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Justine Moss
Monday, May 5, 2014

Travel

Taking the Thai option

The Business Times | Justine Moss | Monday, May 5, 2014

Water comes into play on all 18 holes at the superb Suwan Golf & Country Club in Bangkok.

Thailand has long been a favourite destination of golfers in the region who want to experience some well-maintained, first-class layouts in an easily accessible location and to enjoy the services of good English-speaking caddies.

Flying into Bangkok provides plenty of options; Hua Hin, Khao Yai, Pattaya and Kanchanaburi are all within comfortable driving distance from Thailand's capital.

BANGKOK

There are some fantastic courses in and around the capital which offer variety, challenge and aesthetic value.

Suwan Golf & Country Club: Roughly a 50-minute drive from the centre of Bangkok in Nakornpathom province, it is a superb public country club in the metropolitan area. Its 18-hole, par-72 championship course, which opened in 2005, stretches 6,501 m from the championship tees. Accurate club selection is key here.

Water comes into play on all 18 holes, and while it is tempting to occasionally drive for the green, there are a few places where sensible shot-making is necessary. A good drive on the par-5 11th should enable a safe second shot over water; a poor drive could result in laying your ball up, so you can try and get onto the green in three or four.

The par-4 17th is the signature hole and is quite spectacular, with its palm trees and dogleg-left crescent layout. Confident golfers can take the quick way by passing the four large palms; those who want a more scenic route can hit to the dogleg angle to get the clearer approach shot.

In addition to the clubhouse, the other facilities are a restaurant serving Thai, Japanese and international cuisine, a massage facility, a jacuzzi, sauna and steam rooms and around 20 resort rooms.

Tel: 66 34 339 333

E-mail: scc@suwangolf.com

www.suwangolf.com

Royal Gems Golf City: Its par-71 Dream Arena course's back nine are a replica of Augusta National's second nine. The front nine were inspired by courses such as Bethpage, St Andrews and Doral.

While the Ron Garl-designed course lacks the bunker depth and fairway length of the holes at Augusta and other famed courses of the world, they nonetheless give one a feeling of walking on hallowed ground. Golfers of all skill levels, however, will enjoy a round at this location, which is only a 45-minute drive from the airport. Facilities include a club house, a restaurant and a pro shop.

Tel: 66 2577 8500

E-mail: reservation@royalgemsgolfcity.com

www.royalgemsgolfcity.com

If you have a few more days, the best of the rest in and near Bangkok include Thai Country Club, Amata Spring Country Club, Navatanee Golf Course, Riverdale Golf & Country Club and Laem Chabang International Country Club.

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