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Top 50 Golf Courses of Thailand 2017

28 January, 2017
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Top 50 Golf Courses of Thailand 2017

We create three new regions and extend our coverage in the Kingdom of Thailand to a Top 50

Thailand’s golf brand remains as strong as ever, if events at the recent International Association of Golf Travel Operators awards ceremony in Mallorca are anything to go by. The Asia and Australasia Golf Destination of the Year 2017 was awarded to Chiang Mai Province in Northern Thailand and the Sustainable Golf Course of the Year 2017 award (with regard to Community Value) was allocated to Laguna Golf Phuket, on the Andaman island of the same name.

We’ve gone some way towards recognising the wide geographical spread of Thai golf by dividing our coverage within the country into three distinct areas; north, south and central. Although the new national Top 50 is dominated by courses from Bangkok, Hua Hin and Pattaya in Central Thailand, we now maintain a Top 10 for both the Northern and Southern regions, allowing us to shine the spotlight a little bit wider than before onto a total of sixty different courses.

And so, without further ado, we can reveal that our latest national rankings for Thailand are headed by the impressive Ayodhya Links in Bangkok, a Thomson & Perrett design that debuted almost exactly a decade ago now. Described by one reviewer as “nothing short of a miracle… extremely challenging… full of subtlety and wonderful bunkering,” it’s a very private facility that doesn’t see much traffic during the year.

In the runner-up spot at number 2 – having climbed three places to number 3 when we updated the chart two years ago – we have Ron Garl’s mid-1990s layout at Alpine Golf Club. Situated to the north of the capital, not far from Ayodhya Links, this course was described by the author in James Spence’s book The Finest Golf Courses of Asia & Australasia as “an exquisite tropical gem, a good test and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.”

Also moving up one position to number 3, the Old course at Siam Country Club is one of three courses operated by a prestigious club that’s located half an hour’s drive to the east of Pattaya. Originally opened for play in 1971 then renovated by Schmidt & Curley in 2007, the layout is home to the Honda LPGA Thailand ladies’ tournament and the 11th edition of this annual event will be held here next month.

The course at Thai Country Club in Bangkok also makes a positive move up the new chart, rising three places to number 6. Twenty years in operation this year, the 18-hole layout was a brand new track designed by Dennis Griffiths when it hosted the Asian Honda Classic in 1997, an event won by newly-turned professional Tiger Woods, who ran away with the tournament when he claimed the title by a 10-stroke winning margin from his nearest rival.

The 27-hole complex at Laem Chabang International Country Club outside Pattaya makes a significant move up the national listings, leaping four spots to number 7, and this is one of half a dozen Thai courses which were laid out by the Golden Bear’s design company in the early 1990s. The preferred 18-hole combination here consists of the B (Lake) and C (Valley) nines but the hillier A (Mountain) circuit at the back of the property is also not short of admirers.

Further down the 2017 Thai standings, the highest new entry at number 20 comes from Rajpruek, a Michael J. Poellot design that sits close to Don Muang, Bangkok’s old international airport. Invited guests may have a little overhead interference from incoming and outgoing aircraft to contend with when playing here but they’ll tell you it’s a price worth paying to sample this beautiful private parkland track.

Several recent developments impacted on our Thai ranking process, including Schmidt & Curley’s unveiling of a new 18-hole course – with spaceship-styled clubhouse – at Royal Bang Pa-In Golf Club (a new entry at number 26). An additional 9-hole layout (the West course) at Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin also opened earlier this month whilst the Alpine Golf Resort in Chiang Mai has just been extended and upgraded to a 27-hole facility.

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To view our Thailand Top 50 click the link. As ever, we’d be delighted to find out what you think of this revised Asian national chart. Why not get in touch with us via the “respond to this article” link at the top or bottom of this page if you have any strong opinions? We’re also keen to publish more reviews for our Thai courses so if you’ve played any of the country's top tracks then we’d be really pleased to have you post a few sentences to let us know what you thought about your playing experience.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses

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