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

February 2012

Perfect Golf Conditions


Golf in a Kingdom - The Thai Golf Experience

Chiang Mai HighlandsGolf visitors to Thailand are enjoying one of the best high seasons for many years with warm, sunny and dry conditions and playing vacancies at all but a few courses.

Even though the flood crisis has long since evaporated, there has been a hangover effect with tourism bookings to Thailand lower than usual. So if you are considering a visit to the kingdom and want to play golf, now is the time to come. The milder weather will last until April, when it can be oppressively hot as the dry season comes to a close.

Thai Country Club on the outskirts of Bangkok reports lower-than-normal visitor numbers in December and January. Courses around Pattaya, about 90 minutes from the international airport, are busy but not over-crowded; Hua Hin is especially busy this year, while Phuket is down on previous years.

Value for money is an important consideration for many golfers, which is why Banyan Golf Club and Black Mountain are doing so well. With rates well below those on Phuket, and much better course conditioning, golf visitors are clearly voting with their pockets and their desire to play such well-groomed courses. The new par-3 course at Black Mountain, featured in our December newsletter, is adding to the allure of this complex.

Meanwhile, conditions in northern Thailand couldn't be better at the moment, with cool nights and mild sunny days. Chiang Mai Highlands, one of the most scenic and enjoyable courses in Thailand, is busy but you can get a game if you book in advance.

Similarly, south of Bangkok, Siam Country Club near Pattaya, which has 27 holes at its Plantation layout and 18 holes at its stunning Old Course (featured in this newsletter), can accommodate visitors who plan ahead. Just don't expect to get a game there if you call a day or two before, not before April at least.

In Bangkok, Muang Kaew is the closest course to the city and is always a delight to walk at this time of year.

Two New Resort Members

Golf In A Kingdom is delighted to welcome two new high quality resorts to its stable of top golf courses and hotels/resorts.
Veranda Resort & Spa, with properties at Cha-am near Hua Hin and Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, joins Le Meridien Phuket in the program.

Veranda Resort & Spa Cha-AmVeranda's Cha-am property is located on the finest beachfront between Cha-am and Hua Hin, 180 kilometres south of Bangkok.
The region has been a favourite royal and aristocratic retreat since the 1920s when King Rama VII built a beachside palace in the area. Today, it is a popular seaside destination for local and foreign visitors who are attracted by the superb location and numerous local attractions, including golf at Banyan Golf Resort and Black Mountain Golf Club.

The 118-room resort has eight different room categories and is set in five acres of Feng Shui gardens with water features, mature evergreen trees and tropical palms.

Veranda's Chiang Mai property in northern Thailand is a magnificent boutique property with 69 rooms offering stunning views over the mountainous landscape.

Both Veranda properties are members of the MGallery collection of boutique hotels and resorts in, currently, 44 worldwide locations. Visit www.verandaresortandspa.com

Le Meridien Phuket Beach ResortSituated 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 "home away from home" for many local and foreign guests.

Last September, the second phase of a room enhancement program was completed, which transformed 154 Superior Garden and Pool View rooms into new Deluxe rooms featuring modern and refined décor. Four new Oceanfront Deluxe Suites and six new oceanfront Grande Suites were also opened.

In 2010 and 2011, the five-star resort was named by readers of Australia's Holiday With Kids magazine among the top 10 family holiday resorts in Asia and last year was included in Expedia's Inside Select list, an annual award that recognises the best hotels as judged by the booking group's customers.
Visit www.lemeridien.com

Water Parks Open at Black Mountain

Black Mountain Water ParkBlack Mountain Golf Club near Hua Hin has opened a 500 million baht (approx.. $US16.5 million) water park and wakeboarding complex on the same site as its championship golf course and new par-3 course.

The twin facilities add a new dimension to Black Mountain's already-enviable status after being named in November by Asian Golf Monthly magazine as Thailand's best golf course and the top championship course in Asia Pacific.

The wakeboard park is one of only six in Thailand. A cable system pulls riders around the park at 30 kilometres an hour and can accommodate up to eight wakeboarders at one time. The 800-metre-long area features two jumps and two sliders that give participants full opportunity to practice and show off their skills.

"Opening of the two water parks is part of our plan to become recognised as the leading leisure destination in Hua Hin," explains Black Mountain's general manager, Harald Elisson.

With capacity for up to 1000 people, the new water park is one of the biggest and most up-to-date in Asia. The focal point of the 55,000 square-metre facility is a 17-metre tower from which nine water slides "empty" their riders into a series of pools. A gently flowing "lazy river" winds its way around the park with numerous places for people to stop and sit on submerged benches.

There is also a giant wave pool, a 60-metre-long beach pool with infiniti edge overlooking the adjacent wakeboard park, a shallow pool for young children, a huge food court, large shade areas, four kiosks and locker rooms.

For more information, visit www.bmghuahin.com

Featured Golf Course

Siam Country Club, Old Course

Siam Country Club, Old Course While the Old Course at Siam Country Club near Pattaya is open to visitors, it isn't nearly as easy to get a game as the 27-hole Plantation complex nearby, especially at weekends when it is busy with members.

This classic layout, opened way back in 1970 after being designed by Isao Izumi, was the first privately-owned course in Thailand and the first to host an LPGA event – the 2007 Honda LPGA Thailand.

Redesigned by Schmidt-Curley in 2007, the formidable 7016-yard layout shares terrain with mature fruit trees, creeks, lakes and 101 bunkers. The immaculate greens are huge, elevated and contoured, meaning even the best putters need the expertise of one of the course's well-trained caddies.

Seashore Paspalum, a popular grass in Asia, was chosen for the fairways, with Novotek planted on the greens. The century of 101 adds to the beauty of the course and, for golfers of all abilities, the challenge.

Remember, if you want to play this course, be sure to inquire early. It is a great experience, completely different to the more open Plantation layout.

www.siamcountryclub.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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