Teeing Off In Thailand

By Emily Huang Ramirez Jan 19, 2014
After Spain and the United States, it’s Thailand that takes the third seat in the world’s international golf tourism destination. Thailand has picked up more golf tourism awards than any other country, being named best destination in 2010 by the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators (IAGTO), and receiving the association’s first regional award in 2012 for Pattaya.

While the majority of inbound golf tourists come from within Asia, other markets including Great Britain and Western Europe - and on a smaller scale from North America - are growing. More and more, golf tourists are realizing what Thai golfers have long known: all facets on and off the course are focused on providing the best possible experience. For those not in the know, here are a few reasons why Thailand is a hot spot for golf holidays.

Weather

The three distinct seasons of Thailand’s tropical culture make it ideal for yearlong tee offs in any of the regions. The cool season from November to February is mild and very sunny with humidity reaching its lowest levels of all three seasons. Temperatures average between 16°– 35° Celsius, with light breezes and clear skies in abundance. This is also the busiest time for travel in Thailand, but it doesn’t surpass the peak golfing conditions. The hottest period commands the March to May weather, with average daily temperatures reaching up to 40° Celsius in some regions. However, the temperature rise is gradual and as any good golfer knows, early morning or evening tee offs are ideal. June to October is known as the green season, when the most rainfall occurs due to the southwest monsoons. Intermittent showers and thunderstorms prevail throughout the day, but as Thailand experiences the driest monsoon period of any Southeast Asian country, there is still plenty of sunshine to and warm weather to be had.

Courses

Thailand has been the distinguished host of world class Corporate, Pro-am and Charity tournaments, attracting big names such as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus to name but a few, with some purse prizes surpassing USD$1 million. With that comes the knowledge and expertise of professionally designed courses – both by players and leading architects. There are over 200 courses to choose from at the moment, satisfying the varying levels of any visiting golfer.

Terrain Diversity

It’s no secret that Thailand is a coffer of beautiful of sights to behold. Several golfing destinations can be found within the bustling city of Bangkok with some courses hardly alluding to the vibrant and chaotic energy of the metropolis. Cooling, mountainous countryside courses can be found to the north in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, while stunning beachside courses are to be had in the south in Phuket, Krabi, and Koh Samui. If a lively scene is on the menu, great courses can be found in Pattaya. Or if quieter, quainter destinations are the mission, there are plenty of options in the seaside town of Hua Hin, or amidst the breathtaking waterfalls and scenery of Khao Yai. Golfers can even find themselves surrounded by sand dunes in a links-style golf course dotted between rice paddies. Whatever your flavor, Thailand has any golfer covered.



Caddies

Thailand is known the world over as the land of smiles, and on the greens is no exception. Caddies are an integral part of the game and provide exceptional value-added service. From the moment players are greeted at the clubhouse to arranging post-game services, Thai caddies are known for catering to every need. Distances to the green, lines of putts and marking balls are just standard procedure in addition to keeping any visitor cool and refreshed. And of course, this is all done with impeccable efficiency and a smile. Thais are known as some of the friendliest people in the world.

Accommodation

Staying in Thailand is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and every budget from five-star resort to Thai style bungalow can be met with the wide array of accommodation on offer in all regions.

Food

Thailand is famous for its food; rich in flavor and complex on the tongue, yet simple and fresh. Varieties of local dishes are around every corner, but impressive international cuisine is also easy to find for those visitors seeking something closer to home. The options are endless.

Infrastructure

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) fully supports the tourism industry, catering to every need, with golfing being one of the top priorities. Excellent information and regulation assures high standards for any golfing holiday. With this comes high quality infrastructure, making golfing destinations within Thailand easily accessible and affordable.

Entertainment

Outside of golfing, there are a plethora of activities to be enjoyed that any visitor would be spoiled for choice. From cultural attractions such as festivals, temples and shrines to local markets and top-rated shopping destinations, there is something to please every taste. Thailand boasts a chasm of splendid beaches and mountains, and hosts an abyss of world-class spas, internationally renowned shopping and dynamic nightlife. The list is endless.

Value

With the boundless choices of accommodation, cuisine, entertainment and courses, Thailand offers tremendous value for the money, making it a hot spot for golfing tourists of all levels, interests and price ranges.

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