Happy City Golf Resort
29 holes par 72/36 (7036 yards)
Happy City Golf Resort Information
|Designer:||Pongsak Daengchuang and Prasan Srisuphachaiya|
|Holes / Par / Yardage:||29 holes par 72/36 (7036 yards)|
Wiang Chai area outside Chiang Rai
45 minutes from Chiang Rai
|Closed on:||Open everyday|
|Max. golfers per group:||Weekday: 5
|Golf Cart:||THB 800|
|Golf Set:||THB 1500|
|Golf Shoes:||THB 200|
|Facilities:||Golf Academy, Restaurants, Sauna, Spa|
(interesting 29-hole Korean-managed course)
Happy City Golf Resort is sprawled over 1200 rai and located in the Northern Thailand foothills just outside Chiang Rai. The Korean owned Chiang Rai golf resort plays as the world’s only 29-hole golf course. Locally designed and built by Thai golf professionals, three 9-hole courses are named Lakeside, Mountain Breeze, and River. Additionally, two additional maintenance holes are switched in and out to allow for course improvements without disrupting play on any of the nines.
Opened in 2012, the Chiang Rai Resort was still maturing. In 2013, added new trees enhanced the overall course aesthetics. Then in 2014 Bermuda grass replaced the original Paspalum on the Happy City fairways and tee boxes. Nowadays the Chiang Rai golf course tolerates dry and cooler conditions during the winter months better than most courses built at this latitude, though maintenance could still be improved.
Most holes at Happy City Golf Resort feature elevated tees playing to winding fairways with tough approach shots over water. The first ten holes, known as the Lakeside Course, feature an abundance of water hazards and sand bunkers. Keeping the ball in play and erring on the conservative side when in doubt is the key to scoring well. The many bunkers can take some getting used to, as the sand is a small pebble variety unique to Thai courses. Right-handed slicers can rest a little easier as the worst trouble on the Lakeside course is mostly to the left side.
The next ten holes form the Mountain Breeze Course, and most trouble is to the right. This course is more open with wider fairways that invite more aggressive play especially for those who play a draw. However, it too is far from a pushover. The final nine holes, The River Course, is the most challenging of all. While not as long, it’s a higher degree of target golf, and most holes have greens set on peninsulas or islands. High handicappers should probably avoid The River Course, and others might want to make sure they have plenty of balls in their bags.
Unique touches at Happy City include a pineapple grove between two holes (not fun to hit out of) and the par-3 13th Texas hole. As befits the name, it’s big. 232 yards from the back black tees and 194 even from the 3rd set of tees (white), with a large U shaped bunker in front, a lake behind, a native area right and a narrow fairway on the left front. Oh and one more thing, the U bunker has several cacti growing in it!
Two other unique and fun holes are the 7th and 16th duo. The par-3 7th features a 60-yard green modeled after the Korean peninsula. The par-3 16th hole measures 178 yards and its design replicates the map of Thailand.
The well-appointed clubhouse sits directly over the greens of the two finishing holes on the Lakeside and Mountain Breeze Courses. Other Happy City facilities include an Asian spa and sauna, driving range, golf academy, putting and short game areas. The on-course refreshment stands are also unique, with one modeled after a Dutch Windmill, one with a Disneyland theme, and one that looks like Fred and Wilma’s house from The Flintstones.
Service and playing conditions at Happy City Golf Resort could be better and more widespread use of English would be nice. Nevertheless, the Chiang Rai golf resort is a reasonable choice for golf in the area.
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