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Bangkok is a paradise for golfers with numerous fantastic courses within easy striking distance of the Thai capital
Most golf travellers kick off their Thailand adventure in Bangkok and with good reason. The outskirts of the capital are liberally peppered with excellent golf layouts that offer magnificent play as well as on-point facilities off course. There are also fantastic choices in nearby destinations such as Khao Yai and Pattaya. Here’s a selection of some of our favourite options for play within easy striking distance of the Big Mango.
This gem of a course is unlike any other in Thailand. Instead of the usual emphasis on par-4s, the unique ‘666’ set up makes room for an equal number of par-4s, par 5s and par-3s. The opening hole, a narrow, snaking par-5 that features water to the left of a shallow green sets an exacting tone. However, the course soon eases off to a friendlier, yet still challenging, pitch. Other highlights include the 13th, a long hole that plays to a green at the edge of a lake and the 16th, an uphill par-3 where the tee is positioned in a giant waste bunker that extends all the way to the front of the putting surface.
Connoisseurs of the game consider this as the pick of the layouts around Bangkok and it’s not difficult to see why. Untypically of courses near the city, Alpine features various elevation changes – making for an ever-stimulating playing experience. The long 7th and par-4 11th stand out due to their twin “island” greens, but standards are elevated throughout. We love the way that the beautiful landscaping, tranquil lakes and verdant jungle enhance the excellent holes. The clubhouse, meanwhile, is as plush as you might expect at such a prestigious venue.
One of Thailand’s most prestigious clubs, everything about Thai Country Club screams class. The caddies are gracious and knowledgeable, the clubhouse is one of Asia’s most luxurious and the course itself is impeccably maintained. While the terrain is largely pancake flat, frequent water hazards and imaginative landscaping keeps things fascinating. Our pick of the holes is the short third, which features an exacting tee shot over water.
The Plantation course at Siam Country Club – home to the 2009 US LPGA and the 2015 Thailand Open – has 27 cracking holes. It’s long and tough, and with frequent elevation changes it deserves its reputation as one of Thailand’s top tests. The pick of its three nines is arguably the Sugar Cane course where the 5th, a fiendish par-5 with over 28 bunkers, symbolises the veracity of the challenge.
Although it is less than three hours from Bangkok, Kirimaya feels a world away from the urban sprawl. Indeed, the jungle-clad hills of Khao Yai National Park – one of Thailand’s most beautiful wilderness areas – are a characteristic of the vistas on this course. The layout itself is one of the most picturesque in the Kingdom. Camera-ready holes include the courses signature 16th, a dogleg par-4 that works its way past a large tree and down to a water-protected green.