Located in the Bangkok district of Thailand, Panya Indra is a superb 27-hole layout that will keep you on your toes throughout. The course is one of just some of the courses owned by the Panya Group and it is not hard to see why it is one of the best courses in the Bangkok region.
Three separate championship 9 hole courses create two distinctive 18 hole routes. The design of the courses was undertaken by American Ronald Fream and he has done a wonderful job creating a testing yet enjoyable golf course for all level of player. Each of the loops is distinctive yet merge perfectly together to create a superb course.
The Lagoon Course is aptly named and has the largest amount of water of the three loops, but the other two courses are not lacking in the water hazard department.
On the Lagoon loop you are faced with a stern 3608 yard challenge, gently rolling fairways are flanked by water on all but the 4th hole putting an emphasis on finding the fairways.
A superb hole is the 6th. A par four of 388 yards from the back tees, the golfer faces a decision from the tee, shorten the hole and play to the almost island fairway to the left setting up an approach over the lake or play safe to the right of the fairway and water leaving a more straightforward yet longer approach into the green. Bravery here is definitely rewarded, but anything offline is punished severely.
The second loop of nine, The Palm Course of sometimes referred to as the B course is another example of intricate design, with superb bunkering and water hazards framing the almost perfectly contoured fairways splendidly.
Although not as much water as the Lagoon course, the water when present makes the golfer think carefully about how they approach each hole and at 3652 yards the course is the longest of the three.
The ninth is a superb example of golf course design. A gentle dogleg from right to left the ninth hole plays shorter than the card suggests, but take on too much of the dogleg and you could end up in the drink. Play too safe and you will be left with a long second into the small, undulating green.
Hole four is probably the signature hole at Panya Indra. A short par three that requires accuracy and the correct club selection. From the tee you must find the well protected island green, a large bunker to the right offers a bail out area, but par is not guaranteed on this hole.
The final 9 holes, Loop C or the Garden course offers perhaps the most landscaped areas of the course with beautiful flowering acting as a backdrop to the holes.
Again, Fream has made perfect use of “clover” style bunkering and water features to add dimension and shape to the holes and in doing so has introduced diversity.
You are introduced to The Garden Course in a relaxed manner with two straightforward holes, but the closing four holes quickly make you realise you have to fight for a good score. The sixth is a long par three played across the corner of the lake, with more of the lake coming into play the further back you are. The seventh is a short par four which requires accuracy to find the well protected fairway with longer hitters likely taking the shorter route to the left.
Hole 8 is a short par 5, which for many will be reachable in two. A good drive down the right edge of the fairway will leave a short approach over the water. This hole is probably easier for the big hitter as they will not have to lay up to the left of the lake with their second. A superb chance of birdie for those that are brave enough to keep close to the water from the tee.
The final hole again requires a good drive to cut over the corner of the lake which will leave you with a mid-iron into the green. Anything short right will almost certainly find a watery grave.
Panya Indra is in year-round good condition and for those wishing to dabble in night golf it offers the opportunity to try. The greens are generally small and undulating making this a good putters paradise but a nightmare for those who are not so comfortable on the greens.
The facilities are of a high standard as you would expect from a club so close to the city.