Thailand Golf Travel Nation Spring 2008
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Welcome to the spring edition of the Thailand Golf Travel Nation. This newsletter contains original and news breaking stories on the state of golf in Thailand as well as provides useful golf course information, unique golf playing tips for Thailand’s tropical environment, announcements of special golf travel promotions, and our newest subscription offer.

The spring golf season is starting in most places and I hope you have had a chance to dust off your clubs and get in some practice and/or initial rounds. Here in Thailand, playing conditions are still excellent and the weather dry, which makes for many days of fine golf weather. However the summer is fast approaching and this will mean the higher temperatures so it might make sense to try to get in some golf here before things heat up too much!

Siam Country Club PlantationThere have been some notable Thailand golf news events recently including the opening of a fantastic new golf Pattaya golf course. The Siam Country Club, Plantation Course is by far the most challenging layout in Pattaya, surpassing even Laem Chabang in this category. I played there a few weeks ago and all I can say of this fantastic new golf course is leave your handicap and egos at home. You better be prepared for the hardest test of golf in Pattaya yet! Fast, elevated and well guarded greens are found on most every hole and the putting surfaces seem like they have been molded from potato chips, they are that undulating!

Blue Canyon Country ClubIn other news, I am very sorry to report that the famous Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket is CLOSED! How can this possibly happen at the #1 golf course in all Thailand? Well apparently legal issues between the ownership and the management company forced the closure. Depending on who you speak with the course will re-open sometime in the next month once new staffing is completed and golf course maintenance operations re-started. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the new management will bring the course back to its former glory. In the meantime, we are moving all rounds booked on the Blue Canyon Lakes Course to Loch Palm or Phuket CC and rounds scheduled on Blue Canyon, Canyon Course to the spectacular Red Mountain, all great alternatives and in top condition.

Lamphun Chiang MaiUp north, Chiang Mai Lamphun has begun renovation work on the golf course. In a yet to be announced development (you heard it first at the Thailand Golf Nation), Ron Garl, the same designer as Alpine in Bangkok, has been commissioned to re-shape the course and transform the layout into the most challenging in Northern Thailand. I will update you on the progress, but judging from the other Ron Garl creations; I think this goal is highly achievable! When renovations are finished Lamphun will be re-named Alpine Chiang Mai. Anyone want to take a guess at who the project owner and financier is?

VietnamWhat about Golfasian? This season we have hosted record number of golfers many of who are repeat visitors and I thank everyone for their support. We started our operations in Vietnam and Cambodia as well as elected agents to represent us in our key markets. You may have heard that we launched a new series of designer golf tours. These signature trips showcase a golf destination to the fullest and combine the best golf courses, top resorts, most requested sightseeing excursions and light adventure activities to provide a complete golf destination and lifestyle trip. The first 4 of these tours are already being offered and you can read more about them online.  Golfers have been able to experience the most enchanting golf destinations on earth and initial feedback has been unanimously positive.

Hua HinFinally, I want to wish everyone a very successful golf season.  For those of you who are looking for a spring or summer golf package I would like to suggest Hua Hin. Can you imagine 45% discount off Hua Hin Golf Holidays! Well it is true, for the next 4 months we are offering our luxury Hua Hin golf packages at 45% off our normal rates. How can this be so? We have worked out exclusive deals with partner hotels and golf courses as well as invested in our own vehicles in Hua Hin. Moreover, we want to give you back something for all the support you have given to us and have the opportunity to experience golf at this wonderful destination. I feel offering these insider and unpublished rates to you is the way to make it happen!

If anyone is interested in finding out more, please contact me directly.

Please remember if you want to get regular updates on the Thailand (and South East Asia) golf scene, then sign-up for uninterrupted email delivery of this newsletter. In addition, all persons signing up will automatically receive the latest “Thailand Golf Insider Tips” special report.

Have a great spring and remember, think positive and YOU WILL SHOOT PAR.

Mark Siegel
Managing Director

Featured Golf Resort – Suwan Golf Club, Bangkok

Suwan Golf & Country ClubEveryone that plays golf in Bangkok knows many of the golf courses are generally flat with lots of water due to Bangkok being a vast river plain. The new Suwan Golf and Country Club is only two years old and a real exception.

Suwan measures 7,125 yards from the back tees and the overall terrain is up and down and hilly. There are many dog legs which need very careful thought as to what clubs should be used from the tee.  Course knowledge is important to select the correct club on these tricky holes. Water is visible in many places and there are only one or two blind water hazards.

Two holes in particular stand out most. The par 5 2nd hole is a double dog leg. 564 yards from tee to green, you are greeted with a view over a lake, its banks littered with boulders. Choice is available off the tee. The long hitter can take on the hazard whilst the shorter hitter can go straight up the left of the water and play the hole in a comfortable 3 shots to the green. The second shot from 220-240 yards out appears to be to a small green, half hidden and tucked in close to the OB on the left. It is only when you get to the green that you realize that there is a bail out area short left of the green, making a lay up with an easy chip shot a much better option for a birdie chance, then a direct second shot to the green which is bound to find a hazard, or worse, be OB.

Suwan Hole 13 DoglegThe other memorable hole is the par 4 13th hole, a 404 yard sharp dog leg left with water forming the dog leg.  Most golfers will opt for what seems like a perfect drive just past the corner of the dog-leg only to find themselves on a sharp slope down to the water and in the rough. A better tee shot is the less aggressive hit to the right which does not cut off the dog leg and will find the fairway. The second shot can then be a relaxed iron from about 150 yards out. Otherwise, by cutting the dog leg, the second shot is a shorter 100 yards to the green, but from the down hill lie out of thick rough it impossible to hold the hard green.  Going over the green there is more thick rough, making it difficult to get up and down to save par. The lay up area in front is a much better option, and an easy up and down for par.

These are just 2 of the great holes at Suwan. I suggest if you are planning a Bangkok golf trip, then you should consider including Suwan as a top pick on your course list.  Play here before it is discovered by the masses, you will be glad you did!
Best of the Blog www.thailandgolfzone.com

Golfing In Thailand With CaddiesThailand Caddy

One aspect of Amazing Golf Thailand are the caddies. I often speak about this with friends and we all have the same conclusion, playing golf with a Thai caddie adds a whole new dimension to the game of golf and is a MUST experience for all golfers.

What can I say? For anyone who has not played golf in Thailand before, then the famous Thai caddies will be without doubt one of the unique and wonderful experiences of your golf holiday. However, be forewarned that when you return home you may never enjoy the game the game of golf due to the absence of Thai caddies!
Continue reading about “ Golf Caddies of Thailand”…….

Other Thailand Golf Tips  can be found at the Thailand Golf Zone where there are over 313 other original articles dealing exclusively with Thailand golf travel.

I would love to hear about any golf tips that any of you may have developed for getting the maximum enjoyment from golf in Thailand, and can incorporate some in future articles. Therefore if you have any golf tips or suggestions you would like to share, please let me know by dropping me an email.

Special Playing Advice

Relaxing on the swing

One thing great about Thailand is that it is an ideal place to relax. Therefore, this game improvement tip should be relatively easy to implement for all golfers holidaymakers in Thailand.

Relax on the swingOnly seasoned golfers appreciate the fact that the way to hit the ball straighter and longer is not to hit it harder, but to hit it better. I know that the average golfer in Thailand doesn't quite believe this. I watch almost every one of our clients on the first tee turning on their sheer muscular force. Time after time travelers here on a golf holiday make the same moves as they set to blast an extra long one off the first tee.

Whether it is widening of the stance or dropping the right shoulder into what feels like a more power producing position golfers with these "adjustments" start to move, only to find themselves off the ball and out of the correct balance even before the first swing is initiated.

To get the accuracy and distance you are capable of you have to take advantage of your natural ability of timing and coordination. The best way to do so is to be genuinely relaxed as you start the stroke and let the various components of your body get into the swing smoothly and evenly. Think of something soothing and start relaxed and stay relaxed. Keep your head and body steady. Then, as you go back, you can turn the arms and hips, in unison nice and easy and progress naturally from that point. Work for an integrated swing. Consistency and accuracy results from a coordinated swing and your distance will improve at least 20 yards in the process.

Now get relaxed for the best golf holiday of your life!

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Featured Phuket Golf Resort – Laguna Phuket

Laguna PhuketIt is never too early for golf-lovers to plan your next golf match. This summer, make sure to include the Laguna Phuket golf resort in your must visit list. 

The new Laguna Holiday Residences offer guests a choice of large and luxurious two, three or four-bedroom pool villas, to accommodate families or groups, fully equipped and surrounded by lush gardens.

The Laguna Holiday Club Phuket Resort is centrally located amid the tropical surrounds of Laguna Phuket and overlooks the Laguna Phuket Golf Club's scenic fairways.

The Allamanda Laguna Phuket all-suite hotel offers spacious accommodation featuring convenient kitchens and separate living and dining areas.

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