Asian Golf Travel Nation December 2008

Asian Golf Travel Nation November 2008Welcome to the December 2008 edition of the "Asian Golf Travel Nation", the source for news breaking information about Thailand Golf, Vietnam Golf, 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.

As you have heard Bangkok's 2 airports were closed for 6 days as a result of political demonstrations at the end of November. This caused a major disruption for holidaymakers as people who were here had to find alternate routes to travel home and others who could not travel had to delay or cancel their plans. Fortunately, the situation was resolved in peaceful non-confrontational Thai style and now things are operating normally. Going forward, everyone concerned is calling for peace and unity and a 'middle of the road' government is about to be formed that will keep things stable.

Of course such a major event does not pass without impact and the restoration of Thailand's international image as a safe democratic nation that respects law and order will take months, if not years, to fully recover. In the meantime, life goes on and now all Thailand golf tours are back on track.

On a more positive note, "winter" this year has come early to Indochina and daytime temperatures are now at a cool 25 degrees with sunny skies, perfect golf weather. Hopefully these cooler temperatures will continue right through the New Years making it a perfect golf season in all the major destinations like Phuket, Hua Hin, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Speaking of golf, this month saw some new developments. The long awaited Sea Links Golf & Country Club in Phan Thiet was officially opened and is now the one of the most challenging course in all Vietnam. Take a look at some of the Sea Links pictures and you will see what I mean. With the addition of this course the 3-destination Southern Vietnam leg of the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail (Saigon-Phan Thiet- Dalat) is now that much better as there are multiple championship courses and/or major sights in each leg of the journey. There is no better time than the present to consider this Vietnam golf package.

In Thailand, the new Alpine golf course in Chiang Mai opened its doors on December 1. Initial feedback is excellent as the new fairways and greens add to the already great layout that existed at the former Lamphun Golf Club. Nearer to central Thailand, Pleasant Valley in Pattaya is just about ready to accept overseas golfers. It is still in its soft opening phase and we are waiting a few more months before recommending this course as it is still a bit rough around the edges. However, once ready Pleasant Valley should be a good addition to the Pattaya golf scene, plus it will be the closest Pattaya area course to the Bangkok airport, making it great for golfers looking for a round when travelling between the airport and Pattaya.

What is Thailand's next new golf destination? Khon Kaen in north eat Thailand of all places,! The Dancoon Golf Club has recently opened and while it is does not immediately turn Khun Khen into a golf destination, the addition of the Singha Golf Park does!

This Singha course in the final phase of completion will be Thailand's first "green" golf course, completely running off recycled water. The largest beer distillery in the country, the Boon Rawd factory that produces BEER LEO, will supply all the water for the irrigation; don’t ask about the waste mash. Khun Oob of Golf East is supervising the construction, so expect it to be another great one like his prior creations at Bangsai, Santiburi and Banyan. We are in the process of mapping out our Issan Golf Tours (Khon Kaen, Korat, and Nong Kai), so feel free to drop me email if you are interested in being one of the first on any of these tours. They should all be fun and a great way to see Thailand's relatively undiscovered North East.

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.

One last note, in addition to our leisure travel business, Golfasian has started a meeting and incentive travel division. We have secured some excellent group prices at famous hotels and premier golf clubs making corporate golf outings in Thailand, Vietnam, or Cambodia is one of the best values around. If your company, or you know of a company that might be interested in a corporate golf outing, please email me I would be glad to discuss the details.

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

Mark Siegel
Managing Director

Featured Golf Resort – The Banyan Resort Hua Hin

With The Banyan Resort Hua Hin's soft opening this month, golf in Hua Hin has just gotten better. This is set to become of Thailand's true luxury golf properties with five-star facilities and service. The Banyan Resort Hua Hin is an exclusive Thai living resort with the choice of private pool villa retreats and private villa with private Jacuzzi's - designed and catering to the high expectations of the most discerning golfer. The stylish clubhouse is one of Thailand's most unique, providing awesome views of the golf course and golfers with one of the best 19th hole experiences in Asia.

The golf course is challenging without being overwhelming for the average player, and the back nine builds to an exciting crescendo when golfers reach the signature Par 3 15th, featuring panoramic ocean views all the way to Sing Toh (Tiger) Island in the Gulf of Thailand. This is one of the prettier Par 3's in all of Thailand. With strategic elevation changes and doglegs, the course offers variety and will test your shotmaking abilities from tee to green.

Visit The Banyan Resort Hua Hin's Website

Featured Golf Course – Phokeethra Country Club

The Sofitel-managed Phokeethra Country Club, Angkor Wat, brings world class golf to Cambodia. The golf course was designed under the guidance of Bangkok Thailand based Weerayudt Phetbuasak, who also designed Suwan Country Club outside Bangkok. A combination of Paspalum grasses are used on both fairways and greens, which gives the golf course its deep green color and insures a high standard of course conditions all year round. The 7,145-yard, 18-hole course reflects Phokeethra Country Club’s dedication to creating an exclusive golfing experience.

Sweeping fairways and generous greens give the Cambodia golf club a distinctive layout and feel. Natural lagoons and sand traps thread through the course to challenge golfers of all abilities. The course provides a good mix of tricky par 3’s, individual par 4’s and par 5’s which require a combination of long drives and good direction control to score well.

This 7,145-yard course combines a challenging championship layout and played host to the 2007 Cambodian Open, a stop on the Asian PGA tour. The Phokeethra Country Club in Siem Reap has opened a new era for Cambodia golf tours, bringing a world class golf experience to the Angkor Wat area.

Cambodia is an ideal destination to explore the 8th wonder of the world and play at the beautiful championship courses. In between sightseeing at Siem Reap’s various world heritage sites you can relax and play golf in Siem Reap. Please email me if you are interested in any golf package to this world heritage country. I have assembled some great deals with our partner resort and golf courses and would be pleased to share them with you.

Best of the Blog

my favorite clubhousesWith the Festive Season approaching at breakneck speed, like me, you may be in a state of panic as to what presents to buy. Here are six ideas for your Thailand golfing loved one:

1. For his/her next golfing holiday in Thailand, a new travel golf bag will be well received. One of the best I have seen recently is the OGIO Mammoth (US$330.00). This sturdy golf travel bag stands upright and glides effortlessly in transit thanks to four sturdy, swiveling wheels. The OGIO Mammoth has a wide mouth opening that unzips the full length of the bag. Once inserted, your golf bag stays securely in place.. There is a shoe pocket, carry handle, hat pocket, plus four exterior pockets for rain gear or other last minute check-in items.

2. Very handy when you are golfing in Thailand on a hot day is the Golf Club Kooler Klub (US$49.99), the best way to discreetly carry beverages with you on the Thailand golf course. This high-tech cooler club holds 48oz of hold or cold beverages (enough to satisfy a thirsty foursome). It looks like an ordinary golf club, however just a few taps on the dispenser is all it takes it fill your glass or flask. The shaft of this Golf Club Kooler Klub fits easily into your bag takes ice cubes, carbonated beverages, or alcohol. Just do not tell the club officials, as outside drinks are frowned upon at most Thailand golf courses.

Continue Reading Best of The Blog

Special Playing Advice

The Search for Distance

Hitting through the ball

One thing all golfers have in common is an obsession for more distance. In their attempt to hit John Daly-like distances most players grip the club as tight as they can and try to hit as hard as they can. However, in order to hit the ball a long way, you should try just the opposite. However, in order to make a big turn your muscles must be relaxed. Many players can gain an extra 5-10 yards on their drives if they just relax, think "long and wide" and concentrate on making solid contact rather than trying to knock the ball into the next galaxy.

Click here for more playing tips

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