Love it or hate it there is no doubt that in terms of pure golfing terms Pattaya has the best collection of golf course in Thailand with around 30 golf courses on offer and nearly all of them are very playable. You will find several courses to suit your ability and budget and here we give you a brief rundown on what is available.
Bangpra International Golf Club dates back to 1958 so is one of the oldest golf courses in Pattaya rea but it was extensively remodelled in the early 80’s and that design had withstood the test of time and it remains a solid if unspectacular golf course. Plenty of mature trees line the fairways and the course is set in a very beautiful location.
One of the most popular golf courses in Pattaya is Burapha Golf Club. It’s a 36-hole layout and it has hosted several major tournaments so it will offer a good challenge to golfers of all standards. They have got the right balance of sand and water hazards and the greens are usually good and can be very quick especially putting downhill. Can get crowded at weekends.
Crystal Bay Golf Club is one of the easier golf courses in the area located about 30 minutes from the city. Three are not too many elevation changes and the fairways are general quite flat so this is a popular course with higher handicappers. Palm trees line most fairways so it has a distinctly tropical feeling. Usually in good condition and another course which gets busy at weekends.
Robert Trent Jones Jr has left his mark on Pattaya in the shape of Eastern Star Golf Club which has been built on the site of an old coconut plantation and many of these trees have been incorporated into the design and line many fairways. Pretty wide landing areas which you will need if you are to keep out of the numerous sand traps and more than 10 lakes.
If you are looking for an easy course to play then look no further than Eastern Star Golf Club in Pattaya which is a links-style course built on what is left over from a coconut plantation. Usually in very good condition and is one of the few golf courses in Thailand set on the site of a former coconut plantation.
Emerald Golf Club is a Nick Faldo designed course and one of the most attractive set in the hills near Rayong. Very small but quaint clubhouse and slightly inconsistent maintenance standards but despite these shortcomings this is a very enjoyable course.
Greenwood Golf Club is one of Pattaya’s hidden gems with three nines to choose from in very natural setting with lots of mature trees lining the fairways. The course was designed by multiple Open champion, Peter Thompson and he has used plenty of well-positioned and sometimes very deep bunkers to protect the course.
Khao Kheow Country Club is a bit further out than some of the courses and is an ideal choice for your last game as it’s on the way to the airport. It’s a 27-hole layout and quite hilly so feels quite long when you are playing uphill. You will remember the signature hole which is a lovely par 3 with an island green framed by the mountains – a potential card-wrecker.
Laem Chabang Country Club which was designed by Jack Nicklaus remain one of the best golf courses in Pattaya. Another 27-hole layout in immaculate condition with perfect fairways and fast greens and one of the best run clubhouses around. They also offer night golf if you tee off after 3.30 so you can play the first nine in the fading light and the back nine in the darkness under floodlights. Don’t miss out on this course if you are heading to Pattaya.
Mountain Shadow Golf Club was completely renovated a few years ago and is now a very playable and enjoyable course. Originally designed by Ron Fream it has been built on the site of a former mango plantation and due to its age is blessed with plenty of mature trees and an abundance local flora and fauna.
Parichat International Golf Links is a relative newcomer to the local golfing scene and is one to be avoided unless you are an accomplished golfer. This course, although not long by modern standards, is very difficult mainly because of the numerous lakes, streams and other water hazards which block you way at every turn.
Pattana Golf Club and Resort is another old favourite offering 27-holes of challenging golf a little outside Pattaya. The course is spread out over a large area with great views over the surrounding hills. There are some very interesting holes including two monster par 5’s measuring over 600 yards which are made even longer if the prevailing wind is blowing in your face.
If you are seeking an easier course and don’t wish to travel too far then Pattaya Country Club Golf Resort is your best. Has reopened after a total renovation and this is a pretty flat track which is one of the closest courses to town and also one of the cheapest.
Another old favourite which is undergoing a major transformation after a change of ownership is Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club. They offer 27-holes and have recently totally remodelled one of the nines and have ambitions to continue to upgrade the course and the clubhouse to compete with the best in Pattaya. They are about to host a major international event which will put this course firmly on the golfing map worldwide.
Pleasant Valley Golf & Country Club can be anything but a pleasant experience for some as this is one of the more difficult courses in Pattaya. Providing you are not too focussed on your scorecard and just want to have a great time then you will enjoy this course as its set in beautiful surroundings not far from Khao Kheow National Park.
Rayong Green Valley Country Club in Pattaya was designed by Peter Thomson. It’s a mature tree-lined course and the design incorporates many of the original natural features and these can sometimes block you way. Slightly run-down clubhouse but the course is usually in good condition.
Siam Country Club is easily the best golf club in Pattaya and has three different courses, all offering a very different challenge. The Old Course which hosts the annual LPGA Honda Classic is a beautifully mature parkland course in sensational condition. The Plantation Course is totally different – much more open with views from parts of the course towards the city. A challenging courses with plenty of bunkers and lots of raised greens so you are often faced with some tricky chips from just off the green. Their latest offering is the Waterside Courses which circles around a huge lake – the course is still maturing but has some very attractive holes and this is destined to become a very popular course.
Other courses worthy of mention include St Andrews 2000 which is memorable for the length of some of its holes but continues to be a very popular course in Pattaya and its neighbour Silky Oaks which is a very inexpensive course offering some great views from the top of the course. Treasure Hills Golf Club is a bit further out of town but offers exceptional value for money and is a very mature course in good condition.
Last but not least is the almost unpronounceable Wangjuntr Golf Club which is quite a long way out of town but has two fantastic courses. If you are travelling with your family this resort has plenty of family-friendly activities.
Many people are put off by Pattaya’s slightly seamy reputation but you can stay away from all of this and you will be rewarded by some unique and quiet golfing experiences in golf courses in Pattaya that you can boast about to your golfing buddies back home for a long time.