President’s Cup: Future Venues
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The resort town of Hua Hin in southern Thailand boasts some of Asia‘s finest golf courses. Add in a stunning five-mile-long beach, internationally renowned restaurants and spectacular mountain terrain and you have an unforgettable golfing experience for players of all levels.
Created out of lush jungle and pineapple plantations by American architect Phil Ryan in 2007, Black Mountain is rated by All Square as the best course in Thailand and the 11th best in Asia. Measuring 6,508 yards, this low-lying par-72 course is surrounded by mountains, has narrowing fairways, and contoured greens surrounded by water hazards. Along with a spacious clubhouse serving superb fare, there is also a 9-hole, par-3 course which is a delightful test.
Just twenty minutes from Hua Hin, Majestic Creek Country Club is arguably the best laid out course in the area. Set in the foothills of the mountains separating Thailand from Myanmar, this well-maintained resort is made up of three 9-hole courses: the Creek, Lake and Waterfall courses. Visitors can also combine two of the 9-hole courses and play what is effectively the 7,123-yard, 18-hole course. Several tee shots are played over water, and strategically placed bunkers, lakes and streams make this a course to plot your way around.
One of the most popular Hua Hin golf courses, Palm Hills is ideal for players of all levels. With generous Bermuda fairways and just 6,678 yards in length, this Par-72 course is laid out on a strip of undulating terrain giving it a Scottish ‘links’ feel – different to all the other courses in the area. This Max Wexler design is also very picturesque, with large lakes at each end of the course, an abundance of palm trees – hence the name – and panoramic views of the neighbouring mountains.
Voted as the second best course in Thailand by All Square, Banyan Golf Club opened in 2008 to high praise from the golfing public. Carved from a former pineapple plantation, this par-72, 7,361- yards course features sloping fairways, numerous doglegs, bunkers and water hazards. The signature 139-yard, par-3 15th provides superb vistas of the sea and mountains. With six tee options any player can have fun here, and the buggies all have GPS on board giving an accurate distance to the pin on every hole.
The first golf course in Thailand, Royal Hua Hin was built in 1924 by a Scottish engineer and is located in the town centre. This charming par-72 course is reminiscent of a British parkland layout and its longevity is evidenced by the maturity of the ancient trees that line the fairways. There are some tight driving holes and several challenging doglegs – and beware the macaque monkeys residing near the uphill 13th which have been known to collect golf balls as souvenirs!
Designed by Jack Nicklaus in the early 90s, Springfield Royal Country Club offers three 9-hole courses: The Mountain, The Lake and The Valley. The combination of Mountain and Lake is the premier and most frequent 18-hole configuration, but The Valley is also worth playing. There are five tees to choose from catering for players of different abilities, some tight driving holes, several challenging doglegs and some long carries over water. The clubhouse provides luxurious facilities and an excellent restaurant.