Golf has long been a passion in Thailand, and with good reason. The country's incredibly varied topography and wealth of stunning natural landscapes naturally lend themselves to a sport that mainly involves wandering or "buggying" through lush, green scenery in pursuit of a small white ball.
Thailand's golf tourism sector is predicted to generate as much as 2 billion USD for the country this year, with an estimated 600,000 foreign golf tourists, or three percent of the total number of international tourists visiting the Kingdom, heading to its fairways to enjoy the fine views and personal challenges.
is also a fabulous place for people with little or no experience of golf to get a taste for the game. You would be hard pressed to find an tourist town without a driving range where you can practice your swing or take a few lessons, and with around 200 courses to choose from, many offering very affordable green fees and low cost club rentals, it's no surprise that Thailand is by far Asia's most popular destination for foreign golfers.
The warm climate and gentle hospitality Thailand is well known for also makes a round of golf a very relaxing experience, especially when compared to the cold, excessively formal atmosphere often associated with golf courses in other parts of the world. Dress codes are often relaxed, although with certain basic standards to be maintained, and the best courses often come with spacious, clean, even luxurious clubhouse facilities that may even include an onsite spa or massage area with saunas and jacuzzis to ease the muscles after a strenuous round.
Another appealing feature at almost every Thai golf course is the presence of caddies. Often brightly dressed ladies, covered from head to toe to guard against a sun tan, and with a permanent smile on their face that immediately melts those first tee nerves. Although their knowledge of the finer details can vary, most Thai caddies boast an impressive knowledge of the courses they tour, can often read the greens better than their charge, and will willingly disappear into the dense bushes until they find your lost ball.
For those with a modicum of talent who are enjoying a break in one of Thailand's two main island destinations, a few of the top local courses are definitely worth seeking out. These include the undulating, lagoon filled course at Laguna Phuket Golf Club, known for its fabulous facilities, the legendary Blue Canyon Golf Country Club, also on Phuket, which has hosted several world class tournaments and players, including Tiger Woods. Then there's the Thai Muang Beach Golf and Marina in Phang Nga province, just over the Sarisin Bridge from Phuket
, a true beachside course known for its character and beauty. And over in the twinkling Thai Gulf, the dramatic Santiburi Country Club on Koh Samui, which hugs and meander along a breath-taking, forested, ocean-view hillside, with vistas from almost every tee.
Golf, by its very nature is a game that challenges the mind as well as the body, and trainers and pros all agree that a calm, relaxed mental attitude greatly improves your game. Though there's no guarantee you'll break the course record, or even make par over eighteen holes on any of the above courses, the soothing natural surroundings and superb onsite services will ensure you return to the clubhouse with a zen like sense of satisfaction.
Golf fans can also look forward to a special treat this December when some of the world's top professionals, including defending champion Lee Westwood, gather to compete in the second Thailand Golf Championship at the Amata Spring Country Club.
Find out more at http://www.luxuryvillasandhomes.com/World-golf-swings-to-Thailand.html
by LVH Marketing