Report by: Kim Waddoup
As a regular traveller to Bangkok,Â I always try to play new courses. Â Â Here are short reports from my last trip
The Pattana Golf Club & Resort
Championship golf course about 90 minutes drive from Bangkok, near Pattaya. We played course A and B both of which offered interesting shots. Undulating fairways, panoramic views of rolling hills, friendly wind conditions and scenic signature holes including two par 6 holes (one of only two golf courses in Thailand) make each golferâs experience a memorable one.
The Pattana Golf Club & Resort golf course and facilities were superb and their new restaurant overlooking the course offered excellent Thai and European food. This course offers the perfect challenge for experienced and leisure golfers, families, friends, and even larger groups.
Now my favourite course in the Bangkok area! One of the latest courses to open, Riverdaleâs 18 holes have already become one of the best challenges for local and international golfers in the city. Built from a flat field the course has height variations of up to 36 metres, making it one of the few to offer elevated tees. Designed by Jon Morrow who also built Red Mountain in Phuket, he has created multiple tee locations that offer a challenge for all levels, with 7,006yds from the Blue down to a manageable 5,421yds from red.
Playing strategies are defined by numerous hazards from sprawling white sand faced traps and deep sod walled pits to sand wastes dotted with dune grasses. Definitely a risk and reward course, and well worth the visit. Hole 6 is a magnificent par 5 down into a valley with a massive long desert of a bunker running along a large portion of the fairway, then a raised green surrounded by bunkers. Then enjoy the choice of two greens on the 8th hole, and go for the island green or the longer raised green with an evil pot bunker waiting to grab your ball.
Their minimalistic club-house has superb facilities and a restaurant overlooking the 18th. All in all well worth a visit and just 50 minutes from the centre of Bangkok
Lam Luk Ka Golf & Country Club
A short drive from Bangkok, Lam Luk Ka with its 36 championship holes, sets the stage for a golf experience not easily forgotten. Both 18 hole courses meander through Bangkokâs wetlands, where over 10,000 trees and water ways provide homes to over 100 species of birds and wildlife. You really get the feeling of a great country experience near to the city.
The Championship East Course places a premium on driving the ball long and straight. Host of the 2002 Thailand PGA Championship, the East Course will punish errant golf shots, but make for an enjoyable round if played from the somewhat friendlier white tees. The back nine is considered one of the best in Thailand, ending with a dramatic risk-reward Par 5. The West Course is relatively short, but water comes into play on 15 holes making course management a key factor in scoring. Every hole provides several options, so longer hitters can still hit driver although itâs not necessary on most holes. The West Course is a favourite of tourists and recreational golfers, and is home to a plethora of native birds and wildlife.
After your round, relax and take a swim overlooking the 10th, or enjoy a range of Thai or international culinary delights in the clubhouse restaurant overlooking the 18th.
Best Ocean Golf Club
Taking just 40 minutes from downtown Bangkok, this Schmidt and Curley designed 18 hole course is billed as the most challenging golf course in Bangkok. The course is near the ocean, so sea breezes lend themselves to nice playing conditions, especially in the hot and humid months.
The designers, who also created Muang Kaew GC, have designed a links-style course which is in fact quite hard, and certainly not one for beginners or any golfer having a bad day. From the back tees, the 7,059 yard course is quite a challenge. Many of the holes have water on both sides of the fairway and the sea breeze only helps errant shots find trouble.
The Best Ocean course has tight fairways and elevated greens that demand well struck drives and accurate approach shots. This is a course that planning and strategy from the tee and nerve on the shot to the green go a long way to a good score. There is water on every hole, with most holes even having water left and right. This course demands straight and accurate drives, golfers should be warned to bring lots of extra balls!
Without doubt the best hole on the course is the par-3 17th, which would not be out of place on the PGA tour. Ranging from 195 yards from the white tees to 230 yards from the black tees, the hole is over water to a wide but shallow green protected by large bunkers in front.
The clubhouse, and practice facilities are adequate, the real draw here is the golf course itself. It took us just 50 minutes by taxi (Baht.350).