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Asian Golf Travel Nation - December 2013

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Dear Golf Travelers,

Golf in AsiaWelcome to the December 2013 edition of the Asian Golf Travel Nation, the source for news breaking information about Asian Golf. In addition, unique golf playing tips for Indochina's tropical environment, announcements of golf travel promotions, and our latest subscription offer are all integral parts of today's newsletter.

It's the last month of 2013 what a year it has been. I trust you have great plans arranged for the holidays with friends and family - and hopefully coming to experience golf with us here in Asia. The high season is in full swing (no pun intended). Sunny and dry weather is here and now until March is the best time of year to golf in Asia. With the top golf courses across the region reporting excellent playing conditions, greens are fast and fairways are well-manicured.

All of our services are in place for the busiest time of the year - ready to host you as our guests on life changing golf adventures. I hope to see you here soon. Here is just a sample of our new and expanded services.

  1. Do you like to play in a friendly completion and meet other like-minded golfers when you travel? The Hua Hin Amateur Week or the Centara World Masters checks all the boxes.
  2. Have you ever wanted to stay in a private villa, condo, house, or golf resort instead of a hotel? We have access to 100's of private residences with maid, cook, and driver services that are available for short or long term holiday rentals.
  3. Are you looking for a classier way of travel to and from the golf courses? Golfasian Angel© Service would be ideal for you. Luxury SUV's with attractive English speaking chauffeur's suit even the most discerning golfers.
  4. Do you dislike lugging your golf clubs or paying for excess baggage charges when travelling overseas? We now have new TaylorMade golf clubs for hire.
  5. Have you ever thought about being the first in your area to experience the complete UNESCO World Heritage Golf Trail in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam? Then this tour or one of our Golf Lifestyle Experience™ tours is for you.

As always there are many golf 'happenings' around the region so with that, I invite you to enjoy this edition of the Asian Golf Nation.

 Visit Golfasian Today!

Golf news from around the region:

*Hua Hin - Best Golf Destination of the Year 2014Hua Hin: Congratulations to the City of Hua Hin for winning the Best Golf Destination Asia and Australasia’s 2014 as voted by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators! Moreover, Black Mountain Golf Club and Banyan Golf Club were also honored as the best golf course and best clubhouse in Thailand, respectively, at the most recent Asia Pacific Golf Summit. To cap things off even further the US$1 Million Asian Tour's King's Cup will be staged January 16-19, 2014 at Black Mountain Golf Club as the penultimate event of the 2013 Asian Tour Schedule. With these kinds of accolades and events Hua Hin is sure to draw even more attention on the international golf scene.

Gassan Lake City Golf Club and ResortChiang Mai: Schmidt-Curley is back in Thailand. Gassan Lake City Golf Club and Resort is undergoing a complete renovation by Schmidt-Curley Design. The former rice paddy course has for 5 years struggled to be part of the Chiang Mai golf scene. Now with Schmidt-Curley on board, re-routing of holes, fresh Paspalum turf, re-shaped fairways, new greens, enlarged tee boxes, high-lipped bunker complexes, and improvements to overall playability the golf experience should be brought up to par with Chiang Mai's other courses. The course renovations should be completed mid-2014.

*Bali National courseBali: The new Bali National course is ready for play after undergoing extensive renovations including fresh turf, premium irrigation, and many re-routed holes. Full opening is expected by years end when the grow-in is complete on the back nine and the new clubhouse is finished. I toured the course last month and it is nothing like the former and rather average Bali Golf & Country Club. In fact, I would not be surprised to see Bali National win the 2014 best new course in Asia, it is that good.


*Garden City Golf ClubPhnom Penh:
Golf is relatively new in Cambodia, and until the mid-1990s it was unheard of. However, this changed with the country's entry into ASEAN, which saw top Cambodian officials meeting on a regular basis with their contemporaries in the more developed golfing Asian nations. Golf is now so popular in Cambodia that it now has 8 golf courses. The Kingdom's best golfing "ambassador" is none other than Prime Minister Mr. Hun Sen, who is an avid golf player with a handicap of 15. Check out the newest golf course in Cambodia, Garden City Golf Club, designed by none other than our own Thai Major General Weerayudth (Suwan, Sea Pine, Phokeethra) or better yet be combine Phnom Penh with Siem Reap for the best of golf in Cambodia.

*Kota Permai Golf & Country ClubKuala Lumpur: What I have been saying all along since playing Kota Permai has turned into reality. Kota Permai Golf & Country Club has been awarded the 2nd Best Course in Malaysia and 10th Best Course in Asia Pacific by the Asian Golf Monthly. Not only is Kota Permai the most underrated and under-marketed course in Malaysia, it is also the best value-for-money in Kuala Lumpur. If you are looking for premium Kuala Lumpur course to play at reasonable costs, then Kota Permai should be at the top of your list

With that I would like to once again thank those of you who have golfed with us recently, it was nice seeing you and I hope your trip was memorable one.

The golf, culture, and beauty of SE Asia are perfectly suited for an unforgettable golf experience. This includes playing private members clubs and championship golf courses, enjoying the world's best cuisines and entertainment, taking daily spas and massages, and best of all at prices so reasonable that you will think the costs are too low!

Tailor-made itineraries to your specific travel preferences, expectations and budgets are our specialty; contact us for a competitive quote.

Until the next newsletter, happy golfing and I hope to see YOU in the area very soon!

Mark Siegel
Managing Director of Golfasian


- Golfasian Hua Hin Branch Opens!

Golfasian Hua Hin BranchThe Golfasian Hua Hin Branch recently opened in the centre of the resort town Hua Hin in August and is now fully operational. With this we want to provide better focus on Property Sales and complete Golf Services. Hua Hin is one of the fastest growing resorts in Asia and our venture into the property market will help any of our clients looking for their dream home.

Our golf services offer our clients the opportunity to call in and say hello, make amendments, discuss future holiday plans and generally a point of contact that makes them feel comfortable. We also offer excursions, late green fee bookings, club rentals and a golf lesson booking service to name a few.
- Hua Hin Properties

Hua Hin PropertiesGolfasian's new property division has listings of golf course villas and beachfront apartments for rent and for sale.

Find your perfect holiday escape in one of the most popular resorts in Thailand.

Feel free to stop by our office and see what we can offer or take our property tour (free of charge).

For a complete listing of Thailand properties visit our website.

- Golf Travel Testimonials

We have asked David F., a frequent golf traveler to Thailand a few questions about his golf experiences in Asia. Read on to learn what makes David think that Thailand is such a great golf destination.

  1. David with CaddiesWhen was the first time you came to Asia / Thailand to play golf and what was your first impression?
    It must have been some nine years ago that I first visited Thailand as a regular tourist. I was on a package tour which took me to some lovely places and hotels, including Chiang Mai where I stayed at the Rachamanka Hotel but I did not play golf. While there I met Wi, who became my Thai wife some years later. I ended the trip with eight days at Patong beach and Phuket where I played golf with hired clubs and I enjoyed the experience so much I resolved to come back to Thailand with my own clubs the next year and to stay and play in Chiang Mai so that I could see Wi again. This was all booked with GolfAsian. As it happened, the tsunami struck and destroyed my Patong Beach Hotel twelve days after I returned to England.

  2. How many times have you travelled to Asia in total for a golf holiday and why do you chose to come back here?
    I enjoyed my 2005 holiday so much that I have returned to Chiang Mai every year since and played golf at all the Chiang Mai courses over time, including the three Gassan courses and Ithanon. While I would not deny that being able to see Wi every year has been a major factor, I have found the quality of the golf courses, the pleasure of having such fun caddies, and having everything so easily arranged through GolfAsian made my trips to Chiang Mai special. I have also been to Chiang Rai and played there, as well as Hua Hin one year.

  3. What is the most unique aspect of a golf holiday in Thailand that you cannot have anywhere else?
    The excellent service I get from GolfAsian, including my drivers and the caddies, is unique to Thailand. In addition, the weather in Chiang Mai is more summery and warm than anywhere else I have played. And the Thai people are so kind and the food so good, and the courses so well maintained, and the caddies so much fun, that for an older player and high handicapper like me (I am now in my 70's and play off 28!) there is nowhere in the world where I can get such carefree golf and excellent facilities at value for money prices as Chiang Mai!

  4. Which destination in Thailand would you recommend to your friends when they plan their next golf holiday to Thailand?
    For all the reasons above I do always recommend Chiang Mai; and also because it has a greater variety of top quality courses than anywhere else I know.

  5. What is your favorite golf course in Thailand and why?
    Picking my favourite golf course is tricky; I guess it was once Highlands and now is Alpine (the old Chiang Mai - Lamphun course because of the better locker facilities there.) But there is very little to choose between the actual playing courses at my four favourites; Highlands, Alpine, Royal and Mae Jo.

  6. What services of Golfasian stand out most in your opinion and on which areas could we improve?
    All GolfAsian's services are excellent and terrific value for money. I cannot think of any improvements, unless you could do a deal with top airlines for the long haul flights from Europe to Asia.

David F.
United Kingdom, November 2013

[Read more golf travel testimonials]
[Find out about Golfasian's Travel Satisfaction Guarantee]

- Chiang Mai - A Personal Destination Review by Jim Mullet - Intl. Sales Manager

Chiang Mai - A Personal Destination Review by Jim Mullet - Intl. Sales ManagerChiang Mai has changed so much since my first visit in 2002. At that time there were no real 5 star hotels or nice boutique Thai style properties. Dining and shopping options were limited and road infrastructure was poor. There were several golf courses, though it wasn't really a 'golf destination' for western golf tourists like Phuket and Pattaya were.

What hasn't changed though is the area's Value for money and the nature of the Chiang Mai people, their smiles and their gentle and kind nature... the things that kept drawing me back.

Now Chiang Mai offers hotels, restaurants and shopping to suit everyone's tastes and budget, has a spoke and hub highway system that makes getting around much easier, and the golf just keeps getting better.

I also like the weather in Northern Thailand. Daytime highs are not much different than central Thailand, however at night it cools down more and is very pleasant year round.

Many people ask me "When is the best time to visit Chiang Mai?" That is difficult to answer as all seasons have appeal for different reasons. The weather is nicest during the winter months, however if planning a visit anytime in December / January / February you need to book several months in advance and you can expect the hotels and courses to be crowded. The courses are much less crowded from March through November, and prices are lowest from May through October - the weather may not be as nice, though it's generally fine for a golf holiday and rain-outs are rare.

[Read more golf articles]

- Featured Golf Course - Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort

Chiang Mai Highlands Golf and Spa ResortOne thousand feet above sea level in the mountainous northern region of Thailand, Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort is a breath of fresh air – literally. The atmosphere is cooler and crisper than in any other part of the country. The reservoir-fed course is invigorating, too. Credit goes to Mother Nature and the design team of Schmidt Curley, which elected not to impinge on the land and instead let the natural contours of the hilly property dictate each hole.

The result is a nice balance of risk and reward, symbolized best by the 558-yard, par-5 finishing hole, a downhiller that tempts players on their second shot to take on a large pond fronting the green. After you've completed your round, take a seat in the plush, open-air restaurant for 5-star nosh, or retreat to one of nine exquisitely appointed bungalows with balconies overlooking your triumph.

[Read more about one of Thailand's Best Golf Courses]

- Featured Hotel - RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort Chiang Mai

RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort Chiang MaiLocated in the city and on the banks of the Ping River, the Ratilanna Riverside Spa Resort (formerly Sofitel Riverside Hotel) offers 75 suite and deluxe rooms each with private balconies. A wooden theme design throughout is combined with modern facilities and ancient Chiang Mai heritage. The Chiang Mai resort offers the highest standard of services and is an excellent choice for discerning Chiang Mai golf visitors.

[Read more about one of Thailand's Best Hotels]

- Golf Trip Idea: Northern Thailand Golf & Culture Holiday

Northern Thailand Golf & Culture Holiday This Thailand golf tourincludes golf and sightseeing in two spectacular Northern Thailand destinations, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Combine world-class golfing with authentic Northern Thai culture for a truly memorable Thailand golf holiday.

[Northern Thailand Golf & Culture Holiday Itinerary...]

Thailand Amateur Golf Weeks 2013


Our golf tournament team has just spend two days in Hua Hin, making final inspections and arrangements for the Hua Hin Amateur Week to be held 2-8 March 2014.

Mark Siegel, Golfasian's Managing Director,  noted "the courses are in fabulous condition now and the Banyan Resort is going to be an awesome destination to host our largest Amateur Week group in Hua Hin!"

As an incentive to book now, we are offering one of our great Golfasian Boston Bags FREE with the players name embroidered on it, for any new booking paid in full before 1st January 2014. We only have 30 of these bags to give away, so its first in with the completed bookings.

Further details to be found on this link on our Hua Him Amateur Week website.

- Centara World Masters Golf Championship 15-21 June 2014 | Hua Hin, Thailand
Centara World Masters Golf Championship

We invite you to join club golfers from around the world for Asia's biggest and richest amateur week of golf.

After 18 years in Australia, the Centara World Masters Golf Championship will quickly build a reputation as Asia's best week of golf for club golfers. Golfers from around the world will be drawn to Thailand's royal retreat for a great value week of golf, fun and entertainment.

Joining you in Hua Hin Thailand will be more than 500 golfers from more than 20 countries who share your love of the game and your thirst for fun.

The biggest of all such golf events features 72-holes of stableford competition, lots of gifts and prizes, plus nightly parties and entertainment. At the heart of the event's success is the camaraderie developed among participants. This is where lifelong friendships are forged.

So long as you are over 35 and have an official golf handicap, you can tee it up at the Masters. There are 15 tournament divisions based on age and handicap. Playing with golfers your own age and standard is one of the event's great traditions.

The Centara World Masters will see you play at Hua Hin's world class golf courses with all the trappings of a major professional tournament. Black Mountain, Banyan, Majestic Creek and Imperial Lake View will give you the ultimate golfing experience. You will be spoiled by Thailand's friendly caddies.

Much more than a golf tournament, there are lively social and entertainment events every night. International acts will be a highlight at the welcome and farewell celebrations. Thailand's biggest 19th hole moves each night to stunning rooftop, beach, and poolside settings. A decadent farewell dinner caps off the fun filled week.

This event is Thailand's richest amateur tournament with US $30,000 in prizes to be won. Whether you come on your own or with a party of friends, just don't miss it! Visit for event updates and joing our Facebook Page.

Peter McCarthy and Mark Siegel
Tournament Directors

[Register today!]

Asia Golf Specials
- Golf Course Maintenance Updates


  • All golf courses in Bangkok are in great condition.

Hua Hin

  • Majestic Creek Country Club - Course C is closed until ~January 2014. The course as one temporary green on the first nine.
  • Banyan Golf Club, Black Mountain Golf Club, Imperial Lake View, Majestic Creek Country Club, Palm Hills Golf Club and Residence, Royal Hua Hin Golf Course, Sea Pine Golf Course, and Springfield Royal Country Club are in excellent condition.


  • Siam Country Club, Old Course - Course will be closed for the Honda LPGA from 3 - 27 February, 2014.
  • Burapha Golf Course, Greenwood Golf and Resort, Khao Kheow Country Club, Laem Chabang International Country Club, Pattana Sport Club, Phoenix Golf & Country Club, Siam Country Club, St. Andrews 2000 Golf Club & Burapha Golf Club are in excellent condition.


  • Laguna Phuket Golf Club - 9 holes (starting with the back 9) will be closed for 18 months from July 2013 onwards. The front 9 are playable until March 2014, while the back 9 are under renovation. The front 9 will start renovation in March 2014 while the freshly renovated back 9 will have been reopened for play.
  • Blue Canyon, Canyon Course, Blue Canyon, Lakes Course, Loch Palm Golf Club, Mission Hills Phuket, Phuket Country Club, Red Mountain Golf Club are in excellent condition.

Chiang Mai

  • Chiang Mai Inthanon Golf Resort - Coring green on 25 November. Course will be in 100% condition by mid-December.
  • Gassan Khuntan Lake City - Course renovation. Expected completion date in April 2014.
  • Alpine Golf Resort & Chiang Mai Highlands Golf and Spa, Mae Jo Golf Club, Royal Chiang Mai Golf Resort are in excellent condition.

Chiang Rai

  • Santiburi Chiang Rai Country Club is in good condition.



  • Hanoi Golf Club and Heron Lake Golf Club and Resort - Closed on Monday mornings for maintenance.
  • Van Tri Golf Club, Kings Island Golf Resort are in excellent condition


  • Vietnam Golf and Country Club - The East course is closed on 6th, 13th, 16th, 27th & 30th of December. The West course is closed on on 2nd, 9th, 20th & 23rd of December for maintenance, in the morning only.
  • Song Be Golf Resort is in good condition
  • Long Thanh Golf Course, Twin Doves Golf Club are in excellent condition


  • Danang Golf Club, Laguna Lang Co Golf Club & Montgomerie Links Vietnam are in excellent condition

 Phan Thiet

  • Sea Link Golf Course - The only renovation on this course is in the rough area of hole number 9. This will not affected the playability.
  • Ocean Dunes Golf Club is in good condition

Nha Trang

  • Vinpearl Golf Club and Diamond Bay Golf Course are in great condition


Kuala Lumpur

  • Saujana Golf & Country Club – Palm 1 will be under renovation from 1 August 2013 for 8 months. Palm 10 - immediately after completion of Palm 1 and will go on for 8 months.


- Golf Tournaments

Thailand Golf TournamentsHua Hin Amateur Golf Week - March 2014
Date: March 1 - 8, 2014 | Location: Hua Hin, Thailand [Find out more]

Pattaya Amateur Golf Week - March 2014
Date: March 8 - 15, 2014 | Location: Pattaya, Thailand [Find out more]

Phuket Amateur Golf Week - June 2014
Date: June 8 - 14, 2014 | Location: Phuket, Thailand [Find out more]

Centara World Masters Golf Championship - June 2014
Date: June 15 - 21, 2014 | Location: Hua Hin, Thailand [Find out more]

Cambodia Amateur Golf Week - July 2014
Date: July 27 - August 4, 2014 | Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia [Find out more]

Vietnam Amateur Golf Week - August 2014
Date: August 4 - 10, 2014 | Location: Danang, Vietnam [Find out more]

Pattaya Amateur Golf Week - October 2014
Date: October 18 - 25, 2014 | Location: Pattaya, Thailand [Find out more]

Chiang Mai Amateur Golf Week - October 2014
Date: October 25 - November 01, 2014 | Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand [Find out more]

- Best of the Blog

Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In Thailand

Golf In Singapore Versus Golf In ThailandHere are my rankings on the golfing in these 2 countries on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being best.

Quality (30%)
Singapore (8): For a small island state Singapore has allocated land for close to 30 golf courses. The quality ranges from good at course like Orchid and Raffles to world-class at Laguna National and Sentosa Island.

Thailand (7): Of the 280 golf courses in Thailand, 60 are up to international standards. Thailand’s best courses include Siam Country Club in Pattaya and Black Mountain in Hua Hin. Both have played host to major professional golf tournaments and have been heavily honored by major golf journalists.

[Read the entire article]

Other golf stories can be found at the Thailand Golf Zone, Vietnam Golf Zone and Phuket Golf Zone where there are over 600 other original articles dealing exclusively with golf in Asia and golf travel.

I would love to hear about any golf tips that any of you may have developed for getting the maximum enjoyment from your golf trips, 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.

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- Golfing Tips by Ian Morgan - Bring Your Hybrids

When I first came to Thailand 11 years ago I carried just two woods and a full set of irons including a 3 & 4 iron. Now I find it is easier to carry a five wood and two hybrids because the modern woods go the grass much easier, and here in Thailand the grass is much thicker to resist the high temperatures. My tip this month is leave the long irons at home and bring the hybrids, it will make the game easier for you!

[Read more Golf Tips Articles]

If you have any other questions regarding golf tips to help you with your game email us at and we will reply in upcoming newsletters

For more golf tips visit

- Meet Golfasian at these Trade/Roadshows/Fam-Trips

-Golfasian has a full schedule of tradeshows and roadshows during the next few months.

You can find us at the following events:

  • January 22 - 24, 2014 - PGA Merchandise Show (Orlando, Florida, USA)

Arrange an appointment with Golfasian at one of these exhibits.

- About Us & Contacts
GolfasianIf any reader would like to suggest a topic to be covered or better yet contribute materials, photos, or even commissions an article please contact us by e-mail, we welcome the help.


  • Licensed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), License No: 14/00515
  • Licensed by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, License No: 79-302/2011
  • Recommended by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
  • Member of Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA)
  • Member of the International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals (SKAL)
  • Member of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM)
  • Founder and member of Golf in a Kingdom (GIAK)
  • Founder and member of Golf Coast Vietnam (GCV)
Golfasian Co., Ltd.
Unit 1105, 29 Bangkok Business Center
Soi Ekamai, Sukhumvit 63 Road
Klongtan Nua, Wattana
Bangkok 10110 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2 714 8470
Fax: +66 (0) 2 714 8471
Golfasian Vietnam Co., Ltd
5th floor, HAN Building
301 Tran Hung Dao Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84 (0) 8 3838 6510
Fax: +84 (0) 8 3838 6537

Toll Free US/Canada: 1-866-550-2284


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Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos & Myanmar!