Alpine Golf Club is located 20 minutes north of Don Muang Airport just outside greater Bangkok. As you drive to the course from the centre of the town, there is a perceptible shift from the concrete of the city to a more rural palette around Alpine. The course itself is a lush paradise within the rustic surrounds and in some ways more resembles a botanical garden specialising in the exhibition of palms.
The course is laid out on a generous track of land so it does not have any sense of being cramped. Most holes more or less play by themselves with some degree of isolation. The front portions of the par threes at the 3rd and 12th resemble beaches. The island green at the par five 7th is a memorable feature as are the water features at the 16th and 18th.
The course is not overly-long and whilst it is the bunkering and the water hazards that catch the eye, the trickiest aspect of the course to play are the heavily contoured greens. Even in the wet season, they are slick and dangerous.
There is no denying that this is an exquisite tropical gem, a good test and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Re-produced with kind permission from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia & Australasia by James Spence.
The Alpine Golf Club course is located at a rare altitude on the outskirts of Bangkok. What was once a relatively flat paddy field, transformed into an exceptionally wonderful golf course. The course is often known for its strong rough turfs from where it is hard to hit the right distance. Players whose tee shots are not stable will often face trouble when landing outside of the fairway flanked by woods. The course consists of a series of strategic holes on slightly undulating terrain, and each hole is independent. The lakes, bunkers, and trees at every hole are all skillfully arranged. The greens are also well maintained and fast, with most of them being two tiered. The approach shot should be accurate to avoid a three-putt hitting from the different tier, or across a ridge or mound.
The Alpine hosted the 2004 Johnnie Walker Classic and Tiger Woods, the World Number 1 at that time, did not make the cut. The course could turn nasty even for the first-class pros when they lose accuracy.
I liked the par 3 238-yard 3rd. Not only do players have to be wary of the long distance, but they must also keep an eye out for the lake that stretches all the way to the green. Furthermore, the green sloping strongly from back to front is shallow, 45 yards wide, and is guarded by several bunkers to its left and right.
The par 4 412-yard 11th is a dogleg to the right. Players should be aware that a lake to its right and a forest to its left flank a relatively large fairway. Furthermore, the pond surrounds all three sides of the green, and a bunker on the right side awaits for too safe an approach shot intending to avoid the water. This is a hole in which an accurate approach shot will be required.
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