RANKED as the world’s fourth top destination city by MasterCard in 2011, international tourists view Thailand’s Bangkok as the ultimate affordable exotic getaway. Aside from its sandy white beaches and crystal-clear water, luscious thick green forests and vibrant cities, Thailand is home to some of the most striking golf courses in Asia.
“Most of the golf courses are in popular tourist’s destinations, such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket and Chiang Mai,” explains Thamanoon Kuprasert, general manager of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa for Thai Airways International (THAI).
With exceptional facilities, challenging holes, courses will constantly keep tourists entertained. The golf clubs have spacious and well-designed clubhouses with air-conditioned changing facilities, restaurants with amazing local and international cuisine that will complement everybody’s pallet.
Any amateur or professional golfer can get their holiday off to a tee by visiting one of Thailand’s 200 golf courses spread throughout the kingdom. The scenery surrounding the golf courses are superb, from the seaside view in Pattaya and the island of Phuket to the broad, green spaces and big mountains of courses near the northern cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
Locals started playing golf as early as 1905 at the Bangkok Sports Club and the first 18-hole course was called the Royal Hua Hin.
“It wouldn’t be a great game of golf without a caddie standing beside you, giving you tips and advice. In Thailand it is compulsory for you to have a caddie and most of them are women who are experts of the course. Dressed in their smart, colourful uniforms with straw hats, caddies will ensure golfers avoid water hazards and bunkers. Their great advice, coupled with their bright friendly smiles, is always a popular topic at the clubhouse,” adds Kuprasert.
Two of the most popular golf courses in Thailand are:
Bangkok Golf Club – This 18–hole golf course is only 30 minutes away from the city of Bangkok and thanks to the many species of waterfowl that live in the number of lakes and ponds that surround this amazing course it has a rural appeal to it.
Loch Palm Golf Club – This golf course is built around the beautiful Crystal Lake and is one of the hardest and challenging golf courses in Thailand. The first nine holes are set around lakes and palm trees, while the next nine holes move you through mountains, hitting uphill and downhill with woods and irons.
“Instead of worrying about how much money your partner is spending in all the shops in Bangkok, rather improve your handicap on one of our many golf courses or ask your partner to test their skills by joining you at one of the local driving ranges,” concludes Kuprasert.
Golfers should take advantage of THAI’s Fly&Smile promotion on until end-March 2012, where they can visit Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai all at once. For more information please visit www.thaiair.co.za or phone (011) 268 2580.