Golf FAQ's - All you need to know
Do I need a Handicap Certificate to play?
Ideally yes, but it is not mandatory for play. We accept your club handicap here, but you will need 3 rounds in to get a Pattaya Sports Club handicap (USGA). You will also need to join the PSC in order to get the discounted green fees. The membership will pay for itself after the first round. It’s a good deal, and one year is 600 baht.
What is the cost?
Around 1,200 - 1,600 baht for green fee, caddy fee, transportation there and back, and competition fee, in the low season. That figure is less on Sports Days and more for the top courses.
What is Sports Day?
That is a low season (01 April thru 31 October) promotion day for many courses and it is usually one day per week per course where they offer huge discounts on the green fee. Sometimes it also includes a 100 or 200 baht voucher for food or drinks. We obviously try to take advantage of this offer for our guests (and ourselves!).
Why should I play with you guys?
Good question. There are lots of choices in Pattaya for golf. We play with the other venues all the time and they are our friends. There is a strong golf ex-pat community here, and golfers are the cream-of-the-crop as far as who you would like to hang out with. Here at The Golf Club we do things a little differently. We go for the quality courses and that doesn’t mean we are the cheapest to play with. We have a lot of pro caddies from the European tour that play with us (and bring us lots of great golf memorabilia for the walls!) and most players here are serious about their game. We are a mixed up bunch of different nationalities, religions, races, political opinions, etc. and we all love to play golf. Most of us have had interesting or exciting jobs in the past and are now here to enjoy ourselves with wine, women and song, as they say. Throw golf into that mix and that explains what we are about, simple as that.
Can I rent clubs?
Yes, we have quality clubs for rent here at The Golf Club like TaylorMade, Callaway, Wishon and Ping. We also have left handed sets, and ladies sets. Golf clubs can be hired for 500 baht per day, cheaper than if you rented them at the golf course. We also have balls and gloves and fantastic golf shirts by Antigua with our own club logo.
What do I wear?
Pretty much the same as back home, no jeans, vests, singlets, etc. Shorts and a collared golf shirt will always work fine. Soft spikes are the policy at all golf courses in Pattaya. Also, bring a change of clothes for after the round. We advise you to use sunscreen at all times.
What about food?
There are drinks stations at about every 3 holes at almost all golf courses in Pattaya with snacks and sandwiches, sodas and beer. We can also pack food to go from The Golf Club so you will be sure to get what you want and with better quality than the courses. Be sure to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, even when it’s not hot.
Do I need a caddy?
You sure do, in fact, it is mandatory at just about all real golf courses in Thailand (except the par 3 courses). You will want one, as they will help your game considerably. They are great fun also, and they will fix your divots, repair your ball mark on the green, mark your ball, tend the flag, hold your umbrella, find lost balls, show you the line for your putts, keep your clubs clean, and if you’re lucky give you a quick shoulder massage while waiting for the group in front to clear the green. The caddy fee is around 250 baht and we suggest you tip her at least 300 baht for her hard work. Add 50 baht for every birdie!
Remember, a caddy will give you advice but it is you that makes the shot, so don’t blame her if you miss a putt. We have zero tolerance for caddy abuse, so go out and have a good time!
When is the rainy season?
Pattaya sits in a very unique position near the top of the Gulf of Thailand on the coast but with the Chonburi hills 10 miles away. We have a micro-climate here that is wonderful. We rarely get rained out- even during the wettest month of September. If it does rain, it is very localized and short lived, but it comes down in buckets. You will experience a short burst of torrential rain for 15-20 minutes usually, and 5 minutes later start playing again. There are times when half the course gets rain and the other half is dry! Pattaya golf courses drain very well and quickly so don’t worry about the rain.
I’m a beginner, is that O.K.?
Sure, no problem. As long as you love the game of golf you are most welcome here. We will set you up with other high handicappers and put you out at the back of the groups. We discourage slow play, so as long as you keep up with the group ahead of you, adhere to the Rules of Golf and act with respect to your caddy and playing partners there is no problem. Remember, of all the millions of golfers in the world, only about 50 are really good and only 1 of them is actually great. Most of the guys here play off a 10-15 handicap but we like to have serious fun when we play.
What’s an average golf day like?
Assuming you have booked online (or come into The Golf Club and signed up on the sign-up sheets), you would come to the club for transportation to the course. We usually leave around 09:30 but that varies with what tee times we can get.
We are open for breakfast at 07:00 and most guys get here 30 minutes to an hour early, read the paper and eat and then we head out. When we get to the course, the caddies take our bags off the van and you follow everyone into the clubhouse to pay your green fees.
Next we head to the locker room to change our shoes and leave our change of clothes there for after the round. We head out to the practice green for a few putts and then over to the first tee and check the sheet for our group time. After the round it’s back to the clubhouse to shower and change (they all have great facilities) and if there is time, grab a quick beer before we head back to the club.
We are usually back by 4:00ish. There is a presentation by John around 6:00 so you have time to go back to your hotel or stick around and grab a bite and a few beers. The Golf Club is very central in Pattaya and we have a great neighborhood to explore!
What are the best golf courses?
Golf course evaluation is such a subjective venture that it is impossible for any 2 golfers to rate the top 5 courses the same.
Criteria must include immaculate greenskeeping, challenging design, and general quality of the golfing experience. Personal preferences such as a “carts on cartpath only” policy or “cost of green fees” would not factor into our equation of rating a course.
Siam Old Course and also their sister course Siam Plantation (just a mile down the road) must rate 1 and 2 as they have been chosen to host LPGA Asian Tour competitions. Their reputation as a quality golfing destination would rank them at the top of our list of courses in Pattaya. The design team of Schmidt-Curley of Arizona and the professional Thai course maintenance and management are hard to beat as of this writing. The practice area at Plantation is the best in the region, so get here well before your tee time to get the most for your money. Both are true Championship courses.
Laem Chabang has been around for a very long time and many have sung her praises and awarded her with many honors. A very hands-on Jack Nicklaus designed course of 27 holes, she sits in a beautiful setting along the Chonburi foothills. This course would definitely rank in the top 5, despite the fact that the driving range leaves much to be desired. When visiting Pattaya, you must play Laem Chabang.
The final 2 courses for our top 5 are very difficult to call and actually change every so often for various reasons. Khao Kheow would normally be right up there, but inconsistent course maintenance leaves much to be desired. The beauty of The Phoenix is marred by bunkers that need to be reconstructed completely.
St. Andrews Hill would have to be included at this point, despite the gimmick of 2 par 6 holes which are a truly needless design element. This track has been used as an Asian tour event and Q School qualifier. Many holes are visually impressive and Desmond Muirhead has used the land strategically in the course layout. The sister course of Rayong Green Valley, which shares the same clubhouse, should also be played while here.
Finally, Burapha finishes in the top 5 for its variety and consistency. It is a fair and pleasant test for all handicaps. The 36 hole complex and its practice area are excellent and it is all very well run by some sharp Thai management.
Some may argue that Bangpra should have been included or Eastern Star, Mountain Shadow, Greenwood or Pattana, but at the time of this report- April ’09- the decision stands.
To be honest, all golf courses around Pattaya have their own unique appeal. Even the Navy Course, Plutaluang, has many scenic and memorable holes for very small money. You will be the ultimate judge, so get out here and try them all!
- Mike Newbert is here to stay! Write-up for 13th – 17th May
- Oh Henry! and Kenny - write-up for 6th – 10th May
- Whitaker wins the Medal and Rogers Rules! write-up for 22nd – 26th April
- Grant Cadell claims Khao Yai! write-up for 15th – 19th April
- Newbert nets some nice numbers! write-up for 8th – 12th April
- Great Going for Greenaway! write-up for 1st – 5th April
- Chan’s the Champ, cans Monthly Medal! write-up for 25th – 29th March
- 42 points for a proud Peter! write-up for 18th – 24th Mar.
- Kabinburi Ken has a winning week! write-up for 11th – 15th Mar.
- The Snowbird warms up to Green Valley. write-up for 4th – 8th Mar.
Monthly Medal Winners
April 2013: Dean Whitaker
March 2013: Brett Chan
February 2013: John Emmerson
January 2013: Michael Hastie
December 2012: Arlen Wardene
November 2012: Ian Brimble
October 2012: Kyle Roadley
September 2012: Suresh Mehta
August 2012: Max Scott
July 2012: Dan Avon
June 2012: Chaten Patel
May 2012: Sonny Goldsbury
April 2012: Jay Burns
March 2012: Simon Philbrook
February 2012: Brad Gearie
January 2012: Barry Tregurtha
December 2011: Warren Holland
November 2011: Mark Reid
October 2011: Bob Newell
September 2011: Paul Smith
August 2011: Alex Tregurtha
July 2011: Bob Newell
June 2011: Paul Smith
May 2011: Ian Rippey
April 2011: John Emmerson
March 2011: Eddie Bielby
February 2011: John Bahng
January 2011: Tom Balch
December 2010: Roger Cross
November 2010: Mark Wood
October 2010: Chaten Patel
September 2010: Kalani Makanoele
August 2010: Sonny Crawford
July 2010: Brian Wilkinson
June 2010: Ian Jones
May 2010: Bob Newell
April 2010: Ian Rippey
March 2010: Marc Napier
February 2010: Keith Warboys
January 2010: Peter Le Noury
December 2009: Brian Wilkinson
November 2009: Jeff Cordiero
October 2009: Brad Sproxton
August 2009: Ian Rippey
July 2009: Simon Spalding
June 2009: Ernie McInerney
May 2009: Marc Napier
April 2009: Jeff Cordiero
March 2009: Gabriel Enright
February 2009: Simon Philbrook
January 2009: John Emmerson
Courses We Play
Golfers here at The Golf Club include all nationalities, races and handicaps from scratch to 28, so don’t feel like you won’t fit in. All are welcome here, and we pride ourselves on our diversity.
- The Emerald
- Century Chonburi
- Eastern Star
- Rayong Country Club
- Khao Kheow
- Laem Chabang
- Crystal Bay
- Mountain Shadow
- Pattana Sport Club
- Pattaya Country Club
- Pleasant Valley Golf & C.C
- Plutaluang Navy (Sattahip)
- Rayong Green Valley
- Royal Lakeside
- Siam Old Course
- Siam Plantation New Course
- Silky Oak Golf Course
- St. Andrew 2000
- Treasure Hill