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Asian Golf Travel Nation - May 2013

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Dear Golf Travelers,

Golf in AsiaGreetings from Asia and welcome to the latest issue of the Asian Golf Nation, the source for news breaking information about golf in Asia.

Asian golf holidays are going from strength to strength in 2013 as the region's popularity among golf travelers explodes due to its numerous assets - from championship golfing, exciting cultural attractions, world-class hospitality, and most of all the best value-for-money among the most popular golf holiday destinations all combine to yield unforgettable golf experiences for those who visit. In fact, take a look at this CNN article and see their tip #2 on getting the most out of a golf holiday.

May is a favorite month for many golf travelers. Loads of sunshine provides great opportunities for golfing. It is also the time of year when prices are at their lowest and good tee-times available at all courses. Special deals can be found in almost every destination.

On our side we are busy getting the word out about golf in Asia through the hosting of 3 FAM trips, attending a major golf trade show, and launching the best golf courses in Thailand program to the world. The later will be publicized across golf publications and trade journals by the time you read this as journalists from 4 continents will have descended on Golf In A Kingdom to learn first-hand what the Thai Golf Experience is all about.

As always there are many other golf 'happenings' around the region so with that, I invite you to enjoy this edition of the Asian Golf Nation.

 Visit Golfasian Today!

Golf news from around the region:

*Bangkok: Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported, late last week, arrivals to Thailand soared 18% during January to March to record 6.8 million trips. Our records for golf travelers to Thailand show an increase of at least this much, which accounted for most of the top courses being booked-out during the same time period. Fortunately, the rush has subsided and good availability is being reported at all courses now across the country.

Riverdale Golf ClubPattaya: Seven holes at the new Siam Country Club Waterside Course are fully grassed and the other holes are coming along nicely as first rounds are planned for March 2014. Once open the Siam Country Club courses will span across 63 holes, making it the largest golf complex in Thailand. To insure Siam Country Club has appeal to all golfers, Waterside has been designed be more user friendly than the Planation and Old Course. However, the golf and facility quality will be first class with the management using the same methodologies and process as are already in place at their other two award winning tracks.

*MGM Grand Ho Tram Beach Golf Course Saigon: Construction is ongoing at the new Ho Tram golf course in Vietnam, but the opening is likely delayed into 2014. The course which is located 2 hours from Saigon is part of the Ho Tram Strip project - Vietnam's first 'Las Vegas-style' integrated resort. The Greg Norman designed 18-hole championship golf course is set across the dunes of Ho Tram beach with panoramic views over the South China Sea. Construction management under IMG will assure that the Ho Tram course is on par with the countries other premium golf courses. The overall project this month saw the withdrawal of MGM Resorts International as the lead brand and all travel consultants and media were advised to stop using the MGM branding in communications even as work continues.

With that I would like to once again thank those of you who have golfed with us recently, it was nice seeing you and I hope your trip was memorable one.

Remember, while the offerings are many, the choice is yours, and golf in Asia is waiting for you.
Whatever your budget, preferred style of travel, or how small/large your group, we are glad to work with you and suggest a golf package that meets all of your needs.

Contact the Asian Golf Experts at [email protected].

Until the next newsletter, happy golfing and I hope to see YOU in the area very soon!

Mark Siegel
Managing Director of Golfasian


- Featured Golf Course - Long Thanh Golf Club, Saigon

Long Thanh Golf Club, SaigonThe Long Thanh Golf Club offers 36 holes of golf in the former rice paddies and scenic countryside surrounding Saigon. The Ho Chi Minh City golf course is located 30 kilometers north of the city on a hilly with unobstructed views back towards the Vietnamese capital.

Both the Hill and Lake course are well maintained throughout the year and the golf courses are a longtime favorite among locals. Many expatriates and Vietnam golf visitors prefer Long Thanh Golf Club over its more famous neighbor Vietnam Golf & Country Club..

[Read more about one of Vietnam's Best Golf Courses]

- Featured Hotel - Park Hyatt Saigon

Park Hyatt SaigonThere is no better hotel in Ho Chi Minh City than the Park Hyatt Saigon. The location is in the heart of town and when the Ho Chi Minh City hustle gets too much and a break is required escaping back into the Park Hyatt Saigon is as good as it gets. Everything the hotel does is centered on the guest' experience, ensuring comfort and relaxation for all Saigon golf visitors.

[Read more about one of Vietnam's Best Hotels & Resorts]

- Golf Trip Idea: Vietnam Golf Trail

Vietnam Golf Trail The Vietnam Golf Trail traces the footsteps of the late Ho Chi Minh across the entire country. Start in the gateway to North Vietnam, Hanoi and then move south along the golf trail playing at Vietnam's best golf destination, Danang. Further south is Saigon: Vietnam's economic capita and the last stop is the fresh mountain retreat of Dalat.

The Vietnam Golf Trail includes the best golf courses and sightseeing tours in each destination. Be one of the first to discover all the golf Vietnam has to offer.

[Vietnam Golf Trail Detailed Itinerary...]

Thailand Amateur Golf Weeks 2013
- Thailand Hosts, Takes Honors at World Schools Golf Challenge

Thailand Hosts, Takes Honors at World Schools Golf ChallengeThe first World Golf Schools Challenge to be held in Thailand was a triumph for Thai players who showed youngsters from six other countries that the kingdom could be a future major force in men’s and women’s golf.

Played at four courses near Hua Hin in March, the biennial competition attracted 126 players aged 13 to 18 from 18 schools in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Zimbabwe, India and Thailand. More than 60 coaches and parents also travelled to Hua Hin for a remarkable week of golf, with accommodation at the Banyan Resort.

Read the entire article]

- Meet our Staff: Barry Knaggs - Hanoi General Manager

Barry Knaggs - Hanoi General ManagerBarry Knaggs is a Malaysian who arrived in Hanoi after the US embargo was lifted at the end of 1994.  "He came, he saw... and he never left!"  He was a business and computing honours graduate of Huddersfield University, UK and spent 30 years in the IT industry.  He managed multi-national IT companies in Vietnam for 15 years until he decided he wanted to go into the golf industry as golf has always been his passion.  He has managed golf tournaments and golf events for corporations and also golf tours into Hanoi.  Having played golf for 28 years, he understands golfers and their priorities rather well.  

[Read more about Barry]

- Golf Travel Testimonials

I am now safely back home after a most enjoyable golfing holiday in Chiang Mai; everything you arranged for me went exceptionally well, including the last minute switches to Alpine. I still feel there are only four good places to play that are not too far from Chiang Mai city, namely Alpine, Highlands, Royal, and Mae Jo. However, despite the heat, I need to consider playing regularly outside high season now that I am 70, and handicap 28, since the Koreans seem to take over high season everywhere and this makes for long slow rounds and my level of golf being less acceptable than after (or before) high season.

I did for the first time encounter some problems with Thai Airways. I pre-booked as usual on line and the flights out from London to Chiang Mai via Bangkok went fine; but the return leg from Bangkok to London was more of a problem. For a start, my pre-booked seat turned out to be in the middle of a row of three and not the aisle seat I wanted. Apparently this was because the configuration of the plane was different; and because the flight was fully booked in all classes I could not be moved from 34B. [..] Then when we landed at Heathrow I was tannoyed to go to the lost luggage desk even before the bags had all unloaded to be told my suitcase had been left in Bangkok and would be delivered to my house after being put on the same flight as I had arrived on, 24 hours later. This was despite my arriving at the correct gate in Bangkok in good time and checking that my bags (one suitcase and one golf bag) had been picked up from the Chiang Mai flight and transferred to the London flight!

Please rest assured that GolfAsian, Jim and Khun Bee were as reliable and first class as always; and however I get there, I will be booking with you again next year for a month in Chiang Mai.

David F.
UK, April 2013

[Read more golf travel testimonials]

Thailand Golf Special Offers
- Press Release: Golf In a Kingdom Helps Thailand To Tourism Success

Golf In a Kingdom Helps Thailand To Tourism SuccessBangkok, April 23 – Thailand's emergence as a major force in global golf tourism will be further enhanced next week with the international launch of Golf In A Kingdom, a collection of the country's best golf clubs, hotels and resorts.

Established five years ago, Golf In A Kingdom has grown to 23 members, comprising 12 top courses and 10 hotels in all major golf regions of the country, plus the Tourism Authority of Thailand.  It is by far the leading program of its type in Asia Pacific.

"Golf In A Kingdom has played a major role in Thailand becoming one of the world's top three golf tourism destinations, so we have decided to showcase it to golf tour operators and media from around the globe," founder Mark Siegel said this week.

[Read the entire Press Release]

- Golf Course Maintenance Updates


  • Lam Luk Ka Country Club - coring green planned during May - July on Course A
  • Royal Golf & Country Club - coring green planned for June
  • Suwan Golf & Country Club - coring green planned for 6 - 9 May
  • Thai Country Club, Thana City & Muang Kaew are in excellent condition

Hua Hin

  • Banyan Golf Club - will be coring and sanding green from April 29 – May 03
  • Imperial Lake View - coring green planned from 21 April - 16 May
  • Palm Hills Resort & Golf Club - course maintenance planned during May
  • Royal Hua Hin Golf Course - course maintenance planned during the raining season
  • Springfield Village - will be coring all 27 holes (9 holes at a time) between May & June
  • Majestic Creek, Sea Pine & Black Mountain are all in excellent condition


  • Laem Chabang - course will be closed from 6 May - 7 June for course maintenance
  • Phoenix GCC - coring green planned for the Mountain Course from 4 - 21 May and Lake Course from 22 May - 7 June
  • Siam Country Club, St. Andrews & Burapha GC are in excellent condition


  • Blue Canyon Lakes Course - coring green planned for 6 - 8 May
  • Blue Canyon Canyon Course - coring green planned for 17 - 19 June
  • Loch Palm GC - coring green planned during July/August
  • Phuket CC - verti-cut & top dressing planned on 14 - 15 May and 4 - 5 June
  • Red Mountain, Mission Hills & Laguna are in excellent condition

Chiang Mai

  • Alpine, Chiang Mai Highlands & Mae Joe are in excellent condition
  • Santiburi Country Club Chiangrai did course maintenance during 29-30 April 2013. Green will be in complete condition in 2-3 weeks.
- Golf Tournaments

Thailand Golf TournamentsPhuket Amateur Golf Week - July 2013
Date: July 21 - 27, 2013 | Location: Phuket, Thailand [Find out more]

Cambodia Amateur Golf Week - July 2013
Date: July 28 - August 05, 2013 | Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia [Find out more]

Pattaya Amateur Golf Week - October 2013
Date: October 19 - 26, 2013 | Location: Pattaya, Thailand [Find out more]

Chiang Mai Amateur Golf Week - October 2013
Date: October 26 - November 03, 2013 | Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand [Find out more]

- Best of the Blog

Drain Putts In Thailand

Drain Putts In ThailandIf you can do only one thing to improve your enjoyment when golfing in Thailand, the making more putts would be what I suggest. Thailand golfers face more putts than any other shot. I have taken the time to master putting in Thailand and I was able to cut 3-4 stokes off my score in the process. Here is how I did it.

[Read the entire article]

Other golf stories can be found at the Thailand Golf Zone, Vietnam Golf Zone and Phuket Golf Zone where there are over 600 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.

 Subscribe to our RSS Feed.

- Golfing Tips by Ian Morgan - Rental Sets & Luggage Allowance

If you don't want to carry your clubs on a long journey, rental sets are available to hire. The cost varies from 1,000 to 1,500 THB a round depending on the quality of set you choose. Another good tip for weight allowance is buy your golf balls when you get here. They are quite heavy to carry and even very good quality lake balls can be bought for as little as 50 THB a ball here in Thailand.

[Read more Golf Tips Articles]

If you have any other questions regarding golf tips to help you with your game email us at [email protected] and we will reply in upcoming newsletters

For more golf tips visit

- Meet Golfasian at these Trade/Roadshows/Fam-Trips

-Golfasian has a full schedule of tradeshows and roadshows during the next few months.

You can find us at the following events:

  • April 29 - May 02, 2013 - IAGTO Asia Golf Tourism Convention (Pattaya, Thailand)
  • May 03 - 07, 2013 - Bangkok & Hua Hin FAM Trip
  • May 03 - 07, 2013 - Phuket & Chiang Mai FAM Trip
  • May 03 - 10, 2013 - Siem Reap & Danang FAM Trip
  • November 11 - 14, 2013 - IGTM (Costa Daurada, Spain)

Arrange an appointment with Golfasian at one of these exhibits.

- About Us & Contacts
GolfasianIf any reader would like to suggest a topic to be covered or better yet contribute materials, photos, or even commissions an article please contact us by e-mail, we welcome the help.


  • Licensed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), License No: 14/00515
  • Licensed by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, License No: 79-302/2011
  • Recommended by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO)
  • Member of Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA)
Golfasian Co., Ltd.
Unit 1105, 29 Bangkok Business Center
Soi Ekamai, Sukhumvit 63 Road
Klongtan Nua, Wattana
Bangkok 10110 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2 714 8470
Fax: +66 (0) 2 714 8471
Golfasian Vietnam Co., Ltd
5th floor, HAN Building
301 Tran Hung Dao Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 (0) 8 3838 6510
Fax: +84 (0) 8 3838 6537

Toll Free US/Canada: 1-866-550-2284

E-mail: [email protected]

The #1 Golf Experts in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos & Myanmar!