Amari Hua Hin Amateur Golf Week – October 2017
29 OCTOBER – 4 NOVEMBER 2017 in Hua Hin, Thailand
Springfield Royal Country Club – Official Tournament Sponsor
Springfield Royal Country Club is one of the oldest courses in the area, located near Cha-am just off the Hua Hin bypass. The course leaves nothing to be desired. Designed by Jack Nicklaus and featuring his signature layout, it was always intended to be a championship course. From the first hole to the last it is a breathtaking yet enjoyable challenge for golfers of all skill levels. In 2005 nine holes were added to the original 18, designed by award winning golf course architects Lee Schmidt and Brain Curley and considered just as challenging, considerably increasing the capacity of the course and reducing wait time that are rare anyway outside the high season. There are five tees to choose from with the back Gold tees making for a round of hopefully long drives and accurate irons. There a plenty of water hazards, difficult roughs and forests along the fairways, making each hole a unique challenge requiring different skills, from strength to touch to finesse and back again. The back nine are especially challenging for players with a tendency to push or excessively fade (er, slice) the ball, as most hazards are on the right hand side of the fairways. This is signature feature of Nicklaus courses. The overall length of the course is moderate with just over 7000 yards for the back (Gold) tees. The signature hole is the 18th, a par-5 sitting on an island green that’s difficult to reach in three shots, let alone two. Then again, longer hitters have a fighting chance when the round may end in victory or heartbreak for a complete experience! This hole is certainly a talking point at drinks in the club house.
|Holes / Par / Yardage||27 holes par 72 (7,043 yards)|
|Location||North of Hua Hin towards Cha Am|
|Distance||30 minutes from Hua Hin center|
Black Mountain Golf Club
Quite simply a world class golf course in a stunning setting. Designed to test the skills of the world’s best, many of whom played here in the Royal Trophy between Europe and Asia in 2011, and now hosting an annual event on the European tour since 2011, Black Mountain Golf Club is simply stunning. Surrounded on three sides by the black mountains themselves, and retaining all the natural creeks and contours of the site upon which it was built, this is simply one of the very best courses in the area. Although designed for the pros, us amateurs needn’t be too daunted – the fairways are actually more generous for a shorter drive, narrowing further down where Tiger would be landing his ball. When it comes to the blind holes and severe dog-legs however, you might find yourself paying for an overly conservative approach off the tee. The greens are comfortable large but generally well protected by water and superbly sculpted bunkers. There are some great holes. At the par-5 6th, the John Daly’s of this world cancarry the ball onto the down slope and get an extra 100 yards on your drive, cut the water and reach the peninsula green in two, whilst us mere mortals have to play in regulation, playing around in a big figure J just to keep the ball dry. The signature 11th is a par-3 where the island green is in front of a beautiful waterfall. A nightmare from the back tees, even from the front tees you need to be landing on the green or heading to the drop zone ! and signing for a bogey or worse. The clubhouse is exceptional, providing panoramic views of the whole course while you sample the excellent food having shopped in the most extensively stocked pro shop in the area. A fitting finale to our week of golf!
|Holes / Par / Yardage||18 holes par 72 (7,343 yards)|
|Location||20 minutes from Hua Hin|
|Distance||15 minutes from Hua Hin|
Banyan Golf Club
Making excellent use of a former pineapple plantation, course architect Pirapon Namatra of Golf East has created a course with and a fine layout and stunning sea and mountan views from most holes. The course was opened only in 2008 and was soon awarded Best New Golf Course in Asia Pacific in a readers’ poll of Asia Golf Monthly magazine. It has since consistently gained numerous accolades both for the course and for the club house and amenities. There are still some pineapple fields around the course and along the fairways. There’s something about playing in a former fruit plantation: It can feel more natural than the entirely artificial vegetation of most modern courses. For example, there is a complete dearth of those all-American artificial water hazards. The fairways are laid out with Zoysia grass, a type native to Thailand but only recently becoming more popular as an ideal fairway grass that lets the ball sit up splendidly. The greens are premium Bermuda grass making for fast yet receptive and predictable greens.
|Designer||Golf East (Pirapon Namatra)|
|Holes / Par / Yardage||18 holes par 72 (7,361 yards)|
|Location||5 km. from Hua Hin|
|Distance||15 minutes from Hua Hin|
Sea Pine Golf Course
Recently opened amidst much fanfare in 2010, Sea Pine Golf Course is located right on the beach and comes across like a tropical version of a scottish links course. The pine trees from which the course takes its name are much in evidence, and together with the mountains and the ocean provide a stunning backdrop to a course whose difficulty is inextricably linked to the strength of the wind coming in from the Gulf of Thailand. The par-5 12th provides a memorably tricky proposition from the tee, with water along the right hand side and a fairway bunker seemingly positioned at the exact point where a drive would land. You can avoid it by playing safe or getting lucky, but if you choose the former option you will struggle to make the green in regulation. The wind really come to the fore at the last three holes which are pretty special, lying right next to the beach; the breeze makes landing your ball on the narrow fairway of the 16th a real challenge, but we really enjoyed sending our balls out towards the sea and watching the wind bring them back. The signature 17th with breathtaking panoramic views is a par-3 over a large lake to a well-protected sloping green, and the final hole involves a 200 yard carry over a canal and ranks as the hardest on the course.
|Designer||Major General Weerayudth Phetbuasak|
|Holes / Par / Yardage||18 holes par 72 (7,305 yards)|
|Location||20 minutes from Hua Hin on Suan Son Pradiphat Beach|
|Distance||7 km. South of Hua Hin|