Stay on one of the beautiful beaches and discover the golf courses in Khao Lak
Thailand is without doubt one of the top places in the world for a golf holiday. With so many fantastic golf courses, places to stay and a lovely climate, playing golf is a joy in this Asian country. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to golf locations in Thailand and perhaps one of the lesser known options is to play golf in Khao Lak.
Khao Lak translates to ‘Lak Mountain’ and its this mountain which is one of the main peaks in what is a hilly region of the country. The hills are part of what makes Khao Lak a great place for a golf holiday.
Situated on the western coast of Thailand, on the Andaman Sea, Khao Lak is a series of small villages in both the Takua Pa District and Thai Mueang District of Phang Nga Province. Despite being a small and quiet area in comparison to Phuket, there are still many options for playing golf in Khao Lak, with up-market accommodation, lovely restaurants and uncrowded beaches.
Due to its proximity with Phuket, many people choose to fly into Phuket International Airport when booking a Khao Lak golf holiday. The airport is just 80 kilometres away from Khao Lak and his makes it a convenient place to arrive. You could even combine the two and make a Phuket and Khao Lak golf package, which would be great.
As with many areas of Thailand you will want to consider the three seasons when booking a Khao Lak golf break. The high season is from November to March and this is when you will find the coolest temperatures and driest conditions. However, even in the ‘cool’ season, the temperatures are still warm and lovely for playing golf. The low season is from June to October, which sees the most rainfall and the hottest weather can be found in April and May.
So, while you can enjoy a Khao Lak golf holiday at any time of year, November to March is considered the best time in terms of the weather.
The course follows the natural undulation of the land, with hills, streams and natural waterfalls.
The good news when booking a Khao Lak golf trip is the choice of golf courses in the region. There are some magnificent golf courses in Khao Lak, with one of the best being Katathong Golf Resort and Spa.
This is one the newest additions to the Khao Lak golfing scene and has quickly gained a popular reputation. Located on the edge of the Khao Lak-Lam Ru National Park, the backdrop to this golf course is stunning. Designed by a local Thai designer, Katathong Golf Resort and Spa is a par-72, 18 hole golf course nestled between three green mountains called Phang Nga,Khao Nang Hong, Khao Tao and Katathong Mountain, the latter of which is the tallest of the three.
As with many of the golf courses in this area of Thailand, Katathong Golf Resort and Spa began life as a tin mine in the 15th century but was abandoned when the demand for tin dropped around the world. The mining equipment was left behind, some of which can still be seen on the golf course and makes a nice touch considering the history of the venue.
The layout of the golf course is excellent and the course follows the natural undulation of the land, with hills, streams and natural waterfalls. Playing to just over 7,000 yards off the back tee, the fairways at Katathong Golf Resort and Spa are not very long but some are quite narrow and you will need accuracy off the tee to keep your ball in play.
While the greens remain fairly flat throughout, there are some multi-tiered greens which can prove tricky if you land on the wrong level. The par-3’s also provide a good challenge thanks to the changes in elevation.
The par-5, fifth hole is perhaps the best example of what is required off the tee when playing at Katathong Golf Resort and Spa. There is danger on both sides of the fairway, with bunkers and trees to the left and a significant ravine to the right. Even if you find the fairway, the approach shot to the green is tough thanks to the bunker complex which protects the putting surface.
Other spectacular holes include the island green on the par-3 tenth and the tee shot over one of the tin mines on the 16th hole. You will certainly be reaching for your camera throughout the round.
The clubhouse features a restaurant and three private dining suites which offer 360 degree panoramic views of the golf course. To make the most of your time at Katathong Golf Resort and Spa and get full use of the facilities, why not book a room in the hotel or stay at the resort? Hotel rooms come with a private balcony and jacuzzi, perfect for relaxing after 18 holes.
The Katathong Golf Resort and Spa comes highly recommended and is one of the best places to begin a golf holiday in Khao Lak.
Tublamu Navy Golf Course is located right on Son-Ngam Beach, which is one of the most beautiful bays in the area
Another tremendous Khao Lak golf course which is full of history can be found closer to the coast. In fact, Tublamu Navy Golf Course is located right on Son-Ngam Beach, which is one of the most beautiful bays in the area.
As the name suggest, Tublamu Navy Golf Course is owned by the Thai Navy but having expanded from 9 holes to 18 holes, it was opened to the public in 2002. Prior to 2002, the course was kept private for members of the Thai Navy and if you choose to play this course during your Khao Lak golf package, you will become one of only a small number of visitors to do so.
Tublamu Navy Golf Course was created by a local Thai
Tublamu Navy Golf Coursedesigner and is the closest golf course to Khao Lak. So, if you book to stay in one of the many top hotels, guest houses or villas in Khao Lak, this golf course will be your local.
As a rural municipal golf course, Tublamu Navy Golf Course may not meet the same level of conditioning as others in Thailand but that does not detract from a brilliant golfing experience. The par-72 plays to 6,825 yards, which is quite short and provides the opportunity to make a low score. However, its more so the surroundings and wildlife which brings many people to play at Tublamu Navy Golf Course.
Being so close to the sea, birdlife is abundant and you can spot many species, especially when playing the 1st and 17th holes which both run alongside the water. In the opposite direction you can see the tropical rain forest hills of Khao Lak and combined with the sea front you are surrounded by spectacular views.
The clubhouse and facilities have not changed much over the years but being part of the Royal Thai Navy Sports Development Centre, you will experience what it is like to play golf with an armed guard. Members of the Thai army stand guard around the course and will even offer you guidance and refreshments when you enter the golf course. Playing a round of golf at Tublamu Navy Golf Course is a unique experience and one you must add to your Khao Lak golf itinerary.
A 9-hole golf course located just 15 minutes from Bangsak Beach, ‘Kirinara’ means mountain and river
The final stop on your Khao Lak golf tour is Kirinara Golf Course. This golf urses differs to the other courses in Khao Lak in that it is only 9 holes. Located just 15 minutes from Bangsak Beach, ‘Kirinara’ means mountain and river and one glance around the golf course will soon bring home the reasons why it has been named this way.
Despite being 9 holes, there is plenty of water on Kirinara Golf Course and much of it feeds down from the mountains via a stream. Preserving the surrounding nature was at the forefront of the course design and the water combined with the subtle undulations provides golfers of all abilities a good challenge.
You will find a good combination of long and short holes when playing golf at Kirinara Golf Course and it’s this mix of holes which keeps local players coming back for more. While many of the greens are large and this makes hitting them relatively easy, putting is not as straight forward. You could land your ball on the green but leave yourself an enormous putt, so pin consideration and accuracy is a must when playing approach shots.
There is little in the way of facilities at Kirinara Golf Course but you will be pleasantly surprised by the surroundings and the quality of the golf. If you are staying in Khao Lak for a few days, you could easily play Kirinara Golf Course a few times and never get bored.
In addition to the three golf courses in Khao Lak, you are invited to travel to the remote hills near Khao Sok National Park, where you will find Rajjaprabha Dam Golf Course. You will need to travel for around two hours from Khao Lak to reach the golf course but you will be delighted you did when on the course.
This course is one of the most scenic in Thailand thanks to its natural setting among the fantastic limestone monoliths
You will not know where to look when playing this golf course as Rajjaprabha Dam has a bit of everything. The course itself is in tremendous condition and the layout is superb, with holes to challenge players of all standards. A good strategy will get you far on Rajjaprabha Dam Golf Course and even the par-3 holes can play long, requiring good ball striking from the tee. The 16th hole is a great example and here you will need a tee shot which carries up an alley of native trees to a green which is 215 yards away.
However, the first hole sets the scene nicely and from the tee box you can see the rest of the course from the raised level. Be prepared to be challenged by the long par-5’s which require three good shots to reach the green in regulation.
The course is a joy to play but perhaps the one issue you will have when playing Rajjaprabha Dam Golf Course is keeping your concentration on the golf. The surrounding nature is stunning and you will be reaching for your camera many times. Rajjaprabha Dam Golf Course provides the perfect blend between a challenging round of golf and beautiful surroundings.
Many people choose to ignore this golf course because of its remote setting but that means there are fewer players which makes it an even better option. When planning a Khao Lak golf holiday, you will be doing yourself a disservice if you left Rajjaprabha Dam Golf Course off the itinerary. Simply plan for a full day of touring and golf and when you return to your Khao Lak accommodation in the evening, it will be with a huge smile on your face.
Playing golf in Khao Lak is something everything golfer should enjoy, whatever their level of expertise. With three top quality yet very different golf courses to choose from you could spend a week in this region of Thailand playing golf and travelling around the local attractions. With Rajjaprabha Dam Golf Course just two hours away, you could also include a day trip which will add a great deal of value to your Khao Lak golf holiday. Not only will you have the opportunity to play a superb golf course many visitors miss, you will also see rural areas of Thailand, which is a great experience.