Phuket’s is home to six beautifully landscaped golf courses, with fairways and greens offering dramatic tropical vistas of the island landscape and the Andaman Sea beyond. Some of Phuket’s first rate courses have hosted international competitions and world championships, and they continue to attract novice and experienced players from around the world.
Blue Canyon Country Club
Offering two outstanding courses – The Lakes course and The Canyon course – Blue Canyon Country Club is regarded as one of the finest golf clubs in Asia and boasts an impressive selection of accolades. The Canyon course makes the most of the natural environment and includes no less than ten water hazards, plus 80 plus bunkers. Wildlife is abundant around the courses, so nature loving golfers should keep their eyes peeled for wild tortoises, iguanas, civet cats and monitor lizards. The Lakes course offers a somewhat different game form the Canyon course with larger greens and only 36 bunkers, but water also comes into play at 17 of the 18 holes. A large, comfortable clubhouse is shared by the two courses, and the club is also home to indoor and outdoor driving ranges, as well as four practice putting greens. The Blue Canyon Country Club is just a seven-minute drive from Phuket International Airport and within easy reach of the island’s popular west coast beaches.
Mission Hills Golf Club
Sculpted out of a former rubber plantation that intermingles with Phuket’s lush mangroves, Mission Hills Golf Club offers a certain prestige thanks to its demanding Jack Nicklaus-designed course. Peppered with white sand beach bunkers, the course makes the most of its wide ocean views. Water comes into play at seven of the 18 holes, offering even seasoned golfers a fair challenge. In terms of signature holes, the fourth is probably the most exciting; a medium-length par three with breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea. Thanks to the dramatic coastal location, a strong sea breeze also comes into play regularly, offering a further test. Caddies and golf carts are compulsory at Mission Hills, and golfers wearied by a day of swinging the iron can look forward to the spa and bar situated at the 19th hole.
Laguna Golf Club
Phuket's Banyan Tree Golf Club recently became the Laguna Golf Club, and the course has undergone a significant number of upgrades. Each of the greens has been reshaped and a new set of hazards has been strategically placed around the course to offer golfers an even greater challenge. Water also comes into play on 14 of the 18 holes and the rolling fairways also offer a greater challenge since the revamp. Designed by Max Wexler, the Laguna course has a total yardage of 6,850 and was reportedly praised by Sir Nick Faldo when he played there during a holiday in Thailand. However, it certainly isn’t too daunting for visitors in search of a relaxed game and the club is also home to a full length driving range, putting greens, practice bunkers and chipping areas.
Loch Palm Golf Club
Phuket’s Loch Palm Golf Club strikes a perfect balance between a challenge and sheer enjoyment, which means visitors often return to the course for a repeat game. Designed by Dr Sukitti Klangwisai, the 72 par course features a total yardage of 6,434. Just like the rest of the island’s golf courses, Loch Palm makes good use of its splendid natural setting, and many shots are played against a backdrop of dense, tropical jungle. Rapid changes in terrain offer visitors a game packed with variety, and the course’s 67 bunkers and multiple water hazards provide plenty of memorable moments along the way.
Red Mountain Golf Club
Situated a 15-minute journey from Phuket Town and Patong Beach, the Red Mountain Golf Club is carved into the site of what was once a tin mine. The 224-hectare, par 72 course earned its name from the fiery hue of the red soil and granite rocks that surround it, and offers a total length of 6,781 yards. Designed by PGA professional Jonathan Mark Morrow, Red Mountain was voted the third best new golf course in Asia by readers of Asian Golf Monthly when it opened in 2007. The first hole features dramatic views of the red mountains rising behind the green. Hole 16 is also particularly notable, as the views from the tee include spectacular Chalong Bay. The course, which takes approximately four and a half hours to complete, is considered quite difficult for beginners.
Posted by Max Vee