Phuket Golf courses are world class. International tournements have been held on several here with top names coming to compete along the greens and fairways. So why not give it a go yourself? Teeing off isn't as expensive as you'd imagine and the courses are fabulously lush with unforgettable tropical views as well as some of the most attractive (female) caddies you've ever seen. And that can't be bad...
Blue Canyon Country Club
Blue Canyon Country Club, the venue of the Johnnie Walker Classic in 1994 and 1998 (when Tiger Woods won it) and the Honda Classic in 1996, was awarded 'Best Championship Course in Asia' in 2001 by Asian Golf Magazine as well as Best Course in Thailand.
The par 72 course features many lakes, mature trees and smooth fairways as well as bunkers in unusual settings and is designed for golfers of all levels and skills. If your ball fails to reach the putting area, don't be too upset: Both Greg Norman and Nick Faldo suffered the same fate some years back.
• Top international course
• Mere minutes from the airport
• Many facilities
Laguna Phuket Golf Club
Laguna Phuket Golf Club, formerly the Banyan Tree Phuket Golf Club has had all its greens reshaped and the once flat course now features several inclines. Laguna Phuket Golf Club is ranked among the top 10 in Asia and is a favourite of Nick Faldo. This 18-hole leafy course also features a full-length driving range, practice bunkers and a chipping area.
Despite the recent changes it is not too difficult to play here and a modern electric drinks and cold towels cart is available at all time. Close by there is excellent accommodation at the Banyan Tree, Sheraton Grande, Allamanda, Dusit Laguna Resort Hotel and Laguna Beach Hotel.
• In Top Ten Asian Golf Resorts
• Excellent accommodation close by
Loch Palm Golf Club
Loch Palm Golf Club is built around Crystal Lake, the largest body of water on any Phuket golf course. Loch Palm has smooth slopes and dramatic elevation changes. It will take you across and around ravines and plateaus, testing skills at many levels of play.
The course has recently undergone extensive renovations so expect the unexpected on this 18-hole par 72 course that winds between lakes and trees and which takes you both uphill and downhill. The 6,555-yard course is well worth trying out and features a large clubhouse for that after-game drink.
• Newly renovated
• Compact course
• Good for all levels
Mission Hills Golf Resort
Mission Hills Golf Resort is the newest addition to Phuket's amazing golf courses. Situated in the northeast of the island where most of the island's mangroves are to be found, Mission Hills was conceived by Nicklaus Design and features large white-sand bunkers, Sea-Isle grassed fairways and beautiful views out over Phang Nga Bay as well as 6,686 yards of golfing bliss.
After your 19th-hole experience why not chill out in the spa? For real Mission Hills fans there is excellent onsite accommodation in the form of Mission Hills Phuket Golf Resort and Spa.
• On-course accommodation
• Excellent facilities
• New course
Phuket Country Club
Phuket Country Club was the original championship-standard golf course in Phuket. It is located in the middle of the island almost exactly equidistant from Phuket Town and Patong Beach. There are actually two sections to the course: one nine-hole part and an 18-hole course on the other side of the road with a clubhouse for each.
With some 27 bunkers in hilly surroundings and only one water-free hole, it can seem frightening but in reality it's not and is a relatively easy course.
• Good location
• Not too challenging
• Reasonable rates
Red Mountain Golf Course
The Red Mountain Golf Course is Phuket's newest. Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, Red Mountain is also the highest Tee-off point on the island and subsequently has wide and sweeping views out over Chalong and Phang Nga Bays.
Giddying drops and dazzling contours make this Phuket's hilliest course and, like many other courses on the island, the site was once a tin mine. The course is a lesson in variety, with both large and small greens and natural local grasses have been preserved in some rough areas to complete the natural look. Fairways and tees are grassed with Seashore Paspalum; a popular turf being used at other Thailand championship courses.
• Brand new course
• Wonderful panoramic views
• Clever, challenging design