Golfing in Thailand
Information on golfing in Thailand: the Golf Association, the requirements to play (the handicap system, medical certificates) with information on who to contact locally…
Thailand has become one of the top golf destinations in Asia. There are a large number of world-class golf courses throughout the country that welcome tourists as well as golfers seeking temporary or permanent membership. The Thailand Golf Association (TGA) website has information on golf clubs throughout the Kingdom.
- Thailand Golf Association
At: Ratchamangla National Stadium, Room No. 212-213, 2088 Ramkhamhaeng Road, Hua Mark, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10241
Postal Address: P.O. Box 1190, Ramkhamhaeng, Bangkok 10241
Tel: 02 369 3777-9
Fax: 02 369 3776
- The Tourism Authority of Thailand also has information about playing golf in Thailand: Click here
- Professional Golf Association Thailand (in Thai)
Sports Authority of Thailand ( SAT )
At: 2088 Ramkhamhaeng Road, Huamark, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10240
Tel: 02 369 3760/62
Fax: 02 369 3761
There are golf courses in every major province in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Phuket.
There are 60 golf courses within one hour's drive of the centre of Bangkok. Some of the better known ones include the Thai Country Club, the Alpine Golf Club and the prestigious Royal Thai Air Force Golf Course.
Among the top clubs in Chiang Mai are the Royal Chiangmai Golf Club and the Chiangmai Green Valley Country Club. Clubs in the Chiang Rai Province include Waterford Valley Chiang Rai and the Santiburi Country Club.
In Phuket, the most noteworthy golf courses and country clubs include Phuket Country Club, Banyan Tree, Loch Palm Beach and Blue Canyon.
Golf players in Thailand can be affected by the weather: average temperatures are about 29°C, with temperatures in Bangkok ranging from 35°C in April to 17°C in December. The country also sees heavy rainfall and sometimes flooding.
The rainy season is from June until the end of October with September and October typically having the most rain. Most courses stay open unless the rain has flooded the area or made the course muddy.
Joining a Golf Club
Joining a golf club in Thailand can be very simple. Many clubs allow golfers to join simply by paying the subscription fees at the club reception desk. Although most clubs throughout Thailand will have space for golfers seeking membership, some of the more prestigious clubs, especially around Bangkok, may have a waiting list. Most clubs have a one-time joining fee. Membership of Thai golf clubs can usually be traded and transferred by the golfer; however, the club may impose heavy transfer fees.
Golf fees vary depending on the club and course. Full club membership will allow unlimited access to the courses. Many of the golf courses are owned by hotels or resorts, so discounts for other facilities are also a part of the package. Thai clubs have individual dress codes and it is necessary to check before arriving. There is usually access to club facilities; bars and restaurants in the clubhouse are often open to the general public, although every club has their own rules and regulations.
Golf courses in Thailand usually have caddies. These are normally women, often dressed in colourful matching uniforms and oversized straw hats. The caddies are well trained and understand the rules of the game.
There are some clubs in Thailand that allow active participation in choosing their members and voting rights are also extended with club membership. Check with the golf club for specific details.
Playing Golf in Thailand
With golf increasing in popularity, many courses are now providing instruction by professionals, some from the PGA circuits. Individual lessons are also available at reasonable rates. Prices vary depending on the course. Discounted rates are usually available if larger blocks of time are paid for in advance.
- Thailand follows the handicap system set by the United States Golf Association (USGA)
- To obtain a handicap players must join the Thailand Golf Association (TGA)
- Only USGA handicaps may be transferred
Forms can be downloaded from the TGA website. Score cards must be submitted after each game.
Most private golf courses do not require visitors or members to have a handicap to play. It is not necessary to have a medical certificate or insurance either.
International and national tournaments are held in Thailand.
- Thailand Golf Association (TGA)
- Thailand Ladies Golf Association
- Golf clubs in or near Bangkok
- Thailand Golf Zone is a blog that offers a good overview of Golfing in Thailand and reviews on various courses
- Information on golf rules from Thai Golfer