The 13th Dr Wang Kai Yuen Golf Tournament was held at the Kirimaya Resort, Thailand from 17th to 20th November 2010. A total of 52 golfers had a good time while there.
Opened in December 2004, Kirimaya is a high-end nature retreat just two hours from Bangkok and the first boutique luxury resort in Khao Yai (“Big Mountains”). Nestled at the edge of the revered Khao Yai National Park, the Kirimaya Experience includes the discovery of nature’s gifts, wellness spas, culinary adventures and the exhilarating challenge of an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
The exclusive 18-hole championship golf course is set within natural surroundings with panoramic views of Khao Yai’s lush greenery and mountains. The course ranges from 4,875 yards (ladies) to an incredible 7,115 yards (tournament) and with its single-track layout, golfers feel as if they are the only ones on the entire course for a truly memorable golf experience.
Kirimaya, formerly The Country Club Khao Yai, is a ‘must play’ for anyone visiting Thailand. The golf course and resort is set within natural surroundings with panoramic views of Khao Yai’s lush greenery and mountains and is described by the Nicklaus design team, to be one of the 3 best in Asia. Nine holes out, and nine holes in, you’ll struggle to see another group as the holes weave their way around what well may be the best course design in Thailand. Critical shot making and strategic course management are required to shoot a good score. Adding to the challenge are many water hazards, waste bunkers, and fast greens.
Unlike prevoious years, this year’s tournament was scaled down, not for want of golfers but due to time constraints faced by the organisers. Despite that, all those that joined were not disapointed. They were treated to 2 of the best golf courses in Thailand, The Kirimaya and Muang Keaw. Recently redesigned by Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley from the USA, Muang Kaew now boasts 18 well guarded greens, many of which are elevated with large side catchment areas, a very unique design aspect and hardly ever seen on Thailand golf courses.
Wide fairways give players some respite for approach shots, most of which are into difficult to hold greens due to the high lipped bunkers, and shaved fringes. The course seems to get better by the hole with the back nine offering a great variety of holes starting with the exciting risk-reward Par 5 13th, where players have a blind tee shot and an approach shot over a large and intimidating water hazard. Even shorter hitters can bite off a bit of the dogleg and have a go at the green, although you’ll need to carry the ball at least 150 yards over the water.
With the many prizes sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, who also sponsored the sumptious Prize Presentation Dinner, it was indeed a grand affair. Each golfer was also given a welcome gift, in the form of a golf tower, golf balls and tees from the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau, who also sponsored a dinner as well. In all, all the golfers had a very good time in Thailand, experiencing the nice weather, beautiful golf courses and as well as the famed Thai hospitality along the way.
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