Amata Spring Country Club was voted by the players as the best course on the Asian Tour and the best conditioned course in Asia Pacific by Asian Golf monthly magazine.
Such has been the progress of golf in Thailand, many excellent new golf courses have been developed since the turn of the century. One of those golf courses is Amata Spring Country Club, which opened its fairways for the first time in 2005.
Amata Spring Country Club is located in Chonburi Province, between the Thailand capital of Bangkok and the popular beach resort town of Pattaya. Due to its fantastic location, visitors to Thailand for a golf holiday can arrive in Bangkok, play golf around the city before heading to Pattaya, via Amata Spring Country Club, for a great beach holiday or to play more golf.
Bangkok to Amata Spring Country Club is just under 80 kilometres and you can make the journey inside 90 minutes. Pattaya is slightly closer but the travel time is roughly the same, so even if you decide to base yourself in one of the two cities for your entire Thailand golf holiday, you could easily include Amata Spring Country Club on your itinerary.
Due to the tropical monsoon climate, the best time of year to visit Amata Spring Country Club for a round of golf is between November and February. This is known as the cool season becasue the conditions are less hot and humid than at other times and the weather remains dry for long periods. This is when you will find Amata Spring Country Club at its best but you should not be put off from visiting at other times of the year.
Amata Spring Country Club is kept in great condition all year round. Even in the hot season from March to June and the rainy season from July to October, you can enjoy a great round of golf at one of Thailand’s top golfing venues.
If you conduct a quick online search for Amata Spring Country Club, you will find it is ranked as one of the top golf courses in Thailand. Not only that but Amata Spring Country Club is often talked about as being one of the best golf courses in the whole of Asia, with a very high rating from all those who have had the pleasure of playing the course.
Between 2011 and 2014, Amata Spring Country Club was voted by the players as the best course on the Asian Tour and in 2013 it was voted the best conditioned course in Asia Pacific by Asian Golf monthly magazine.
So, what is it about Amata Spring Country Club that makes it such a great golf course and a must when playing golf in Thailand?
Amata Spring Country Club was designed by Schmidt-Curley Golf Design from the United States and has played host to many top professional events. The club hosted the Royal Trophy in 2006 and 2007, which is a tournament contested between the best players in Europe and Asia. The teams played in a match-play format and His Majesty the King of Thailand donated the Royal Trophy for the winner. Other major events held at Amata Spring Country Club include the Thailand Golf Championship and the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament.
As one would expect for a golf course used in major competition, the fairways are long. The Amata Spring Country Club plays to 7,322 yards from the back tees and is a parkland style course. The first thing to note when playing Amata Spring Country Club is the quality of the golf course and being a private venue, the fairways and greens are kept in superb condition.
When designing the golf course, the idea was to use the lake which was already present within the grounds. Interestingly, the water level of the lake was lowered and this created the rolling fairways and elevated tees we see on the golf course today. When you play the 17th and 18th holes at Amata Spring Country Club you are playing golf below sea level.
There are now two lakes in total on the golf course plus additional, smaller water hazards dotted around the 18 holes. As you would expect, water is the main hazard on the course and comes into play regularly throughout the round.
Arguably the best hole at Amata Spring Country Club is the 17th and this has become one of the most famous holes in Asia and the signature hole of the golf course. It’s a par-3 hole and features an island green. While there are many golf courses which boast an island green, this one is special because it is completely separated from the rest of the course.
There is no land or bridge which connects the green to the golf course. Once you have played your shot and landed your ball successful on the green, you must travel by boat to the putting surface to play your next shot. When you have holed your putt, it is time to get back on the boat and head to the 18th tee. You can see why this hole is held in such high esteem in the world of Asian golf.
Andrew Yau, the owner of the golf course spoke about his idea of having a floating green and the designers asked if he meant an island green. The response was no, he wanted a floating green so the ‘island green’ at Amata Spring Country Club is actually anchored to the bottom of the lake. Don’t worry if you are unsure about handling a boat, there is member of staff waiting in the boat who will take you safely across and return you to the golf course to complete your round.
You will want to make sure you have a camera handy when playing the 17th hole at Amata Spring Country Club as it is a once in a life time experience.
That’s not to say the rest of the golf course is not worthy of your attention because you are in for a fantastic round of golf. There are many holes at Amata Spring Country Club which would easily be considered signature holes if it was not for the 17th hole.
The 4th hole is a beauty and the par-4 features a creek which guards the front of the green and the backdrop is an old Thai temple, which is outlined in gold. Much like the 17th hole, you will find yourself struggling to concentrate on your ball as you try and find your camera to capture the moment.
The most interesting green at Amata Spring Country Club can be found on the par-3 8th hole. This is a long par-3 with a shot over water to a green which is hugely testing. The putting surface angles from right to left and the front is raised before dropping down in the middle. If that doesn’t sound tough enough, the back section of the green rises over one metre and the pin position is crucial to your tee shot. The 8th green is the type of putting surface where you could make a great putt which will live long in the memory or you could be left with something which looks impossible. Either way, it’s a fun and exciting edition to the golf course.
Perhaps the best par-5 at Amata Spring Country Club is the 7th which despite not being very long, features a tricky downhill tee shot. There are two sets of bunkers which cross the fairway between the ideal landing areas and the front of the green is elevated, which gives the false impression it is sitting on the edge of the lake.
The final hole of the course plays to over 470 yards and accuracy off the tee is vital if you want to finish strongly. With bunkers running the length of the right side of the fairway and water the left side of the fairway, you cannot afford to be off target with the driver.
The course at Amata Spring Country Club offers a great deal of variety and some very memorable holes whilst maintaining a good degree of difficulty. However, the enjoyment does not end there and having completed a round why not head into the club house for some refreshment?
There is a choice of two restaurants at Amata Spring Country Club with the Diciotto Italian Restaurant serving fantastic modern Italian cuisine. Dining can be enjoyed inside the clubhouse or on the private balcony which overlooks the 18th green.
The second restaurant is the El Nino International Restaurant. This is open all day and offers both Asian and international cuisine, with a regular a-la carte menu served 7 days a week plus a generous international buffet.
The practice facilities at Amata Spring Country Club include a driving range which has floodlighting installed. You can practice your golf at any time of day, with opening hours extended to 9pm and having completed your session, the bar and restaurants await. There is also a spa with massage facilities and this is a great way to relax the muscles following a round of golf at Amata Spring Country Club.
You will struggle to find a better golfing experience anywhere in Thailand than Amata Spring Country Club. From the quality of the golf course and great variety of holes to the clubhouse and practice facilities, everything combines to produce the perfect day of golf.
If you are planning a golf holiday in Bangkok or Pattaya, you should include a round of golf at Amata Spring Country Club.