Thailand, one the most fascinating and exotic tourist destinations in the world, has gained a deserved reputation for providing unique Thailand golf holidays.
Golf holidays Thailand present golf in an exclusive and special atmosphere, whose very special culture has remained undiluted over the centuries. With excellent and modern facilities, infrastructure and roads, Thailand golf holidays club facilities are superior to many of their European counterparts.
With the large number of golf courses dispersed amongst our Thailand golf holidays, it means that they are rarely over crowded, which creates a golfers heaven. There has never been a better time or a better location to experience the best golf package holidays available on the market today.
Thailand - 'Best Up and Coming Destination' for Golf Vacations
With modern facilities, internationally designed golf courses, and an excellent infrastructure, the availability of golf has developed significantly in Thailand. This has been evidenced by the World Golf Travel Agents Association recently awarding Thailand the 'Best up and coming destination' for golf vacations.
Thailand has hosted world class golf tournaments attracting such players as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, and Colin Montgomerie to name but a few. Such courses as Blue Canyon in Phuket have played host to international tournaments together with Thai Country Club and Alpine Golf Club in Bangkok during the last few years. Thai Country Club will in fact host the high profile Asian Volvo Masters for the next 3 years.
Most of the courses are designed with many water features and strategically positioned bunkers, ensuring the golfer has to apply good course management in order to score well. Below are some of the more famous courses that are popular with visiting tourists.
Thai Country Club and Alpine Golf and Sports Club, Bangkok
Thai Country Club and Alpine Golf and Sports Club, both in Bangkok, are good examples of very challenging, well designed courses. Each are kept in immaculate condition and the greens are always kept at a good speed. Alpine in particular, provides very challenging putting with large sloping greens.
Thai Country Club will host the Asian Tour's season ending Volvo championships for the next 3 years, and has previously hosted the Honda Classic, of which world famous golfers Tiger Woods and Ernie Els played. When visiting, you can stand on the back of the dog leg 10th hole and visualize the tee shot that Tiger Woods hit when he drove this par 4 hole. In 2004, Alpine Golf and Sports Club hosted the Johnnie Walker Championship, a co-sanctioned event between the Asian and European golf tours. Although not an overly long course, it is a very demanding test of golf with the par 3s particularly difficult as they are long in length, with many bunkers around the well guarded greens awaiting errant tee shots.
Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket
In Phuket, Blue Canyon Country Club also hosted the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1994. There are now two 18 hole golf courses, the Phuket Blue Canyon Course, and the Phuket Blue Canyon Lakes Course, with the Canyon being the tougher. The signature hole is no 13, which demands a long tee shot over a canyon, followed by an uphill iron shot to the green. Just as you thought you had got through the worst of it, the next hole is an equally challenging par 3, nearly 200 yards downhill to an island green surrounded by water.
Laem Chabang International Country Club and St Andrews 2000 Golf Club, Pattaya
Laem Chabang International Country Club and St. Andrews 2000 Golf Club are both located in the Pattaya area and each have relatively unique features.
Laem Chabang, with 27 holes that were designed by Jack Nicklaus, bear all of his traditional hallmarks with very large fairway bunkers, numerous water hazards and left to right dogleg holes. The greens are very large and sloping in line with the terrain, ensuring maximum care must be taken whilst putting.
The truly unique feature about St Andrews 2000 is the two par 6 holes, measuring over 1700 yards between them off the back tees. Hole number 4 is certainly the most testing of the two, with a drive that requires a 200 yard carry over water, which then doglegs sharply right, when you have to hit over the same expanse of water, albeit in a slightly different direction. Once you have succeeded with your first 2 shots you are then left with a long, tight, well bunkered fairway before reaching the green.
There are many other excellent golf courses throughout Thailand.
11 reasons why Thailand is a great place to visit and play golf
- Value for money
For any visiting tourist, Thailand provides great value for money. From the wide choice of hotel accommodation and golf, to shopping in the local markets or world-class department stores and shopping malls, to the wide array of eating choices and nightlife, for the quality provided, Thailand offers tremendous value for money.
In the cool season from November to February, Thailand has fantastic climate. Light breezes, constant sunshine, great conditions for a golfing holiday. Even in the summer months when it gets a bit warmer, golfing conditions are still acceptable.
- Golf Courses
With many courses being developed by leading professionals such as Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman, Thailand offers a great game of golf. In addition, a number of courses have been designed by famous course architects such as Pete Dye and Robert Trent Jones together with leading Japanese architects. There are over 200 courses located throughout the country, with a number of new high quality courses opening every year, ensuring a huge choice for the visiting golfer.
- Destination Diversity
Thailand is a beautiful country and offers a number of totally different destinations to play golf. From the bustling capital of Bangkok to the beautiful mountainous countryside of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai; from the stunning beaches in Phuket and Koh Samui to the bright lights and amazing nightlife of Pattaya; from the quieter seaside town of Hua Hin to the waterfalls and stunning scenery of Khao Yai; Thailand has a location for everyone.
The tourism industry is fully supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Moreover, support for golfing in Thailand is one of the top priorities of the TAT. What this means is that there is excellent information, infrastructure, and regulation, all of which assures the traveling golfer of a high quality holiday.
An integral part of playing golf in Thailand, caddies provide exceptional value-added service. Greeting you upon arrival at the clubhouse, they will take care of arrangements before you tee off. Guiding you around the course with a constant smile on their face. They will give you distances to the green, mark balls and give you the lines of your putts, and as an added plus, help keep you cool and refreshed.
No matter where you are in Thailand, you'll find accommodation to meet your budget. From impressive five-star hotel and resort properties to small Thai style bungalows, Thailand is truly set up to cater to the tourist market.
- The Thai people
The Thai people are known to be some of the friendliest in the world. Always with a smile on their face - it's called the 'land of smiles' for a good reason. Thais are very welcoming towards all visitors.
- The Food
From local Thai dishes to cosmopolitan cuisine, it is truly amazing. There is a huge variety in choice with the local cuisine, and a wide selection of international restaurants for those who prefer a bit of something closer to home.
- Culture and Customs
Thailand is a unique country with its own identity unrivaled in any other part of Asia. As a predominantly Buddhist country, it is steeped in amazing culture that you will unlikely find anywhere.
- The Choices Outside Golf
There is so much to do outside golf you will be spoiled for choice. From visiting the amazing temples and shrines, to the local night markets and street stalls selling everything imaginable, Thailand is truly a tourist magnet. Stunning beaches, beautiful waterfalls and mountains, international style shopping malls, world-class spas, boat trips to idyllic islands, elephant trekking, and the list is endless.
There are two important aspects to take into account: the first being the weather, and the second being the difference between the 'high' season and the 'low' season. This determines how busy the golf courses are.
Thailand has a tropical climate featuring three distinct seasons. In most areas, the hot season extends from March to May; the green season from June to October and the cool season from November to February.
It is mild and very sunny during the cool season with humidity being considerably lower than other times of the year. Average temperatures during this time of the year range between 35.5° Centigrade (96° Fahrenheit) to 16° Centigrade (62° Fahrenheit) with clear skies and light breezes. This provides great golfing conditions. The cool season is the peak tourist season and accommodation and the golf courses can be extremely busy, especially in the more populated areas.
During the hot season, which begins in March, day-time temperatures can reach 40° Centigrade (104°Fahrenheit). However the increase in temperature is quite gradual so conditions remain quite pleasant. At the peak of the season, hot, dry weather prevails throughout Thailand.
The best time to play golf during should be early in then morning, or after lunchtime, hence avoiding the hottest part of the day.
The country is subject to two tropical monsoons, namely the hotter southwesterly monsoon from May to September and the cooler northeasterly monsoon from late October to early March. Temperature and climate vary accordingly. Mean annual temperatures are between 25° - 28° Centigrade (77° - 82° Fahrenheit).
Most rain falls during the green season from May or June to about October when the southwest monsoon prevails. While intermittent showers or thunderstorms occur at various times of the day, it is perhaps the driest monsoon period of any country in Southeast Asia with plenty of sunshine. Thailand's eastern seaboard is affected by the cooling northeastly monsoon.
September is by far the worst month and is certainly not recommended for golf. Throughout the rest of the rainy season, both the amount and timing of any rain is unpredictable. There are periods without any rain, and even when it does rain, showers tend to be intermittent. There is less sunshine during this period, and temperatures are quite warm.