Bangkok/Pattaya Trip Report Aug 2019
Got to play 5 rounds over a couple weeks in Bangkok/Pattaya (plus the one in Cambodia), so has been a great trip so far.
Tier 1 Courses
Siam Country Club - Plantation Course - This remains a solid choice in my rotation. Pricey, but for a once a year type trip, worth every baht. Course is in fabulous condition, greens running great, caddies excellent, and most rounds take only 3 to 3.5hrs. Always a great day and worth the price of admission
Laem Chabang - Lake and Valley 9s - Hadn't played LC in about 15 years and didn't have great memories, but couldn't really remember why. Anyway, tried it again and wow, course continues to be in great condition and is a very playable Nicklaus design (though don't believe he's ever made it to the course...). Anyway, we were running late for our tee time and the starter did something in Thailand I'd not seen before -- rather than putting us out behind two, slower foursomes, they sent us out to #3 to jump ahead of them and so we finished our round on 2. Great idea and turned what would have been a 4.5 hour round into 3.5 leisurely one. Course in great shape. All facilities super well maintained and they have one of the best stocked pro shops in Thailand. Definitely going to add to my rotation and look forward to getting back.
Tier 2 Courses
Bangkok Golf Club - Picked up a 1,000 baht round here via GolfDigg app. Nice, shorter course. Need to keep the ball in play to score, so drive and gouge not always the smartest option. Maintenance of the course could improve (and if it drops, would easily put this in a tier 3 course, but for now still a 2), but overall we had a great time. Super caddies... mine had been working there 20+ years and knew the course like the back of her hand.
So I normally don't play the Thai military courses, but i had two great invitations to play with Thai friends that I couldn't pass up.
Kantarat Golf Course - This is the course that sits between the runways at Don Mueng airport. Have stared at it upon arrival for 25+ years, but never played, What a treat. Because of it's location, you have to go through security to tee-off. Course design is naturally limited by the space available between the two runways, but they do everything possible to keep it interesting. Played with a stiff wind which had me fearing of hooking one out over a runway, which fortunately never happened :-) Anyway, lovely once in a lifetime experience I recommend anyone take if given the oppy.
Dhupatimeya Air Force Course - This course sits just north of Kantarat and is also on approach to Don Mueng so have plenty of flights overhead. Full disclosure, while this is a fabulous course - fun design, incredibly tough greens and great price ~1,200 baht - it was the first time I've played in a 6-some and that 6-somes are permitted is exactly why I don't play the military courses often despite the great price/value. Played with a solid group of golfers (winner was 1-under) so we were moving efficiently, but only made about 15 holes in 5 hours before downpours. Had a great time in the 6-some, but man, would have been hurting (and prolly walked after 9) if I were behind our group :-) So in sum, if invited to play with locals, I highly encourage it (and will definitely play again), but looking for a good value on my own or with a friend, I'd pass and look fora tier 2 course at a similar price (or touch more) where you can get around in 4 hours no problem.
until next time from the land of smiles