• Golf Tourism in Thailand Back on Course Already Golf Tourism in Thailand Back on Course Already

    Golf Tourism in Thailand Back on Course Already

Golf Tourism in Thailand Back on Course Already

Kingdom quick to recover (again) from latest seemingly unplayable lie HUA HIN, Thailand (Sept. 1, 2016) — Brussels. Istanbul. Nice. Hua Hin. Barely a month goes by these days when some part of the world or another doesn’t suffer a blow by extremists bent on this or that. The travel warnings sound. Governments issue statements. And no one knows quite what to do. But when it comes to Thailand, a country that has experienced its share of disruptions over the past decade, they do know what to do. They keep going, and the country continues to set tourism records, no matter the obstacle or ordeal. The latest setback occurred last month, when bombs were detonated in the popular resort destinations of Hua Hin and Phuket on successive days, raising concern again among those in the hospitality sector that travelers may begin to veer in other directions. That anxiety was short-lived. Within a couple of days, “it was business as usual,” said Mark Siegel, owner of Golfasian, Asia’s leading golf tour operator. Since Siegel purchased Golfasian in 2005, the company has arranged trips for approximately 10,000 golfers per year to Thailand alone. Many of those golfers are lured by the attributes of ‘Golf in a Kingdom,’ an elite golf trail that links some of the country’s top courses together, including Banyan Hua Hin, Black Mountain Golf Club Hua Hin, Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort & Spa, Muang Kaew Golf Club, Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club, Suwan Golf & Country Club and Thai Country Club. Several ‘Golf in a Kingdom’ tour-goers were in Hua Hin when the normally peaceful beach town was rocked in a way it never had been. Some were no more than a […]

By |September 5th, 2016|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Nine-hole Additions to Thailand’s Top Courses Nine-hole Additions to Thailand’s Top Courses

    Nine-hole Additions to Thailand’s Top Courses

Nine-hole Additions to Thailand’s Top Courses

Bangkok, 2 February 2016 — New nine-hole additions at three of Thailand’s leading golf courses and the launch of an amateur 2-ball tournament in Pattaya headline a tantalising menu for golf tourists visiting the Kingdom in 2016. Two of the new nine-hole layouts – at Chiangmai Highlands Golf Resort & Spa in northern Thailand and Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club near Pattaya – have opened, taking each course to 27 holes. The other, at Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin, which also will have 27 holes, will be ready for play later in the year. Chiangmai Highlands and Black Mountain are in the top 10 courses in Thailand in the latest rankings by the world’s leading golf publication, US Golf Digest. Black Mountain was ranked first and Chiangmai Highlands eighth. Already Asia’s leading golf tourism destination, Thailand’s 20 years-plus history of golf tourism has resulted in a level of refinement not found elsewhere in Asia – and one that is continuing to evolve. “More than 700,000 golfers come to Thailand each year, many of whom are repeat visitors,” notes Mark Siegel, the owner of South-East Asia’s largest and most successful inbound tour operator, Golfasian. “People come back because of value for money, friendliness of the Thai people, an unparalleled caddie experience, excellent infrastructure and a huge choice of entertainment, shopping, food and non-golf activities. “Although the cost of playing golf has increased in recent years, Thailand remains the best value choice in Asia. As members of the Golf In A Kingdom collective (https://www.golfinakingdom.com), the leading courses compare very favourably in quality and cost with those in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, China and other Asian markets. “The fact that new courses are always appearing, and facilities […]

By |February 2nd, 2016|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Thidapa Suwannapura, Pirapon Namatra and Kiradech Aphibarnrat
    Top Superstars Open New Golf Course Top Superstars Open New Golf Course

    Top Superstars Open New Golf Course

Top Superstars Open New Golf Course

World Ranked Number 37, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and LPGA star Thidapa Suwannapura along with a number of other Thai professional golfers, officially opened the new Lakes course at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya Thailand recently hosted by the club’s owner Ms.Chanya Swangchitr. Pirapon Namtra the well known Thai designer, created this re designed new nine hole course in a record eight months, having also re worked the club’s other courses, Mountain and Ocean. Namatra was also responsible for designing Banyan Golf Resort in Hua Hin, Santiburi in Koh Samui plus he helped build Siam Country Club’s Waterside 18 holes. Employing a team of over 200, Namatra’s company Golf East has now completed over US$3 million of upgrades at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club since 2012. Thai star Kiradech Aphipbarnrat who is a European Tour player was happy to be able to attend the opening having rushed back overnight from a tournament in Khao Yai. He agreed that the new nine holes would be a fun course to play for professionals and tourists alike. He especially liked the greens. Thidapa Suwannapura, whose home is also in Pattaya, recently overcame a painful hip injury to claim a creditable second place at the Dubai Omega Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour. For her courageous efforts, the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club has made her an Honorary Member, which allows her to practice whenever she is in Thailand. The Lakes course which is a par 36 , 3,225 yards from the blue tees, is now open for play. Along with the club’s other two courses, Mountain (3,507 yards ) and Ocean (3,363 yards), the club now offers 27 championship standard holes overlooking the […]

By |January 22nd, 2016|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Sir Nick Faldo to Host Amateur Tournament in Vietnam Sir Nick Faldo to Host Amateur Tournament in Vietnam

    Sir Nick Faldo to Host Amateur Tournament in Vietnam

Sir Nick Faldo to Host Amateur Tournament in Vietnam

Lang Co, Vietnam, July 30 2015 – Sir Nick Faldo, newly-appointed as brand ambassador for Laguna Lang Co in Central Vietnam, is partnering with the acclaimed golf resort in a series of new amateur golf tournaments, including the inaugural Laguna Golf Classic in November. As home to a championship course designed by the six-time Major winner, which he opened in 2012, Sir Nick will host the second leg of the event at Laguna Lang Co Golf Club, from November 12-14. The first leg of the tournament will be at Laguna Phuket Golf Club, from September 17-19. Participants will play two rounds at each course, with the overall winner receiving hotel, golf and spa entitlements with the Banyan Tree Group valued at more than $US15,000. Further confirming Laguna Lang Co’s growing stature as a world-class golf destination, the 11th Faldo Asia Series Grand Final tournament for young golfers will be held at the course in March 2017. The Faldo Series, which began in 1996, is played in 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, the Middle East and Asia and is open to boys and girls in age divisions from 12 to 21. More than 7,000 golfers benefit from the programme each year. Past winners include Major champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng, plus several other Asian and European Tour winners. In his capacity as brand ambassador for Laguna Lang Co, Sir Nick represented the resort when he played his final Open Championship at St Andrews earlier this month and again last week at the British Senior Open, played at Sunningdale, England. Sir Nick had 41 professional wins in his career, including 30 on the European Tour, the fifth highest of all time. Entry forms […]

  • Banyan Tree Phuket Joins Golf In A Kingdom Banyan Tree Phuket Joins Golf In A Kingdom

    Banyan Tree Phuket Joins Golf In A Kingdom

Banyan Tree Phuket Joins Golf In A Kingdom

Phuket, Thailand, June 18 — Banyan Tree Phuket is the latest resort member of Thailand’s popular Golf In A Kingdom collective. The luxury all-pool-villa resort in the Laguna Phuket resort complex in north-western Phuket, is adjacent to Laguna Phuket Golf Club, which joined Golf In A Kingdom last month. Visitors to Phuket who wish to play golf at the newly remodeled course and stay in luxury have the choice of Banyan Tree Phuket’s 173 stand-alone villas, of which 135 form the main Banyan Tree Phuket resort and are complemented by 14 spa pool villas at Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary and 24 double pool Villas at DoublePool Villas by Banyan Tree. Designed as a Thai village, each villa is set in a private landscaped garden and features an open-air sunken bath and teak-framed floor-to-ceiling windows. The two-bedroom pool villas have private infinity pools along the lagoon, 24-hour butler and in-villa chef services and a separate check-in lobby. Multiple dining options include fresh fish served at the lagoon-facing Sala Terrace. Located just half an hour’s drive from Phuket International Airport on stunning Bang Tao Bay, Banyan Tree Phuket was placed second in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler 20th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards and eighth among the Top 100 Resorts of the World. As a Golf In A Kingdom member, it joins hotels and resorts in Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Bangkok and Phuket in the popular golf tourism group, which is the largest and most successful of its kind in Asia. Golf In A Kingdom founder and chairman, Mark Siegel, said he was delighted to welcome a new member of Banyan Tree Phuket’s unparalleled quality. “Golf visitors to Phuket will be delighted with the world-class golf and […]

  • Laguna Phuket Joins Golf in a Kingdom Laguna Phuket Joins Golf in a Kingdom

    Laguna Phuket Joins Golf in a Kingdom

Laguna Phuket Joins Golf in a Kingdom

Bangkok, May 12 — Newly-revamped Laguna Phuket Golf Club, which re-opened in January after an 18-month makeover by acclaimed designer Paul Jansen, has joined Thailand’s Golf In A Kingdom collective. The par 71, 6719-yard eco-friendly layout has been hailed as one of Asia’s leading resort courses since its revamp, with record numbers of players experiencing the new layout. The club’s director of golf, Paul Wilson, says the course and clubhouse upgrades have elevated Laguna Phuket to one of Asia’s leading golf destinations. “New first-class practice facilities, the redesigned 18-hole course and luxury clubhouse facilities combine to create a truly memorable experience for visiting golfers. Furthermore, Laguna Phuket resort boasts fantastic accommodation, spa and dining at our world-renowned Banyan Tree and Angsana resorts. “Joining the Golf in a Kingdom network allows us to co-operate closely with industry partners around Thailand as we work together to promote this amazing country to international golfers.” Golf In A Kingdom now comprises 14 courses and 11 hotels and resorts to make the network by far Asia’s largest and most successful golf tourism collective. Member courses are located in all of Thailand’s leading golf destinations – Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin and Chiangmai. Laguna Phuket GC first opened in 1992 as Banyan Tree Golf Club. It hosted the 2009 Thailand Open and was transformed in 2013-14 into an alluring modern layout. It is located within the Laguna Phuket resort complex in northern Phuket, adjacent to Bang Tao beach and only 20 minutes from Phuket’s international airport. In reinvigorating the course, designer Paul Jansen, formerly with Faldo Designs, has cleverly used the environment to create new green complexes, reshape fairways and enhance water features. Spectacular mountain views and state-of-the-art conditioning have rejuvenated […]

  • Return of the prodigal son Return of the prodigal son

    Return of the prodigal son

Return of the prodigal son

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Derek Schade returns to Chiang Mai Highlands as General Manager Bangkok, Thailand – 27 April 2015 –  In 2001 Derek Schade, Canadian PGA professional, came to Thailand while working for a management company that was operating Muang Kaew.  During that time the organisation renovated the clubhouse and Schmidt-Curley redesigned the golf course.  After three years the Muang Kaew owners ended the agreement with the management company but asked Derek to stay on the staff. A couple of years later the owners of Muang Kaew, principally Khun Vichai, decided they would build a golf course in Chiang Mai and when he moved north Derek accompanied him to help get the course started.  This was a terrific experience but much more work than he ever imagined. Near the end of construction they began to assemble a service team including operations staff and caddies.  This was extremely difficult since the locals had little or no golf experience. Derek’s duty was to train staff on the intricacies of service delivery and practical skills of caddying; distance advice, club selection and reading greens plus general course knowledge. He was greatly aided by his ability to speak fluent Thai. Notwithstanding the challenges, this was a very rewarding experience from two perspectives: the golf course turned out beautifully and they established a very close relationship with the local community.  Chiang Mai Highland’s reputation as a great design grew quickly, to the extent that it was soon recognised as one of the best new courses in Asia and soon won awards for Best Value Golf Experience. Khun Vichai was the driving force behind the project and primary visionary. However, he consulted Derek frequently, trusting his judgement and inputs such that their […]

By |April 27th, 2015|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • HYATT REGENCY HUA HIN AWARDS SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY GRANT HYATT REGENCY HUA HIN AWARDS SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY GRANT

    HYATT REGENCY HUA HIN AWARDS SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY GRANT

HYATT REGENCY HUA HIN AWARDS SIGNIFICANT COMMUNITY GRANT

Hotel awards US $ 5,000 grant to Baan Wang Pla School for its positive community impact Hua Hin (December 2, 2014) – As a part of Hyatt Community Grants, a philanthropic program that empowers Hyatt colleagues to guide charitable giving, Hyatt Regency Hua Hin & THE BARAI announced today that it has awarded Baan Wang Pla School with a significant grant to further the organization’s efforts in developing educational standards for the students in order that they can receive the same level of learning opportunity as other more privileged schools. The Hyatt Community Grants program, which is now in its seventh year, encourages hotels around the world to identify and nominate local nonprofits for funding consideration. The program builds on Hyatt’s belief that no one better understands a community’s most pressing issues – and their solutions – than those that live and work there.  All participating nonprofits must have a significant local presence and must support one of Hyatt’s four focus areas – Environmental Sustainability, Education & Personal Advancement, Economic Development & Investment, or Health & Wellness. “We are honored to support Baan Wang Pla School and their valuable contributions to our community,” said Mr. Sammy Carolus, general manager, Hyatt Regency Hua Hin & THE BARAI. “It is so important for us to be active participants in our area, and this program gives us the great opportunity to give back to the local organizations that do so much for our city. Hyatt regency Hua Hin & THE BARAI started the relationship with Baan Wang School on the hotel’s 10th anniversary in 2011. From then on we provide constant support by arranging monthly activities and helping to raise funds for the school development through a project called […]

By |December 8th, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Lotus Valley Golf Resort awarded Best Value for Money Golf Experience at APAC Golf Awards Lotus Valley Golf Resort awarded Best Value for Money Golf Experience at APAC Golf Awards

    Lotus Valley Golf Resort awarded Best Value for Money Golf Experience at APAC Golf Awards

Lotus Valley Golf Resort awarded Best Value for Money Golf Experience at APAC Golf Awards

15 November, Singapore – The Asian Golf Awards, widely known as “The Oscars for the Asian Pacific Golf Industry”, annually recognize Asia’s finest golf facilities for, amongst other categories; Best Course in the Region, Best Clubhouse and Best Golf Course Maintenance. At the Awards Gala Dinner, Lotus Valley Golf Resort was presented with the award for Best Value for Money Golf Experience 2014. Several of Thailand’s elite golf properties were recognized at the awards including Lotus Valley Golf Resort, Thai Country Club, Black Mountain and Banyan Golf Club. Attending the Gala Dinner Awards Ceremony were over two hundred of the Asian golf industry’s most influential people.  Among them, to accept the award for Best Value for Money Golf Experience were Lotus Valley’s Managing Directors; Khun Raya Tejapaibul and her husband Khun Somkiat Sinsunthon, Khun Woramet and Khun Duankamon Tejapaibul. Also representing Lotus Valley was TMG Academy founder Tony Meechai and Lotus Valley General Manager, Derek Schade. This prestigious award came as a result of years of dedication by the Lotus Valley owners, who only five years ago renovated the entire property and constructed a stylish new clubhouse which renowned American coach Hank Haney referred to as one of the nicest he’d seen during his visit last year. “Fine playing conditions have been the foundation of Lotus Valley’s success and the reason Lotus Valley is now being recognized as Thailand’s Best Value for Money Golf Experience” remarked General Manager Derek Schade. Originally a Gary Player designed course, Lotus Valley underwent its major renovation five years ago under the guidance of TurfPro Golf and Jon Morrow. Upgrades included improved drainage, adding modern grasses, reshaping greens and approach areas in order to make the course more challenging and visually attractive. Lotus Valley’s popularity […]

By |November 20th, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Asia Pacific Golf Summit Awards – Golf in a Kingdom Members’ Roll of Honour Asia Pacific Golf Summit Awards – Golf in a Kingdom Members’ Roll of Honour

    Asia Pacific Golf Summit Awards – Golf in a Kingdom Members’ Roll of Honour

Asia Pacific Golf Summit Awards – Golf in a Kingdom Members’ Roll of Honour

Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands Hotel, November 15 — Members of Golf in a Kingdom scoop the major awards at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit. Best course in Asia – Black Mountain Best championship course in Asia – Black Mountain Best course in Thailand – Black Mountain #2 course in Thailand – Thai Country Club #3 course in Thailand – Banyan Golf Club Best Value for Money Golf Experience – Lotus Valley Golf Resort General Manager of the year Asia – Harald Elisson Top 3 GM of the year Asia – Stacey Walton Golf Operations Manager of the year Asia – Stuart Daly Course superintendent of the year – Minachai Srichanya Caddie of the year – Kannika Namthong The awards to member courses demonstrated the quality of their golf and services and once again showed Thailand offered a second-to-none golfing experience.

By |November 20th, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Black Mountain 10th re-designed – the best gets better Black Mountain 10th re-designed – the best gets better

    Black Mountain 10th re-designed – the best gets better

Black Mountain 10th re-designed – the best gets better

Black Mountain’s par 4 tenth hole has been upgraded. A dog leg left of just over 400 yards from the championship tees it was felt that the hole could be made more challenging, more aesthetically attractive and more in keeping with improvements made to the rest of the course particularly in the area of water features. Whilst previously a large bunker guarded the corner of the dogleg, low handicap players could straightforwardly play over this hazard to quite a large landing area, a carry of 270 yards but all downhill. In order to make the line off the tee more defined a water feature has been created that starts alongside the tee on the left and meanders downhill to the corner then crosses the fairway where previously players aimed for. In addition, where before the fairway straight ahead off the tee ended in a raised plantation area of “elephant” grass considerable earth has been moved and the fairway ends level, with light, then heavier rough and water beyond that will catch an ill-judged long drive. All in all Black Mountain has achieved its aim. Few will cut the corner to the extent they did before, most will be forced to take on the fairway straight off the tee although the landing area is quite generous. This will leave a longer second shot to a tiered green which is well protected by bunkers. This work has been carried out because of Black Mountain’s ethos that even the best can be made better and their quest for perfection goes on.

By |November 4th, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Thailand Classic to welcome European Tour stars for first time in eight years Thailand Classic to welcome European Tour stars for first time in eight years

    Thailand Classic to welcome European Tour stars for first time in eight years

Thailand Classic to welcome European Tour stars for first time in eight years

20th October 2014 BANGKOK, THAILAND — Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin will play host to the inaugural Thailand Classic from February 12-15 next year, when it will become the first event co-sanctioned between The European Tour and Asian Tour to be permanently based in Thailand. The tournament, which marks the European Tour’s return to Thailand after an eight year absence, will be the richest in the Kingdom, with a prize fund of US$2 million dollars . Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour, said, “We are delighted to be returning to Thailand for the Thailand Classic in February, and Black Mountain Golf Club and Hua Hin are wonderful additions to the International Schedule. “We would like to place on record our thanks to our new tournament promoters Muse Group, who have worked tirelessly to help us secure the Thailand Classic for a minimum of three years. “As always we are delighted to accept the invitation of our long-standing co-sanctioning partners at the Asian Tour to stage another tournament in South-east Asia, and we look forward to working with them and the Professional Golfers Association of Thailand on our return to Thailand for the first time since 2007.” With European Tour stars having enjoyed success around the world, those who tee it up at Black Mountain in February will be an exciting addition to the field alongside some of Asia’s finest talent, including the best golfers from Thailand. The event will form part of the European Tour’s International Schedule, with prize money earned to count towards The 2015 Race to Dubai, a year-long competition currently led by World Number One Rory McIlroy. Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han said: “Thailand has been […]

  • Thailand expects golf tourism rebound Thailand expects golf tourism rebound

    Thailand expects golf tourism rebound

Thailand expects golf tourism rebound

Members of Thailand’s Golf in A Kingdom marketing collective are expecting a strong high season as tourism to the kingdom recovers. Advance bookings for the December to March peak season – when golfers take advantage of cooler temperatures, sunny days and superior course conditioning – are equal to previous years’ levels. “It is looking very positive now that Thailand’s political problems have been resolved, with certainty and stability returning to business and everyday life,” says Golf In A Kingdom’s programme manager, John Carter. “All our members are extremely confident the high season will be at least equal to last year, and maybe better. International travellers have come to realise Thailand is as safe, friendly and welcoming as it has always been and there is now no reason not to travel here.” Golf In A Kingdom (www.golfinakingdom.com) comprises Thailand’s best golf courses, hotels and resorts located in and near Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket and Chiangmai. John Blanch, the general manager of Thai Country Club, part of the Hong Kong-based Peninsula Hotels group and one of Thailand’s most prestigious golf clubs, says Thailand’s new government and prime minister have been generally well received – a message now filtering through to major inbound markets. Consequently, he is expecting a rebound in international bookings, which had dropped during and after political turmoil earlier in the year. Derek Schade, the general manager of Lotus Valley Golf Club near Bangkok, says pre-bookings for the high season are similar to the rebound after floods hit Bangkok in 2011. “This could be an overflow of golfers who planned to visit last year, but were unable to come because of travel insurance difficulties. Advance bookings for October and November were close to the […]

By |October 16th, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Press release – Six Senses Spa returns to Evason Hua Hin Press release – Six Senses Spa returns to Evason Hua Hin

    Press release – Six Senses Spa returns to Evason Hua Hin

Press release – Six Senses Spa returns to Evason Hua Hin

  BANGKOK – Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is delighted to announce the return of Six Senses Spa to Evason Hua Hin. Six Senses Spa is responsible for spa management and operations at the popular resort which is located three hours by car from Bangkok and ideally situated on the Gulf of Siam. Set in the heart of the resort, Six Senses Spa provides a peaceful sanctuary away from the bustle of Hua Hin, the oldest beach town so often associated with the Thai elite.  The spa has been expertly integrated into the surrounding landscape of lush gardens and lotus ponds, and brings together traditional Thai features with modern facilities. The natural environment has provided inspiration for the spa’s four indoor treatment rooms, featuring floor to ceiling windows that reveal intimate outdoor gardens bringing guests closer to nature. An additional six treatment pavilions, two of which are open-air, are surrounded by beautiful ponds filled with water lilies and provide a feeling of floating on water that evokes a sense of healing and calmness.  The water theme continues through to the relaxation area, which is surrounded by reflective pools and features suspended chairs to enhance the post-treatment renewal. The gentle sound of flowing water is enhanced by the sounds of Himalayan singing bowls displayed around the spa reception.  There is also a retail area with a range of Six Senses products and gifts so guests can continue their wellness journey at home. One of the design highlights is the cave room which conjures up an image of a floating island catching orange rays of the setting sun. Created by LED lights, the color is known for its positive effects on one’s alertness and activity levels. Guests […]

By |October 15th, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • TAT – China Common Project Golf Tournament 2014 TAT – China Common Project Golf Tournament 2014

    TAT – China Common Project Golf Tournament 2014

TAT – China Common Project Golf Tournament 2014

Press Release – The Tourism Authority of Thailand launches “China Common Project Golf 2014” to boost numbers of hi-end Chinese golf tourists visiting Thailand August 20, 2014 at Banyan Golf Club Hau Hin: Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) culminates its China Common Project Golf Tournament 2014 held at the Royal beach resort cities of Hua Hin and Cha Am. The initiative was conceived by TAT’s Chinese offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu and Guangzhou who agreed a joint campaign to boost the promotion of hi-end golf tourism packages for the China market. The objective of the tournament was to increase awareness that Thailand is the top golf destination in Asia. Over 3 days, 160 Chinese golfers and golf media representatives from various cities in China savored 3 of the most prestigious courses on offer in Thailand; Black Mountain, Springfield Royal Country Club and  Banyan Golf Club which hosted the final day and prize giving dinner. Prizes for both individual and team events were presented by TAT’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing Asia and South Pacific, Mr Pongsathorn Kessasamli. “In a relatively short time span, Thailand will grow into one of the most dynamic centers for golf in Asia. There are over 280 golf courses in the Kingdom and some of these rank amongst the finest in the world. China is growing rapidly in terms of golf business and this market will be seeking experiences further afield, generating significant tourism income for premium providers such as Thailand. Thailand is a top golf destination, it is very pleasurable, very affordable and golf can be played in a variety of locations all year round. And don’t forget the Land of Smiles signature hospitality which makes Thailand a golfer’s […]

By |August 21st, 2014|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Players from Five Countries lead Centara World Masters Players from Five Countries lead Centara World Masters

    Players from Five Countries lead Centara World Masters

Players from Five Countries lead Centara World Masters

Players from five countries are leading 13 separate divisions after two days play in the Centara World Masters Golf Championship being played at four courses in Hua Hin Thailand. The amateur tournament, the largest of its kind ever held in Asia, has attracted more than 450 participants from 23 countries. Rounds played at Imperial Lake View, Majestic Creek, Banyan and Black Mountain golf clubs have produced tightly bunched leader boards in men’s and ladies divisions at the half-way stage of the tournament. South Africa’s Desiree Geldenhuys is the ladies 35-55 gross leader with 156 followed by Singapore’s Mee Nah Fong and Denise Seow, who is the stableford leader. In B grade, Philippines player Anli Wu is the leader. South Africa’s Henk Guldenhuys is the men’s 35-55 gross leader on 148, eight shots clear of Bangladesh player, Arshi Haider, Theo Wessels (South Africa) and Buddy Bagi (Australia). The stableford leader is another South African, Craig Shillaw. Singaporean Johnny Ang leads B grade and Ireland’s Gerry Raftery is the C grade leader. The men’s 56-65 division is led by Australia’s Bill Maystorovich, with fellow Aussies Richard Heaney and Peter McCowan the B and C grade leaders. Peter Cherry of ustralia is the men’s 66-plus gross leader by 20 shots. He also leads the stableford division, while Ireland’s Michael Barry and Australia’s Gordon Thomas share the B grade lead. Two heavy downpours of rain cleared the courses yesterday, but afternoon players were able to resume and complete their rounds after breaks of 30 to 45 minutes. Conditions have been perfect for golf, with overcast skies and a breeze keeping temperatures in the low 30s.

  • Thai Country Club in Bangkok
    Visiting Thailand: Bangkok Returns to Normal Visiting Thailand: Bangkok Returns to Normal

    Visiting Thailand: Bangkok Returns to Normal

Visiting Thailand: Bangkok Returns to Normal

By Paul Myers Bangkok, March 4, 2014- The swathe of negative headlines about safety in Bangkok that has swamped international media in the past three months should now disappear as protestors dismantle barricades in key parts of the city. Despite the impression that Bangkok has been a city under siege, nothing could have been – or is – further from the truth. And despite a delicate political impasse that has put a question mark over the future of Thailand’s (now interim) government, life and business in Bangkok and the rest of the kingdom has been perfectly normal. Hopefully, selective images and footage of street marches, police battling protesters and barricades at intersections will now be replaced by reality: tourists and locals eating, socialising, shopping and enjoying all this vibrant city has to offer. Unlikely. The negative publicity, caused by perception swamping reality, has hurt Thailand’s tourism, even outside Bangkok where there hasn’t been the slightest hint of trouble. To be sure, there are political issues in Thailand. There have been protests, mostly peaceful, which may continue. The People’s Democratic Reform Committee has moved its supporters to Lumpini Park in Bangkok’s business district where they are gathered, quietly and orderly, listening to speeches and watching a giant screen. There isn’t the slightest hint of trouble. Bangkok is a far cry from the situation in the world’s real trouble spots: Kabul, Kiev, Baghdad and Beirut. It’s not even close to the situation in New York, Chicago or many major cities where assaults and concerns about personal safety are everyday issues and occurrences. It’s likely that Thailand’s political issues will be solved in coming months. The two sides are talking and there is confidence the impasse will end […]

  • Banyan Celebrates 5 Years of Success Banyan Celebrates 5 Years of Success

    Banyan Celebrates 5 Years of Success

Banyan Celebrates 5 Years of Success

Hua Hin, Thailand, March 3 — It may have seemed a bold step at the time. But the vision of a group of businessmen from the Netherlands to build a golf resort near Hua Hin, which opened five years ago, has been one of the region’s great tourism success stories. Banyan Golf Club, located a few kilometres south of the village where the Thai Royal family built a summer palace in 1924, has celebrated its fifth anniversary with an invitational charity event and dinner that attracted 170 golfers and visitors including the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Khun Tawatchai Arunyik. The event raised more than THB600,000 (USD20,000) for the Bright Dawn Foundation, which provides health care and educational support to disadvantaged school children in the Hua Hin area. With 200 members and a large regular customer base of golfers from western Europe, South East Asia and Australia, Banyan has recorded more than 150,000 rounds since opening in early 2009, the year it was named as best new course in Asia Pacific. The club is ranked number one by Trip Advisor among places to visit in Hua Hin. For the past two years its contemporary Thai clubhouse, designed by Bangkok firm Smith Abayawat has been named at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit as the best in Asia Pacific. “Apart from golfers, a lot people come to have a drink, sit on the outdoor terrace and enjoy sunset views over the Burmese Mountains,” says general manager, Stacey Walton, who has been with the club since it opened. “We are also a popular stop for cyclists who enjoy the quiet, winding roads in the area.” Designed by prominent Thai golf course architect, Pirapon Namatra of Golf […]

  • Red Mountain Named Top Course in Thailand Red Mountain Named Top Course in Thailand

    Red Mountain Named Top Course in Thailand

Red Mountain Named Top Course in Thailand

Bangkok, Feb 19 — Red Mountain, the newest of eight golf courses on the island of Phuket, has turned the table on several more high profile layouts by being named best course in Thailand in the latest Planet Golf rankings. Opened in 2007 and designed by Jon Morrow and Al Tikkanen, Red Mountain has trumped the hosts of Asian Tour professional events Black Mountain, Thai Country Club and Amata Spring in achieving the honour. Amata Spring, a private course near Chonburi, and Black Mountain, named best course in Thailand for three years running at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit, were listed as the second and this best courses in the kingdom. Thai Country Club was listed sixth. Planet Golf is an arm of US Golf Digest and its affiliated magazines around the world. Every two years it ranks the best courses in more than 180 countries worldwide. Red Mountain, owned and operated by MBK Public Company Limited, which also owns the adjacent Loch Palm course and Riverdale Golf Club in Bangkok, occupies a former tin mine and features a dramatic landscape peppered by red cliffs and outcrops. Natural waste bunkers, towering precipices, deep ravines and flooded gullies make for an exciting golf experience. The par-72 layout plays slightly less than 7000 yards from the pro tees and a much more comfortable distance from forward tees. Planet Golf rankings: Red Mountain Amata Spring Black Mountain Banyan Siam Country Club Old Course Thai Country Club Siam Country Club Plantation Course Alpine Blue Canyon Chiangmai Highlands Red Mountain, Black Mountain, Banyan, Thai CC and Siam CC are all members of Golf In A Kingdom, a collective of Thailand’s leading golf courses, hotels and resorts. Visit www.golfinakingdom.com

  • Loch Palm Gets Nod of Approval Loch Palm Gets Nod of Approval

    Loch Palm Gets Nod of Approval

Loch Palm Gets Nod of Approval

Bangkok, Feb 20 — Is Loch Palm one of the most under-rated golf courses in Thailand? Dutch golfers Marius Koen and Peter Kloeppers think so. And so does Mark Siegel, the owner of leading Thai inbound golf tourism company, Golfasian, who says he enjoys Loch Palm more than any other course on Phuket. Set in a valley just 10 minutes from Patong and within easy reach of Phuket’s popular north-eastern beaches, Loch Palm is the little brother of Red Mountain, just named as the best course in Thailand by Planet Golf, an arm of the powerful US Golf Digest network. Designed by Thai resident Jon Morrow with his business partner Al Tikkanen, Loch Palm opened in 2006 and has since attracted more than 250,000 golfers to its tranquil setting around Crystal Lake. “In one word it is a very relaxed golf course, “ Mark Siegel says. “It is set around a large palm tree-lined lake, hence its reference to the Scottish term ‘Loch’, combined with the tropical setting in the name ‘Palm’. “The front nine plays across the flat lands of the former open-cast tin mine, while the back nine plays around some of the cliffs created just before the site was abandoned some 80 years ago. Most holes feature wide fairways, which are quite forgiving and allow golfers of all abilities to have a relaxed day golfing in Phuket.” After completing their rounds, Marius Koen and Peter Kloeppers said they were pleasantly surprised about the quality and playability of the course. “As this was our first round in Phuket we thought we’d try Loch Palm before going on to Red Mountain and some of the other courses on the island. But we liked it […]

  • Hua Hin Named Golf Destination of the Year Hua Hin Named Golf Destination of the Year

    Hua Hin Named Golf Destination of the Year

Hua Hin Named Golf Destination of the Year

Costa Daurauda, Spain, 15 November 2013 — Hua Hin, the laid-back seaside town on the Gulf of Thailand that has been The Thai Royal Family’s holiday headquarters for more than 80 years, now has another claim to fame: Asia and Australasia’s 2014 Golf Destination of the Year. Hua Hin, 200 kilometres south of Bangkok, received the award this week at the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators’ annual convention (IGTM), held in Catalonia, Spain. It is only the second time a region, rather than a country, has been named Golf Destination of the Year in Asia/Australasia. Thailand has twice won the award and in 2012 the Thai city of Pattaya was the winner. The 2014 award was accepted by Hua Hin’s Lord Mayor, Khun Nopporn Vuttikul, at a ceremony at the end of the convention, which was attended by golf tour operators, and executives representing resorts, golf clubs and destinations from around the world. The accolade recognises Hua Hin’s rapid recent ascendancy to the pinnacle as a golf tourism destination in Asia Pacific. The site of the first golf course in Thailand, Royal Hua Hin Golf Club built in 1924, the region’s golf credentials have risen since the opening in 2007 and 2008 of Black Mountain Golf Club and Banyan Golf Club. Both courses have since been rated consistently among Thailand’s elite layouts. Black Mountain has been named for each of the past three years at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit, including again last week in Jakarta, as the top course in Thailand. In 2011, Black Mountain was named best championship course in Asia Pacific and the following year became the first course in Thailand to be included in US Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses […]

By |November 14th, 2013|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Lotus Valley Golf Resort
    Lotus Valley Joins Golf In A Kingdom Lotus Valley Joins Golf In A Kingdom

    Lotus Valley Joins Golf In A Kingdom

Lotus Valley Joins Golf In A Kingdom

Bangkok, Thailand, October 01, 2013 — Lotus Valley Golf Resort near Bangkok has become the lucky 13th member of Thailand’s prestigious Golf In A Kingdom marketing collective. Formed five years ago, Golf In A Kingdom, “The Thai Golf Experience”, has grown to 24 members, comprising 13 of Thailand’s best golf courses, 10 hotels and resorts and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Lotus Valley’s entry into the program means there are now five golf course members in Bangkok, three in Pattaya, two each in Hua Hin and Phuket and one in Chiangmai. They complement three hotels each in Bangkok and the Hua Hin/Cha’am region, two in Chiangmai and one each in Phuket and Pattaya. Golf In A Kingdom founder, Mark Siegel, said Lotus Valley’s entry represented a further boost to the program and reflected the status of its new member. “Golf In A Kingdom recognises the best golf courses and hotels/resorts in Thailand. Not only does it have the whole kingdom covered, golfers who play the courses and stay at member properties can be confident they are experiencing the highest quality golf and accommodation in Thailand.” Lotus Valley Golf Resort is located in the Chachoengsao district, about 50 kilometres north-east of Bangkok. Originally designed by South African golf legend, Gary Player, the course opened in 1998. It was remodeled in 2008 by Thai resident, Jon Morrow, who designed other Golf In A Kingdom member courses Red Mountain in Phuket and Riverdale, Bangkok. Lotus Valley’s new clubhouse opened in 2008 when the course remodeling was completed. The par-72 course with water on almost every hole plays 7015 yards from the back tees and is considered one of the best and well-priced public access layouts within easy reach […]

By |September 1st, 2013|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Golf In A Kingdom Launched Internationally Golf In A Kingdom Launched Internationally

    Golf In A Kingdom Launched Internationally

Golf In A Kingdom Launched Internationally

Bangkok, May 9 — The international launch of Golf In A Kingdom has given further emphasis to Thailand’s status as a leader in global golf tourism. Attended by tour operators and media from around the world, as well as Golf In A Kingdom members, the Mayor of Pattaya Khun Itthiphol Kunplome and Thai golf tourism identities, the launch event was held at Siam Country Club’s Plantation Course on May 1. With 23 members, Golf In A Kingdom is a collection of Thailand’s leading courses and hotels that has become the leading golf tourism program of its kind in Asia Pacific. It has played a major role in Thailand’s rapid growth in golf tourism – one of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s four major tourism promotional pillars. Following the launch, 30 tour operators and media from the United States, Canada, Germany, Singapore, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Australia participated on separate pre-arranged visits to Thailand’s premier golf destinations, Phuket/Chiang Mai and Bangkok/Hua Hin. After the launch, Golf In A Kingdom’s founder, Mark Siegel, said the impetus Thailand was experiencing in golf tourism would ensure the Kingdom remained Asia Pacific’s leading destination for golfers for many years to come. “Golf In A Kingdom members are all reporting substantial growth in the number of tee times and hotel rooms,” he said. “These properties – as leaders in their respective regions – have just completed their best high season ever. Forward bookings and inquiries are particularly strong, which indicates 2013/2014 will be another record year. “The world has discovered Thailand golf tourism and Golf In A Kingdom is now reaching out to the world to highlight the unbeatable values of the Thai golf experience. Invariably, golfers who […]

  • Siam Country Club, Plantation Course, Club Hosue
    Golf In a Kingdom Helps Thailand To Tourism Success Golf In a Kingdom Helps Thailand To Tourism Success

    Golf In a Kingdom Helps Thailand To Tourism Success

Golf In a Kingdom Helps Thailand To Tourism Success

Bangkok, 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. The international launch, to be held at Siam Country Club’s acclaimed Plantation Course on May 1, will be attended by 60 golf tourism executives from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia and 30 media, most of whom are coming to Thailand especially for the occasion, from the same markets. “Thailand has grown in stature immensely in the past five years as a golf tourism destination,” Siegel says. “We estimate total inbound golf tourism will reach 750,000 this year, double the number at the time Golf In A Kingdom was launched, with at least half the visitors coming from within Asia itself. “Thailand receives more than 60 percent of all golf tourists to Asia and the way the market is developing, it is likely the kingdom will pass one million inbound golf tourists within three years. Thailand will then challenge Spain and the United States as the world’s favourite golf destination. It seems inevitable that, […]

  • Thailand Poised to Become Top Golf Tourism Destination Thailand Poised to Become Top Golf Tourism Destination

    Thailand Poised to Become Top Golf Tourism Destination

Thailand Poised to Become Top Golf Tourism Destination

Bangkok, February 26 — Thailand will become the world’s leading golf tourism destination within three years if current growth trends continue. Thai golf tourism is riding on the back of a tourism explosion to the kingdom, with total foreign arrivals doubling in the past seven years to more than 22 million in 2012. Mark Siegel, the principal of Thailand’s largest inbound golf tourism company, Golfasian, says golf tourism to the kingdom has also skyrocketed to an estimated 750,000 arrivals in 2012, up 50 percent in the past three years. If this pace of growth continues, Thailand will pass Spain as the world’s most popular golf tourism destination in 2015 or 2016. Siegel estimates golf tourism was worth 86 billion baht or $US2.88 billion in land arrangements alone to Thailand in 2012. "The past year and the high season now ending have been quite amazing," he says. "For the first time in several years there was no impediment to Thailand’s huge international appeal – no floods, political unrest or local economic issues. Everything has been ‘go’ and that’s what has happened. Golf tourists have voted with their feet and have overwhelmingly chosen Thailand." Siegel expects 15 percent further growth in 2013 to more than 850,000 golf visitors, worth $US3.68 billion, with the one million mark in visitor numbers expected to be passed in 2015. This would put Thailand on an equal, or similar, footing with Spain, which has dominated international golf tourism for more than a decade, but has been losing market share to emerging destinations including Portugal, Turkey, North Africa and Asia, especially Thailand. Mark Siegel – who is also the founder of Golf In A Kingdom marketing collective that includes Thailand’s leading golf courses, […]

By |February 27th, 2013|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Golf In A Kingdom Helps Thailand to Top Golf Award Golf In A Kingdom Helps Thailand to Top Golf Award

    Golf In A Kingdom Helps Thailand to Top Golf Award

Golf In A Kingdom Helps Thailand to Top Golf Award

Bangkok, December 20 — Five members of Thailand’s Golf In A Kingdom group scored a cluster of major local and regional awards at the annual Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Brunei last week. In doing so, they substantially helped Thailand being named Asia Pacific’s golf destination of the year. Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin, was voted Best Course in Thailand for the second consecutive year as well as being named second best course in Asia Pacific. Banyan Golf Club, also at Hua Hin, received the top award for Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific and was named second best course in Thailand. Siam Country Club’s Plantation Course near Pattaya was named Best Maintained Course in Asia Pacific for the second year in a row. Chiang Mai Highlands Golf and Spa Resort was selected as Best Value for Money in Asia Pacific. And Thai Country Club at Bangkok was voted third best course in Thailand, after having enjoyed seven years as best course in Thailand and last year being named second to Black Mountain. Last week’s awards in Brunei entrench Thailand’s premier position in Asia Pacific and confirm the status of Golf In A Kingdom as the region’s leading golf destination alliance. The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) has twice named Thailand Golf Destination of the Year, while the resort centre of Pattaya received the accolade in 2011. Golf In A Kingdom, a collection of Thailand’s best golf courses and resorts, was established in 2009. It now comprises 13 golf courses, 12 hotels and resorts and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Founder, Mark Siegel, said he was proud that Thailand’s leading golf courses had joined together in the program and that their combined efforts […]

By |December 20th, 2012|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Family Thais in Golf Development Family Thais in Golf Development

    Family Thais in Golf Development

Family Thais in Golf Development

At a time when golf course development is the domain mostly of multinational companies, three Thai families are showing that an important place remains for private family investment and management in the game that is sweeping Asia. These are far from small-time “mom-and-pop” operations. You don’t become a member of Asia’s most successful and prestigious golf destination-marketing program, Golf In A Kingdom, without solid credentials; nor do you receive industry accolades and awards, as well as record impressive visitor numbers, without good reason. In each case, the Phornprapha family’s Siam Country Club, the Samakoses family’s Chiang Mai Highlands and Muang Kaew courses and the Pongsak family’s Suwan Golf and Country Club owe their current status in Thai golf circles to the foresight and dedication of the current chief executives’ grandfathers. All were visionaries and self-made men who acquired land in expanding areas, turning it into a productive business that just happened to be one or more golf courses. The grandfather of Chai Phornprapha, managing director of Siam Country Club near Pattaya, ran a junkyard business that recycled old parts and machinery. From there, he developed business relationships with entities in Japan that grew into a manufacturing joint venture in Thailand with Japanese partners. It proved so successful that additional manufacturing joint ventures soon followed. “Today, we have 43 companies under the family umbrella, primarily specialised in the automotive market,” Chai explains. But golf is also important, as the immaculate conditioning and facilities at Siam Country Club’s twin courses – with a third being built – demonstrate. The Plantation Course, opened in 2008, was last year named best-maintained course in Asia Pacific at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit held in nearby Pattaya. More than 80,000 golfers […]

By |November 10th, 2012|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • MBK Courses Join Golf in a Kingdom MBK Courses Join Golf in a Kingdom

    MBK Courses Join Golf in a Kingdom

MBK Courses Join Golf in a Kingdom

Bangkok, September 18, 2012– Two of the top-rated golf courses on Phuket and one of Bangkok’s leading public access courses have joined Thailand’s prestigious Golf In A Kingdom destination-marketing program. Loch Palm Golf Club and Red Mountain Golf Club, which are located next to each other in the Kathu region of Phuket, and Riverdale Golf Club in Bangkok’s northern suburbs are owned and operated by MBK Public Company, which has a large portfolio of leisure industry properties and the iconic MBK shopping centre in Bangkok. The trio’s entry brings to 12 the number of golf course members in Golf In A Kingdom. With 13 hotel and resort members, as well as the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Golf In A Kingdom’s 26 members comprise the largest and most successful golf tourism alliance in Asia. “We are delighted to have such a prestigious golf course owner as MBK join Golf In a Kingdom,” said GIAK founder, Mark Siegel. “Golf In A Kingdom now includes golf and hotel/resort members in all of Thailand’s major golf tourism destinations. With the addition of two excellent golf courses on Phuket, we have joined the dots and now represent all the best golf and golf-related properties in the kingdom.” Loch Palm Golf Club, the first golf course in MBK’s extensive leisure portfolio, has been considerably upgraded since it was acquired in 2004. The par 72, 6555-yard layout is set in a valley around Crystal Lake, the largest lake on any golf course on Phuket. Unsurprisingly, it features palms and water on 13 of its 18 holes. The back nine features some hilly terrain as the layout rises away then falls back towards the water. Red Mountain Golf Club, created by Thai-based Jon […]

By |September 18th, 2012|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Three New Members Join Golf In A Kingdom Three New Members Join Golf In A Kingdom

    Three New Members Join Golf In A Kingdom

Three New Members Join Golf In A Kingdom

Bangkok, August 27 — Asia’s largest and most successful golf tourism destination marketing program, Golf In A Kingdom, is expanding with the addition of three new prestige members. The program – which promotes Thailand’s leading golf courses, hotels and resorts – now includes the Jack Nicklaus-designed Laem Chabang International Country Club near Pattaya, Suwan Golf and Country Club outside Bangkok and The Chedi, one of the leading hotels in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. The additions bring the number of golf course members in Golf In A Kingdom to nine and the number of hotels and resorts to 12. Member properties are located in all Thailand’s top golf destinations: Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin, Phuket and Chiang Mai. With the Tourism Authority of Thailand also a leading member of Golf In A Kingdom and strongly promoting inbound golf tourism, Thailand’s number one position as the leading golf destination in Asia is set to remain intact well into the future. “Thailand has done everything right in promoting the country’s wonderful golf assets and golf tourism experiences,” says Golf In A Kingdom founder, Mark Siegel. “Thailand offers a complete package of excellent courses and infrastructure, with fun, entertainment and service. This year up to 600,000 foreign golfers are expected to visit Thailand and they will spend an estimated 60 billion baht ($US2 billion) in the country alone, so the figures speak for themselves. “The ongoing success of Golf In A Kingdom after almost five years shows how highly the program is regarded and how important golf tourism is to Thailand.” Laem Chabang, a 27-hole complex that opened in 1992, is 30 kilometers from Pattaya and 110km from Bangkok. The separate Mountain, Lake and Valley nine-hole layouts are among more […]

By |August 27th, 2012|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Thai People a “Secret Weapon” for Golf Tourism Thai People a “Secret Weapon” for Golf Tourism

    Thai People a “Secret Weapon” for Golf Tourism

Thai People a “Secret Weapon” for Golf Tourism

Bangkok, July 25 — Thailand will remain Asia’s market leader in golf tourism because other countries can’t match the kingdom’s “secret weapon” – the Thai people and especially golf course caddies – according to the largest dedicated inbound golf tourism operator in the region. Mark Siegel, whose company, Golfasian, will this year bring 6000 international golf tourists to south-east Asia, mostly to Thailand, told a group of visiting Asian golf journalists the kingdom would stay ahead of rival golf destinations because of the special way visitors are welcomed. “You can probably find countries with better golf courses, maybe with better value, nicer weather and better infrastructure, but nowhere else matches the genuine friendliness of the Thai people,” he said. “In Thailand, everyone is treated as a guest. They are considered part of the family as soon as they arrive. The people do it because they are happy, not because it’s good business. Kids in Thailand are taught to be nice.” “Visiting golfers experience genuine Thai friendship in many ways, but especially with caddies, who really have fun and are extremely helpful and knowledgeable about golf. They also like their jobs. It’s not an act. They are Thai golf’s secret weapon. Everyone who comes to Thailand to play golf is a winner.” The statistics bear out his claim. This year, 600,000 golf tourists are expected to visit Thailand, an increase of more than 15 percent over 2011, making the kingdom the world’s third most popular golf destination after Spain and the United States. This small but important and growing tourism sector is now worth $US2 billion a year in ground arrangements alone. Despite efforts by other regional destinations, including Malaysia, China and Vietnam to capitalise on […]

  • Chiang Mai 5 Star Golf Holiday Magic Chiang Mai 5 Star Golf Holiday Magic

    Chiang Mai 5 Star Golf Holiday Magic

Chiang Mai 5 Star Golf Holiday Magic

Chiang Mai (July 18, 2012) – If you are used to the frenetic pace of busy Bangkok, then you are definitely in for a treat when you arrive in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. The fifty minute flight from Bangkok is really over before you have had time to read the guide books. Checking into the Chedi Chiang Mai, you are welcomed into the tranquility of Chiang Mai’s only five-star hotel actually located beside the Mae Ping River. If you want something different then it’s hard to beat the scenery from your floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, where Traditional Thai life literally floats past your bedroom window in one of the Chedi’s eight-four guest rooms. Close by you can explore the temples or take an elephant treks or check out the night bazaars five minutes by foot. But if it is a golf treat you are after, then temples can wait a bit. Your friendly guide will drive you past rice fields, buffaloes and mountains on the short 40 minutes out of town, to your final golf destination, The  Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort. As soon as you arrive at the Highlands their helpful staff and smiling caddies literally take over, and you realize you are about to experience one of those special ‘Golf Wow‘ factors. The course which is set in the foothills east of Chiang Mai was designed by a certain Mr Lee Schmidt. The front nine are utilising the flatter parts of the terrain, while the back nine climb upwards, cleverly using the contours and landscape to dramatic effect. Opened late December 2005, the course features paspalum fairways and tiff eagle greens. The bunker styles are typical of a Schmidt-Curley design, […]

  • Golf Leaders in Thailand Join Forces with Asia Pacific Golf Group to Agree on Golf in a Kingdom’s Future Media Plan Golf Leaders in Thailand Join Forces with Asia Pacific Golf Group to Agree on Golf in a Kingdom’s Future Media Plan

    Golf Leaders in Thailand Join Forces with Asia Pacific Golf Group to Agree on Golf in a Kingdom’s Future Media Plan

Golf Leaders in Thailand Join Forces with Asia Pacific Golf Group to Agree on Golf in a Kingdom’s Future Media Plan

Hua Hin (June 18, 2012) – Banyan, The Resort, located in the royal town of Hua Hin made the perfect setting for Thailand golf industry leaders to join together and enjoy their exquisite hospitality. The 5-course welcome dinner prepared by the culinary experts at the Lemongrass restaurant set a scene of what was a weekend of hard talk, ideas and plans to grow Golf in a Kingdom in the future. Mark Siegel, MD of GolfAsian commented “Banyan is a great example of how a development can combine its golf club, resort and residential villas into a complete lifestyle destination, it’s the arrival experience, caddies, course conditions and friendly Thai team members that make you feel so special and welcome in Thailand and Banyan does this very well”. Golf in a Kingdom is a destination marketing initiative started in 2009 to promote and raise the awareness of “the Thai Golf Experience”. The founding golf club members are Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Club, Chiang Mai, Muang Kaew Golf Club, Bangkok, Siam Country Club, Pattaya and Thai Country Club, in Bangkok. Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin became a member in 2010. In addition to obtaining overseas golf, lifestyle, and travel media exposure that highlights why Thailand is the number one golfing holiday destination in Asia, club members will be eligible for special benefits offered all of the Golf In A Kingdom golf course and resorts. The program has its own designated website www.golfinakingdom.com and has received over 30,000 hits to date, hosted 9 familiarization trips and has received accolades in over 450 articles and feature stories across the world from the USA to Australia. Also in attendance at the meeting was Mike […]

  • Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin
    Golf in a Kingdom Turns Out In Force At Asian Golf Travel Conference Golf in a Kingdom Turns Out In Force At Asian Golf Travel Conference

    Golf in a Kingdom Turns Out In Force At Asian Golf Travel Conference

Golf in a Kingdom Turns Out In Force At Asian Golf Travel Conference

Premier Thai courses & luxury hotels make major showing at Asian Golf Tourism Convention KUALA LUMPUR (April 22, 2012) – In a bid to showcase Thailand’ s premier golf courses and luxury resorts to the world’s golf tour operators, key participants of the ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience‘ have turned out in mass at the first ever Asian Golf Tourism Convention (AGTC). The attendees are meeting with 140 golf tour operators and specialist golf travel agencies from 39 countries including key markets in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas. Since 2009, Golf in a Kingdom (www.golfinakingdom.com) has united Thailand’s best courses and hotels who understand the finer points of golf hospitality and luxury. Featured golf courses and hotels cater to the discriminating golfer, where first class service is expected. The Kingdom of Thailand has for decades been the Asian destination of choice for golfers worldwide, thanks to its stellar courses, superb year-round climate, low prices and welcoming culture. Golf In A Kingdom makes it easy for golf tour operators and travelers to identify and be assured that they are dealing with the best courses and resorts throughout Thailand. Richard Mehr, General Manager of Banyan, The Resort – Hua Hin commented; “I was delighted to hear the announcement last year that IAGTC will take place in Asia and so I did not hesitate to reserve our space and spread the word amongst our colleagues in the industry. We’ve attended many events in Europe which are key markets for us and this opportunity will also allow us to introduce the charming Royal resort of Hua Hin and Thailand, with a portfolio of world class golf courses, fantastic hotels and resorts on offer.” Stacey Walton, […]

  • Veranda Resort & Spa Chiang Mai
    Golf In A Kingdom Adds New Resort Members Golf In A Kingdom Adds New Resort Members

    Golf In A Kingdom Adds New Resort Members

Golf In A Kingdom Adds New Resort Members

Bangkok, January 18 — Thailand’s prestigious Golf In A Kingdom destination-marketing program has two new resort members: Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort on the holiday island of Phuket and Veranda Resort & Spa, which operates twin properties at Cha-am near Hua Hin and at Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. They join an elite group of golf courses and resorts throughout Thailand, the world’s third most popular international golf tourism destination after Spain and the United States. Established in 2009, Golf In A Kingdom has become the most successful marketing program of its kind in Asia, with an estimated one-third of all golf visitors to Thailand playing at its member courses. In welcoming the new resort members, Golf In A Kingdom president, Mark Siegel, said the additions were further testimony to Thailand’s pre-eminent position as a golf tourism destination in Asia and the key role Golf In A Kingdom played in highlighting its best golf destinations. “Despite economic uncertainty in Europe and North America, golf tourism in Thailand is continuing to grow and is likely to reach a record 600,000 arrivals in 2012,” he said. “Inbound golf tourists will spend an estimated $US2 billion in Thailand this year and Golf In A Kingdom is helping to maintain the sector’s growth.” Situated on a secluded cove on Phuket’s south-western coast, Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort boasts its own pristine secluded beach and is just minutes from the island’s main tourist centre of Patong. Offering a full array of land and sea sport facilities, top-level international restaurants, pampering spa programs and a children’s discovery centre, the popular resort has 470 rooms and suites. This year it is celebrating its 25th anniversary, during which time it has become a […]

By |January 18th, 2012|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Black Mountain Par 3 Hole 1
    Black Mountain Par-3 Course Opens Black Mountain Par-3 Course Opens

    Black Mountain Par-3 Course Opens

Black Mountain Par-3 Course Opens

Hua Hin, Thailand, December 12 – Whatever you have seen, heard or think about par-3 golf courses, it’s time to reconsider. Long ridiculed as an undignified version of the game suited only to children and novices, acclaimed US golf writer Joe Passov wrote earlier this year that serious golfers often regard par-3 courses, undeservedly, as “the red-headed stepchild of golf layouts”. Now, a new nine-hole par-3 layout in Thailand, at the country’s official best golf course – Black Mountain at Hua Hin, 200 kilometres south of Bangkok – seems set to change attitudes in Asia about the short version of the 500-year-old game. Like its big brother layout named last month as the best in Thailand and best championship course in Asia Pacific, Black Mountain’s new par-3 course, which opens officially this week, is winning plaudits from the outset. European pros Johan Edfors, Pelle Edberg and Alex Noren raved about the layout when they test-drove (or, more correctly, test-ironed) it last week. Deep and plentiful bunkering, water on almost every hole, greens protected by steep banks, and undulations everywhere make the course a far cry from the pitch-and-putt image of par-3 courses – and a challenge even for tour pros. “It’s awesome, the best par-3 course I have played … the world’s best driving range,” remarked triple European Tour winner, Alex Noren. “It compares more than favourably to Valderama’s par-3 course in Spain.” “You could take every hole, put it on a championship layout and it would fit fine,” said Johan Edfors, a seven-times winner on three tours and who finished 19th at this year’s US Open and 16th at last weekend’s Dubai World Championships. “It’s a great course to sharpen up short and mid […]

By |December 12th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Best golf course in Thailand, Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin
    Black Mountain Named Best Golf Course in Thailand Black Mountain Named Best Golf Course in Thailand

    Black Mountain Named Best Golf Course in Thailand

Black Mountain Named Best Golf Course in Thailand

Bangkok, November 9, 2011 — Only four years after it opened near Hua Hin, a popular seaside resort 200 kilometers south of Bangkok, Black Mountain Golf Club has been named the best golf course in Thailand and the best championship course in Asia/Pacific. The awards by Asian Golf Monthly magazine were announced last week at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Pattaya, Thailand. In becoming the best course in Thailand, Black Mountain has taken the mantle held for the past eight years by Thai Country Club in Bangkok. Black Mountain was second to Thai Country Club in the category last year. In winning the award for best championship course in Asia/Pacific, Black Mountain took the title from Shanghai’s Sheshan International Golf Club where the WGC-HSBC Champions PGA tour event, won by Germany’s Martin Kaymer, was held last week. Many golfers who have come to know Black Mountain over the past four years regard the awards as recognition of the outstanding layout, course conditioning, playing enjoyment, clubhouse facilities and service that have won widespread acclaim from local Thai as well as visiting international golf tourists. General manager, Harald Ellison, accepted the award at a ceremony that concluded the 5th Asia Pacific Golf Summit in the resort city of Pattaya. “We are extremely delighted and proud to win ‘Best Golf Course in Thailand’ as well as ‘Best Championship Golf Course in Asia Pacific’. It is truly amazing,” he said. “From the beginning, winning these prestigious awards from Asian Golf Monthly has been one of our long term goals and to receive them after only four years is truly fantastic. We will keep on working very hard to retain them next year.” Located just 10 minutes from Hua […]

By |November 9th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Siam Country Club, Plantation Course
    Thailand Wins Another Golf Tourism Award Thailand Wins Another Golf Tourism Award

    Thailand Wins Another Golf Tourism Award

Thailand Wins Another Golf Tourism Award

Bangkok, November 18 — Like a well-weighted putt, golf tourism in Thailand is on a roll. At its annual marketing showcase at Belek, Turkey, this week, golf tourism’s global organisation, the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators (IAGTO), named the resort city of Pattaya as Asia and Australasia’s best golf destination for 2012. Thailand itself received IAGTO’s same premier award for 2010. Two weeks ago, at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Pattaya, Thailand was named the best golf destination in Asia/Pacific, while Black Mountain Golf Club at Hua Hin was declared the region’s best championship course and Thai Country Club in Bangkok the number two layout to Kingston Heath in Melbourne, Australia. What other accolades await Thailand, which boasts 260 courses and the best all-round golf tourism experience on the planet? Having scooped so many awards, perhaps only those of individual golfers who come to see for themselves why golf in the kingdom is so good. Heading the new award for Pattaya, which has 17 golf courses and is only 110 kilometres by motorway from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, is Siam Country Club where Thailand’s first privately-owned course opened in 1970. It, too, received a major accolade at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit earlier this month by winning the best-maintained course in the region. “Pattaya is a true golf course destination and thoroughly deserves this award,” says Siam Country Club’s owner, Prasertchai Phornprapha. “The strength of the area is the diversity of courses and costs. It is also great for our confidence as we [at Siam CC] embark on construction of our new 18 holes that will open in 2014. We will then have 63 holes of golf and expect the new course will attract […]

By |November 8th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Peter Walton, chief executive of IAGTO, London
    Golf Tourism Shows Its Resilience Golf Tourism Shows Its Resilience

    Golf Tourism Shows Its Resilience

Golf Tourism Shows Its Resilience

Bangkok, October 27, 2011 – Golf is one of few international tourism sectors continuing to grow despite global economic uncertainty, according to the chief executive of the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators, Peter Walton. Addressing members of Thailand’s Golf In A Kingdom destination marketing program in Bangkok this week, Mr Walton said golf tourism had recovered more quickly than other sectors since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. And despite continuing problems, especially in Europe, the sector was continuing to grow. He said international golf tourism was expected to exceed 50 million travellers in 2011, and perhaps reach 55 million, equivalent to the level in 2007 before the GFC. “Golf tourism bounces back more quickly than other sectors,” he added. “In established markets, one in three golfers plan to travel in the next 12 months. That is a lot more than in other sectors, like skiing. “We also know that golfers spend 120 percent more per person per day when staying in a resort than other travellers.” Mr Walton, who is visiting the region from his London headquarters in preparation for the inaugural IAGTO Asia Golf Tourism Convention in Kuala Lumpur next April, also said that whereas only 12 percent of the population in the United States played golf, golfers were responsible for 27pc of US travel expenditure. “While we don’t have figures for other countries, this shows how important golf tourism is in the current international tourism climate,” he said. Mr Walton later said that Spain, the United States and Thailand were currently the big three international golf destinations, with Turkey and Portugal among developing countries that were rapidly increasing their golf tourism sectors. “Thailand is very well placed to continue the progress it […]

By |October 27th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa deluxe riverfront room
    Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa to Open in Bangkok Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa to Open in Bangkok

    Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa to Open in Bangkok

Anantara Riverside Resort & Spa to Open in Bangkok

Bangkok, October 26, 2011 – Ten years after the first Anantara resort opened – in Hua Hin – Thailand’s 10th Anantara property will appear alongside Bangkok’s River of Kings, the Chaophraya, on November 1. Titled the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa, the rebranded Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa, which has been the city’s only true riverside resort since it was established 17 years ago, becomes the third Anantara property in Bangkok. Meaning “without end” in the Sanskrit language, Anantara has grown to 18 other properties in Asia, the Middle East and Indian Ocean in the decade since the brand was founded. Its 20th resort, on the island of Bali, is due to open before year’s end. As a one-of-a-kind five-star resort on the Chaophraya River, guests at the Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa will experience an idyllic, quiet tropical retreat with a Thai village atmosphere spread over 11 acres of grounds within easy reach of Bangkok’s renowned shopping, entertainment, food and cultural attractions. Indeed, the resort’s ferry from the busy riverfront to the Taksin Bridge BTS station is an interesting way to see a part of Bangkok that many visitors don’t experience. Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa has 407 guest rooms, including 97 suites, 10 bars and restaurants, fully-equipped conference and meeting rooms and Mandara spa with nine treatment rooms and suites, all set in oasis-like tropical surroundings. Special guest packages available until December 20 include free upgrade (when available) from a deluxe room to a deluxe river-view room, free breakfast and in-room wi-fi and 25 percent discount off all food, beverages and spa treatments. The Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa is a member of Golf In A Kingdom: The Thailand […]

By |October 26th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa
    Hilton Phuket Arcadia to Open Refurbished Wing Hilton Phuket Arcadia to Open Refurbished Wing

    Hilton Phuket Arcadia to Open Refurbished Wing

Hilton Phuket Arcadia to Open Refurbished Wing

Bangkok, October 11, 2011 – Phuket’s largest resort, the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa on Karon Beach, is re-opening 128 of its newly refurbished deluxe-plus rooms on November 1 in time for what may be the island’s busiest high season ever. The refurbishment project in the Andaman B wing of the 664-room resort complements last year’s upgrading of the premier beachfront Andaman A wing. Originally opened in 1983, the Hilton Phuket Arcadia (then known as the Phuket Arcadia), came under the management of Hilton International in 2004, which has since elevated rooms and suites to a contemporary Thai international standard of comfort and decor. The newly-upgraded Andaman B wing adjoins the resort’s lobby and reception area, garden pool and Sails restaurant. The resort, set on 75 acres (195 rai or 30 hectares) provides direct access to Karon Beach in a lush tropical setting and features five separate wings with views over gardens, lagoons and the beach. General Manager, Andre Gomez, said the hotel had always prided itself on delivering exceptional guest experiences. He said each refurbished room had been equipped with a 37-inch flat screen TV and decorated in tropical tones and mood décor and a four-point glass featured bathroom. With the Tourism Authority of Thailand forecasting a record 19 million foreign arrivals in 2012, tourism operators throughout the kingdom – and especially in key tourism destinations such as Phuket – are gearing up for the busiest and most successful high season in many years, and perhaps ever. Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort offers six room categories including 126 suites, four restaurants and a cafe, a 1500 square-metre Thai spa with 15 treatment villas, extensive sports and recreation facilities, Ocean Beach Club, five swimming pools, […]

By |October 11th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Thai Country Club
    Thai Country Club Links with Overseas Golf Clubs Thai Country Club Links with Overseas Golf Clubs

    Thai Country Club Links with Overseas Golf Clubs

Thai Country Club Links with Overseas Golf Clubs

Bangkok, September 27, 2011 – Thailand’s premier golf club, Thai Country Club (TCC) near Bangkok, has entered into reciprocal agreements with three international golf clubs in Asia-Pacific. Avondale Golf Club in Sydney, Australia has joined Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Malaysia’s capital city and The Montgomerie Links at Danang, Vietnam in the reciprocal program. General manager, T.W. Hughes, says the agreements with the international partners aim to give TCC members the opportunity to play first-class courses in locations that have direct flights or can be easily accessed from Bangkok. Designed by former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, Denis Griffiths, Thai Country Club opened in 1996 and the following year hosted the Asian Honda Classic, won by Tiger Woods in his second season as a professional. The club, renowned for its course conditioning and elegant pink clubhouse, is owned by Phataraprasit Group and Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, which operates the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and its sister property in Bangkok. TCC is a member of Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience. In 2010, it was named by Asian Golf Monthly as Thailand’s best golf course and first runner-up in Asia. T.W. Hughes says TCC is now in the best condition for years. “During the high season visitors will experience new levels of course preparation and service,” he reports. Thai Country Club also has reciprocal arrangements with Butterfields, a private members’ club in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bankers’ Club. Opened in 1926 on Sydney’s prestigious Upper North Shore, Avondale Golf Club was designed by the acclaimed architect and golfer Eric Apperly, after whom an Under-23 amateur competition is named. The course has been enhanced by […]

By |September 27th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Thailand Golf Tourism Heads Towards $US2 Billion Thailand Golf Tourism Heads Towards $US2 Billion

    Thailand Golf Tourism Heads Towards $US2 Billion

Thailand Golf Tourism Heads Towards $US2 Billion

Bangkok, September 20, 2011 – Led by growth from Australia and Europe, the value of foreign golf tourism to Thailand may reach 60 billion baht or $US2 billion in 2012 for the first time. Based on a Tourism Authority of Thailand forecast for a record 19 million inbound visitors to the kingdom next year, up to 600,000 foreign golf tourists – or three percent of the total – will make a beeline for its five major golf destinations: Bangkok, Phuket, Hua Hin, Pattaya and Chiang Mai. According to Mark Siegel, whose company Golfasian is one of Thailand’s major inbound golf tour operators, foreign golf tourism into Thailand is continuing to grow, while he says golfers spend an average of 100,000 baht ($US 3,300) each on the ground – three times the average of other tourists. With Thailand’s major golf courses reporting strong early bookings and forecasting growth above 2011, the estimated 57 billion baht ($US1.9 billion) spent in Thailand by more than 500,000 inbound golf visitors this year should nudge 60 billion baht spent by up to 600,000 foreign golfers in 2012. “It could be our best season ever,” Mark Siegel says. “The political situation is calm, there have been no natural disasters [elsewhere] to deter tourism, and Thailand’s cultural capability to attract tourists remains streets ahead of other markets.” The surge in golf tourism to Thailand will entrench the kingdom as by far Asia’s most popular destination for foreign golfers and one of the top three other golf destinations behind market leader Spain, which attracts almost a million golf tourists a year. Even traditional golf destinations such as Scotland, Ireland and England – or the United States – can’t match Thailand’s year-round golf appeal, […]

By |September 20th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • St. Regis Bangkok, Grande Deluxe Room
    The St. Regis Bangkok Joins Golf in a Kingdom The St. Regis Bangkok Joins Golf in a Kingdom

    The St. Regis Bangkok Joins Golf in a Kingdom

The St. Regis Bangkok Joins Golf in a Kingdom

Bangkok, September 7, 2011 — Bangkok’s newest luxury five-star hotel, The St. Regis Bangkok, has joined Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience, a marketing co-operative comprising Thailand’s finest golf courses, resorts and hotels. Opened on prestigious Rajadamri Road in central Bangkok in April, The St. Regis Bangkok has quickly gained a reputation among high-end leisure and business travellers, including golf visitors. Its exquisite appointments, outstanding food and wine experiences, butler service and the first Elemis Spa in Thailand stand it apart from other prestigious hotels in Bangkok’s business and shopping precinct. To mark The St. Regis Bangkok’s entry into Golf in a Kingdom, the hotel has unveiled special rates for guests to play at five of Bangkok’s leading courses: Thai Country Club, Alpine Golf & Sports Club, Muang Kaew Golf Club, Navatanee Golf Club and Suwan Golf & Country Club, all of which are within easy reach of the city. Thai Country Club and Muang Kaew are both members of Golf in a Kingdom. The hotel can arrange transport to and from each course. Green fees range from 4030 baht (approx. $US135) when playing with a partner on weekdays at Suwan Golf & Country Club to 10,530 baht (approx. $US350) on weekends at Alpine Golf & Sports Club. “Golf is an upmarket sport in Asia and we would like to attract groups, individual golfers and couples who play golf,” explains The St Regis Bangkok’s general manager, Andreas Oberoi. “Increasingly, people are travelling to play golf. Their stays tend to be longer and they spend more. It is an attractive niche market segment.” As the first St. Regis hotel in Thailand or Indochina, The St Regis Bangkok has become Thailand’s first hotel to offer […]

By |September 7th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin
    Thailand a New Focus for Hawaiian Golfers Thailand a New Focus for Hawaiian Golfers

    Thailand a New Focus for Hawaiian Golfers

Thailand a New Focus for Hawaiian Golfers

Bangkok, August 24, 2011 – It may seem like taking coals to Newcastle or selling ice-cream to the Eskimos, but Hawaiians are coming to Thailand to play golf. Just like their counterparts in Scotland, Ireland, the US mainland and the world’s other premier golf locations, Hawaiian golfers are keen to travel for new and different golfing experiences. Where better than Thailand, Asia’s premier golf destination? A delegation headed by the chairman of the Thailand Tourism Authority (TAT), Khun Vichai Srikwan, and governor Khun Suraphon Svetasreni has returned from a six-day visit to Hawaii with high expectations of many more Hawaiian golfers visiting the Kingdom. “Hawaiians have previously mostly gone to the US mainland to play golf away from home, but Thailand is a big attraction,” says Mark Siegel, president of Golf in a Kingdom -The Thailand Golf Experience (www.golfinakingdom.com), a co-operative marketing program comprising golf courses, hotels and resorts in Thailand’s four major golf destinations – Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai. The 10-person delegation’s visit to Hawaii was organised by businessman and Oahu Country Club member, Randy Ho. The club hosted two tournaments for the visitors and local players, while a presentation night for 130 travel agents and tour operators provided an insight into the delights of playing golf in Thailand. Mark Siegel said it was the most productive marketing trip he had experienced. “We were able to raise the knowledge and awareness of Hawaiian golfers about playing in Thailand,” he said. “The quality of the courses, food, entertainment and value for money make Thailand unique. A seven-nights package with four rounds of golf is about half the price of most other golf destinations.” “It was a very successful trip,” said TAT’s America’s region […]

By |August 24th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Oscar Odestal
    15 Year Old Teenage Holidaymaker Wins Major Thai Golf Tournament 15 Year Old Teenage Holidaymaker Wins Major Thai Golf Tournament

    15 Year Old Teenage Holidaymaker Wins Major Thai Golf Tournament

15 Year Old Teenage Holidaymaker Wins Major Thai Golf Tournament

Oscar Odestal a 15 year old from Sweden, beat 107 adults to win the 2nd Annual Hyatt Open at Banyan Golf Club in Thailand last weekend. In Hua Hin on a family holiday, the 15-year-old phenom played Banyan GC as if it were as familiar to him as Royal Eslov and Barseback – his home courses in Sweden. With net scores of 65 and 69 for a two-day total of 134 (10-under-par), 10-handicap Swede Oscar Odestal finished one clear of runner-up Anand Singhsachthep to earn the champion’s trophy and the glory of taming a Rolex World’s Top 1000 golf course. “Junior golf development is very close to our hearts at Banyan Golf Club, so to see such a young player win this distinguished tournament is fitting,” said Stacey Walton, Banyan GC’s general manager. “From tee to green, the course was playing as good as a tour event, and Oscar won with a tour-quality performance.” Mark Siegel, MD of the Thailand golf tour operator Golfasian, who also played in this year’s Hyatt Open agreed. “With such a large field including some excellent players, 15 year old Oscar’s win is a great achievement. With most Thai courses having a relaxed view to young players, more and more of our overseas vacationers are bringing their children over to the Kingdom to play golf. It is a great experience for them to actually play nine or 18 holes on a first class course.” Youth in Thailand seems to be taking a front seat this month, as Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand won the 63rd U.S. Girls Junior championship recently at Olympia Fields Country Club in the States. It was the first victory in a match-play tournament for the 15-year-old Ariya, […]

  • Kirimaya Golf Club
    Survey by Tourism Authority of Thailand Promotes Golf Destinations Survey by Tourism Authority of Thailand Promotes Golf Destinations

    Survey by Tourism Authority of Thailand Promotes Golf Destinations

Survey by Tourism Authority of Thailand Promotes Golf Destinations

BANGKOK, Thailand July 12, 2011 — Golf Tourism represents the largest sports-related travel market in the World. There are over 50 million golf tourists travelling around the world enjoying their golf vacations on some of the finest golf courses in the world. According to a survey by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thailand with its 260 golf courses, is now one of the top golf vacation destinations in Asia. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently held a survey with over 3,389 tourists from 68 countries participating, and naturally its beaches and islands are the biggest draw, with golf also proving very popular. The Golf Travel industry is always looking to find new courses to feature, and Thailand is perhaps one of the few countries in the World, where rather than closing down clubs, they are actually opening new golf courses, to cope with demand. The media are now discovering this region, and recently a group of Australian journalists flew into Thailand to visit one of the newer destinations attracting golfers, namely Kaho Yai. Apart from the cooler weather, this National Park is home to thousands of species of plants, birds and mammals, including Asiatic black bears, Asian elephants, and tigers. Located just 2 hours north of Bangkok, this beautiful part of Thailand is also home to a number of first class golf courses, surrounded by mountains, waterfalls and exotic wildlife. Rowan Clark, senior writer for Australia’s Golf Digest magazine, was very excited about golfing in Khao Yai. “I have been to Thailand twice before, but this was my first trip to this region, and to play on first class resort courses with such incredible scenery was a revelation. I have never seen an elephant […]

  • Best golf course in Thailand, Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin
    Amateurs to Experience Playing on Real Team Championship Amateurs to Experience Playing on Real Team Championship

    Amateurs to Experience Playing on Real Team Championship

Amateurs to Experience Playing on Real Team Championship

BANGKOK, Thailand June 9, 2011 — The 1st Thailand Team Amateur Championship will take place at Hua Hin in Thailand, from November 26th – December 3rd 2011. This new concept is designed to give amateur golfers a chance to experience what it is like to play back to back tournaments, just like their hero’s the professional players do every week. The Championship will take place at three first class courses, Jack Nicklaus’s Springfield, Banyan Golf Club, winner of the several Asian golf awards and Black Mountain Golf Club home of the Royal Trophy and the Asian Masters. The Participants will play 5 rounds of golf: 2 practice rounds and 3 rounds of tournament play. Each Team consist in 4 Amateurs, with every player playing his/her ball individually, and the 2 best scores to count each hole. Organised by Asia’s leading golf tour specialists GolfAsian, the Championship is open to all amateurs. Tournament Director Marco Scopetta, an ex professional golfer on the Swiss PGA Tour said, ‘We will use the AM+AM Tournament format, similar to the Pro Ams, whereby the best two scores per hole will count. Played on some of the best courses in Thailand, we expect players of all levels to experience some great golf and to enjoy the wonderful hospitality in the land of the smiles, during their week in Thailand.’ For full details on how to register, visit www.teamamateurchampionship.com Marco Scopetta Sales & Marketing Director Golfasian Co. Ltd. T: +66 (0) 2 714 8470 M: +66 (0) 851 831 760 info(at)teamamateurchampionship(dot)com www.teamamateurchampionship.com

  • Seve Ballesteros
    The Late Great Seve Ballesteros Created the Royal Trophy The Late Great Seve Ballesteros Created the Royal Trophy

    The Late Great Seve Ballesteros Created the Royal Trophy

The Late Great Seve Ballesteros Created the Royal Trophy

Bangkok, Thailand May 10, 2011 — Golfing great and Captain of the European side, Seve Ballesteros, who sadly died recently in Spain, was also a great supporter of golf here in Thailand. Seve personally wrote a letter to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand in hope of bringing all of Asia together for a team golf competition in the Kingdom. Seve asked   the longest reigning Monarch in the world, for His blessing in having Thailand play host to the first ever competition between the Asians and the Europeans. His Majesty The King not only welcomed the Asians coming together in Thailand to compete against the Europeans for the epic inaugural championship, but also graciously donated a beautiful perpetual 16-kilogram solid-silver Trophy, making the Royal Trophy the only physical prize in the sport provided by a Monarch. The Spaniard was very enthusiastic about the team component of the Ryder Cup, where Europe plays the United States, being applied as the model for the Royal Trophy. The most recent edition of the Royal Trophy was played this January at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin, a member of the Golf in a Kingdom – The Thailand Golf Experience. It was won by the European team headed by Colin Montgomerie, who actually played alongside Seve in the Ryder Cup. It is a time of great sadness for the entire Royal Trophy family with the passing of the Championship’s Founder and legendary golfer Severiano Ballesteros. We will all greatly miss Seve’s inspiration, determination and leadership. The entire Royal Trophy family, having been touched by Seve’s inspiration, perseverance, charisma, and encouragement, are fully committed to ensure that the Seve Ballesteros’ great legacy will live on through this Championship. […]

  • Matteo Manessero
    Matteo Manessero Loves Asia! Matteo Manessero Loves Asia!

    Matteo Manessero Loves Asia!

Matteo Manessero Loves Asia!

Bangkok, Thailand April 19, 2011 — 2011 has been a wonderful year for Matteo Manassero, the Italian wonder kid, and it’s still only April. He has already played in the States, the Middle East, Europe and in Asia, and has just broken into the World’s top 50 by winning the Maybank Malaysian Open 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. He was one of the first pros to arrive at the KLGCC, and managed to play three times before the tournament started. His preparations obviously paid off with a winner’s cheque for Euros 288,465 as a reward for all his hard work. This was a huge victory, as he beat a top class field that included Martin Kaymer the world’s number one, Rory McIlroy and the new Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. This was Matteo’s second European Tour victory, and as number 36th in the World rankings he will now be travelling even more in the future. Another highlight in 2011 for Matteo came back in January, when he was part of Colin Montgomerie’s victorious European team to capture the Royal Trophy against a strong Asia team. Matteo said, “It was amazing. Nobody expected us to win, and everything went right from the beginning actually, and we were up after three holes right to the end. It was fantastic really!” “I enjoyed staying in Hua Hin and I liked Thailand a lot. Everyone there does not have any problems, and you don’t see anger in Thailand. Everyone is smiling and that’s what makes Thailand such a great place.” The Royal Trophy was held at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand. “I think it is a good course,” said Matteo. “It was always in good condition and is […]

  • Golfasian Journalists with Thai Country Club Caddies
    Major Golf Promotion Kicks Off in Thailand Major Golf Promotion Kicks Off in Thailand

    Major Golf Promotion Kicks Off in Thailand

Major Golf Promotion Kicks Off in Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand March 30, 2011 — A group of golf industry journalists from the United States and Europe, along with a group of Teaching Professional Golfers from the United States, are participating in a major Fam-Trip to promote ‘Golf in a Kingdom‘. The tour is taking them to some of the popular golf courses of Bangkok, Patty, Hue Him and Chiang Mai. Mrs Juthaporn Rerngronasa, Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe and the Americas), said, “This year, we have set a strategy to expand quality tourists by stepping up our promotions of the golf tourism market. In times of recurring and unpredictable crisis, the TAT needs to continue to attract market segments which still have the desire and the means to travel. Golf tourism is one such segment.” The Teaching Professional Golfers from the United States are here to survey several golf courses and to also get ideas for organising golf holiday packages. A separate group of leading golf industry journalists from the United States, Canada, UK, Italy, Sweden and Denmark have been visiting some of the popular golf courses of Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai, in addition to experiencing a variety of cultural and tourist attractions. James Mason from the UK’s Golf Monthly and Planetgolfreview.com said, “This is my first visit to Thailand and I am pleasantly surprised by the huge variety and excellent standard of their golf courses. I would give these courses 8 out of 10 with no hesitation.” Peter Swain a respected freelance journalist working for the Daily Telegraph in England commented “The caddie experience which is unique to Thailand, is a huge bonus and a lot of fun, which only goes to back up what are […]

  • Banyan Golf Club
    TAT Steps Up Promotions for Golf in a Kingdom TAT Steps Up Promotions for Golf in a Kingdom

    TAT Steps Up Promotions for Golf in a Kingdom

TAT Steps Up Promotions for Golf in a Kingdom

Bangkok, March 23, 2011 — The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is to adopt a high-profile presence at the North America Golf Tourism Convention to be organised by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) between May 18 – 21, 2011, Monterey County, California. Thailand is the only Asian country to be featured as a major sponsor of this event. With more than 100 buyers of golf tourism expected to participate, TAT plans to make full use of this opportunity to disseminate information about the kingdom’s amazing golf facilities, expand its range of contacts and boost networking with golf operators worldwide. Mrs Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing (Europe and the Americas), said, “This year, we have set a strategy to expand quality tourists in the American region by stepping up our promotions of the golf tourism market.” “This is due to the fact that golfers still have high spending power. In times of recurring and unpredictable crisis every week and a highly competitive market, the TAT needs to continue to attract market segments which still have the desire and the means to travel. Golf tourism is one such segment.” Set up in 1997 with headquarters in London, IAGTO has a membership of 1,600 companies from 82 countries. Its membership has expanded in recent years to include golf resorts, golf courses, hotels, specialist ground handlers, car rental and transportation companies, airlines, tourist boards, media, and a wide range of business partners who provide services for the golf tourism industry. Late last year, TAT organised a familiarisation trip for 22 golf tour operators, all members of IAGTO, to survey golf courses in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai. According to IAGTO, its […]

  • Golf in Thailand Offers the Best Value by 29 Percent Golf in Thailand Offers the Best Value by 29 Percent

    Golf in Thailand Offers the Best Value by 29 Percent

Golf in Thailand Offers the Best Value by 29 Percent

BANGKOK, Thailand March 01, 2011 — The average round of golf was 29 percent lower in Thailand than a similar number of clubs surveyed across six different countries, according to a recent survey. Golf is often known as a rich man’s sport. Apart from the equipment, membership of a golf course is not only a status symbol, but it can also become a very expensive hobby too. However, one of the most competitive areas to golf is in fact South East Asia’s Thailand. According to a recent survey conducted by Asian golf vacation specialists Golfasian, Thailand has some of the most competitive golf rates for visitors across Asia and the Middle East. The average round of golf was 29% lower in Thailand than a similar number of clubs surveyed across six different countries. The survey compared the midweek high season visitor rates. The most expensive golf course was US$271.00 at the Emirates Club’s Majlis course, home to the Dubai Desert Classic. At the other end of the scale, the lowest rate was US$111.00 at Bangkok’s Muang Kaew Golf Club, and that rate even included a free massage! Mark Siegel founder of Golfasian and President of Golf in the Kingdom said, ‘We knew from the feedback we were getting from our regular customers, that golf here was very reasonable. However we were very surprised that our survey showed that there really was such a large difference between Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai or Bali.’ For example, a round of golf at Black Mountain Golf Club in Thailand’s Hua Hin, who recently hosted both the Asian Tour Masters and the prestigious Royal Trophy, was only US$130.00. This compares with another Asian Tour venue, Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore, […]

  • Red Mountain Golf Club
    Thailand Island has Record Arrivals! Thailand Island has Record Arrivals!

    Thailand Island has Record Arrivals!

Thailand Island has Record Arrivals!

PHUKET, February 1, 2011 — Phuket passenger traffic smashed all previous records with 3.5 million arrivals during 2010 – or 22% growth over the previous year – with new markets such as Russia and China emerging as the major drivers of growth. According to a latest market research report, 2010 Phuket Hotel Market Update indicates annual tourism figures soundly recovered from early political angst to hit new highs. Both Russia and China have emerged as star performers, with charter and direct flight capacity fast tracking growth. The real storyline remains airlift as traffic surpassed 2007’s peak year by 19% with growth of 28% over 2009. China sprouted wings, ranking second overall among international source markets. This is great news for the islands popular golf courses, especially for Red Mountain and Loch Palm Golf Clubs. Both these clubs form part of the Golf in the Kingdom initiative, aimed at promoting some of Thailand’s most exciting golf courses and stunning hotels in the country of smiles. Where as many international courses particularly in the States and Europe, have seen a fall in their annual turnover over the past year, income has seen a rapid increase at several of the islands golf courses. According to Michael Brasier the club’s Professional ‘Red Mountain being relatively new to the island, had taken time to establish itself. Word of mouth however has at last started to pay off, and many of our first time golfers, come here with recommendations from fellow golfers.’ Hotels such as the Anantara and Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa also report healthy increases, partly due to more direct flights arriving into Phuket International Airport. Tinidee Hotel @ Phuket, a new hotel adjacent to Loch Palm and […]

By |February 1st, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Best golf course in Thailand, Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin
    Golf In A Kingdom Members Scoop Thailand Golf Awards Golf In A Kingdom Members Scoop Thailand Golf Awards

    Golf In A Kingdom Members Scoop Thailand Golf Awards

Golf In A Kingdom Members Scoop Thailand Golf Awards

Bangkok, November 8, 2011 – Members of the prestigious Golf In A Kingdom destination-marketing program were named the top three courses in Thailand at last week’s Asian Golf Summit in Pattaya. Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin was declared best course in Thailand and the top championship course in Asia/Pacific in the Asian Golf Monthly awards. Thai Country Club near Bangkok was named second best course in Thailand, with Banyan Golf Club at Hua Hin third. Adding to the Golf In A Kingdom domination of the awards was the win by Siam Country Club’s Plantation layout as best-maintained course in Asia/Pacific. Thai Country Club was also named second best course in Asia/Pacific behind Kingston Heath in Melbourne, Australia, where Tiger Woods scored his most recent tournament victory almost exactly two years ago. Thai Country Club has a strong link with Tiger, who won the 1997 Honda Classic there – just his fourth professional victory – and whose nameplate adorns the number one locker. All four Thailand winning courses were founding members of Golf In A Kingdom (www.golfinakingdom.com), established in 2009 and which comprises the kingdom’s leading golf courses, resorts and hotels. In an emphatic endorsement of the quality of golf in the kingdom, Thailand took the gold award for the best golf destination in Asia/Pacific, followed by Indonesia and China. “These prestigious awards have been one of our long term goals from the beginning. To receive the top award after only four years is fantastic and we will keep working hard to retain this status,” the general manager of Black Mountain Golf Club, Harald Ellison, said. Black Mountain Golf Club, which opened in 2007, was named in its inaugural year as the best new course […]

By |January 6th, 2011|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Tinidee Lodge
    Tinidee Lodge Now Serving Golf Crowd on Phuket Tinidee Lodge Now Serving Golf Crowd on Phuket

    Tinidee Lodge Now Serving Golf Crowd on Phuket

Tinidee Lodge Now Serving Golf Crowd on Phuket

PHUKET, Thailand (21 December 2010) – The Tinidee Hotel@Phuket has opened its doors on a strategic piece of real estate located equidistant from the clubhouses at Loch Palm Golf Club and Red Mountain Golf Club. Phuket’s first dedicated golf lodge, The Tinidee Hotel@Phuket was developed by the MBK Group, owners of Red Mountain, Loch Palm and the new Riverdale Golf Club in Bangkok. All three golf clubs are members of Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience (www.golfinakingdom.com), the golf cooperative that serves discerning golf holiday-makers by packaging top course venues with nearby, top-quality accommodations. “The new Tinidee Hotel@Phuket certainly fits that criterion,” said Mark Siegel, managing director of Bangkok-based tour operator Golfasian Co. Ltd., a founding member of Golf in a Kingdom. “Our cooperative was formed to deliver two things: quality and convenience. For golfers on holiday in Phuket, the Tinidee and its sister properties at Loch Palm and Red Mountain deliver both. “The Tinidee Hotel@Phuket held a soft opening on Nov. 1, 2010, just as the high golfing season commenced at Riverdale, Loch Palm and Red Mountain. “This was always the plan, to offer first-class accommodation convenient to both our Phuket courses in time for the high season spanning 2010 and 2011,” said Michael Brasier, PGA Professional and golf operations manager at Loch Palm and Red Mountain. “To celebrate, we have created the MBK GOLF CARD, which is issued free of charge to anyone who plays a round of golf at any of our three clubs this winter. With this card, the golfer is entitled to discounted green fees at all three of our clubs going forward. I believe we have already issued a few thousand of these cards. They are proving […]

By |December 21st, 2010|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Black Mountain Golf Club
    Thais Land Trophies, Tiger and Tributes Thais Land Trophies, Tiger and Tributes

    Thais Land Trophies, Tiger and Tributes

Thais Land Trophies, Tiger and Tributes

HUA HIN, Thailand (16 November 2010) – Thailand further bolstered its reputation as the epicenter of Asian golf with the early November visit of Tiger Woods, the award of The Royal Trophy to Black Mountain Golf Club, and a haul of hardware from the region’s annual golf industry conclave. The fifth edition of the biannual Royal Trophy, the Ryder Cup style competition pitting top touring pros from the continents of Europe and Asia, has been scheduled to take place 7-9 January 2011 at Black Mountain GC, a member of ‘Golf in a Kingdom – The Thai Golf Experience‘ (www.golfinakingdom.com), the country’s leading consortium of resort courses and hotels. The previous The Royal Trophy was claimed by the Euros, when Thai star Thongchai Jaidee’s putt on the final hole of the final match hung on the lip. This result avenged an Asian victory in 2007. Said event founder Seve Ballesteros, “The Royal Trophy is developing into one of the world’s great sporting competitions and I wish it continues to grow for many years to come.” The same week in early November, Tiger Woods joined Paul Casey, Camilo Villegas and Jaidee in a super high-profile Skins Game at the private Amata Springs Golf Club in Bangkok. It was Woods’ first trip to the homeland of his mother, Kultida, in 10 years. The event was part of celebrations marking King Bhumibol’s 60th year on the Thai throne. “The Thai people adore Tiger Woods because of this family connection to the country,” explained Mark Siegel, managing director of Bangkok-based tour operator Golfasian Co. Ltd, and founding member Golf in a Kingdom. “However, they must have been a bit disappointed that he shook hands with the Prime Minister instead of […]

By |November 16th, 2010|Press Releases|0 Comments
  • Loch Palm Golf Club
    Red Mountain, Loch Palm, Riverdale join Golf in a Kingdom Red Mountain, Loch Palm, Riverdale join Golf in a Kingdom

    Red Mountain, Loch Palm, Riverdale join Golf in a Kingdom

Red Mountain, Loch Palm, Riverdale join Golf in a Kingdom

PHUKET, Thailand – Three of Thailand’s top golf resort venues have joined the country’s high-profile marketing cooperative, Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience, while a fourth member course has agreed to host another Asian Tour stop in December. Golf in a Kingdom (www.golfinakingdom.com) serves discerning golf holiday-makers by packaging top course venues with accommodations from hoteliers including Hilton, Marriott and Anantara. Starting today, with the addition of Bangkok’s newest track, Riverdale Golf Club, and two premier properties on island of Phuket – Loch Palm Golf Club and Red Mountain Golf Club – these course offerings now cover the full breadth of Thailand, top to bottom. Meanwhile, the Asian Tour has confirmed that Golf in a Kingdom member Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin will again host the Black Mountain Masters December 16-19. Swedish star Johan Edfors will be on hand to defend his 2009 title, also held at Black Mountain, though this year’s prize money should drawn an even stronger field. According to Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han, the purse for the 2010 Black Mountain Masters purse has been boosted by $100,000, to $600,000 USD. “These developments emphasize once again why Thailand is Asia’s top golf destination, for touring professionals and traveling golfers alike,” says Mark Siegel, managing director of Bangkok-based golf tour operator Golfasian (www.golfasian.com), a founding member of Golf in a Kingdom. “It’s a feather in the cap of Black Mountain to earn a return engagement with the Asian Tour; it’s clearly a superb tournament course. “We are just as eager to welcome Riverdale, Loch Palm and Red Mountain to Golf in a Kingdom. We’re all about making golf holiday in Thailand more convenient. Most international flights land […]

By |November 8th, 2010|Press Releases|0 Comments

Hilton Hotels Joins Thai Golf Consortium

BANGKOK – The most recognized name in hospitality, Hilton Hotels, has joined the Thai marketing cooperative Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience (www.golfinakingdom.com). As new hotel partners, Hilton properties across Thailand – in Bangkok, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Phuket – are now preferred lodging options, along side the country’s top golf courses, in variety of stay-and-play itineraries offered and executed by tour operator Golfasian (www.golfasian.com). “To have Hilton as a partner is another ringing endorsement of what we’re doing with Golf in a Kindgom – that is, make Thai golf holidays easier to book and formulate, while guaranteeing international standards of quality with every course and hotel on each itinerary,” said Mark Siegel, CEO of Bangkok-based Golfasian. “Hilton doesn’t throw in with just anyone, of course. Hilton welcomes guests in more countries than any other full-service hotel brand, 76 countries across six continents, if I’m not mistaken. Their involvement is a feather in our caps, but it is also another incentive for golfers who recognize in Hilton another guarantee of quality.” The four Hilton properties that have joined Golf in a Kingdom include: The Hilton Pattaya, located in the heart of this coastal city, overlooking Pattaya Beach, and situated atop the new Central Festival Pattaya Beach complex, with its 200 international-caliber shops, restaurants, cinemas and recreational facilities. The Millennium Hilton Bangkok, standing imperiously on the banks of the Chao Praya River, boasting sweeping city views and incomparable access to the varied delights of Thailand’s capital. Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, a stunning resort set on sandy Karon Beach and comprising 75 acres of lush tropical gardens. Karon Beach is the quiet, upscale alternative to raucous Patong Beach just up the coast. The […]

By |October 15th, 2010|Press Releases|0 Comments

Fenix joins Golf in a Kingdom; both on the rise

BANGKOK – In a further alliance of homegrown Thai-golfing enterprises, Fenix Golf has joined Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience as official apparel provider. Golf in a Kingdom (www.golfinakingdom.com) is the private marketing cooperative whose growing membership ranks already include Thailand’s best golfing venues and hotel accommodations, in addition to the Tourist Authority of Thailand and tour operator Golfasian (www.golfasian.com). Hilton properties in Thailand officially join the consortium in August. Bangkok-based Fenix Golf (www.fenixgolf.com) might be the fastest-growing golf apparel company in Asia. Launched in 2008, it has built a stable of more than 20 touring pros who wear Fenix; the company was recently named the official apparel provider to the Asian Tour’s Brunei Open; and its corporate clients include names like Credit Suisse Singapore, Chevron, Deutschebank Asia PAC and Standard Chartered Singapore, Brunei. All the top golf clubs in Thailand already stock Fenix shirts, hats and specialty items, including all seven Golf in a Kingdom member courses: Thai Country Club in Bangkok Chiang Mai Highlands Country Club Muang Kaew Golf Club in Bangkok Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin Siam Country Club, both the Plantation and Old courses, in Pattaya “There’s a great deal of synergy between what we at Fenix are doing, and what Golf in a Kingdom are doing. It made eminent sense to team up formally,” said Fenix CEO Michael Moir. “We’re a Thai company that serves the Thai market, of course, but this is the top golfing destination in Asia. We’re about reaching the golfers who visit Thailand on holiday – and so is Golf in a Kingdom.” “So many golfers from Asia, Europe and North American visit Thailand and return […]

By |October 8th, 2010|Press Releases|0 Comments

Golf Styles Thailand – The Good Life

Strolling down the main drag in Pattaya, Thailand, the local clocks ticking toward 11 p.m., I am reminded of the golf destinations we North Americans regard as desirable. Front and center is the golf component, of course. Normally it’s the primary factor in determining quality or desirability. But there’s no denying that packs of (primarily) male golfers generally prize golfing locales for their nightlife, too. Any gaggle of eight to 12 golfing buddies will include a few lads determined to rip it up each night, though their desires are often offset by a few compatriots who’d just as soon play By Hal Phillips THE GOOD LIFE poker in the condo. And so there is equilibrium. However, still, it seems the destination must offer some degree of lascivious attraction – if only to get the hard-partying faction on the plane. Think Myrtle Beach and its strip of nightclubs and bars. Think Vegas and its many diversions. I consider the different buddy trips I’ve experienced, in these very locales, and I laugh to myself as another sultry Thai evening obliges me to wipe the beads from my perspiring brow. The Walking Street in Pattaya, ground zero for the city’s famously over-the-top nightlife, frankly makes an evening in Vegas look like a night in Amish Country. Blocked to vehicular traffic (save a series of small open-air trucks that continuously circle the downtown area, picking up patrons and dropping them off, for a dollar), Pattaya’s Walking Street stretches several kilometers along the beachfront. Either side of this thoroughfare is fairly well riddled with some of the craziest nightclub scenes you can possibly imagine. If you’ve never been to Thailand, you will have to imagine it – because you’ve surely […]

By |August 14th, 2010|Press Releases|0 Comments

Black Mountain Joins Golf in a Kingdom

HUA HIN, Thailand – ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience‘ celebrates its first anniversary this month by welcoming to its ranks one of the country’s top new courses, Black Mountain Golf Club in the seaside resort hamlet of Hua Hin. Just three years old, Black Mountain is already a bona fide “championship” layout, having played host to the Asian Tour’s Black Mountain Masters in 2009, a tournament won by Swedish European PGA Tour star Johan Edfors, who now calls Black Mountain home. Black Mountain is also chief sponsor of Thai star Thongchai Jaidee, the most accomplished Asian Tour player of all time now ranked #46 in the world (good enough to qualify him for this month’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach). Designed by Australian architect Phil Ryan, Black Mountain GC was transformed from a property that was equal parts lush jungle and pineapple plantation. The 18-hole course occupies a broad valley, set against a series striking volcanic, jet-black mountains that provide a naturally dramatic backdrop to nearly every hole. “Black Mountain is the first in our new class – the very first course we have invited to join the original members in Golf in a Kingdom in Year II,” says Mark Siegel, CEO of Bangkok-based tour operator Golfasian Co. Ltd. (www.golfasian.com), a member of Golf in a Kingdom. “We launched Golf in a Kingdom almost exactly one year ago and it’s been an eventful year to say the least. There continues to be enthusiasm for what we’re doing. You can expect several more new additions to our ranks – on the course and hotel fronts – in the coming months.” Siegel also noted that after weeks of demonstrations and upheaval in downtown Bangkok, […]

Wie to Open 2010 Golf Campaign ‘In The Kingdom’

PATTAYA, Thailand – The shift has been subtle in places, not so subtle in others, but the golf world is slowly moving its focus solely from the continents of North America and Europe to Asia, where, as usual, Thailand commands the center of attention. Women’s once-and-future golf sensation Michelle Wie will inaugurate her 2010 competitive season in Thailand at the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand, to be played Feb. 18-21, here at Pattaya’s Siam Country Club. The Golf Channel has reported that Wie, fresh off her first LPGA victory at the close of 2009, has committed, along with some of the LPGA’s biggest names, including Lorena Ochoa, Shin Jiyai, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen. The Old Course at Siam CC will host the world’s top female players in 2010. Last year the club’s Plantation Course played able host, as world #1 Ochoa took the title. Both tracks at Siam CC are members of Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience, Asia’s premier pairing of resort courses and luxury hotels (www.golfinakingdom.com). No word of commitment yet from Aree Song, the popular LPGA pro who was spotted playing a casual round at another Golf in a Kingdom track, Chiang Mai Highlands, in early January, with her brother Chan Song, a member of both the Asian and Japanese tours. The Thai-born professional, formerly known as Aree Wongluekiet, is set to continue her LPGA comeback after missing the 2008 LPGA season with health problems. In 2009 she competed in only 11 events; her current World Ranking stands at 54. It used to be LPGA sightings in Asia were comparatively rare, as the richer, better established North American-based LPGA lured players from Korea, Japan, the British […]

Thailand Named “Golf Destination of the Year” for Asia & Australasia at IAGTO Trade Show

BANGKOK, Thailand – Golf and travel industry experts from Hong Kong to Malaga to London to Kuala Lumpur have singled out Thailand as Asia’s premier golf and holiday destination, several of them citing “Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Travel Experience,” as a promotional driver behind the country’s continued primacy for golf holiday-makers originating from North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Thailand was named “Golf Destination of the Year” for Asia & Australasia by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), at November’s International Golf Travel Market conference and trade show in Malaga, Spain. The IAGTO Awards, sponsored in association with Virgin Atlantic, are the official awards for the golf tourism industry. IAGTO is the global trade organization for the golf tourism industry, comprising more than 1,300 companies in 77 countries, including more than 330 specialist golf tour operators in 50 countries. Meanwhile, Thailand and its 260 courses earned the coveted Golfer Choice Award as the ‘Choice Vacation Destination’ for 2009, repeating the honor it earned in 2008. The Golfer Choice Awards are jointly organized by the Hong Kong Golf Association, the Europe-Asia PGA, and Golf Vacations, the Hong Kong-based golf publication. Not all the plaudits have come from the golf niche. In its “Best In Travel 2010” guide, published in October, London-based Lonely Planet named Thailand the no. 2 “Best-Value Destination” in the world, calling it a “perennially good value”, along with being “one of the cheapest long-haul holidays for European holidaymakers… visitors are always spoilt for choice regarding accommodation.” The poll’s no. 1 “Best-Value Destination” was Iceland, while London finished at no. 3. “These awards are welcome, of course, but they aren’t news to anyone who works in the golf travel industry, or […]

‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thailand Golf Experience’ Offers Golfers in the U.S. & Canada First-Class Thailand Golf Courses and Resorts

‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thailand Golf Experience’ a cooperative initiative between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Golfasian, and eight of Thailand’s first-class golf courses and nine luxury resorts, concentrates on reaching out to golfers in the United States and Canada in their campaign. Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 24, 2009 — ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thailand Golf Experience’ a cooperative initiative between the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Golfasian, and eight of Thailand’s first-class golf courses and nine luxury resorts, concentrates on reaching out to golfers in the United States and Canada in their campaign. This partnership hopes to increase golf travel to Thailand by providing a high quality golf holiday experience at affordable prices. Thailand offers golfers verdant courses – with amazing views of white sandy beachfronts, peaceful temples, and dense highlands – and can be played 365 days a year due to pleasant year-round temperatures. “I think golfers in North America have an inkling that golf is played in Thailand; Europeans have slightly more of an inkling, but I don’t think golfers on either continent fully realize that this is a country with more than 250 courses, many of them as good as you’ll find anywhere in the world,” said Mark Siegel, president of Bangkok-based golf tour operator Golfasian. ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thailand Golf Experience’ is jumping on this opportunity to reach the 31 million North American golfers, in order to see growth in Thailand golf travel bookings. “We believe the Thai golf holiday experience benefits from the same bedrock values that have recommended Thailand to all travelers for years: quality and value,” said Mrs. Juthaporn Rerngronasa, TAT Deputy Governor for International Marketing. Three resorts participating with ‘Golf […]

By |November 24th, 2009|Press Releases|0 Comments

Thai courses debate viability of price cuts

BANGKOK – With the economic slowdown challenging all sectors of Thailand’s tourism market, the “next steps” debate within one particular sector, golf, has played out in the back offices of clubhouses and in the pages of the country’s largest newspapers. At one end of the spectrum are those course owners who’ve seen the drop in Japanese and Korean visitorship and, in response, have cut prices in hopes of  off-setting this drop in revenue by attracting and building business among Thai golfers. This point of view was spelled out in the Bangkok Post’s 27 July story, “Golf Courses hard hit by slump”. At the other end are a vocal group of Thailand’s premier golf and hotel properties, which have pooled their resources and formed a marketing cooperative called “Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience“. The 13 hotels and courses in this cooperative (www.golfinakingdom.com) have kept prices level, have focused on maintaining course quality, and have invested in building/broadening new markets abroad, in North America and Europe. And it appears to be working. Golfasian, the country’s leading golf tour operator and a “Golf in a Kingdom” member, has reported visitation numbers exceeding 2008 figures, while several Golf in a Kingdom member courses report rounds that either match or exceed those from 2008, when three quarters out of four were more or less untainted by the current slowdown. Stacey Walton, general manager at Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin, and JP Schneider, general manager at Thai Country Club in Bangkok, report no significant drop-off in rounds played during 2009. Walton said the paradigm of rate cutting, especially in reaction to the current economic environment, would surely result in price wars and a downward spiral effect on […]

By |October 12th, 2009|Press Releases|0 Comments

‘Golf in a Kingdom’ makes ‘Unique’ addition

BANGKOK (Sept. 22, 2009) – ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience’ has added three more posh properties to its stable of luxury accommodations: Putahracsa Hua Hin, De Naga Chiang Mai and Palm Grove Resort in Pattaya. The hotels, which are all part of The Unique Collection of Hotels & Resorts, bring the total number of ‘Golf in a Kingdom’ lodgings to nine while giving the golf travel resource its first in the northern town of Chiang Mai. “Our proximity to ‘Golf in a Kingdom’ member Chiang Mai Highlands (Golf & Spa Resort) makes us an ideal link here,” said Mr. Vannasont Limprasutr, hotel manager of De Naga Chiang Mai. “What’s more, the levels of luxury are commensurate, which means Kingdom-goers will feel no disconnect between the experience here and the experience at the golf club.” Also, the Asian Tour has tapped ‘Golf in a Kingdom’ member course Santiburi Country Club Chiang Rai as host venue of the King’s Cup (Dec. 3 -6), the final event of the 2009 season. The Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design is a collection of 18 breathtaking, impeccably maintained holes that either skirt a chain of lakes or flow over the low hills of Bang Bor. “Last year it was the Singha Thailand PGA Championship, this year’s it’s the King’s Cup,” said Folke Nyberg, general manager of Santiburi CC Chiang Rai. “We’ll be ready, and the players will need to be too – only the winner had four rounds in the 60s last year. ” Putahracsa Hua Hin is one of three Kingdom resorts in the charming coastal town of Hua Hin, the preferred holiday retreat of the Thai Royal Family for almost a century. The stylish boutique hideaway […]

By |September 22nd, 2009|Press Releases|0 Comments

‘Golf in a Kingdom’ adds Woodlands properties in Pattaya

New Thai golf experience figures in upcoming Asian Tour event, too. BANGKOK (July 28, 2009) – ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience‘ is just a month old but already having an impact. Another luxury property has joined and the region’s top pro tour has again put a Kingdom track on its schedule. Last week, the distinctive Woodlands Hotel & Resort and Woodlands Suites – a pair of related lodgings in Pattaya – became part of ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience (www.golfinakingdom.com), which launched in June as an itinerary and golf-travel resource that matches Thailand’s top courses with its most desirable hotels. Also, the Asian PGA Tour has tapped ‘Golf in a Kingdom‘ member course Santiburi Samui Country Club as host venue of the inaugural Queen’s Cup tournament, Aug. 13-16. Santiburi Samui CC is a dramatic layout that deftly traverses a jungle of towering coconut trees on gentle slopes of Koh Samui’s picturesque Khao Pom Mountain. “The Asian Tour’s coming here is further proof that playing ‘Golf in a Kingdom’ means playing the best Thailand and Southeast Asia have to offer,” said Folke Nyberg, director of golf at Santiburi Samui CC. “We’ve got a little work to do on the event set-up side, but the course is ready – it’s in championship condition every day of the year.” The Woodlands properties are the Kingdom’s first upscale accommodations in the resort hub of Pattaya. One is a sprawling hotel containing 134 contemporary guest rooms; the other a vertical compilation of 74 stylish, serviced apartments. Both are set in a quiet beachfront locale just north of town, connected by footpaths that weave through manicured gardens and lead, in some directions, to tropical swimming […]

Thailand woos foreign golfers with sun, sand traps

Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:38am EDT | By Chawadee Nualkhair BANGKOK (Reuters Life!) – Glittering temples, bargain-filled markets, stunning beaches and verdant golf courses: for an increasing number of visitors, Thailand is the ideal recession-friendly holiday destination, down to a tee. At a time of global economic woes, Thailand is marketing itself as a place for good food, sun and sand traps, in the hope that more golfers will help rescue a floundering tourism industry that still comprises 6 percent of GDP. “As counterintuitive as it seems, the recession is actually helping Thailand,” said Mark Siegel, director of golf tour operator Golfasian, which handles 4,000 overseas golfers a year. “For example, North Americans normally travel to Scotland and Ireland for their golf holidays. This year however, it has become prohibitively expensive for some. Therefore, rather than cancel their travels, these same golfers are selecting Thailand.” Siegel says Thailand’s relative value for money, and 260 golf courses, is one of the reasons why his business has been growing 10 percent a year and is expected to grow 10-20 percent in 2010. And the estimated $800 million local golf tourism industry appears to be doing better than the overall tourism industry. A recent study by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce predicted tourist arrivals would drop by as much as 20 percent this year from 2008 levels. Thailand has struggled to lure tourists back since political demonstrations shut down Bangkok’s airports in December. Deadly riots in April that forced the cancellation of an Asian summit also did little to soothe would-be visitors. “We cannot ignore factors like the world economic crisis, Thailand’s political situation and declining disposable incomes,” said Boyd Barker, general manager of Hua […]

Thailand Extends Royal Invitation to Golfers Worldwide

With Golf in a Kingdom, premier courses and luxury hotels aim to put country on world golf map. BANGKOK (June 24, 2009) – In an bid to tell world golfers what Asian golfers already know, the golf establishment in Thailand has launched ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience’, a cooperative itinerary that matches the country’s top courses with its most desirable hotels. The Kingdom of Thailand has for decades been the destination of choice for Asian golfers, thanks to its stellar courses, superb year-round climate and welcoming culture. By banding together to form ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience‘ (www.golfinakingdom.com), these courses and hotels mean to cement a place for Thailand alongside the world’s premier golf destinations. “I think golfers in North America have an inkling that golf is played in Thailand; Europeans have slightly more of an inkling, but I don’t think golfers on either continent fully realize that this is a country with more than 250 courses, many of them as good as you’ll find anywhere in the world,” said Mark Siegel, president of Bangkok-based tour operator Golfasian. The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) has partnered with eight premium golf properties, Golfasian and six of the country’s premier hotels to form ‘Golf in a Kingdom: The Thai Golf Experience’. The cooperative effort has been in the planning since 2007, but its launch this month is timely. According to TAT, some 3.2 million visitors arrived in Thailand the first quarter of 2009 – a 19 percent decrease from the previous year. It’s unclear whether this drop is attributable to the peaceful-but-ongoing political disquiet in Thailand  or the worldwide economic slump. “I live here and the reality is, the political issues […]