Pattaya is a top choice among people around the world seeking the perfect beach holiday but when it comes to golf packages, this region of Thailand has it all. So, when considering where to book your next golf break, why not look at Pattaya and check out the wonderful choice of championship golf courses in addition to the other incredible activities available.
If you have never visited Thailand or Asia before, you will find many things which are new and different to what you experience at home, wherever that may be. However, Pattaya, thanks to being a popular seaside resort on the Gulf of Thailand, is a great place to visit for the first-time golfer in Asia.
You will find a great choice of accommodation from which to choose and you can opt for a big brand name hotel or try something more traditional.
Boasting many excellent places to stay and eat plus the several world class beaches, you will not have any problem settling in when you arrive.
In addition to the tremendous golf courses, you will find water sports, sacred temples, museums, galleries, nature and a lively nightlife, which all combine to make a fantastic golf holiday.
Geography and Travel
Pattaya is situated on the Eastern Gulf Coast of Thailand and is 150 kilometres to the south of the capital city, Bangkok.
The city itself spans some 15 kilometres along the coast and is situated between the provincial centres of Rayong and Chonburi, the latter of which is the province to which Pattaya belongs. The area immediately surrounding the city of Pattaya is known as being the most dynamic growth area in Thailand.
The population of Pattaya, as of 2010, was just over 107,000 people but the official figure is thought to be around 300,000, which is still much less than the huge population of Bangkok.
U Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport welcomes domestic flights from other cities in Thailand but for the international visitor wanting to play golf, you will need to use Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. From the airport in Bangkok it is an 80-minute transfer in good driving conditions and you can negotiate a fee with the drive before leaving the airport.
If you wish, you can also arrange for an airport pickup with your hotel or use one of the bus services available, but we recommend a taxi, especially with golf clubs and they are not very expensive.
Once in Pattaya, you will not find many tuk-tuks like Bangkok and the preferred method of transport is by songthaew. To board one of these vehicles you must stand in the street and wave it down, before boarding and paying the standard fare which is round 10 Bath for tourists. These are useful if you are planning on visiting a few beaches for example.
There is also a local circular bus you can use to get around the city but for visiting golf courses you should ask your hotel to book you a taxi for the trip there and back.
Where to Stay
There is a good choice of accommodation available in Pattaya, ranging from cheap budget options to up-market boutiques and well-known names from around the world.
Many of the five start hotels are found in the north of the city, which is a more family friendly area of Pattaya, with less bars and calming night life than that of the south. If you are going to be using the bars however and want the widest choice of accommodation, the Pattaya beach area is the best option.
For a more relaxing stay in Pattaya, you should book accommodation in Jomtien beach, which is home to the finest restaurants and exciting water parks.
If you would like a combination of a traditional Thai look and feel plus the most exclusive accommodation in the region, Naklua and Wong Amat are the best areas to book a hotel. Here you can book a stay at top resorts, such as Cholchan Pattaya Beach Resort.
Weather and Best Time to Travel
The Pattaya climate can be split into three main seasons, known as the cool, hot and rainy seasons and this is in keeping with much of Thailand.
The cool season is between November and February and while the temperatures remain around 25 degrees on average, the best thing about visiting Pattaya for a golf holiday at this time of year is the dry weather. You will have the least chance of rain than any other time of year.
The Pattaya weather is at its hottest between mid-March and June when the temperature can rise to well above 30 degrees and this can make playing golf uncomfortable. However, if you are used to hot temperatures you will find golf courses to be less crowded than the dry season, which can make it a good time to travel for a golf break.
The rainy season in Pattaya falls between June and October and as the name suggests, this is when you will find much of the wet weather. September and October are the wettest months, so it is best to book a Pattaya golf package earlier than later during this period.
However, if you have the choice, we recommend playing golf in Pattaya between November and February.
Things to Do Away from the Golf Course
You cannot visit Pattaya and miss the Sanctuary of Truth. The spectacular one-off structure, which is made from wood tells the story of philosophy, religion and art in the development of our human life. None of the wood in the building has been treated with chemicals and areas are replaced over time due to the tropical conditions.
If you would like some evening entertainment, Tiffany’s Cabaret Show which takes place in the Grand Theatre is the hottest ticket in town. The costumes are amazing and combined with the sound, lighting and colour, this a show which lasts long in the memory.
For something a little more peaceful when staying in Pattaya for a golf holiday, you should visit Nong Nooch Tropical Garden. Here you will find many flowers and plants which are rarely seen elsewhere in the world and the people behind the garden have won many international rewards for their efforts. Cacti, bonsais, tropical palms and over 600 native and hybrid species of orchid can be viewed in the garden.
Top Golf Courses
The choice of golf courses in Pattaya is fantastic but if you want to give your Pattaya golf break the very best start, you should begin with a round at Laem Chabang International Country Club.
Laem Chabang International Country Club
This championship course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and you must only travel about 30 minutes outside the city before you reach what is one of Thailand’s top golf courses. Laem Chabang International Country Club is a 27-hole golf course, split into three sets of nine holes which each have their own features.
The three sets of nine holes are called Mountain, Lake and Valley and the names accurately describe what you can expect when playing each of them. The use of the terrain for each set of holes has won much praise in the world of golf course design and presents visitors with a tough and interesting challenge.
Laem Chabang International Country Club is a stunning golf course and beautifully maintained, making it a must-play venue when booking Pattaya golf packages.
Siam Country Club
A visit to Pattaya for a golf holiday would not be complete without visiting Siam Country Club, where you have a choice of three golf courses. The most famous of these is the Old Course, which was built in 1971 and remains a favourite of both visitors and local golfers alike.
However, it’s the Plantation Course which is considered by many to be the pick of three at Siam Country Club. This course is just 20 minutes from Pattaya and has played host to the US LPGA and Thailand Open. The significant elevation changes on the course provide superb views of Pattaya and the Gulf of Thailand but with ravines, blind shots, long carries, elevated greens and water throughout the 27-holes, you cannot afford to take your eye of the course for very long.
The distance from the back tees, regardless of which set of nine holes you play is long and the Plantation Course is one of the longest in Thailand but also one of the best and you must add it to your itinerary when planning a Pattaya golf holiday.
Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club
If you are staying at Jomtien beach in Pattaya, you are close to the site of the course which hosted the 2016 Kings Cup European Tour and the 2017 Ladies European Tour. This course is called Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.
Just 15 kilometres from Jomtien beach, the golf course was designed by Dennis Griffiths and opened for play in 1993. This is another Pattaya golf course which consists of 27 holes and you can select which two sets of nine you would like to play from the choice of Ocean, Lake and Mountain.
Other than the Lake course, which does have a significant amount of water, Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club is a good choice for those who would like to enjoy a round of golf in Pattaya without water coming in to play, as there is very little on the Ocean and Mountain courses. In fact, despite the name, there is no water at all on the Ocean course, so if you want a nice contrast from many of the other golf courses in Pattaya which feature water quite heavily, you should book a tee time at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.
Burapha Golf Club
The opportunity to play a members only course can be rare but Burapha Golf Club, which was formerly a members only golf club is now open to the public. This golf course is situated 30 minutes from Pattaya and hosted the 2010 Thailand Open across its expansive 36 holes. The holes are split into two sets of 18, with the East course good for those still learning the game thanks to its wide fairways and the West course more difficult thanks to the dunes and links style layout.
The West course offers some stunning views of the countryside and with tree-lined and water protected holes is arguably the best course at Burapha Golf Club and the one you should play if you have limited time.
St Andrews 2000 Golf Club
If you are looking for a unique and memorable round of golf as part of your Pattaya golf package, you should book at tee time at St Andrews 2000 Golf Club.
This course is designed by Desmond Muirhead to replicate a traditional Scottish links course and while it looks good to the eye, it can be damaging to the scorecard if not treated with the respect it deserves.
St Andrews 2000 plays to over 7,700 yards and is a par-74 course, which immediately makes it different to anything else in Pattaya. With large, fast putting surfaces, elevated tees, hugely undulating split fairways and small landing zones, you must arrive at this golf course ready for a challenge.
The real standout features of this 18-hole golf course are the two par-6 holes, which are both over 800 yards long. For the traditionalist, these may be hard to swallow but provide something different and two holes will live long in the memory.
However, you do not have to be a long hitter to enjoy this golf course and the two par-6 holes are more strategically based than simply a case of who can hit the ball the greatest distance. St Andrews 2000 Golf Club should be played by golfers of all abilities and enjoyed for the unique challenge it presents in Pattaya.
When creating Pattaya golf packages, you have many golf courses to choose from and each of them deserves a place on your itinerary. However, if only have one or two weeks to enjoy playing golf in Pattaya, we recommend choosing from the golf courses highlighted above to get a true feel of golf in this region of Thailand.