While Thailand has emerged as a leading tourism destination around the world, it is now catering to an extensive range of golfing experience. Golf has been played in the Kingdom for almost a century with games recorded at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in 1905.
The Kingdom has a multitude of visitor arrivals converging to its shores, drawn by its abundance of beaches, spectacular scenery, a vibrant nightlife and mouth-watering Thai food. But beyond these popular draws, there is another segment of the Thai tourism that has steadily inched up on the popularity scale which is golf tourism.
Diverse landscapes in golfing paradise
It is the landscape of the Kingdom that makes golf courses attractive and challenging. Golf has been played in the country for almost a century with games recorded at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in 1905. The golf course architect makes it memorable through different sketches of the capital city, Bangkok, the mountainous countryside of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, stunning beaches in Phuket and Koh Samui and waterfalls in Khao Yai. From the beach resorts in the south to the mountainous surroundings in the north or the bustling city of Pattaya, there are golf courses to suit every preference. There are currently over 250 courses located throughout the country.“Each golf destination in the country has local companies with a website like ‘Hua Hin golf package’ or Golfasia. You need to decide if you want a local expert to handle your hotels and all transfers or just the bits related to golf. In Thailand it is easy and cheap to deal with your own accommodation and general transportation,” Riddhi Roy, operations manager of Dolphins Travel, a Kolkata based travel company told Media India Group.
From staying in five stars to a wide range of modern hotels to Thai-style-bungalows; accommodation and golfing is also an easy access. Shopping in local markets or high-class department stores, the breadth of dining options that offer a mesmerising fusion of Asian, Indian and western influences and varieties of Thai food and its nightlife make it a popular destination for the sightseer. The cool weather from November to February is perfect to visit Thailand for golf. “Thailand excels at delivering a complete golf experience. Not only the diversity of courses and standardised amenities but also unique local experiences makes Thailand competitive on both a regional and global level,” said Tanes Petsuwan, deputy governor for marketing communications at the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
Pattaya is one of the most popular destinations for golf lovers. It offers twenty golf courses with five-star accommodation. The Lanna Sports Club in Chiang Mai, is a 27-hole course, with panoramic views of the Doi Suthep temple which is a great attraction for golfers. It is also right next to a race track so you can combine a round of golf with a day at the races.
One can also attend one of the golfing events like the ‘Chiang Mai Golf Festival’ (May–June), where one can experience customised Thailand golf packages with plenty of activities and attractions to enhance the golf experience. The ‘Hua Hin Golf Festival’ (August–September) hosts golf tour operators and buyers from key international markets while the Thailand Golf Travel (July) welcomes local suppliers and golf course owners from around Thailand. Women golfers can indulge in the Lady Golf Challenge that takes place in the month of August.