There are around 280 golf courses in Thailand and many are of championship standard, designed by the best architects and golfing greats like Jack Nicklaus. This year also saw the Bangkok Airways Queen’s Cup Golf Tournament take place at the Santiburi Samui Country Club from June 18th to 21st 2015.
Thailand Retreats Villas near a Golf Course
Some of our luxury villas in Samui and Phuket are in the perfect location for keen golfers, with several just a short journey away from the golf courses in Phuket, and Koh Samui. Which type of swing do you prefer? The whole of your party can relax in the comfort of the villa. For those that are keen on perfecting their hammock swinging rather than their golf swing, it’s a perfect compromise. Amazing Thailand has enough attractions to keep non-golfers blissfully happy.
For the keen golfers, which course should you choose? Each golf course has it’s own unique highlights.
Golfing in Thailand
We’ve compiled an overview of some of the best courses and some general tips on what to expect if you’re playing golf here.
Top Tips for Golfing in Thailand
You can book directly with the golf club. We recommend that you book in advance. This is especially important in the high season (November to April). If you are staying in one of our villas with a concierge they will arrange this for you.
Outside of the high season it is quieter, but Thailand public holidays and weekends can still be busy. Early tee times are the most popular. Sometimes, you will only be permitted to play as a 4 ball (4 people).
Most courses rent clubs along with umbrellas and sometimes golf shoes.
The use of caddy is compulsory at all (or most) golf clubs in Thailand. You can expect to pay about 400-500 THB for a caddie. The caddy is usually female and will be able to give you advice on distances to the green and the lines of your putts. They will help keep you cool and refreshed and you can use a second caddy to hold an umbrella if you wish.
It is customary to tip your caddy, they will not ask you to do so. A suggested tip is around 400 THB, depending how happy you are with the service.
Golf carts are compulsory at Mission Hills Phuket Golf Resort & Spa and Red Mountain Golf Club. There is only one golfer per cart and cart rental is 600-700 THB. Golf carts are available at some other courses including Blue Canyon Country Club and Loch Palm Golf Club.
The dress code here is similar to other golf courses worldwide. You’ll need to ensure you have:
A shirt/blouse or t-shirt with a collar. (That’s for ladies and men.)
Tailored shorts or skirts.
Golf shoes and socks.
What not to wear
Sandals, running shoes and flip-flops, football shirts, cut-down trousers and/or jeans.
Golf Courses in Phuket
Red Mountain Golf Course:
This is an exciting course 10km north west of Phuket Town in the Kathu district – it is set in a former tin mine. It has dramatic scenery, lots of elevation changes and a variety of landforms. Expect a mix of red rocky cliffs, dense vegetation, water hazards and rocky outcrops.
The course has breathtaking panoramic views. The elevation changes on this course and variety of water hazards and rainforest-lined fairways mean no two holes are the same. This course is exciting and challenging.
6000 THB for 18 holes
Loch Palm Golf Club
6905 yards (from back tees)
This is set in the same location as Red Mountain, but it is a gentler course and less undulating. This course can be walked, has a lovely layout and is well maintained. The course is surrounded by jungle-clad hills and built around a glistening lake in the centre. Apparently it’s the largest body of water on any Phuket course. The front nine holes are amongst the lakes and palm trees and the second nine move up through the mountains.
Many of the holes are played alongside the sizeable loch (lake). Keeping your ball on dry land is a priority here!
4800 THB for 18 holes
Situated in the heart of the Laguna Phuket destination resort near Bang Tao beach. This course was redesigned and re-opened in January 2015 to good reviews. The course is set around the lagoon and has great views of the surrounding mountains. This is a well-maintained course with wide fairways and lots of flat terrain. It’s a course suited to a strategic golfer as each hole as a variety of shot options. The finishing two holes are the most challenging.
5200 THB Visitor rate. (Less for hotel guests)
Blue Canyon Country Club – Thalang
There are two courses here, the Canyon course and the Lakes course.
6664 yards (blue tees)
7129 yards (from back tees)
This is one of the top professional tournament venues in Asia. It’s located in Thalang.
The Canyon course is set in an abandoned tin mine. There are streams filled with rust-coloured water, canyons and rock cliff faces. The course is well maintained.
The front nine holes require tight drives through mature trees and at the 13th hole - ‘Canyon hole’ you need to clear a 30ft canyon. Several of the holes are built on canyon structures that suddenly plunge into deep waters – giving the course more than its fair share of memorable golf holes. In the past the course has hosted the Johnnie Walker Classic tournament.
The lake course has water features that come in to play on 17 of the 18 holes. There are wide fairways and generous greens so all levels of player can enjoy this course.
The front 9 holes are set in a landscape of lakes and original canyons and the back 9 weaves through the woodland and trees.
Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa
This course is in Thailand – around 10 minutes from Phuket airport. The course has a stunning setting with views over the Andaman sea across to the islands of Ko Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi. The course has been designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus and has several flat and generous fairways and bunkers filled with white sand. However, on 7 of the 14 holes water does come into play. Children can participate in golf here. It fact, the course has suitable options for all levels of golfer.
Fees: 4500 THB
Golf Courses in Koh Samui
Royal Samui Golf and Country Club:
Yards: 2081 (blue tee)
This course is situated in the foothills above the beautiful beaches of Lamai and Chaweng. This is a shorter course, but ideal if you just want to hit a quick round of golf whilst still partaking in other activities or simply relaxing during the day. Access to this course is difficult so you should check the weather conditions before you book.
Santiburi Samui Country Club
This is a championship golf course at the "Santiburi Samui Country Club”. This is a PGA standard course and has been a regular stop on the Asian PGA tour. The course is set inland in Koh Samui – a short drive from Maenam Beach.
There are some simply spectacular views from this mountainous setting – you can see neighbouring islands including Koh Phangan and the beautiful nearby bays and beaches of Koh Samui. It’s a beautiful location and landscape and the inland setting means the course benefits from cooler temperature. You’ll be playing surrounded by coconut forest, and waterfalls. Some holes meander around cliffs and streams.
There are several steep uphill shots, downhill slopes and winding fairways. The course is challenging and beginners may wish to try the 9 holes to start with. You could risk more a wild encounter than you planned for though – lizards and snakes have been spotted on the course before.
4000 THB (discounts for guests stating at the hotel)
Bophut Hills Golf Club
This course is very close to Chaweng and was built and designed by Piraporn Namatra. It’s a short course and good if you are combining golf with other activities. The course is also a great choice for beginners and families. It’s also popular with locals. The course is accessed by unpaved roads that are quite tricky to find. This is a relaxed golf course without a strict atmosphere. Unusually this golf course is also home to zorbing – rolling down the hills inside a plastic water ball!
Fees: 875 THB
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