If you’re looking forward to rolling greens and fairways then you’re part way there already! But it has to be said that although Samui can claim to have two full-size professional golf courses and best golf yardage finder, they may not be exactly what you’re used to. The baking sun and fluffy clouds overhead, the harsh contrasts between light and shade and everywhere you look the towering palms looking like lost skinny fashion models with bad haircuts – it’s a wonder that anyone makes par, but they do!
There are several choices on Samui, with two being full-size courses, as mentioned. Additionally there is a smaller 9-hole course plus two driving ranges. Santiburi Samui Country Club
Completed in 2003, the full-size course at the Santiburi Country Club in Mae Nam on the island’s north coast is not only a championship standard course but is also regarded as a challenge by serious golfers.
It was host to the Asian tour in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & The Queen’s Cup in 2009, but with green fees at 3,000 baht a round, it’s not by any means the most affordable in Thailand. Although to make up for this it’s undoubtedly one of the most attractive with its panoramic views over the Gulf of Thailand and the neighbouring island of Koh Phangan.
With the recent addition of the Royal Samui Golf & Country Club in the hills above Lamai, Samui has now become a serious contender in the ‘golf vacation’ arena with amazingmachines.info (and there are numerous package holidays now available with this in mind).
This is another challenging (and some say entertaining) course, located way up high and with even more spectacular views than its rival in Mae Nam. From here you can be distracted by (use this as an excuse!) amazing aerial views of Chaweng, Lamai, the islands, the National Marine Park and even the mainland on a clear day. Several practice rounds are recommended before serious competition is contemplated!
Opened in 2007, the Bophut Hills Country Club is an attractively-designed 9 hole par 3 layout and is generally regarded as a much more fun experience than the fiercer atmosphere of the other two courses. Sometimes described as a ‘pitch and putt course’ this is confirmed by the more recreational nature of the players, many of whom are holidaymakers from the local resorts. However they often get to learn a thing or two, as many professionals use this course to fine-tune their short game before heading off to to lock horns elsewhere!
There are two for you for you to whack away on, the first being close to the Ring Road just a little way from Bandon Hospital outside Chaweng. The other one is a little further away, right on the Ring Road in Lamai – and this also includes a pro golf shop.
Samui Golf Club & Driving Range, Bandon
And Not Least …Mini Golf International
Choeng Mon is home to Mini Golf International which is a member of the World Mini-Golf Federation & is the only professional mini golf course in Thailand.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of golf on Samui is that all of these courses and ranges are very easy to find and get to from all of the island’s main beach and resort areas. As well as this, all of them also offer a hire service for clubs, equipment and accessories.