Thailand Golf Travel Nation Summer 2007

Welcome to the summer edition of the Thailand Golf Travel Nation. As in the past, this publication contains original and news breaking stories on the state of golf in Thailand as well as provides useful golf course information, special golf playing tips for Thailand’s tropical environment, announcements of special golf travel deals, and, the free lucky draw giveaway winner.

Two new golf courses have opened over the past 3 months, and I have dubbed 2007 as the "Year of the Colored Mountains", read on!

Black Mountain Golf Club Black Mountain in Hua Hin launched on April 20th, bringing the number of 18-hole Hua Hin golf courses to eight. I played last week and the course, while still young, is destined to become the top Hua Hin golf course within 2 year’s time. The overall layout is very hilly, with many tricky shots to well guarded greens. The par 5, 6th is particularly impressive as aggressive long hitters can reach the peninsula green in 2 shots, while casual golfers have a regulation path to the green requiring 3 shots around a circle of some 270 degrees. This is a good risk – reward hole and I suspect than many birdies can be had, if not an eagle now and then.

The following 7th hole, a par 4, is equally as challenging as there are 2 realistic ways to play the hole. Those who can carry their drives 230 yards or more over water will be rewarded with an easy chip shot to the green. Others, will need to 2 shots to skirt around the water, first left and then back right, making it almost impossible to par. Again, this hole is a good risk–reward situation.

On the other hand, the greens and caddies were 2 of the weaker points of Black Mountain. Greens were very hard, making it almost impossible for good shots to hold the putting surface. The caddies, as far as i could tell, have no formal training and were taken from the nearby farms to work at the course. This later point is a real shame as it spoils an otherwise top course in the making. Anyway, with 8 golf courses Hua Hin is now a real alternative to Pattaya for the golf traveler looking for an easy to reach high quality Thai beach destination.

Red Mountain Golf ClubThe second new course is Red Mountain in Phuket. I am not sure if it is a co-incidence regarding the name similarities, but my vote for the next course to open should be Gold Mountain (TIT)! Kidding aside, Red Mountain is part of the Loch Palm golf complex and no expense has been spared in creating this unique resort course. Red Mountain plays on the site of an abandoned tin mine (ala Blue Canyon) and rumor has it that it is the best course in Phuket, by a wide margin. There are no “tricks”, only 18 challenging and perfectly laid out holes. Elevation wise it is the highest golf course on Phuket and if nothing else for the stunning views Red Mountain must be played by all golf visitors to the island. I will publish a formal course review on the new layout in my regular Thailand golf report.

As for golf in Thailand overall, this is traditionally the low season, which means very few golfers, in spite of inexpensive green fees, and rock bottom hotel costs. However, this year is rather different. We are seeing an abundance of visitors, especially those who are combining some business and golf lessons in Bangkok with holiday rounds at the traditional resorts of Phuket, Hua Hin and Pattaya. I guess the word is spreading that the good Thailand golf values are just too difficult to pass up.

If anyone has time available particularly from now until the end of September or is interested in finding out more about available specials, let me know and I will be glad to steer you in the direction of the best golf values in the Kingdom!

Please remember if you want to get regular updates on the Thailand golf scene, then sign-up for uninterrupted email delivery of this newsletter. In addition, all persons signing up will automatically enrolled to win a chance for a free sleeve of Titleist Pro V1x golf balls, plus a special Golfasian exclusive member's only gift.

Have a great spring and remember, think positive and YOU WILL SHOOT PAR.

Mark Siegel
Managing Director

Featured Golf Resort - Allamanda Laguna Phuket

The Allamanda Laguna Phuket offers all suite accommodation with a casual style of home living. All suites are fully furnished with kitchenette, separate dining and living areas and balcony. In addition, all suites come with a panoramic view of the golf course or scenic sunset.

The four star resort is conveniently located adjacent to the Laguna Phuket Golf Club, designed by Max Wexler and David Abell, which has been voted to be in the top ten Best Golf Resorts in Asia, and also to have the Best Clubhouse in Asia and to be the Best Golf Course in Thailand by readers of the Asian Golf Monthly magazine. I ’d like to highlight the 1-day unlimited Golf Package at Allamanda Laguna Phuket, which is great value for money.

The package includes one night stay at the resort with daily buffet breakfast, 1-day unlimited golf play at Laguna Phuket Golf Club, non-alcoholic welcome drink and fruit plate in the suite upon arrival, complementary extra bed and American Breakfast for child of 12 years old and below, and up to 50% discount on massage sessions published rates at Allamanda Angsana Spa for release of your day’s play at the golf course. Naturally there is also the choice to relax at the beautiful sunset beach of Bang Tao, which is located nearby.

The prices start from US$ 85 per night, which is equivalent to THB 2,890. Not including any Caddie fees. Ideal opportunity to play as much as you want at one of the finest courses in Thailand and stay in a four star resort at excellent rates.

The offer is available until October 31, 2007. For more information have a look at their website:

Best of the Blog

"A to Z" Thailand Golf Tips

This issues “Best of the Blog” is not one article, but 26, read on!

I have written a series of short posts, each a unique alphabetic letter and covering interesting, sometimes serious or sometimes light hearted Thailand golf tips. These are all original golf tips I have collected or came up with over the years playing golf in and traveling to Thailand. They should be useful for both persons planning a Thailand golf vacation as well as Thailand golf residents.

All 26 tips from A to Z are up and can be read at the Thailand Golf Zone. At the same time, there are over 250 other original articles dealing exclusively with Thailand golf travel. The articles and information contained are proving useful to both those considering a golf holiday and others living in Thailand who just wants to get the maximum enjoyment from golfing in the Kingdom.

I would love to hear about any golf tips that any of you may have developed for getting the maximum enjoyment from golf in Thailand, and can incorporate some in future articles. Therefore if you have any golf tips or suggestions you would like to share, please let me know by dropping me an email at [email protected]

Continue reading all the "A to Z Thailand Golf Tips" plus take a look at all the other articles at the only site on the internet dealing exclusively with golf travel in Thailand.

Special Playing Tip

Getting Out of a Wet Bunker

Sand conditions in Thailand vary from being the perfect balance between fluffy and firm to totally packed and wet as experienced during the upcoming summer monsoon season, after a heavy rain, or in the morning following a late night storm.

There are countless tips and advice on how to play a bunker shot, but I have rarely seen good information on playing out of wet bunkers, so I decided that this would be a good topic and timing for this issue’s special playing tip. The key is to avoid using a normal bunker shot, or else you will likely bounce the club right into the ball and end up 30 yards over the green. Getting out of a wet bunker is tricky. The wetness adds a whole other dimension to the shot. Here are two approaches:

A. Replace your sand wedge with a pitching wedge. The goal is to discourage the club from bouncing off the sand into the ball and the pitching wedge will dig into the sand and under the ball, rather than bounce like your sand wedge, which helps prevent skulling the ball over the green.

The danger is that if you set your clubface square at address, it might dig into the wet surface and get stuck--almost come to a stop. Therefore, play the ball as you would from hard dirt. Square the blade, instead of opening the face, play the ball back in your stance, set the hands ahead of the ball, and pick the ball cleanly off the surface. The ball will come out cleanly, but with more roll than normal.

This same technique can be used if there isn’t much sand in the bunker, a shallow lie, as will often be the case at the courses in the countryside or the many municipal courses scattered around Thailand.

B. The other approach when your ball finds wet sand is focus on two keys; (1) swing easy with a less aggressive and shorter backswing and (2) slap the sand. Exactly opposite from technique (A) use your sand wedge, make sure your clubface is wide open, and slap down one inch behind the ball on the sand. The clubface has to penetrate into the sand enough to slide under the ball. The firmer the sand, the harder you should slap down on it, but expect the ball to come out faster and go farther than normal.

Which technique (A) or (B) should you use? Well that depends on many factors. However, I find in Thailand that (A) is easier to consistently execute, especially for higher handicappers. However, if you are hitting from a steep lipped greenside bunker to a short pin, (B) will be your only option. Practice both and your worries about wet sand will dry up!

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About & Contact Co., Ltd.

If any reader would like to suggest a topic to be covered or better yet contribute materials, photos, or even commissions an article please contact me by e-mail, I welcome the help.

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