This was the first 18 hole golf course to be built on the idyllic island of Samui and Santiburi Samui Country Club is still the only championship golf course open for play a on this lush, tropical island. Set amidst the coconut covered hills and waterfalls of northern Samui this amazing golf course offers panoramic views of the white-sand beaches and coral-ringed nearby islands and it is as pictureque as it is challenging.
The undulating and narrow fairways follow the natural contours of the hills and valleys and as a result you will encounter numerous elevation changes that emphasis accuracy rather than distance – on many of the holes the slope can ensure your ball rolls even further than it carried. A great example of this is the exceptional 17th which is a par-5 which you can reach in two thanks to being downhill all the way; although choosing the correct club for your approach, whether it's your second or third shot, is challenging.
If you can avoid the water hazards that come into play on 13 of the holes, you will find the perfectly manicured greens to be in excellent shape thanks to the very fast Tifeagle grass. Many of the greens are multi-tiered and many of them are reminiscent of (and as tough to tame) as those at Augusta, so it's probably a good idea to seek your caddy's advice. The huge elevation change between the 17th tee and 18th green leads to some spectacular shots and you will need the compulsory golf cart to negotiate the slope.
After changing in the comfortable locker rooms, it is worth lingering a bit longer for a meal in the restaurant. It's not because the food is particularly wonderful (it is very good though), but because from the terrace you can enjoy one of the most spectacular views in all of Thailand.
Tee Time Bookings at Santiburi Samui Country Club
This course is not very busy so it is quite easy to secure a tee time – especially if you use the Golfsavers booking engine which is really simple and easy to use.