The Alpine Golf Club is one of the best golf courses in Chiang Mai and is set in a beautiful valley with great views of the surrounding mountains. The course is in great condition and is very challenging from the back tees.
Designed by world-renowned designer, Ron Garl, he immediately gives you get a taste of what to expect from the opening hole and as you make your way round this very scenic golf course you will need to negotiate the undulating fairways, numerous water hazards and cleverly-placed bunkers in order to score well.
Chiang Mai Highlands golf course is built on a ‘power spot’ – the hermitage of Kuba Sivichai (the revered monk who founded the famous Doi Suthep temple). This site is breathtaking in every direction. Its tranquility, high elevation, cold climate, fresh air, pure water, and fertile soil, form the perfect place for the 27-hole layout.
The Highlands course itself is exciting and challenging for a player of any level and offers the choice of 5 different tee boxes. Featuring Paspalum grassed fairways and Tiff-eagle grass greens ensure excellent hitting surfaces and faster more consistent greens year round. The bunker complexes are deep and punishing, but lend a nice contrast to frame each hole. In fact, the course features are over 130 fairway and greenside bunkers, most all with high front edges.
Chiang Mai Inthanon Golf Resort is a recently new addition to the Chiang Mai golfing scene overlooked by Thailand’s highest mountain from which it gets its name. A very enjoyable layout with some difficult holes to keep you on your toes but should suit most golfers. Don’t expect a beautifully manicured golf course because the owners try to maintain the course without the use of harsh chemicals so you might encounter the occasional weed but the abundance of wildlife and the natural landscape more than make up for this.
The course offers a reasonably easy start and the front nine begins with a benign par-5 and a couple of easy par-4s, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security as things get more difficult especially on the 4th which is along par 3 with a larger bunker in front of the green and water along the left. The 7th which is another par 4 demand great accuracy as there is a water carry off the tee to a narrow landing area with bunkers both sides followed by an approach over water to a narrow green.
On the back nine the 11th is a long par 5 with a bunker stretching from tee to green and water protecting the right side of the green. The 12th is a relatively simple par 3 but don’t get lulled into a false sense of security because the finishing holes starting at the lengthy uphill par-4 15th are lying in wait to wreck your card. The 16th is a tough downhill par-3 holes. The finishing holes are very scenic and the 18th offers a blind tee shot with dense jungle along one side of the hole followed by a downhill second requiring pinpoint accuracy to enable you to tackle the water-protected green.
Gassan Khuntan Golf & Resort is located in the middle of forest-covered mountains about one hour outside of Chiang Mai and has recently undergone some renovation and upgrading and the courses is now in excellent condition. Framed by the Doi Khuntan Mountains, this is a stunningly beautiful and at times difficult golf course and the natural beauty more than compensates for the extra driving time from Chiang Mai city.
Surrounded by all this beautiful scenery which includes several picturesque waterfalls and the iconic railway bridge it is easy to get distracted from the many challenges that this course will throw at you. These include blind tee shots, vicious dog-legs, an island green and numerous deep and strategically-placed bunkers. As a part of the renovations they have added numerous bunkers along the out-of-bounds line to help speed up play so now the miss-hit shot will most likely end up in one of these rather than the jungle which lines most fairways.
Formerly known as Gassan Lake City Golf Club, this Chiang Mai golf course was closed in 2013 for a total renovation by the famous golf courses design team of Schmidt-Curley. The courses was re-launched in 2014 and was renamed Gassan Legacy Golf Club and its now one of the best golf courses in Chiang Mai.
This was not just a cosmetic makeover but the entire course was re-grassed with new drainage and in common with many golf courses designed by this team they have added numerous green side hazards to protect the now immaculate greens. There is also plenty of water around the course and the courses is not that long by today’s standards so accuracy rather than brute strength is rewarded. They have left in place many of the mature trees that existed before and have gently remodelled the fairways and set up the course so that the better golfer can take risks and reap the appropriate reward and the less accomplished can take the easy route and either lay up or use the bail out areas.
Water comes into play on every hole and on most of them you are either carrying over water onto the fairway or you have water encroaching into the fairway close to the tee box and this makes every tee shot pretty daunting. Fortunately most of the approach shots are water free but you will encounter a different type of hazard in the shape of numerous cleverly placed bunkers waiting to grab the wayward shot.
The most noticeable feature of the golf course is the large lake which sits in the middle of the course. There is also water on both the left and right sides of the golf course. While water comes into play on several holes, this should not deter you from playing at Gassan Panorama, although you might want to ensure you have plenty of balls in your bag.
However, there are also plenty of bunkers for players to contend with and in conjunction with the length and water hazards, Gassan Panorama is not an easy golf course to master. If you want to score low you will need to play well but its not always easy to keep your concentration on the golf thanks to the lovely views of the mountains in the distance.
Gold Canyon Golf Club in Chiang Mai is an unusual and enjoyable golf course where trees in the fairway and in front of the tee pose some unusual problems. A challenging golf course which is a bit further outside the city but the wonderful views from all parts of the courses more than make up for the travelling time from the city.
An hour or so outside Chiang Mai in a tranquil, rural setting of orchards, canyons and woodland lies Lamphun’s newest golf course, Gold Canyon. This is an unusual course that sits in contrast to most courses in Chiang Mai: it’s rather open, with not much in the way of water or sand to inconvenience you. Instead, it’s challenges lie in its length (at over 7,200 yards it’s quite a trek) and the trees that are often unconventionally placed in the middle of fairways or on occasion right in front of the tee box.
Designed by the famous Japanese course architect Yoshikazu Kato, Hariphunchai Golf Club is an exquisite example of Kato´s impeccable work。 Located half an hour from Chiang Mai, the 9-hole layout, with a par of 36 is spectacular. A championship standard course which will test even the very best golfers.
lthough only a 9-hole course, Kato included two teeing options so that golfers can enjoy two distinctive rounds, with tee boxes placed in different positions that result in each hole playing uniquely from each teeing position. The course itself is very challenging with water hazards and bunkers perfectly placed throughout the course to catch the wayward shot, or punish momentary lapses in concentration. At 3516 yards, the course keeps pace with the modern game, requiring the golfer to possess both skill and power to tame this gem of a golf course.
Mae Jo Golf Club in Chiang Mai is an unusual layout which winds its way through mature fruits trees with some excellent views from some of the elevated tees. Several banana-shaped holes with blind tee shots but very playable for golfers of all standards.
The Bermuda grass on the fairways usually provides an inviting lie which always helps if you need a fairway wood to reach the green which might well be the case on the 15th, a long par-4 which requires a perfectly placed tee shot from the elevated tee box to reach the corner of the dog-leg if you are to stand any chance of reaching the green with your approach. Even with a view of the green a pot bunker guards the two-tier green and you will need to be careful with your positioning if you wish to avoid a bogey or worse.
North Hill was designed by a local Thai designer and began life as a 9-hole golf course before being expanded to a full 18-hole course in 2014. The most notable aspect of North Hill is the quality of the golf course and it is in stunning condition. The greens, fairways, bunkers and even the rough are kept to a very high standard and you will feel like you are playing on a professional tournament quality golf course at North Hill.
As with many golf courses in Thailand, water plays a large roll in the design of the course and features regularly throughout the round. The first hole is a good example and you will find water along the whole of the right side of this par-5 opening hole at North Hill. You will be tempted to play the ball down the left side of the fairway to avoid the water but there are four fairway bunkers waiting to catch you out, three of which are on approach to the green.
One of the older courses in Chiang Mai set in a tree-lined valley with great views to the surrounding mountains. The course is quite short by modern-day standards but it’s a very enjoyable course for everyone. The course tends to feel slightly cooler than most due to its elevated position and the many mature fruit trees also provide welcome shade on those hot days. The feel of the course is part parkland with some links-type features thrown in but most holes are tree-lined with undulating fairways and some strategically placed pot bunkers.
Designed by the legendary Peter Thompson, the course is only 6969 yards long so accuracy rather than power off the tee is advisable and make sure you check the distances with your caddie as there are some deceptive holes and if you under-club you could end up in the hazard or worse.
Summit Green Valley Chiang Mai is a challenging world class lowlands golf course in picturesque surroundings, in excellent condition, on the outskirts of Chiang Mai about 20 minutes from the city centre. Although close to the city, this Chiang Mai golf club is still set in beautiful surroundings with plenty of mature trees and native plants.
Whilst the fresh air and mountains views may put you in a relaxed mood you will need to be on your best form if you are to play to your handicap – especially from the back tees. The wide fairways may look inviting but the strategically placed water hazards and fairways bunkers are there to catch you out if you are slightly off line. If you really go astray then you are likely to end up in the numerous palm trees that line the course which will inevitably cost you a short as you may have no choice but to play out sideways.
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