Siam Country Club is a mega golf complex with three different facilities and a total of 63 holes. The Old Course, updated by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley in 2006/07, is a quality layout. There's not much land movement given the flat terrain but Schmidt and Curley have inserted a range of bunkers -- both in terms of overall numbers, shapes and placements -- to keep players on their toes. The course is the annual stop for the Honda LPGA Thailand event and, as befitting a tournament venue, the overall shape of the grounds is very good.
The Old features plenty of holes that have various turning points. Shaping one's tee shots is always a key issue when playing.
The putting surfaces are also quite varied -- Schmidt and Curley have eschewed predictable circular targets and made it a point to feature greens that take irregular shapes and can have demanding pin locations which can be hidden.
The ending two holes on the front are great examples in taking dead flat land and providing for good golf holes. The par-3 8th features a long narrow green necessitating smart club selection. The par-4 9th features a "T" shaped green -- when the pin is placed in the very front it takes a top quality approach to access it.
Unfortunately, the par-5 10th is nearly a clone to the 1st hole. The rest of the inward half is a good combination of holes -- the stretch beginning at #14 through to the closing par-5 18th are nicely balanced and reasonably challenging. Turf conditions when I played were very good because far too often courses near the sea in Thailand can play especially slow with little bounce of the ball.
Having the women play the course each year clearly adds to the visibility of the Old Course but I have to chuckle at the usage of the name when such a course is merely a babe in the woods when held against the one true Old Course in Scotland.
by M. James Ward
Date: December 31, 2017