Asian Golf Travel Nation March 2009

Asian Golf Travel NationWelcome to the March 2009 edition of the “Asian Golf Travel Nation”, the source for news breaking information about Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia Golf. 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.

The year is already moving fast as we already change seasons from winter to spring. For many of our readers, this means its time to dust off the clubs and start practicing.  In Asia, it is a time for low season, which means low prices.  Golfers are encouraged to take advantage of special discounts where one can golf at rates as much as 50% less than in previous months, and this includes both standard and premium courses throughout the region. Inquire here to find out more details!

Last month saw some newsworthy happenings in the Indochina golf scene.

First of all, Long Thanh Golf Club and Residential Estates has accepted an invitation to join the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, adding luster to what should be an eventful year on Asia’s most exotic, talked-about golfing itinerary. Next up, upon completion of its 18 holes this summer, the much-heralded Montgomerie Links Vietnam is slated to join the Trail. Since its launch in July 2007, the Hi Chi Minh Golf Trail has succeeded in generating news coverage in more than 200 different publications worldwide, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and a cover feature in the February 2009 edition of GOLF magazine. Golfasian, the sole appointed trail tour operator continues to welcome golfers’ from around the world to Vietnam and we would be delighted to welcome you.

Two weeks ago I played in the pro-am event preceding the Singha Thailand Open at the Laguna Phuket Golf Club and where Indian star Jyoti Randhawa cruised to a comfortable two-stroke victory for his eighth Asian Tour victory. Course conditions at Laguna were as good as I have ever seen, especially the greens which rolled true and without even a hint of grain. The good news for all golfers is that the previously scheduled Laguna golf course closing and renovation work has been indefinitely postponed. Anyone heading to Phuket can now include a stop at the Laguna golf course as it will be available for play all summer and through all of next season.

The other courses that I played whilst in Phuket included Loch Palm, Phuket CC, and Blue Canyon. Loch Palm is always a fun round as I love the layout, especially the new holes designed by John Morrow on the back nine. However, I found the greens to be very inconstant and was surprised to see the greens rolling only at 8 on the stimpmeter in the peak of the dry season. Phuket CC was in better shape with good playing conditions from tee-to-green. Blue Canyon was the highlight and in spite of my worst score still remains the king of Phuket golf courses. With a slope of 142 Blue Canyon is rated as the most difficult golf course in Thailand and it deserves it. Try hitting out of the Zoysia grass rough or attempting a par at the 600 yard 11th and you will see what I mean!

Jim just returned as well from a week long golf trip to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. He was so impressed by the quality and advancement of the North Thailand golf scenes that he is now trying to convince me to let him run our Chiang Mai golf operations. (ed. Nice try, maybe next season Jim!) 

Northern Thailand offers a very different golf holiday experience than other areas of Thailand.  Whereas the central and southern beaches areas are filled with western tourists and Bangkok is a sprawling international megalopolis, northern Thailand retains more of a traditional Thai charm.  The mountains, rivers and rolling terrain provide scenic beauty and gave course designers a good canvas to work with.  And on top of all that Northern Thailand offers great value as golf, hotels, dining and just about everything is less expensive than other Thailand and Vietnam golf destinations. This summer why not take advantage of the great golf package deals that we have on offer? For more information contact Golfasian at [email protected].

Remember if you want to get regular updates about golf in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, then sign-up for uninterrupted email delivery of this newsletter. In addition, all persons signing up will automatically receive the latest “Thailand Golf Insider Tips” special report.

Until the next newsletter, start practicing and I hope to see YOU in the region this spring!

Mark Siegel
Managing Director

Featured Tour – Phuket Amateur Golf Week, July 2009

Phuket Amateur Golf WeekLooking for something different to do this summer? Not sure if your friends can commit to any plans, but you would love an economical way to get in some golf in Thailand with other like-minded people from around the world?

Why not join the 2009 Phuket Amateur Golf Week in July. Golfasian will be hosting this event and the final details are being put together now.

Please contact me if any of you have interest in participating or finding out more about this texciting week of tournament golf and loads of fun. All pre-announcement inquiries will be eligible for “super early bird” prices and a FREE round of golf in Phuket.

Featured Hotel – Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel

Westin Grande Sukhumvit HotelWhen in Bangkok why not try one of the cities best five-star address for golfers?The Westin Grande Sukhumvit is situated in the heart of Bangkok’s prime shopping, restaurant, and entertainment area, and with the added convenience of the sky train in front and easy highway access, golfers have near instant access to all that Bangkok has to offer.

Golf during the day in Bangkok and then retreat and unwind in the deluxe accommodations. All guest rooms at the Westin feature contemporary styling that blend of Westin comforts and Thai and contemporary design. The club floor executive rooms provide private club benefits and are ideal for the discerning golfer or golf groups who need a base to meet. The lobby bar is a chic gathering spot with some of Bangkok’s nicest hostesses and I often see golf groups recollecting the day’s golf game over a local cocktail or cold Singha beer before making their way outside for a night out on the town.  

Golfasian clients receive free upgrades, sky train passes plus other exclusive gifts, discounts, and privileges.E-Mail me to find out more.

Long Thanh Golf Club and Residential Estates (Saigon, Vietnam)The 36-hole Long Thanh Golf Club occupies a palm-tree-studded hilltop overlooking virtually all of Dong Nai Province. While the club trades on this tropically bucolic setting, it sits just 40 minutes from downtown Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

The original 18, the Hill Course, plays around and through the highest part of the property and has excellent views of Saigon. The newer loop, the Lake Course, opened on lower ground in 2007, is an exercise in hazard avoidance, as many of the holes are bordered or intersected by ponds.  The Lake is lit for night play, while the Hill layout — where the club championship is played— is generally considered the tougher test. Exquisitely landscaped, both layouts make it easy to understand why the Vietnamese refer to golf courses as gardens of golf.

Golfasian recommends all Saigon golf visitors include one or more rounds at Long Thanh during their stay.

Best of the Blog

Rent (Hire) Or Bring Your Own Golf Clubs To Asia?Rent (Hire) Or Bring Your Own Golf Clubs To Asia?
Most Thailand & Vietnam golf courses and golf travel agents offer rental golf sets and there is quite a difference in quality.  At all but the best courses, like Thai Country Cub or Blue Canyon, the available golf clubs are generic brand clubs. The same is true for the golf agents. If you are booking a golf vacation through a golf tour operator, many of them carry their own rentals.
However, being in the business I can tell you without exception and contrary to what may be advertised, the branded rental clubs from agents are 100% fakes! While not disastrous, you should nevertheless be aware of the situation. These clubs usually look new and very good. The irons are practically indistinguishable from the real clubs, but you will probably notice a difference in performance, especially with the woods.
Continue reading about the “Rent Or Bring Your Own Golf Clubs To Thailand?…….

Other golf stories can be found at the Thailand Golf Zone where there are over 447 other original articles dealing exclusively with golf in Asia and golf travel.

I would love to hear about any golf tips that any of you may have developed for getting the maximum enjoyment from your golf trips, 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


Special Playing Advice: Which Tee Box To Use?

Which Tee Box To Use?When playing golf in Thailand and Vietnam, make sure you play from the correct set of tees for your ability to help with speed of play and your own enjoyment of the game.

I believe many golfers would be better off playing from a shorter set of tees as I see a lot of male golfers play from the tees one forward from the back tees, usually marked blue. They generally hit weak slices into the woods and struggle all the way around because they can’t hit the ball far, or straight enough.

Don't be one of these people - there's no shame in playing from a forward set of tees if that is appropriate for your game. And golfers who play from tees that are too long for their games are only slowing down the pace of play for the rest of us and unnecessarily frustrating themselves.

A good guide is: Black (Back) Tees are for Pro’s and low handicap amateurs (say 0-5 handicap).  The next set of tees, likely gold or blue color in Asia is suitable for 6 to 15 handicaps. The white tees are generally suited better towards players with handicaps 16 and over.  Unless you can hit the ball over 220 yards, seriously consider playing the white tees. If not every round, then why not alternate between white and blues, you will be happier you did!

Now tee it up and enjoy it your golf in Asia!

Lucky Draw Winner & New Subscription Offer Register Here!

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You get our FREE Asian Golf Newsletter!! PLUS free access to the latest THAILAND GOLF INSIDER TIPS, a 15 page special report, and you will also be eligible for other great member offers from Golfasian.

The winner is Daniel Boden from Sweeden. Congratulations John! Please email me to arrange delivery.

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To order shirts or other quality golf apparel visit the Basic Golf website. Another good reason to be registered on the Golfasian mailing list!

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