Welcome to the June 2017 issue of the Asian Golf Nation, the source for news breaking information about golf in Asia. In addition, unique golf playing tips for Indochina’s tropical environment, announcements of golf travel promotions, and our latest subscription offer are all integral parts of today’s newsletter.
June is tournament month with Asia’s largest amateur event, the Centara World Masters, being held in Hua Hin. Over 500 golfers from 23 countries are competing for USD 30,000 of prizes. This year’s event is being played on the best of the best golf courses in Hua Hin with two rounds each at Black Mountain Golf Club and Banyan Golf Club.
The week following will see international golfers converge on Pattaya to try their hand at the Mercure Pattaya Ocean Resort 2 Ball Golf Championship. Once again, playing at the first tier Pattaya courses of Siam Country Club and Laem Chabang Country Club, the event is poised to be the best week of golf and fun to date.
Both events are sold out, but if you enjoy the challenge of playing like a professional then check out our complete schedule of upcoming events at our dedicated Asian golf tournament web site.
Last month many of the staff travelled to Danang, Vietnam where Golfasian was represented as a buyer and seller at the Asian Golf Tourism Convention. It was good to meet so many of our loyal partners as well as many new tour operators. As you may know, Danang is my favorite Asian golf destination. Having the conference held there certainly raises the reputation and cements the recognition of Vietnam’s central coast region as one of the world’s truly premium golf destinations. In my opinion, the golf quality and overall destination experience easily beats anything else out there.
As always, there are lots of golf ‘happenings’ around the region so with that, I invite you to enjoy this edition of the Asian Golf Nation.
According to MasterCard Bangkok is the most visited Asia-Pacific destination, but in terms of golf it is our 10th most popular destination overall and 3rd place in Thailand. Many golfers on their way into or out of Asia choose a Bangkok stopover for golf, shopping, entertainment and its excellent value-for-money. Phuket and Pattaya also ranked in the top ten in the MasterCard report. Pattaya is no surprise as it also ranks as our #2 golf destination. However, with the highest costs in Asian golf, strained resources, and dodgy weather, it’s really surprising to see Phuket in the top of the list. I would have thought Chiang Mai, being so popular these days especially with Asian visitors and golfers alike, would have come out ahead. Let’s wait for next year’s results!
Khao Yai, Thailand
My Ozone Golf Resort
Bangkok residents know Khao Yai as a weekend getaway though the area, which includes Thailand’s largest national park, is well off-the-radar of most Thailand-bound golf tourists. That being said, there are 10 golf courses in Khao Yai and recently the area is getting more popular as a viable international golf destination. Resorts with on-site 5-star accommodations like Mountain Creek and Kirimaya are good examples. Then there are the “themed cities” with their own golf courses including Toscana Valley (Italian), Rancho Charnvee (Western USA), and My Ozone Golf Resort (British or Scottish castle). The latter is the newest edition to the Khao Yai golf scene. My Ozone adds to the available golf variety and is an interesting stay-and-play option. I am not sure about the name though, go figure.
Laguna Lang Co
Many of you who have travelled with us know that while the layout is spectacular, conditions at the awarded Nick Faldo Laguna Lang Co Golf Club have been average to poor over the past 12-18 months. In fact, the greens got so bad that we had to stop recommending the course all together. I am happy to report that things have taken a turn for the better in the last two months since the hiring of greens expert Adam Calver as the Director of Golf. Although not fully recovered, the greens are around 80% of what they should be with some areas still to repair and daily plugging to fill in the gaps ongoing. All greens, except for a few on the front nine, are playable. August is our next visit and a complete course update can be expected at that time.
Nirwana Bali Golf Club
Back in March I reported on the planned closing Nirwana Bali Golf Club. It’s bittersweet that I now can confirm the iconic Greg Norman designed course will be closing at the end of July. In fact most of the better tee times have been booked solid as those fortunate to play Nirwana over the past 20 years try to get in one last game before the doors shut. The good news is that it has already been arranged for Phil Mickelson to rethink, redesign, and lengthen the course and renovations should commence by year’s end. The “new Nirwana” will be targeted at becoming one of the top 100 in the world and landing the first USPGA event held in Indonesia. I can’t wait!
Starting 29th October we are in the seaside resort of Hua Hin for the Amari Hua Hin Golf Week. Traveling in Hua Hin late October, the weather is much cooler as we are heading into winter and is a great escape before Christmas. This event is a 6 night, 4 round tournament (See our full inclusions here) played in the stableford format at Black Mountain and Banyan Golf Club twice, with a 19th Hole poolside function poolside with snacks and drinks while carrying out the daily presentation of prizes. See photos from last year’s event here.
Following straight after will be the new tournament in Chiang Mai starting 5th November. This new event is in partnership with Alpine Golf Resort which has offered an all-inclusive package including accommodation, meals, drinks, transfers and unlimited golf at Alpine Golf Club.
The event is a 4 round tournament played in the stableford format playing 2 rounds at Alpine Golf Club and the other two rounds at nearby Chiang Mai Highlands.
We have both prizes for both daily scoring including NTP and best front and back nine scores, as well as overall trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each division.
Both golf courses rank highly in the top 20 golf courses in Thailand and should be on your playing list when in Chiang Mai (and we are playing them twice!!)
Each night there will be an international buffet dinner and daily results presentation.
There are 3 room types available; Superior, Deluxe and Junior suites and for the month of May, our Early Bird booking offer we are doing is a 15% discount for the first 50 bookings paid in full OR till the 1st July (whichever comes first).Full details available here.
If you would like to book one of our events, or have any questions, please email us at [email protected]
Hi, my name is Philip Crowther. I am British, originally from the Great Yarmouth area of Norfolk and took up golf about 20 years ago while in my early forties. I predominantly played on seaside links golf courses in the UK and have worked and played golf in many locations around the world. Sadly, old age and lack of playing opportunities have slipped me back to a 28 handicapper these days.
Although I have played in many locations around Asia, this was my first golfing visit to Cambodia. I organised this trip with five of my male work colleagues. Four of our wives came on the trip, but did not play golf. However, they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves with shopping, spa treatments and visiting Angkor Wat.
Glenn Carmody from Australia speaks to Golfasian’s John Carter about his recent golf holiday experience in Thailand. Let us know if you would like to take part in this series, we would be delighted to speak to you. [Watch the entire interview online]
We are pleased to announce Golfasian has opened a new office in Pattaya. We are located at the Tara Court in the Jomtien area, so please call in to see us if you are in the neighbourhood. We are expanding our operation in Pattaya, with new hotels and some quality villas on offer. We can cater for the budget golfer right up to taking over your own 8 bedroom villa resort, so it’s exciting times in the party town. We also have new tours, from the Silver Lake Winery to chartering your own yacht!
Would you like to join our competitions? We are hosting golf days twice a week now, so if you are in town and fancy some competitive golf you are welcome to join us. For more information [email protected].
Pattaya has over 30 golf courses all of which are accessible to Pattaya golf visitors. Many of the Pattaya golf courses are laid out over rolling hillsides, offer challenging playing conditions, and have world-class facilities. The best Pattaya golf clubs include Siam Country Club and Laem Chabang.
TheSiam Country Club Waterside Course is the third layout from Siam Country Club in Pattaya. The Waterside Course, designed by IMG, features gently sloping terrain, making it very different from the hillier Siam Country Club Old and Plantation Courses. Spread out over 200 acres the golfer friendly course is of the same championship quality and 5-star experience as its other two big brothers next door.
The Intimate Hotel is an outstanding boutique hotel located in Pattaya city area, adjacent to the 2nd Pattaya Road. The hotel is located only 5 minutes away from the Pattaya Beach, near pubs, restaurants, shopping and entertainment complexes as well as popular public areas.
Chill out at this chic, natty elegant boutique hotel with style and ambiance in the heart of Pattaya which excites the living senses.
Golf at two of Asia’s best golfing destinations while cutting transfer time in less than half! Our Best of Pattaya & Hua Hin by Ferry golf holiday package offers golfers the choice of Pattaya’s and Hua Hin’s best golf courses combined with stays at 5 star resorts.
New Houses in the Heart of Black Mountain, West Course
Ten twinhouses are planned alongside the first hole at the new West Course. The construction will begin in 2017 with the first units available at the end of the year.
If you are looking to live at the heart of the Black Mountain resort, in a spacious house with contemporary design overlooking the golf course with the beautiful Thailand sunset as a backdrop in the evenings, this is your choice.Find out more!
Thailand Golf – Courses That
Might “Suit Your Eye”?
The picture at the head of this article is of Tiger Woods after one of his 8 victories at the Arnold Palmer Invitational played at Bay Hill. The phrase “This course really suits his eye” is mostly used by golf commentators on US television networks about professional golfers on the Tour. They are almost always referring to a player who is returning to a tournament venue as the defending champion. The premise is, this player has won here fairly recently and is therefore filled with positive memories. Therefore, no matter how well or poorly he has played during the past 12 months all those “pictures” in his mind of birdies, chip-ins and one-putts will give him (or her) added confidence…it will all come flooding back and the tempo, swing and optimism will follow. I’m sure this is true, but I’m not so sure this is the whole story, and what if anything can we amateurs take from this and use to our advantage?
The Chiang Mai area is experiencing reasonably stubborn rain at the moment. It looks like Thailand’s rainy season has finally kicked off…a little late this year. This particular weather is due to a warm front (an extensive weather system) stretching from China down through Hong Kong to Thailand and beyond; a large area of SE Asia. A weather pattern like this is unusual (see the article Thailand’s-rainy-season-how-does-it-affect-our-golf?) and is forecast to peter out in 2 days.
For travelling golfers there are some things to note: Thailand courses don’t offer weather refunds but Golfasian will do its very best to re-arrange your golf if the worst happens, thankfully this is very rarely required.
The article above gives sound advice on how to make the best of Thailand’s rainy season and avoid anything spoiling your trip so have a read and come prepared. Enjoy…
I would love to hear about any golf tips you may have gathered from your golf trips. I can incorporate some in future articles so if you have any suggestions you would like to share, please let me know by dropping me an email.