Golf Courses

5 Must Play Golf Courses in Thailand

Alpine Golf Club, Bangkok

With the number of quality tracks scattered all over, it is no easy task selecting the best golf courses in Thailand. Further, with close to a million visitors every year to play golf in Thailand there are bound to be diverging views on which the best are.  Many golfers have made and continue to make multiple trips to get their regular dose of the experience. That said, Thailand golf junkies may do well to consider this carefully thought out selection of 5 must play golf courses in Thailand. These courses being scattered adds variety to Thailand golf tours by considering a fresh destination each time. And, golfers needn’t worry as there are other high quality golf courses as well to complement in all these destinations. 

1. Red Mountain, Phuket 

Red Mountain Golf Club, Phuket

Red Mountain Golf Club in Phuket  is a shining example of the quality of golf in Thailand. If you are after a spectacular, superbly maintained and challenging yet playable golf course you needn’t look further. Thrills abound – both in every view and every shot to be played. Dense forest, steep elevation changes, rocky outcrops and deep ravines are the key features of the landscape. The brilliant design imagination of John Morrow and Al Tikkanen complements this landscape beautifully, making the golf course deadly tight in places. In other instances, elevation change alone can play tricks with club selection, wind factor aside.  And then, there’s much more, not the least being the superb year round course maintenance standards. Red Mountain Golf Club is just too good to be given a miss no matter which other golf courses the golfer has played. It sits at the top of the list of the best Thailand golf courses. 

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2. Alpine Golf & Sports Club, Bangkok

Alpine Golf Club, Bangkok

Bangkok qualifies as a top golf destination given its share of the best Thailand golf courses. This abundance of high quality golf in the Big Mango, makes the task of picking a golf course relatively hard. Thankfully, not impossible!  From the point of view of course layout, course condition and a hard round of golf, nothing beats Alpine Golf Club in Bangkok. There appear to be no easy holes on this course – and even if some are, they don’t look it. Dense and mature vegetation, tight boundaries, expansive water bodies and strategic bunkering combine to keep golfers engaged. And that’s how they ought to be, or the ensuing error could easily mean a big number. There isn’t a hole that won’t stand out, but the par 5, 7th with its island green is quite memorable. Given all its qualities as a world class championship layout, Alpine Golf & Sports Club is a must play in the Thailand golf scene.

3. Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin

Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin

Banyan Golf Club along with Black Mountain Golf Club form the core of any Hua Hin golf holiday. No one can be called a Thailand golf junkie if he hasn’t played both these Thailand golf courses. However if time permitted just the one round, then Banyan Golf Club may well be the one. The course set in a former pineapple plantation is simply delightful. Elevation changes on a hilly landscape along with strategically placed bunkers are key features of the layout. Ponds and streams are also in play on many holes. Beyond the layout, one main challenge is negotiating the greens. Their slopes are anything but straightforward, so advice from the well trained caddies could prove handy. Altogether, a round at Banyan Golf Club delivers a thrilling and extremely fulfilling ride. But, it doesn’t have to end there. Missing out on a chilled one while viewing a magical sunset amongst the hills will be truly unjust.

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4. Siam Country Club, Plantation Course, Pattaya

Siam CC Plantation Course, Pattaya

Part of Siam Country Club which is now an 81-hole golf complex, the Plantation Course has a definite edge. While the Old Course attracts all the attention as host of  the Honda LPGA, the Plantation Course could well be more fun. The hilly landscape and several natural features of former plantation land have allowed Schmidt-Curley to deliver an exhilarating track. There are some stunners for golf holes, none more so than the signature par 5, 5th on the Sugarcane 9 that plays uphill. Here you can choose from 2 fairways, although the “right” one is revealed only after you have tried both. The standard Siam Country Club course experience of excellent facilities and superb caddies can never do any harm. Pattaya is home to some of the best Thailand golf courses, so picking Siam Plantation Course is sure to attract debate. But no one can doubt that it belongs right at the top for golf in Thailand.

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5. Santiburi Golf Course, Chiang Rai

Santiburi Golf Club, Chiang Rai

The Santiburi Golf Course which belongs to the Singha beer people, is the only reason for golfer traffic to Chiang Rai . There is little disagreement amongst those who have played here, that Sanitburi is one of the very best Thailand golf courses. The natural landscape, surrounding views, a Robert Trent Jones Jr design and excellent conditioning combine to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable golf experience. One superb hole after another keeps the thrills going on two contrasting sets of nines – one very watery and the other quite hilly. The last 2 holes in Santiburi Golf Course make for a tantalizing finish, especially in the matchplay format. The 17th par 3 with water along the right and then the delightful double dog-legged par 5, 18 can cause serious swings. These 2 holes alone may suffice in delivering a high quality Thailand golf experience.

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