Golf Courses of Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard

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Golf Map of Pattaya and the Eastern Seaboard

It may be that golf originated in Holland, historians believe it did, but certainly Scotland fostered the game and is famous for it. In 1457 the Scottish parliament, disturbed because football and golf had lured young Scots from the more soldierly exercise of archery, passed an ordinance that 'futeball and golf be utterly cryit doun and nocht usit'. Kings James I and Charles I of the royal line of Stuarts were golf enthusiasts, whereby the game came to be known as 'the royal and ancient game of golf'.

Golf balls used in the early games were leather covered and stuffed with feathers. Clubs of all kinds were fashioned by hand to suit individual players. The great step in spreading the game came with the change from the feather ball to the gutta-percha ball in about 1850, and in 1860 formal competition began with the establishment of an annual tournament for the British open championship.

Golf is both fun and profitable for businessmen. No one keeps record of how many millions of Baht worth of business was done on the golf links, but considering its increasing popularity and the time executives spend in playing golf, the amount is staggering.

Golf was first introduced into Thailand in the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) by certain Englishmen who played it among themselves. In the course of time, the Thais joined in, but as it was enjoyed as a sort of social function, popularity was limited.

Later the Europeans who had come to settle in Thailand requested the King's permission to found a sports club, known as the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. Apart from horse racing, the club organized golf for its members. Meanwhile, the game was gradually gaining more popularity and enthusiasm. King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) commanded the establishment of a golf course at Dusit Gardens, and King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) who was a golf enthusiast and played it regularly, encouraged the idea of setting up a golf course at Hua Hin.

In Thailand the opportunities for golf abound. There are estimated to more than 30,000 golfers in Thailand. Half of them play a round or two at least once a month, a quarter play a little less. The rest comprise the 'active' players who make it a point to get out on the green at least once or twice a week. There are 36 golf courses all over the country of which 12 are in Bangkok. Thai golfers have from time to time competed in neighbouring countries, and likewise, golfers from neighbouring countries have come to Thailand to compete.

Tournaments in Thailand are blossoming and the prizes becoming more intriguing. There are competitions for professional and amateurs, men and women, youngsters and collegians. Though the sport is popular, it is mostly played by adults.

While the sport is taken up, most often, for relaxation, it also provides a forum for salesmen to develop contacts for future sales, politicos to extend diplomatic courtesies, bankers to talk about floating loans, and doctors to gain prestige in being called away.

In Thailand today any businessman worth his expense account owns a set of golf clubs and has the use of a membership at one of the countries many clubs. Skill on the course has become a valuable executive asset. Some companies ask prospective employees their golf handicap. Naturally, along with Thailand's golf boom, the manufacture of the sport's equipment is also on the upswing. While imported clubs of advertised brands, with endorsements by star foreign players, still have significant prestige value.

In 1979 there was forty-three Thailand Golf Association member clubs around the country. Thailand, blessed with a plenitude of land, has the natural golf assets that can make this sport one of the most lucrative. Golf has become such a vital part of Thai life that a businessman no longer has to call his office from the clubhouse and try to explain his absence by saying he is detained by his doctor.

Asia Hotel
Asia Hotel Course:  9-Hole, Par 27
Designer:   
Directions:  Go up Pratamnak Hill past the Police Box until you reach Soi 4 then turn right. It's at the end of the soi on the left.
Comments:  A nice, well kept Par 3 hotel course, featuring holes between 79 and 139 yards, small greens and deep bunkers. The perfect choice to fine-tune your short-game. Choice of bars and restaurants in the hotel.
Bangpakong Riverside Country Club
Bangpakong Riverside Country Club Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Cherd Boonyaratavej
Directions:  Chonburi motorway - leave at Bang Pakong exit and follow route 314 to Chachoengsao. Gate to your right.
Comments:  Well manicured course laid out on the windy banks of the Bangpakong river. Long holes and wide Fairways should fit longhitters. Very good food at the clubhouse.
Bangphra International Golf Club (1958)
Bangphra International Golf Club (1958) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Japan Golf Promotion Co., Ltd.
Directions:  Route 3, turn right at sign for Khaow Keow Zoo in Bang Phra, two kilometres to T-junction turn right.
Comments: 
Burapha Golf Club (1995)
Burapha Golf Club (1995) Course:  36-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  David Graham & Gary Panks
Directions:  Turn right at Km-32 on route 36 and follow the signs.
Comments:  East course features wide fairways and is perfect for the up & coming golfer. West course a challenge for the more advanced golfer. Now open to the general public.
Century Country Club Ban Chang (1992)
Century Country Club Ban Chang (1992) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Desmond Muirhead & Nick Faldo
Directions:  Three kilometres from Ban Chang district. Turn left at Km-197 on Sukhumvit Highway.
Comments:  Set into the mountains near Ban Chang. This sloping course in a jungle setting has some of the most difficult Par 3's in the region. A lovely natural course.
Chonburi Century Country Club (1993)
Chonburi Century Country Club (1993) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Nick Faldo
Directions:  Turn right at Km-32 on route 331. The course is located about six kilometres from the main highway.
Comments:  The best choice if you want to work on your swing and a good course for beginners as it is not too busy.
Eastern Star Golf Club (1992)
Eastern Star Golf Club (1992) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Directions:  58 kilometres south of Pattaya. Turn right at Km-193 on route 3 in Ban Chang.
Comments:  Set in an old coconut plantation this popular course features wide fairways and hundreds of coconut palms. A magnificent club house, swimming pools & sports club make this course the first choice for family outings.
Great Lake Golf Club (1995)
Great Lake Golf Club (1995) Course:  36-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Nick Faldo
Directions:  Route 36 at sign for Green Valley turn left and follow the signs.
Comments:  A magnificent setting on the banks of the Dok Rai reservoir. Besides the water hazards there are many bunkers (120) to make this a very challenging course.
Khao Kheow Country Club (1993)
Khao Kheow Country Club (1993) Course:  27-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Pete & Perry Dye
Directions:  Route 36, turn right and it's three and a half kilometres towards Khaow Keaw Open Zoo.
Comments:  Jungle-clad hills, numerous water hazards & large bunkers help to create a superbly enjoyable setting. A beautiful new club house built from natural stone completes the setting.
Laem Chabang International Golf Club (1995)
Laem Chabang International Golf Club (1995) Course:  27-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Jack Nicklaus
Directions:  Turn right at Km-32 on route 36.
Comments:  Set in spectacular rolling hills with craggy peaks. Divided into mountain, lake and valley, this course is a real challenge for golfers. Rated the number one golf course in the region. Carts compulsory!
Natural Park Hill Golf Club (1993)
Natural Park Hill Golf Club (1993) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Ronald Fream
Directions:  Route 3 turn right at sign for Khaow Keow Open Zoo in Bang Phra. Two kilometres to T-junction turn left.
Comments:  Built on a former mango plantation. Plenty of water & narrow fairways framed by trees. An excellent test of your golfing skills.
Natural Park Resort Golf Club (1988)
Natural Park Resort Golf Club (1988) Course:  27-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Thai Takenaka
Directions:  Route 3 to Chonburi. Look for Km-109 marker on right.
Comments:  Immaculately manicured, park-like course, richly decorated with flowering shrubs. Fairly open and not too difficult. Should appeal to all standards of golfers.
Noble Place Golf Club (1993)
Noble Place Golf Club (1993) Course:  27 Holes, Par 72
Designer:  Wolveridge & Thomson
Directions:  Route 331 to Chachoengsao, Km-71 marker. Course on the right.
Comments:  Many well placed bunkers and heavy rough make this lunar-like landscaped golf course very challenging.
Pattaya Country Club (1995)
Pattaya Country Club (1995) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Svensk Golf Design
Directions:  Only 25 kilometres from Pattaya, Route 36 to Rayong. Turn left at junction of route 331.
Comments:  A very popular course amongst the locals. Plain layout but very friendly staff. Course and facilities are getting better and better. Good value for money.
Phoenix Country Club (1993)
Phoenix Country Club (1993) Course:  27-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Dennis Griffith
Directions:  Route 3 South. After you pass Ocean Marina on right, turn left.
Comments:  The huge clubhouse with its superb facilities, wide fairways and nice sea views holes guarantee a nice and easy round of golf. A dream for the long hitter.
Rayong Green Valley Country Club (1993)
Rayong Green Valley Country Club (1993) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Wolveridge & Thomson
Directions:  Route 36 to Rayong. Turn right at Km-24 onto route 3376. Look for big gate.
Comments:  A pleasure course to play for both high & low handicap golfers. The course is built around a creek and has sufficient water hazards to both entertain and bother.
Royal Lake Side Golf Club & Resort (1993)
Royal Lake Side Golf Club and Resort (1993) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Sumitomo Construction Co., Ltd.
Directions:  Route 3 to Bangkok. Just left of the start of the new elevated expressway.
Comments:  At the mouth of the Bangpakong River. Fresh sea breezes and good views. The centre-piece of the resort is the stunning "White House" lookalike clubhouse.
Royal Thai Navy (Plutaluang) (1969)
Royal Thai Navy (Plutaluang) (1969) Course:  36-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Royal Thai Navy
Directions:  Towards Rayong, turn left onto route 332 at Km-169 marker.
Comments:  One of the older and more mature courses in the region. Fine views featuring rolling hills and a big lake.
Siam Country Club (1971)
Siam Country Club (1971) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  I. Izumi
Directions:  Between North & Central Pattaya Road on the way to Sattahip. Turn left and go straight on for 14 kilometres.
Comments:  A delightful, old and mature course with lots of big trees. Set in lovely countryside of low hills. First choice for players who like very slow greens.
Si Racha International Golf Club (1992)
Si Racha International Golf Club (1992) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Gary Player
Directions:  Route 36 to Chonburi. Turn right onto route 3241 and follow the signs.
Comments:  A relatively easy course. Good practice for the beginner. Very nice club house facilities.
St. Andrews 2000 Golf Club
St. Andrews 2000 Golf Club Course:  18-Hole, Par 74
Designer:  Desmond Muirhead
Directions:  Route 36 to Rayong. Turn right at Km-24 onto route 3376. Look for big gate.
Comments:  A concept quite different from other golf courses in the region. The objective is to make the golfer play against nature on a links style course. A tough challenge! Golf cart is compulsory!
Treasure Hill Golf & Country Club (1988)
Treasure Hill Golf and Country Club (1988) Course:  18-Hole, Par 72
Designer:  Yashikazu Kato
Directions:  On route 331 going to Chachoengsao. About five kilometres after Si Racha junction. Turn right at the big sign.
Comments:  Nestled into a valley and surrounded by jungle-clad hills. No cars or housing estates to disturb nature. A course you'll remember playing for a long time to come.

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