Thursday, 7 January 2010
If I want sand and water, I’ll go to the beach. Not a golf course. But, no, back in 1924 O.A. Robins -- a Scottish railway engineer -- decided that what sleepy Hua Hin really needed was a golf course. (He would be Scottish, wouldn’t he?)
And so he set about hacking the jungle on the outskirts of the peaceful fishing village, and created Thailand’s very first golf course. It was called Royal Hua Hin, probably because the King had just set up his summer beach palace in the vicinity and the course was in Hua Hin. Makes sense.
And since then Hua Hin has been golfing mad, now home to more courses per square inch than possibly any other place on the planet. If you don’t believe me, get out your tape measure. Given the mountains, the jungle, the beautiful views over the Gulf of Thailand I can almost see the attraction myself …
But it’s not just quantity, it’s quality. For instance, Black Mountain Golf Club was just voted the 4th best championship in Asia. That’s right, not just Hua Hin. Not just Thailand. The whole of Asia. (See my next blog for a write up on the course). And Banyan Golf Club was just named the best new course in Asia Pacific by Golf Asia magazine. Finland’s #1 pro golfer (perhaps Finland’s only pro golfer, but never mind) Mikko Ilonen pronounced it ‘superb’.
As for the green fees*, suffice to say they’d even make a Scotsman’s arms reach the bottom of his pockets for once. Well, almost.
*See below for green fees, current as of December 2009
Black Mountain Golf Club www.bmghuahin.com Green fees: 2500 baht
Banyan Village, Resort and Golf, Hua hin www.banyanthailand.com 3250 baht
Kaeng Krachan Golf & Country Club, Hua hin www.kaengkrachanresort.com 2000 baht
Majestic Creek Country Club, Hua Hin www.golfhuahin.com/maj.htm 2500 baht
Palm Hills Golf Club & Residence, Hua hin www.palmhills-golf.com 2500 baht
Royal Hua Hin Golf Club www.golfhuahin.com/royalhuahin.htm 2000 baht
Imperial Lakeview Hotel & Golf Club, Cha Am. www.imperialhotels.com/lakeview/ 2600 baht
Springfield Royal Country Club, Cha Am www.springfieldresort.com/golf 2900 baht
Dragon Hills Golf & Country Club, Ratchaburi www.golfhuahin.com/dragonhills.htm
Royal Ratchaburi Golf Club & Resort, Ratchaburi www.royalratchaburi.com
Oh, a tip for Scottish golfers: some courses offer discounts on green fees for tee off after 2pm.
Golf tour operators in the area:
Sabai Sabai Golf www.sabaisabai.huahin.fi
Tee Time Thailand http://www.teetimethailand.com/
Have you ever played golf in Hua Hin? Tell us your experiences or favourite course.