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Golf in a Kingdom - The Thai Golf Experience   Thai Golf Insider

December 2011

Bangkok All Normal After Floods


Golf in a Kingdom - The Thai Golf Experience

Siam Paragon Mall in BangkokFlooding around Bangkok in the past month has caused only minimal disruption to golf tourism. All courses close to Bangkok that are frequented by foreign golfers are open, except the two separate Royal Gems City layouts and Bangkok Golf Club.

Golf In A Kingdom members, Thai Country Club and Muang Kaew, have remained open throughout the floods, which mainly affected areas to the north of the city. Other golf centres - Pattaya, Phuket, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai, Khao Yai - have been completely unaffected.

"There is absolutely no reason for foreign golf tourists to have any concerns about coming to Thailand to play golf," Golfasian's managing director, Mark Siegel, said this week. "The high season weather pattern is now delivering clear, sunny days with lower temperatures and much less humidity - perfect conditions for golf."

The Thailand Golf Championship at Amata Springs Golf Club near Bangkok is to be played next weekend. As well as being the season-ending event on the Asian Tour, it will serve as a reminder to golfers around the world that Thailand's golf courses are open and eager to welcome visitors.

GIAK Members Dominate Awards

Black Mountain Golf ClubGolf In A Kingdom member clubs picked up all the major awards at the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Pattaya, Thailand last month.

Black Mountain Golf Club at Hua Hin was named best course in Thailand and best championship layout in Asia Pacific.

Thai Country Club, which held the mantle of top course in Thailand for the eight previous years, was named second best course in Thailand, with Banyan Golf Club at Hua Hin third.

Siam Country Club's Plantation layout was named 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.

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," the general manager of Black Mountain, Harald Ellison, said after receiving his club's award. "To receive the top award after only four years is fantastic and we will keep working hard to retain this status," he added.

Members Attend Golf Tourism Showcase

Thailand Golf Members at the International Golf Travel Mart IGTM 2011 in turkey

Several members of Golf in a Kingdom attended the International Golf Travel Mart 2011 in Belek, Antalya, Turkey last month.

Pascal Orczech, the business development manager of Golfasian in Bangkok, Richard Mehr, general manager of Banyan Resort & Golf in Hua Hin, John Neutze, national director of sales for Thailand of Hilton Worldwide, and Tanes Petsuwan, director for Europe, Africa and Middle-East market division of the Tourism Authority of Thailand were at the annual international golf tourism showcase event.

"Despite floods on the outskirts of Bangkok during IGTM, the interest for golf holidays to Thailand was higher than in previous years, with many agents showing confidence in Thailand's strong hospitality infrastructure and fantastic golf services," Pascal Orczech said. "We met more new agents this year than in the past who confirmed that Thai golf tourism still has big potential for growth."

The Mayor of Pattaya City, Itthiphol Kunplome, who received the award for Pattaya as Asia and Australasia's best golf destination for 2012, said the award confirmed "that we are on the right track with the quality of our golf courses and hospitality services". "We are ready to welcome golf travelers from around the world to enjoy the striking golf courses of Pattaya," he said.

Black Mountain Par-3 Course Opens

European pros Johan Edfors, Pelle Edberg and Alex Noren at Black Mountain's new Par-3 Course

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 this year wrote 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 Golf Club 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 next 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. [Read more...]

Featured Golf Course

Featured Hotel / Resort

Chiang Mai Highlands, Chiang Mai

Banyan Resort & Golf, Hua Hin

Chiang Mai Highlands

Many good judges regard Chiang Mai Highlands as the most scenic golf course in Thailand, and one of the best.

It's not hard to understand why. Few courses in the kingdom have the breathtaking, sweeping views that are featured on many holes of the course that sits 1000 feet above sea level in the mountainous northern region of Thailand.

You could say, quite literally, that Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort is a breath of fresh air. The atmosphere is cooler and crisper than in any other part of the country. At this time of year, minimum temperatures can fall below 10 degrees Celcius, but the days are invariably warm - like playing golf in early autumn in other parts of the world.

Mother Nature provided the design team of Schmidt-Curley with all the ingredients they needed to create a course that features natural contours of the hilly property, providing many challenges and superb vistas.

The result is a nice balance of risk and reward, symbolised best by the 558-yard, par-5 closing hole - a downhiller that tempts players on their second shot to take on a fast-flowing creek below the green.

www.chiangmaihighlands.com

Banyan Resort & Golf, Hua Hin

An exclusive resort designed and built to the highest standards, Banyan's villas are set in a beautiful landscaped environment. Offering a choice of private pool villas or villas with jacuzzi, the accommodation features stylish Thai decor and furnishings, and modern appliances.

Resort facilities include Lemongrass Restaurant & Bar and the Splash Pool Bar and Playground that is ideal for families.

Located a few minutes' drive Banyan Golf Club, as well as other highly-rated courses in the Hua Hin area, Banyan Resort & Golf is an ideal choice for family relaxation and a memorable golf holiday.

The resort's villas each occupy 400 square metres of landscaped gardens and provide a generous 120 square metres of living space. The contemporary one or two-bedroom villas are tastefully furnished to a high standard in the traditional Thai style and are complemented by a range of modern amenities. A private jacuzzi connecting to a large common lagoon-style pool allows guests to enjoy life in the tropics to the full.

www.banyanthailand.com

About Us

Golf In A Kingdom is a co-operative marketing group comprising Thailand's best golf courses/resorts, hotels, Golfasian and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Established in 2009, Golf In A Kingdom promotes golf tourism in Thailand - the world's third largest golf tourism destination.

For more information, contact:

Paul Myers, Asian Travel Media, Bangkok
Email: paul@asiantravelmedia.com
Web: www.asiantravelmedia.com
Tel: +66 (0) 84 125 1894
Asian Travel Media
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