are noted for being friendly and casual people. This leads to generally a good service standard wherever you travel to, albeit with more do-it-yourself approach than is found in Asia. Thailand (10): The golf in Thailand is all about service. Friendly locals and caddies greet golfers from around the world at every golf course across the country. Try playing on your own when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday! It will be then when you really miss the Thai service. Golfing Experience (25%)New Zealand (8): New Zealand is a country of magnificent scenery, varied land formations and a wide diversity of wildlife. At the right time of the year (i.e. southern hemisphere summer), this makes it a unique golf experience, especially for nature and outdoor lovers Thailand (10): As a top tourist destination Thailand stands out with great golfing experiences too. Its people, sights and world renowned nightlife insure great golfing experiences both on and off the course. Golf in A Kingdom should be tried by all golfers to see what the entire buzz is about. Value For Money (20%)New Zealand (5): The best golf in New Zealand is expensive with green fees topping out over $200US a round. Fortunately for golf travelers there are also many reasonably priced courses around the country. Hotels, food, and alcoholic beverages are expensive, mostly due to the strength of the NZ dollar and getting to New Zealand is a costly venture in itself. These costs all add to making a New Zealand an expensive destination for a golf trip. Thailand (8): Green fees at Thailand golf courses have gone up in recent years with the costs to play at the courses in highest demand like Siam Country Club, Blue Canyon Country Club, and Red Mountain Golf Club around $200US. On the other hand, hotels, transportation, food and drink, and entertainment are reasonably priced which make overall golf trip costs are a good value-for-money. Overall Verdict (100%)New Zealand (8.00):  New Zealand is an excellent golf destination with great golf throughout the country. Costs are certainly Hugh, but I would recommend all golfers put New Zealand on their bucket lists of places to visit, at least once.  Thailand (8.70): Thailand and New Zealand are both great, but different golf destinations. If you want the best golf in the world, try New Zealand. If you want unmatched service and fun, try Thailand. The choice is yours! Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In New Zealand Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Malaysia Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on June 11, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Malaysia (5):  Golf in Malaysia ranges from merely average to PGA quality. The best Malaysia golf courses are all located in the capital of Kuala Lumpur. Access is mostly private, but some weekday visitors are allowed at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club and Saujana Golf & Country Club; both of which have hosted PGA and LPGA events, respectively. Thailand (7): Thailand golf courses have hosted many professional events such as the Royal Trophy (Black Mountain) and Honda LPGA (Siam Country Club), Volvo Masters (Thai Country Club), and Thailand Golf Championship (Amata Spring Country Club).  The collection of Thailand’s best golf courses can be found at Golf In A Kingdom. Service (25%)Malaysia (5): Golf in Malaysia is well developed. However, the service aspect is generally lacking as there are very few locals who want to work in hospitality service roles. On the other hand English is widely spoken and getting to/from the golf courses is very easy. Also, most golf courses have nice clubhouses which make for good 19th holes. Thailand (10): The golf in Thailand is all about smiles. Friendly locals and caddies are all over Thai golf courses. Even if you hit a bad shot, your caddie will smile graciously and make you feel OK. Try playing on your own when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday! It will be then when you really miss the Thai service. Golfing Experience (25%)Malaysia (7): Malaysia is a country of varieties and home to a wide assortment of golf experiences. Golf can be played in the mountains, in a rainforest, along the beaches, or in a big city. A Malaysia golf holiday offers a variety of experiences to suit the preferences of every golfer. Thailand (10): As a top tourist destination Thailand stands out with great golfing experiences too. Its people, sights and world renowned nightlife insure great golfing experiences both on and off the course. Golf in A Kingdom should be tried by all golfers to see what the entire buzz is about. Value For Money (20%)Malaysia (6): The best golf in Malaysia is expensive. Green fees are $150US at the top courses on weekends in Kuala Lumpur. Hotels and food are reasonable, but alcoholic beverages can be expensive. Less expensive golf for around $50US a round can be found in Kota Kinabalu and Langkawi, which are also both popular tourist destinations. Thailand (8): Green fees at top Thailand golf courses are also expensive at $100 – 150 US. However, hotels, transportation, food and drink, and entertainment are all affordable compared to other world-class destinations. Overall golf trip costs are lower than expected from just the green fees and represent good value-for-money. Overall Verdict (100%)Malaysia (6.00):  Malaysia is a solid golf destination with allot of variety. Service could be better, but with so much to do it is still highly recommended. While not quite up to Thailand standards, one idea is to combine both countries in one trip to get the best of both cultures.  Thailand (8.70): Thailand beat Malaysia overall as a single golf destination. However, combined together they make for a unique Asia golf tour. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Malaysia Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Laos Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on May 28, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Laos (5):  Laos is behind other neighboring countries with only 7 golf courses open for play. Most Laos golf courses are in the capital Vientiane and are only average in quality. However, Luang Prabang Golf Club, in Luang Prabang is the country’s best having hosted 2 Asian Tour events, with spectacular scenery, and excellent playing conditions. Thailand (7): There are many championship golf courses in Thailand including Siam Country Club (home of the Honda LPGA) and Black Mountain Golf Club (Royal Trophy and Black Mountain Masters). Golf In A Kingdom includes all of Thailand’s best golf courses. Service (25%)Laos (4): Golf in Laos is a relatively new and as such finding trained service personnel at the golf clubs is difficult. Most staff and caddies hardly speak any English and are not familiar with the rules golf. This detracts from the otherwise good overall golfing experience. Thailand (10): The land of smiles carries on its name onto the golf course as well. Friendly locals and caddies are everywhere at all Thai golf courses. Try playing when you get back from a Thailand golf holiday to really appreciate the Thai service! Golfing Experience (25%)Laos (7): Laos is a traditional destination. Vientiane and Laung Prabang both feature village life, temples, monks, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The country has a rich culture and many religious festivals are celebrated throughout the year. Travel at any of these times to add to a memorable golf holiday. Thailand (10): Of the entire world’s top tourist destinations, Thailand stands out as the one with the best golf. Its famous beaches, sights, and nightlife insure great golfing experiences. Golf in A Kingdom should be tried at least once to see what the entire buzz is about. Value For Money (20%)Laos (8): Golf in Laos is affordable. Green fees start at $10 US and top out at only $50 US. Hotels, food, and transportation are all less expensive than other neighboring countries. Thailand (8): Green fees at top Thailand golf courses run from around $50 to $150 US. Accommodations, transportation, food, and entertainment are all affordable compared to other world-class destinations. Overall golf trip costs are lower than expected and represent good value-for-money. Overall Verdict (100%)Laos (5.85):  Laos is a good side golf destination to combine with golf in nearby countries. On its own it is probably not going to trill anyone. It is good to try out for those who have been everywhere else in SE Asia and want to get off the beaten tourist trail.  Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins easily over Laos as a single golf destination. However, combined with one another they make for an interesting golf trip. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Laos Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Korea Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on May 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%):Korea (7):  Korea is a mountainous country with around 200 golf courses scattered from North to South. However the best golf courses are located on Cheju Island, sometimes called Korea’s Hawaii due to the year round temperate climate. My two favorite Korean golf courses are Nine Bridges and Sky 72, both of which have hosted numerous professional golf tournaments. Thailand (7): There are many excellent golf courses in Thailand. Thai Country Club (site of Tiger Woods 1997 win) and Siam Country Club (home of the Honda LPGA) are two stand-outs. The best golf courses are all part of Golf In A Kingdom. Service (25%)Korea (6): Golf in Korea is a long but smooth process. Tee-times and pace of play are strictly adhered to as most of the better courses are full from sunrise to sunset. A round of golf can include a break for lunch too, which is good if you like Korea food. Thailand (10):  Service on the golf course in Thailand is all about smiles. You meet friendly locals and caddies which are standard at all Thai golf courses. Try playing without a caddie after you get back from a Thailand golf holiday to really appreciate the Thai service! Golfing Experience (25%)Korea (6): Korea has a rich cultural heritage and a number of historic and religious festivals celebrated throughout the year. Travel at any of these times and you will have a truly memorable golf holiday. Thailand (10): Thailand is a world-class tourist destination, not only for golfers. Its famous beaches, temples, and après golf nightlife insure a great overall golfing experience. Every golfer should experience golf in A Kingdom first hand. Value For Money (20%)Korea (4): Golf in Korea is very expensive. All but the poorest courses are booked months in advance as the golf season is short on the mainland and in high demand in the southern island of Jeju. You should budget to spend in excess of $200 at the best courses and a lot more if you want to try some nightlife afterwards. Thailand (8): Golf is more than it used to be in Thailand. However, accommodations, transportation, dining, and entertainment are all affordable compared to other world-class destinations. Most golfers still find their overall golf trip costs to be lower than expected and an excellent value-for-money. Overall Verdict (100%)Korea (5.90):  Korea is an OK golf destination with some of the golf on Cheju Island as good as it gets. If you really want to experience golf in every country, then give Korea a try. Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins easily over the Korea on every point. Ironically, Thailand is so good that Korean golfers come to Thailand for their own golf holidays in numbers larger than any other country. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Korea Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Japan Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on May 13, 2013 at 5:08 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Japan (7): The country has over 2,400 golf courses from North to South. Unfortunately, the best clubs are private, so make sure you call ahead to see if unaccompanied visitors are allowed. Some of my favorites that do allow visitors are the Fuji Course at Kawana Hotel and Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course. Thailand (7): The vast majority of golf courses in Thailand are open for daily fee play. Some of the best in this category include Siam Country Club (home of the Honda LPGA) and Riverdale Golf Club. The best golf courses are all part of Golf In A Kingdom. Service (25%)Japan (7): If you want to golf in less than 8 hours, then golf in Japan is not for you. Of course this includes 18 holes of golf with a 2+ hour break in between for lunch, sauna, and a change of clothes. Not bad actually if you want to experience real Japan. Thailand (10): You meet friendly locals all over Thailand. A good example is the caddies which are standard at all Thai golf courses. Try playing without a caddie after you get back from a Thailand golf holiday and you will see what I mean. Golfing Experience (25%)Japan (6): Many of the golf courses in Japan are known for their beauty, scenery, and perfect course maintenance. There are many unique activities that add to the Japan golf experience such as outdoor spas, sightseeing, and varied Japanese cuisine. Thailand (10): Thailand is a top destination among tourists of all sorts. Its famous beaches, sights, and cultural attractions all add to the overall golf experience. Every golfer should try a Thailand golf trip to experience golf in A Kingdome first hand. Value For Money (20%)Japan (5): Golf in Japan can be reasonable or expensive. There are many unknown courses with low green fees to choose from. However, the famous ones and better resorts during the warmer summer months start to get very pricey with $200 green fees not uncommon at the best courses. Thailand (8): Accommodations, transportation, dining, and entertainment are all affordable in Thailand. This combined with reasonable green fees make overall trip costs to be lower than expected and an excellent value-for-money. Overall Verdict (100%)Japan (6.35):  Japan is an interesting golf destination and can be on the bucket list for world golf travelers who want to experience golf in all corners of the globe. Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins easily over the Japan due to the wider appeal across all categories. Ironically, Thailand is so good that Japanese make Thailand their number one international winter golf holiday destination. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Japan Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Ireland Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on April 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Ireland (9): The country is home to some of the world's best golf courses. Most all are pure links courses. The best Irish golf courses include K Club (Ryder Cup), and the incredible Druids Glen. Thailand (7): Of the 250 Thai golf courses, 60 are standouts. Thailand’s best golf course is Black Mountain in Hua Hin. Other notable favorites are the spectacular Red Mountain in Phuket and Banyan in Hua Hin. Service (25%)Ireland (8):  Ireland has a good reputation for warm hospitality. Most resorts offer nice spas and excellent food and beverage choices. Many of the more popular golf courses also have caddie services available for visiting golfers. Thailand (10): Thailand sets the standard for friendly hospitality by locals. Golf clubs welcome visitors from all over the world. Caddies are among Thailand’s secret weapons and make anyone’s game enjoyable. Golfing Experience (25%)Ireland (7): Good nightlife at Irish Pubs combined with many cultural and historical sites make an Ireland golf experience truly memorable  Thailand (10): Thailand is a major tourist destination with world famous beaches, sights, and cultural attractions. Moreover, the Thai golf experience is unique  and every golfer should try a Thailand golf trip to find out what all the buzz is about. Value For Money (20%)Ireland (6): Golf in Ireland can be reasonable or expensive. There are many unknown courses with low green fees to choose from. However, the famous ones and better resorts during the warmer summer months start to get pricey as could be expected.  Thailand (8): Green fees at Thailand’s bet courses match what one would pay in Europe. However, accommodations, transportation, dining, and entertainment are all very affordable making overall trip costs lower than average. Overall Verdict (100%)Ireland (7.65):  Ireland undoubtedly has some of the world’s best links courses and much better golf than Thailand. However, weather can be a factor for some and getting to/from Ireland can be a journey in itself, especially from places like Australia or the west coast of the USA. Thailand (8.70): Thailand has a wide golf appeal, especially for those golfers looking to play in year round sunshine. Some 600,000 foreign golfers chose to golf in Thailand each year Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Ireland Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Hong Kong Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on April 9, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Hong Kong (6): There are some excellent golf courses in Hong Kong; many with great views over the surrounding South China Sea. The only public golf course is also one of the islands best. The 36-hole Gary player designed Kau Sai Chau Golf Course is set on an island just off the coast. Other standouts, albeit private, include the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Fanling Course; home of many professional PGA events. Thailand (7): Golf in Thailand can be played across the country and of the 250 or so courses, 60 are worthy of visitors. The number one Thai golf course and only course in the 100 best courses outside the USA is Black Mountain in Hua Hin.  Service (25%)Hong Kong (4): The island state is better known for shopping bargains than service and the same carries over to the golf clubs. Notably missing are caddies, which makes Hong Kong one of the few places to golf in Asia where one can carry his/her own bag. Thailand (10): Thailand on the other hand is all about service excellence. Golf clubs are as visitor friendly as any place on earth. How hard could it be to play with a smiling caddie by your side through the whole round? Golfing Experience (25%)Hong Kong (7): Hong Kong is best known for shopping and fast-paced Chinese business culture. That being said golfing in Hong Kong is pretty good. If you are invited to join a round of golf in Hong Kong it will be a memorable experience for sure. Thailand (10): Everyone knows about Thailand a major tourist destination. However, the Thai golf experience is unique in the world. Every golfer should try a Thailand golf trip before it is too late. Value For Money (20%)Hong Kong (4): Golf in Hong Kong is expensive, period! Everything from green fees, hotels, transportation, and entertainment will set the visitor back more than they would pay at home. Thailand (8): Thailand golf holidays are relatively affordable, in spite of the green fees being more expensive nowadays then they were in the past. Accommodations, transportation and entertainment however are all very affordable making overall trip costs lower than average. Overall Verdict (100%)Hong Kong (5.35): There are now 10 golf courses in Hong Kong and more if you count Macau which is amazing for a relatively small island. However, unsurprisingly for a heavily populated country the golf courses are private, often full, and all but two do not welcome visitors without an accompanying member. Golf visitors are therefore best advised to stick to a shopping stopover and carry their sticks to other Asian golf destinations. Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins easily over the Hong Kong due to the appeal to golfers from all over the world. It is so good that every year more and more foreign golfers chose to make Thailand their permanent home. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Hong Kong Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Germany Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on April 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)Germany (6):  Since the 1980’s many new golf courses have been built and the golf in Germany has flourished. There are now more than 600 German golf courses across the country including hundreds of excellent ones and a handful of outstanding resorts. The Sport & Spa Resort A-Rosa set among pine forests is one of the best examples with the Nick Faldo 18 being the best of the 4-course (63 hole) lineup. Thailand (7): Thailand has 250 courses spread out across the country. Every major designer is represented and the Jack Nicklaus courses at Laem Chabang in Pattaya, Springfield in Hua Hin, and Mission Hills Phuket are among the most popular. Other excellent courses include Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin. Service (25%)Germany (5): Outstanding hospitality is far from synonymous with Germany. However, the unique character of each region makes for memorable golf trips nevertheless. Thailand (10): Thailand sets the standard for service excellence and this extends to the golf courses as well. From the well-trained caddies to the bell boy at the hotels, outstanding service with a smile can be counted on. It is no wonder Thailand is nicknamed “Land of Smiles”. Golfing Experience (25%)Germany (8): Germany is best known for its many attractions, beautiful countryside, historic cities, famous beer and traditional food. This along with some excellent golf makes for unique golf experiences for any visiting golfer. Thailand (10): The Thai golf experience is hard to describe. There are many reasons why Thailand is Asia’s biggest golf holiday destination and every golfer should try a Thailand golf trip first hand to find out why. Value For Money (20%)Germany (5): Golf in Germany is generally an expensive proposition, especially during the summer months when most Europeans travel. Adding to golf trip costs are high prices at the better resorts as well as fine dining establishments throughout the country. Thailand (8): Thailand golf holidays are still affordable, albeit the green fees have risen steadily in the past few years. Accommodations and entertainment however is reasonably priced. The best golfing values can be found during the months of August and September where low green fees can be found at almost every Hua Hin golf course. Overall Verdict (100%)Germany (6.05):  Germany has become a great alternative for a fascinating European golf holiday. If not for the short season and high prices it would attract many more holiday golfers. Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins over the Germany due to superior service and wider appeal to golfers from all over the world. Many a golfer visitor has chosen to make Thailand their home away from home. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Germany Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In France Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on March 26, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%)France (8): Excellent golf courses are found in almost every area of France. The most popular areas for golf holidays are Le Touquet in the north, Paris and its surroundings, and Biarritz and Bordeaux in the south. The best golf courses in France include Golf National near Paris and the Evian Masters Golf Club in the Alps. Thailand (7): Golf courses in Thailand are spread out across the country. From the Trent Jones designed Santiburi Chiang Rai Country Club the far north to the spectacular Red Mountain Golf Club on Phuket Island in the south, tracks for every taste can be played all over Thailand. Service (25%)France (4): Unless you are French, forget about anything close to first class service. Most locals prefer to speak only French and hardly go out of their way to make a golf holidaymakers time in country easy or convenient. However, at some of the better resorts, well-trained overseas workers can make up for some of lacking French hospitality. Thailand (10): Thailand is world renown for service, and golf in Thailand is no exception. Just ask any Thai person for help and you might have a friend for life! This service mindset is prevalent at every golf course and resort, irrespective of the service ranking or price. Golfing Experience (25%)France (8): France is a popular golf holiday destination, especially with Europeans. Excellent cuisine, temperate climate, rich culture & history, and stunning scenery all add to the overall golf experience. Thailand (10): Golf in a Kingdom is all about the Thai golf experience. If you have not golfed in Thailand, then it is hard to imagine. However, there is a reason why Thailand is Asia’s biggest and fastest growing golf holiday destination. Value For Money (20%)France (5): France is a cost effective golf destination to reach for most Europeans. However, as with most European prices, France golf holiday costs are among the highest, especially costs for green fees, hotels, and food and beverages. Thailand (8): Thailand golf holidays are affordable. Accommodations and food and beverages in particular are all reasonably priced. Green fees top out at $180 US Dollars on Phuket Island. However, golf at other popular locations like Hua Hin and Chiang Mai can be played for $100 US Dollars or less. Many golfers visit Thailand from June to September when costs can be lower than 50% of the costs at other times of the year, especially when staying at a 5* resort. Overall Verdict (100%)France (6.40): France is a beautiful golf destination with excellent golf courses. It is especially popular with Europeans looking for a short golf break. The summer weather is always good for golf and the food and culture are the best in Europe.  Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins over the France due to superior service and better value-for money. Many golfer travelers who once visited Thailand on a golf trip now make Thailand their permanent home. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In France Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.

  • Golf In Egypt Versus Golf In Thailand
    by Thailand Golf Holiday on March 19, 2013 at 3:44 am

    Here are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best. Quality (30%) Egypt (6): Golf in the Egypt is widespread, especially in the resort areas such as Taba and Sharm El-Sheikh. Additionally, the Gary Player course at Soma Bay Resort is a sure standout. A high concentration of golf courses can also be found are in and around Cairo with the 27-hole Katameya Heights leading the pack. Thailand (7): Over 250 golf courses in Thailand are spread out across the country. The best courses include Thai Country Club in Bangkok, Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin, and Red Mountain in Phuket. Chiang Mai in the north also has some top courses including Chiang Mai Highlands. Service (25%) Egypt (5): The golf courses in Egypt are generally self-serve with limited on-course service and no caddies. The resort courses attached to 5* beach resorts have better facilities, albeit Egyptian service is not the main reason why people travel to golf in Egypt. Thailand (10): Golf in Thailand sets the standard for service. All Thai golf courses have caddies to assist visiting golfs in every task imaginable, except hitting the ball of course. Expect service excellence at all courses, whether the course itself is 5* or not. Golfing Experience (25%) Egypt (8): Many consider Egypt as one of the world’s most interesting golf destinations. Nowhere else in the world can one play golf in the shadows of the Great Pyramids or golf in the morning and then visit the mountain where Moses passed down the Ten Commandments in the afternoon. It hardly rains, so the weather is ideal for year round golf. In addition to site seeing, good shopping and excellent water sports round out the Egypt golfing experience. Thailand (10): Golf in a Kingdom is all about the Thai golf experience. It is hard to explain in just a few words, but there must be some reason why 60% of the golf who visit Thailand regularly return each year. Value For Money (20%) Egypt (10): Only a few hours by airplane and served by many low cost carries Egypt is a very easy destination to reach from most European countries. Moreover, with recent security risks and associated drop in tourism, golfing in Egypt has never been so affordable. In fact, Egypt may currently be the lowest cost premium golf destination in the world! Thailand (8): A Thailand golf vacation is affordable as resorts, entertainment, and food/drink are all reasonably priced. Green fees at the high end are around $180 US Dollars at Red Mountain in Phuket. However, many good courses can be played for half this amount or less. Travel during the summer months of July and August where costs can be lower than 50% of those the rest of the year. Overall Verdict (100%) Egypt (7.05):  Egypt is an up-and-coming the golf destination. The main draw is the weather, scenery, and excellent value-for-money. Thailand (8.70): Thailand wins over the Egypt due to its wide appeal over a larger range of criteria. I know many golfers who take one golf trip a year and make Thailand their annual destination of choice. Stay tuned for the next world golf challenge to see how Thailand stacks up against other golf destinations. Let me know if you want to see your country included in my survey. The post Golf In Egypt Versus Golf In Thailand appeared first on Thailand Golf Zone.