With almost 300 courses, many designed by world-renowned designers like Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, and a century-long golf history, Thailand has been nicknamed “The Golf Capital of Asia”.
The Kingdom of Thailand welcomes increasing numbers of foreign golfers a year, growing steadily in numbers from a decade ago.
Almost all courses are open to non-members, but advance booking is essential in high season (December-March) when tens of thousands of golfers from North Asia and Europe flock to the Land of Smiles.
Golf courses in Thailand offer a wide diversity of topographical challenges with excellent facilities i.e. well-designed clubhouses with air-conditioned changing rooms, restaurants, bars, massage and sauna facilities.
On the outskirts of Bangkok, Alpine Golf Club in Pathum Thani and Thai Country Club in Chacheongsao – both private members’ clubs that rank alongside top courses in Australia – allow visitors on a limited basis. New course, Nikanti Golf Club in Nakhon Pathom, 60 kilometres west of the capital, has a unique layout comprising three loops of six holes each, while Amata Spring Country Club, where a European Tour event is held each December, can be booked by visitors with a letter of introduction from their home club.
Near Pattaya, the 63-hole Siam Country Club complex of three courses (Old Course, Plantation and Waterside) is the largest in Thailand and one of the best. The Old Course, opened in 1971, was the first public course to open in Thailand.
Hua Hin, 200 kilometres south – west of Bangkok, is becoming the golf capital of Thailand. Its nine courses are very popular with expats, especially award-winning Black Mountain and Banyan golf clubs, two of the best in the kingdom. The first 18-hole course, the Royal Hua Hin (also known as the Railway) which is the oldest golf course in Thailand is also located here.
On the resort island of Phuket, the newly-revamped Laguna Phuket Golf Club – with six hotels onsite including Banyan Tree Phuket – is a perfect base for golf and high-end relaxation. From there you can easily access two other top Phuket courses, Red Mountain and Blue Canyon.
Green fees cost A$120-180 at better courses, more in some cases. Caddies are compulsory, but they add great pleasure to a round as they know a lot about the course and can help you read putts. Usually, you can walk or rent a cart.