Thailand’s capital city Bangkok often tops the travel lists, as one of the most exciting cities in the world.
It is also well known for its mouthwatering cuisine, amazing temples, excellent shopping and zany nightlife.
However, you may be surprised to know that Bangkok also has more great golf courses than any other Asian city.
There are approximately 250 golf courses in Thailand and 60 of these are located within 75 minutes drive from Bangkok city’s centre.
Thousands of tourists fly into Thailand every year, just for the golfing on offer. Destination, diversity and the choice of golf courses throughout the country, are key factors attracting the large numbers of visitors coming to play golf in Thailand.
Here you have a mixture of old-style courses mixed with the latest layouts, with the likes of Palmer, Nicklaus, Player, Faldo, Norman, Trent Jones and Schmidt and Curley, who have weaved their magic here. What a selection of golf course designers!
It is all subjective of course to create a top five list, however from the feedback from our many Golfasian international vacationers, here is their top five courses in the Bangkok region.
We tried to be fair and keep our list to the closest to the city. Maybe you agree or maybe you feel we have missed out a favorite, so do let us know. Happy golfing!
Ron Garl, 2011
18 Holes, 6,689 Yards
60 minutes from City Centre
A very unusual 18 holes, as designer Ron Garl has created Asia’s first replica course, choosing some of the most iconic and memorable holes from around the World.
From Oakmont’s famous third with those Church Pew bunkers, to the road hole at St Andrews, you get to experience them all on one 18-hole course.
And if that does not wet your appetite, their back nine even replicates Augusta National, so you get to feel what it is like to conquer Amen Corner for real!
This has become a must experience stop for many golf vacationers, and the setup there is first class, with knowledgeable caddies and a 5-star clubhouse. Definitely the course for a few selfies!
Jonathon Morrow, 2010
18 Holes, 7,006 Yards
30 minutes from City Centre
If you are a bit of a history buff, then you will enjoy playing on Thailand’s oldest golf course. Built back in the 20’s by Scottish railway engineers, it is right in the centre of town next to the famous railway station.
This is a mature course with several tight fairways lined by old trees and a few rocky hills. A great challenge still, especially since their renovation in 80’s, and beware of the interesting dog legs and some tricky raised greens.
Monkeys may appear on the uphill par 4 13th so look after your valuables, and temples form the back drop on par 5 3rd hole!
Perhaps not up to the condition of some of the newer courses, but still a great historical golfing experience all the same.
Now maturing nicely with trees and flora, according to the editor at Golf Digest USA, playing from the back tees, he felt Riverdale was one of the best new courses he had seen in Asia.
It is a tough test here, but with multiple tees it is still great fun. Lakes, elevated tee boxes, deep bunkers, undulating greens…. Riverdale has the lot and much more. Always in immaculate condition, if you get a few birdies, you are in the groove.
Wonderful contemporary club house and restaurant sits overlooking the course, and the changing rooms and pro shop are excellent. Worth a visit.
Dennis Griffiths, 1996
18 Holes, 7,151 Yards
50 minutes from City Centre
Opened in 1996 and run by Peninsula Hotels, Thai Country Club became “the” club to join, regularly winning awards, and remains to this day a class act.
Having hosted many international PGA tournaments over the years, you are following in the footsteps of Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and a certain Tiger Woods, who won here in 1997.
Although a relatively flat terrain, don’t be fooled by this well-maintained course that offers many challenges, including sloping fairways, water hazards, sand bunkers and some rolling earth mounds.
There are elevated undulated greens, guarded by some cleverly positioned bunkers to catch you out. But don’t worry as their excellent well-trained caddies, will be there to read the greens.
The club house has first rate locker rooms with jacuzzi, a great pro shop and their 5-star restaurant offers Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Western cuisine overlooking the 9th and 18 holes. A class act in every department.
Pirapon Namatra, 2014
18 Holes, 6,789 Yards
75 minutes from City Centre
Just West of Bangkok, Thai designer Pirapon Namatra has create the very first course in Asia with three loops of six holes, each with two par 3’s, two par 4’s and two par 5’s.
At 6,789 yards it is a fairly short course, but with each loop starting and finishing at the clubhouse, it is possible to play 6, 12 or 18 holes.
Built among some former rice paddies, the par 72 course gives golfers a chance to play a wide variety of holes and there are six par 3’s, so you can aim for some low scores.
Here you will find a very well-maintained course with elevation changes, broad fairways with interesting mounding, and strongly undulating greens surrounded by bunkers. Expect water on most holes especially their par 5’s, and beware of the prevailing winds, that are usual for this region.
Their modern clubhouse has full length lockers, gourmet food even satellite TV, and the club fee includes literally everything, as it is a no cash set up, even no tipping here. One of the most original and unique set ups in Asia.
Ronald Garl. 1996
18 Holes, 7,044 Yards
75 minutes from City Centre
Back in the 90’s all the top names were busy designing golf courses in Thailand, and the golf industry was awash with investors.
American designer Ronald Garl was brought in here with the brief to create one of the top layouts in Bangkok, and by the number of awards the course has since received, he achieved that goal magnificently.
Tiger Woods won the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic PGA tournament here, and the club hosted the same event again in 2004.
Maintained to a high standard, the parkland style layout features undulating fairways, changing elevations, water hazards, beach style bunkers and lightning fast greens.
You will enjoy playing past large mature trees, bushes, shrubs and colourful flora, in fact it’s hard to imagine this great routing was once just a flat rice field.
Alpines layout will test the best, and unique for a Bangkok course, are the unusual undulations and earth mounding, that add to the challenge. A low score here and you are doing well.
The club house serves Chinese cuisine and the service on and off the course are hard to match. A worthy winner.