Situated around 50 minutes north of Hua Hin you will come across one of the best kept secrets in the area, Sawang Resort and Golf Course. Opened in 1993, the Isao Katsumata design offers a fair test of golf with rolling fairways and tee options that allow all golfers to be challenged.
It is set away from the busier courses of Hua Hin and that is reflected in the tranquillity and calm that the course enjoys. Set between rice fields and fruit orchards the golfer is presented with an endearing surrounding and views to the Phetchburi Hills and large lakes makes for impressive viewing.
Originally just an 18-hole layout the resort has constructed a further nine holes, and although the North Course is the newer of the three loops of nine it is no less enjoyable and has matured well to create a well defined course.
A particular delight is the 21st hole, or the third hole of the North Course, its signature hole. A 217-yard par 3 with an elevated tee providing views of the surrounding area.
But the best two loops are the original 18-hole layout. Tree lined fairways, large lakes and smooth slick greens really create a golfing paradise that tests the imagination and skill of the golfer.
The par 5 2nd will challenge you from start to finish and is one of the standout holes of the original 18. At 535 yards the hole is not particularly long, but with water running the length of the hole on the left you must be to stay in the fairway. Longer hitters can probably get home in two, but they will need to hug the left side of the hole, flirting with the water.
The 3rd is another good test of your accuracy, this time testing both direction and distance control. A near 90º dogleg to the right requires the most precise of tee shots to allow a view of the green for your approach.
On the 2nd nine, it is the par 3 11th that can start to ruin a good card. At 160 yards from the back tees it is not long, but water to the left and behind the green call for an accurate well struck tee shot to find the putting surface.
But the standout hole of the entire course has to go to the 17th. A par four that requires nerves of steel and a fair bit of skill to boot is a cracker. A monster par 4 measuring almost 500 yards from the back tees, your drive will need to carry the water to find the well protected fairway. The approach again must carry the water to find the almost island green.
To finish you are faced with yet another challenge, a par 5. Water to the right of the fairway for much of the hole and water left for the tee shot, accuracy is once again tested as you look to finish with a birdie.
Facilities are basic but more than adequate and the course is in year-round good condition, it is well worth a visit to play this quieter course.