With ample green space and a reputation for first class service, Thailand was a natural choice for developers and designers to build some premier golf clubs and courses. Novices benefit from reasonable prices, while experienced golfers enjoy the spectacular weather and challenging courses, including the hilly Santiburi course on Koh Samui.
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A mere thirty minutes from Bangkok, Chonburi is home to more than 30 courses, and Kanchanaburi and Hua Hin feature world class courses just a few hours further from the capital. Thailand contains courses designed by Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player and featuring settings including the mountain surrounded greens of Chiang Mai and the beach views of Phuket.
Nowadays even the most exclusive golf clubs in Thailand, such as the Blue Canyon Country Club, are freeing up tee times for non-members to play. Golf packages are more common than ever and Thailand is increasingly becoming a top destination for travellers looking for great courses, great prices, and great service.
Where to Golf in Thailand?
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 travellers 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.