Hua Hin is a seaside resort on the Gulf of Thailand, in the southern Thai province of Prachuap Khiri Khan. About a two-and-half-hour drive south west of the capital Bangkok, Hua Hin was once a quiet fishing village. However, it grew into a fashionable escape for residents of Bangkok after the 1920s, when the Thai royal family-built summer palaces here.
With its great climate and long sandy beach, popular for kitesurfing and other water sports, Hua Hin has now become a popular tourist city. The main stretch of sand, is now lined with high-end hotels, condominiums and many fine dining opportunities.
Back in the 20’s when they were building the railway, the Scots built a golf course beside the railway station. It became the oldest course in Thailand and nowadays Hua Hin also happens to be home to a number of very good golf courses too, where the European Tour and the Asian tour have run tournaments.
Here is our list of the top five courses in and around Hua Hin. It is all subjective of course, and I am sure you may have your favorites to add.
Major General Weerayudth Phetbuasak, 2010
18 Holes, 7,305 Yards
20 minutes from Hua Hin on Suan Son Pradiphat Beach
Sea Pines Golf Course (also known as the Army Golf Club II) plays along the Gulf of Thailand in the Suan Son Pradiphat (Sea Pine Tree Garden). The Royal Forestry Department originally owned the Hua Hin golf course track before being taken over by the Royal Thai Army under the rule of Field Marshall Sarit Thanarat, who served as prime minister of Thailand during 1957-1963. The majority of the Sea Pines area houses bracken pine trees enriched by the beauty of oceans and mountains. The army originally developed the site as a form of retreat for serving soldiers and veterans and their families.
Dr. Sukitti Klangvisai, 1993
18 Holes, 7,123 Yards
In foothills West of Hua Hin
Majestic Creek Country Club is a challenging course that was once rated by a German golf magazine as a Hua Hin’s best golf course. Many Hua Hin locals and expatriates share this view. Designed by Dr. Sukkitti Klangvisai, an experienced Thai golf course designer who is also responsible for Phuket’s Loch Palm, Majestic Creek is arguably the best laid out golf course in Hua Hin. Major renovations covering all 27-holes undertaken in 2012 include some of Hua Hin’s best Tifeagle turfed greens.
Jack Nicklaus, 1993 + Schmidt & Curley, 2005
27 Holes, 7,043 Yards
30 minutes from the city centre
A true Jack Nicklaus championship layout, when he came to this region to weave his magic back in 1993. Since then the club added a further nine holes in 2005, created by the celebrated pair of designers, Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley.
A tough challenge from the back tees, but with five tee boxes, this is a fair course for all level of players.
At Springfield you have everything from water hazards, hillocks and holes, waste bunkers, island greens to mature tree lined doglegs.
The newer nine holes (course C) opened in 2005, contrast well will Jack’s layout for his 18 holes (Courses A & B), and some say are an even harder challenge.
The clubhouse is now a bit dated, but a nice feature is a bar located inside the locker rooms.
Phil Ryan, 2007
27 Holes, 7,343/ 3,621 Yards
30 minutes from the city centre
When it opened in 2007, Black Mountain raised the bar for the overall golfing experience, with an exciting layout, top class facilities and even fine dining.
Immediately it attracted several high-profile tournaments as well including the Royal Trophy won by Colin Montgomerie’s European team, and has also hosted both European and Asian tour events.
It regularly wins many awards every year and is in Golf Digest’s top 100 best courses in the world.
Set in a valley, once a lush jungle, the main course is dominated by a black granite mountain range. Elevated tees, water hazards, streams and undulating greens, along with some stiff breezes, make this a very tough course to conquer.
Seashore Paspalum is used on the immaculate fairways and rough, and the Tifeagle Bermuda used for their greens offers billiard table smooth surfaces.
They added a further excellent nine holes, known as the West course in 2006, which has now matured into an interesting composite course.
Enjoy their modern clubhouse, with an excellent restaurant overlooking the course and mountains, a very large pro shop and on-site spa. A class act!
Pirapon Namatra, 2009
18 Holes, 7,361 Yards
20 minutes from the city centre
A truly Thai country course, where clever Thai course designer Pirapon Namatra’s brief, was to use the natural countryside without disturbing the existing trees.
Built on a pineapple plantation, the course is typified by the first hole, “Aim for the coconut tree, and try to avoid the pineapples in the rough!”
Showered with awards from day one, Banyan is regularly featured in the Rolex Top 1000’ in the World and Top 3 in Asia.
However, awards aside, what makes your round at Banyan so special, is a combination of a great layout, excellent maintained fairways (Zoysia) and greens (Tif-eagle Bermuda), GPS on all carts and very well-trained caddies.
It’s all here, elevated tees, lakes, valleys, deep bunkers, undulating greens, all supported by an array of beautiful and unusual flora and wildlife.
Their modern award-winning Thai themed club house excels, and don’t forget to enjoy a cocktail at Mulligans bar and watch the sunset. Pure magic!