The Canyon course at Phuket’s Blue Canyon Country Club is one of Asia’s more exacting golfing examinations. It is not possible to play poorly here and score well. While all golfers rely on a bit of luck in any round, at the Canyon your luck runs out very soon. What makes the golfing experience here all the more beguiling is that the venom is cloaked in the softest of environments, a tropical island in the Andaman Sea, a holiday destination.
The land was originally used as a rubber plantation and a tin mine and in the way in which these uses have left the land, this historical legacy determines the character of the course. The first nine meanders through the close confines of the former rubber estate and the second plays much more in to the open but features more watery in-fills.
The Canyon Course at Blue Canyon is an outstandingly fine golfing experience. There are several shots here that many golfers will remember for the rest of their lives even if they play the course only once; the approach at the 3rd, the drive at the 10th, the third at the 11th, the tee shots at the 13th, 14th and 17th and the approach to the last . Blue Canyon has more than a fair share of memorable golf holes.
Re-produced with kind permission from The Finest Golf Courses of Asia & Australasia by James Spence.
Designed by Mr Yoshi Kato the Canyon course plays through a terrain that includes significant elevation change, thick jungle, tight fairways, water on 14 holes, some 80 bunkers, and a big finish that involves hitting over and around the gorges.
At one stage the Canyon course was considered the best course in Thailand, but newer layouts like Black Mountain & Red Mountain have thrown down the gauntlet, challenging Blue Canyon's reign.
Although it struggles sometimes with conditioning, the bones of the course are are very good. And it is a challenge for any level of golfer! The course has a championship feel.
The back nine in particular has real spectator appeal with the canyon holes and water in play- it is brilliant theatre!
While the front nine is 'quieter' each hole demands your attention.
I particularly liked the long par 4 third hole with a giant Calabash tree guarding the shot to the green. The twisting, turning par 5 sixth hole was also a favourite.
On the back nine things get even more interesting with a number of gorges and water carries to challenge you.
Twelve is a super hole, with water in play down the right and in front of the picturesque green.
Thirteen is know as 'The Tiger hole' as Tiger Woods drove the green.
For mere mortals it is a terrifying prospect with a sharp dogleg offering fairway beyond a rather imposing gorge.
Of course one is given the option of playing safely left, but no one surely would travel all that way to play Blue Canyon and take the safe option, would they?
Hole 14 is a drop dead gorgeous par 3, with a tee shot from an elevated tee to a spectacular curved green surrounded almost entirely by water.. Yeeks!
Another memorable hole is the par 3 seventeenth- described by Fred Couples as 'one of the best par 3's anywhere in the world'. It is a long par 3 with water carry and water all the way down the right hand side. The left to right sliding green is partially hidden by the gorge wall. It is a pretty hole with a hell of a sting in the tail!
Blue Canyon's Canyon course offers a dramatic golfing experience. Combine it with golf at Red Mountain, a warm sunny climate, golden beaches and some magnificent accommodation.. It makes Phuket a compelling golfing destination.
Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.
Having played at Blue Canyon for the first time in 2010, I was back there in late 2019. There has been some adverse feedback on the golf course over the last couple of years. Well of course, the layout has not changed and the delightful holes that once made Blue Canyon are still there. But the course condition has surely deteriorated. While not everyone is looking for pristine golf course conditions and the layout has its own importance, I think the point here is how much are you paying for it. And on that count, you may want to miss it unless it gets back to its original glory. Its a shame because its an incredible setting for a golf course and the layout presents endless thrills and challenges.
The ranking of the golf courses in Phuket continues to evolve due to the changes in maintenance standards. To read more about Phuket golf courses visit my blog https://www.golftripz.com/blog/the-latest-review-o...