You will struggle to find an island anywhere else in the world, which offers more in terms of a golf holiday destination than Phuket
You will struggle to find an island anywhere else in the world, which offers more in terms of a holiday destination, than Phuket. Situated on the west-facing Andaman Sea coastline in Southern Thailand, although Phuket is an island, it is quite big and stretches 48 kilometres in length and is 21 kilometres wide.
Due to its size, it’s possible to split Phuket into four distinct regions, with Western Phuket being the most popular region and the one most talked about around the world. There are some great beaches here, although many become quite full during the day and the night life in Patong, is second to none. South-eastern Phuket is home to quieter beaches, some of which are off the beaten track and the largest town in this region, Chalong Bay, is the place to go for boat trips to the neighbouring islands. The islands make up the third region of Phuket and many of them are picture-postcard beautiful, including the famous James Bond island. Finally, the interior of the island, which is the fourth region, remains almost untouched by visitors and the Phra Taew National Park is a lovely place to visit, especially if you want to get away from the crowds.
However, with Phuket being hot throughout the year, one of the islands biggest attractions is golf although Phuket golf course prices are a bit higher than other parts of Thailand. . For those living in Europe or North America, Phuket is a great place to visit for golf during the winter months, as between December and March rainfall is at a minimum. The temperature tends to range between the late 20’s and early 30’s (degrees) and the days are sunny and bright, perfect for a round of golf. The summer monsoon season is between May to October, although much of the rain falls in the evening and at night, so you could still enjoy a round of golf during the day, without much disruption. So, with this Thai island clearly being a great place to play golf, what are the best golf courses in Phuket?
Red Mountain Golf Club
Regarded by many as being the best golf course in Phuket
The stunning scenery around the island of Phuket, make it the perfect place for golf and you are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to golf courses. Regarded by many as being the best golf course in Phuket, is Red Mountain Golf Club.
Red Mountain Golf Club was designed by Jonathan Morrow and opened for play in 2007. The course is conveniently located in the centre of the island, within just 15 minutes of Karon and Patong beaches. As you head to the golf course, you will begin to understand just why the course was named Red Mountain and it may be difficult to believe a golf course could exist amongst the jungle and red rock. However, with huge undulations, the landscape has been transformed in one of Phuket’s most spectacular golf courses. The course itself is based on a former tin mine and the cliffs provide a lovely backdrop and frame many of the holes, with flooded canyons also featuring throughout. Red Mountain is one of the best golf courses in Phuket because of the full array of challenges which await visitors. Whether it be water, changes in elevation, bunkers or wind, be prepared to have everything thrown at you when playing this course. However, also take a minute to admire the tremendous views around the course, as this is the highest golf course on the island and you will be tempted to get your camera out several times.
Back to the course itself and you will find both large and small greens throughout the 18 holes, some with minimal breaks and others with severe undulations, which will test your putting control. The final six holes are considered to be the real test at Red Mountain golf club and this is where the changes in elevation become noticeable, in addition to the dense vegetation and red rock cliffs. To master this course requires a very good strategy and you must use the knowledge of your local caddie, if you are to shoot a low score. Due to its central location, it’s possible to play Red Mountain early in the morning and then enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends, which is another reason why it is ranked as one of the top golf courses in Phuket. When visiting Phuket on a golf holiday and considering which courses you should play, Red Mountain Golf Club must be at the top of your list.
Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club Resort and Spa
A Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, almost every hole provides tremendous views of the Andaman Sea
If you enjoy the views at Red Mountain Golf Club, you will absolutely love them when playing at Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club Resort and Spa. A Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, almost every hole provides tremendous views of the Andaman Sea and you will believe you are playing in a PGA Tour event, with several holes playing out across the ocean. For this experience alone, Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club is one of the golf courses in Phuket you must play before leave.
Established in 2004 and located 35 minutes from Patong beach, the course features, as one would expect from a Nicklaus design, large beach sand bunkers. These, together with the bright colours of the greens and the turquoise blue ocean, make Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club a sight for sore eyes, with lovely contrasting colours throughout the 18 holes. However, you cannot allow yourself to be taken in by the views, as the water comes into play on several holes and being so close to the coast, the wind can easily pick up, adding to the test of this golf course. The pick of the holes include the par-5 2nd hole, which after two shots, features a cracking approach shot to an island green and the par-4 5th hole, which boasts both an island tee and island green. The 5th hole also has a large waste bunker and significant elevation changes on the fairway, adding to the challenge. The signature hole is the 12th and this is the longest par-4 on the golf course. The tee shot must carry at least 250 yards, to have any chance of making the green in two, which is protected along the right side by a lake and down the left side by a hollow, which will gobble up your ball. Many golfers are happy to walk away from this hole with a par and take in the magnificent views of the ocean and mountains in the distance.
Following your round, make time to enjoy the clubhouse restaurant and spa, which are both excellent. If you think you will not have enough time to get something to eat, why not place an order before you start and have it delivered to you out on the course? It’s a nice little feature and in addition to the fantastic course setting, makes Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club Resort really stand out from the other golf courses in Phuket.
Katathong Golf Resort and Spa
The mountain views are excellent and feature throughout the course, with natural waterfalls and streams common across many of the holes
If you are looking for a real test of your golfing ability, Katathong Golf Resort and Spa is ranked as one of the most challenging golf courses in Phuket. A modern golf course, created by a local designer in 2015, Katathong Golf Resort and Spa requires a bit more of a journey than the two courses highlighted above, being north of Phuket and it takes about an hour to get there by car. This course was also a former tin mine and you get a taste of its past as you play your way around the course, spotting traditional mining equipment which was left behind when it was abandoned in the 1900’s.
The mountain views are excellent and feature throughout the course, with natural waterfalls and streams common across many of the holes. The fairways are not as long as many other golf courses in Phuket but are narrow, making accuracy off the tee more important than distance. This makes Katathong Golf Resort and Spa a good contrast to the other golf course in Phuket and is the reason why it is considered a good test of a golfers ability. The par-3’s are perhaps the pick of the holes on this golf course, as they are very undulating, with big elevation changes but once on the green, these tend to be flat, although some have multiple tiers to contend with, so accurate approach play is a must for a low score.
The pick of the holes is probably the par-5 4th hole, which is one of the longest on the golf course but with a narrow fairway and hazards on both sides, accuracy off the tee is a must. There is a ravine on the right and bunkers and trees on the left, meaning you cannot afford to be reckless with your drive. Having found the fairway, you cannot switch off, as a hidden bunker complex waits to eat up any approach shot which fails to find the green. For a pure thrill and adrenaline rush, the par-3 10th hole is one of the best at Katathong Golf Resort and Spa. The elevated tee box overlooks an island green and any ball which fails to land on the green, is never to be seen again. One shot off line, can result in a bogey or even worse on this hole. Despite the distance from Phuket, if you are looking for a good test of golfing ability, it is worth making the drive to this golf course but make sure you have something to eat in the clubhouse afterwards, as there is not much else around in terms of restaurants.
Blue Canyon Country Club
Home of two golf courses, one of which played host to the Johnnie Walker Classic, featuring a certain Tiger Woods.
Heading back a little closer to Phuket, Blue Canyon Country Club is the home of two golf courses, one of which played host to the Johnnie Walker Classic, featuring a certain Tiger Woods. The Canyon Course, designed by Yoshikazu Kato and opened in 1991, is classed as not only one the best golf courses in Phuket and the surrounding area but the whole of Thailand.
As with many golf courses in this region of Thailand, the Canyon Course is located on a former tin mine and there is plenty of evidence of its mining past as you play your way around the course. The canyons and cliffs expose red and white tin rock and the water in the streams is rust coloured and this adds a unique flavour to the course. Palm-oil trees frame the front nine holes on the Canyon Course but it’s at the start of the back nine, where the real excitement of this golf course begins. In fact, the stretch of five holes between 11 and 15 are considered by many to be not only the best in Thailand but the best in Asia, which is some praise indeed. However, once you step onto the tee at the 600 yard, par-5 11th hole, you begin to understand just why this stretch of holes is so highly regarded.
The tee shot on the 11th hole requires a shot over water, which stretches across the fairway. There is also water guarding the green on both sides but having successfully negotiated this hole, just wait for the surprise on the par-4, 13th hole which features a large canyon and will have you reaching for the driver, in an attempt to clear it. Onto the par-3 14th and this hole has an island green and there is no bail out area available, so you must have full confidence in your ability on this hole. Judge the wind and pick the right club because you cannot afford any mistakes.
Having enjoyed the thrill of the Canyon Course, make sure you make full use of the clubhouse facilities, which offers three restaurants and spa, in addition to the pro-shop, locker rooms and showers. To experience arguably the ultimate golf course in Phuket, you must play the Canyon Course at Blue Canyon Country Club.
Loch Palm Golf Club
The course itself is perhaps one the easiest golf courses in Phuket and features a parkland style layout
Back to the centre of Phuket and a favourite course with the local Thai golfers is Loch Palm Golf Club. This 18-hole golf course was designed by Dr. Sukitti Klangvisai and opened for play in 1993, making it one of the longest established golf courses in Phuket. This is a very nice golf course to play and enjoys an enviable location below jungle covered hills. The course itself is perhaps one the easiest golf courses in Phuket and features a parkland style layout but that’s not to say it doesn’t come with its own challenges. There is a large lake, which comes into play on many of the front nine holes and the main test is to keep your ball dry as you reach the turn. The water even crosses some of the fairways, so be wary of this when teeing up. The back nine holes are tighter but with less water coming into play. However, several of the holes are undulating, so be prepared to play some shots downhill or from on a slope. Although water is less of a feature throughout the back nine, it makes a return on the par-3 14th hole, with the green protected by water on three sides. This is an intimidating tee shot, from an elevated position and will test the nerve of even the most experienced golfer in your group. Loch Palm Golf Club is one of the few golf courses in Phuket where a golf cart is entirely optional and if you would like to walk the course you can, without too much difficulty. The clubhouse serves good Thai food and having been renovated in 2008, is up to the standard of the clubhouses at the more modern golf courses in Phuket and the surrounding area.
In total, there are eight golf course to choose from in Phuket, with the Blue Canyon Lake Course, Laguna Golf Phuket, Tublamu Navy Golf Course and Phuket Country Club available to visitors, twelve months of the year. However, for the best golf courses in Phuket, we recommend you choose from the selection highlighted above and you are sure to have a truly memorable golf experience in this region of Thailand. Phuket is an ideal location for the perfect Phuket golf package.