There are some fantastic golf courses around Phuket and playing them is a pleasure for any golfer. However, the first thing we must say about playing golf in Phuket is that it is not cheap. Any golfer coming to Phuket expecting bargain green fees is going to be sorely disappointed. The courses and facilities are top-class and the fees reflect that. If you enjoy playing golf on good quality courses and do not mind paying for that pleasure, then Phuket is a great place for a golfing holiday. If you are looking for bargain green fees then there are many other locations around Thailand such as Pattaya that will suit you much better. There are currently six golf clubs in Phuket boasting a total of nine courses. Each course has its own character and challenges. They should provide enough to fill just about any golfing holiday.
Playing Golf in Phuket
The courses in Phuket take advantage of the naturally undulating geography to create some quite spectacular holes. Many of the courses were built on land reclaimed from the old tin mining industry. The old flooded mines form expansive lakes so there is plenty of water in play. The steep-sided hills that are a common feature of Phuket’s geography form a spectacular backdrop for many of the courses.
Only one of Phuket’s courses is by the sea. Mission Hills has a small section of course on the coast facing out towards beautiful Phang Nga Bay. Seafront land is very expensive so the courses are mostly inland. Playing golf in Thailand can be hot work. The most popular tee-off times are from 2pm onwards so you can complete your round in the cool of the late afternoon. The courses can get busy at this time. If you don’t mind playing in the heat then the courses are much quieter around midday. There are refreshment bars dotted around the courses to help flagging golfers maintain their energy.
Many Thais enjoy a round of golf. Their golfing etiquette may seem a little odd to foreign visitors. They often walk ahead after playing their shots. They are also often playing for money. Some of the wealthier Thais play for large sums on every hole so they willtake their time over their shots.
It is mandatory to take a caddie on most of the courses in Phuket (and in Thailand). The courses provide caddies (generally young women) so as well as your green fees, the course will also charge a caddie fee. The caddie fee is 200 to 300 baht but you should still pay the caddie a tip at the end of the round. The normal tip is 200-baht for 9-holes or 300-baht for 18-holes. The caddies will carry your bags, repair your divots and pitch marks, and direct you around the course. Many hackers initially find the presence of caddies watching their every shot a little disconcerting but there is no need to feel bad. They have seen every standard of golfer and they really don’t mind searching in the undergrowth for your lost balls. A little banter with the caddies is all part of the fun of the round.
Golf Fees in Phukt
We have said it already. The green fees are expensive and remember you will also need to pay a caddie fee. If you also want to rent clubs or a cart then you may need a small mortgage. The rates we give below are the walk-in prices but there are a few ways to get discounted rates.
How to Get Discounted Golf Fees in Phuket
- Book your round through an online agent – you can get reduced rates by booking through an agent such as Phuket Golf.
- Join PEGS – if you are resident in Phuket or visit often, you could consider joining the Phuket Expat Golf Society. They organise monthly society days and also have agreements with a couple of the courses for reduced green fees for their members.
- Become a club member – if you are resident in Phuket or you visit often, you could become a member of your local club. If you play often, it is a good investment.
- Get a member to sign you in – if you know a member, they can sign you in and you will get around 50% discount.
Golf Courses in Phuket
Phuket Country Club
[flickr]5770318935[/flickr] The Phuket Country Club is the oldest club on the island. It has a convenient central location in Kathu that makes it easy to access for visitors staying at the popular west coast tourist resorts. There are two courses. The old course is an 18-hole par 72 and is 6,484 yards off the blue tees. It starts with a challenging meander around the base of the surrounding steep sided hills before dropping into a less punishing flood plain. The course will punish bad shots and provides a good challenge, even for low handicap golfers. The newer country club course is a 9-hole par 36 and is 3,375 yards from the blue tees. It is generally reckoned to be the toughest 9-holes on Phuket. There is water in play on 8 of the 9 holes.
Loch Palm Golf Course
The Loch Palm Golf Club is also in a convenient central location in Kathu that makes it easy to reach for the many visitors staying on the west coast. It has two 18-hole courses. The Loch Palm course is generally considered to be the easiest on Phuket. It is nonetheless a very attractive course and still offers plenty of challenge. It is built around the largest lake of any of the courses in Phuket and is an 18-hole par 72 that is 6,555 yards from the back tees. The combined green fee and caddy fee is currently 4,000-baht. The Red Mountain course is a stunning new course. It takes its name from the surrounding mountains some of which are scared with seams of red rock. The course is an 18-hole par 72 and is 6,900 yards from the back. The course is built around old tin mines and has many elevation changes to make for some spectacular holes. The green fee, caddy fee and compulsory golf cart fee is currently an eye-watering 6,500-baht…..ouch!
Blue Canyon Club
[flickr]5770318825[/flickr] The Blue Canyon Club is the premier golf club in Phuket. It is located towards the northern end of Phuket, near the airport and is therefore a bit of a hike to get to from most of the tourist areas. The club has hosted several top-class tournaments and is renowned for its perfect glass-smooth greens. The club features two stunning 18-hole courses. The Canyon Course has been voted best in Asia on no less than four occasions. As the name suggests, the course features several holes around natural canyons. There are many notable holes including the 13th made famous when Tiger Woods drove it and the 17th which is the longest par 3 in Thailand. This course may soon become members only so if you want to enjoy it you best hurry. It is an 18-hole par 72 that is 7,179 yards from the back tees. The combined green fee and caddy fee is currently 5,900-baht. The Lakes course has water on 17 of the 18 holes. It is an 18-hole par 72 and is 7,129 yards from the back tees. Wide fairways and generous greens make the course look deceptively kind but somehow the water and large greens seem to swallow up shots. The combined green fee and caddy fee is currently 4,700-baht.
Laguna Phuket Golf Club
The Laguna Phuket Golf Club is part of the Laguna complex at Bang Tao Beach that also features seven top-class hotels. The club has an 18-hole par 71 course which is 6,654 yards from the back tees. The course has many lagoons which are a common feature of this area and it recently hosted the Thailand Open. The combined green fee and caddy fee is currently 4,200-baht. There are slightly reduced rates available to hotel guests.
Mission Hills Golf Club
The Mission Hills Golf Club is located on the northeast coast of Phuket, well away from the major tourist areas. It does therefore have its own hotel. The course is an 18-hole par 72 that is 6,806 yards off the back tees It is the only Phuket course that is actually by the sea, although only for a short stretch with glorious views towards Phang Nga Bay. There are large bunkers and the course also features lakes, canals and island greens. There is plenty of challenge all the way around the course. They have in the past struggled to keep the course in good condition but an upgrade in 2010 has hopefully solved the problems. The course location is well away from most of Phuket’s amenities and attractions. The hotel has the amenities you would expect, including restaurant, bar, swimming pool and fitness centre. The combined green fee, caddy fee and compulsory cart fee is currently 4,700-baht. There are slightly reduced rates available to hotel guests.
Phunaka Golf Course
The Phunaka Golf Club is the newest course in Phuket. It was originally envisioned as just a training facility with 56-bay driving range and golf academy. The developers then decided they had enough space to also squeeze in a small 9-hole course. It is a par 30, 2163 yards. It is only really a training course and six of the holes are par-3s. Just the same it is challenging enough. They have created a links style course and the three longer holes mean you do get a chance to use every club. The course also has floodlights so you can play at night. Green fees are 1,600-baht.
This article was originally published at Know Phuket.