Thai Muang Beach Golf & Marina located in Thai Muang in Phang Nga province a few kilometres north of Phuket, Thai Muang Golf course is very different to those located in Phuket. The course tops 7000 yards off the back tees but its distinquishing features are more subtle than pure length. (closed for the renovation.)
BLACK 405 BLUE 364 WHITE 340 RED 292
Giving a taste of what's to come, the first hole, a par four, has one long bunker on the right in front of a canal, while large turf mounds sprout off to the left. Most of the mounds have a bunker in front. Indentations in the fairway are lined with light rough. The green, like many, is small and hard to hold.
The fairway meanders left on this par four, with out-of-bounds left and mounds and trees to the right. There are more conventional bunkers mixed in with the mound-bunkers around the green.
A huge stretch of tee-to-green water lies left, behind cypress pines, with a zig-zag caddy track and mounds to the right of a fairly open fairway. The prevailing breeze off the sea carries balls towards the water. Around the tight green, there's a winding bunker to the left.
After a gentle start, the hardest hole on the course takes shape on the first par five. The fairway swerves right then left, with water on both sides off the tee, continuing to the green along the left side. Mounds complicate matters. The hole calls for tight targetting as the fairway narrows. The rough is grass of medium length -- not thick, but enough to slow the clubhead.
Mounds march across the fairway on this shortish par four, with pines along the right and more mounds and water behind the green.
A tight par three, with water and a bunker visible on the right and more water to the left. It's a tiny green, with more water through the back, and a bunker and a couple of trees.
A drive across water off the tee marks the par four that is the third-hardest hole. The fairway curls right, with cypress pines and mounds to the left and water on the right. Around the bend, a tree and a small mound block the path home. It's a fairly large green, but all that can be seen is the top of the flag.
Water cuts in and gobbles up most of the fairway from the left on this par three. The shot is over water, with tall mounds behind the green.
Two turns to the left are required on this par five. The first dogleg is heavily bunkered and water takes over where the sand ends. The trees on the right are out-of-bounds. Not a long par five but the two-level green calls for sharp control, with the top putting surface no more than 14 feet across.
The flag flutters enticingly in the distance on this par four, with bunkers on both sides of the fairway and the sound of the sea being heard for the first time.
Water replaces most of the fairway on this longish par three. Mounds dot the rear of the reasonably-sized green and continue along the right. There's one large bunker directly over the water.
A par four, easiest hole on the course. Ham-shaped water cuts in on the right, together with a long, snakey bunker. The fairway opens up to the left, with mounds and trees beyond.
A beautiful lily pond in the foregound belies the difficulty of this par five, the second-hardest hole. Trees line both sides, with water to the left and trouble on the right.
Closer to the sea now, this par four doglegs left, with out-of-bounds lying left. It's a pretty hole, with one of the biggest greens seen so far.
Water cuts the fairway diagonally, so firing long or short off the tee is the go. Mounds about eight feet tall lie to the right, beyond the water.
A par five that doglegs left, with bunkers in the foregound. Plenty of water on the right for those who try to find the open spaces.
A long green snakes in the distance -- but first, this par three requires a shot across water. It's a long walk around to the fairway but the view from the green is spectacular, with large lagoons stretching on both sides of the putting arena. With the wind off the sea, there's never a guarantee of safety on this hole.
The fourth hardest hole, a par four, runs parallel to the long beach, heading straight home. Mounds and bunkers lie right, with one big fairway bunker on the left. There are also some rough-laden indentations near the green, of the kind that the Scots do so well.