Set in the foothills of Phuket, you will discover an untouched part of the country and a wonderful golf course that is open to the public. Rustic in its design, Tublamu Navy Golf Course is owned by the Royal Thai Navy and although it was originally just a 9-hole layout, the course was extended to 18 in 2002 when it first opened its fairways to the public. It is set in the beautiful area of the Son-Ngam beach in Khao Lak province.
Making up part of the Royal Thai Navy Sports Development Centre, it offers an experience like no other. It arguably must be one of the safest golf courses anywhere in the world with armed soldiers standing guard, and even offering to help you to the driving range and bring you refreshments.
A beautiful layout is spectacularly framed by the mountains in the distance and the thick ancient jungles that offer both wonderful aesthetics but also danger to the wayward golfer.
Carefully thought out the layout offers a variety of holes that will challenge the best golfers and although not one of the longest courses in the region it is still worth a visit.
At 6825 yards from the competition tees a selection of 4 par 3s, 4 par 5s and a remaining 10 par 4s present a par 72 course which will hold your interest and test your concentration and patience.
The par 3s perhaps are the stand out holes here. The 6th, at 153 yards is not particularly long but the expanse of water in front of the green will cause the nerves to jangle as you prepare to tee off.
The 15th is long and although little trouble awaits a par is always a good score on this 230-yard par three.
Hole 7 and 9 bring the front 9 to a great finish, both par 4s with plenty of water. The 7th just shy of 400 yards will test your ability with both the driver and the mid irons as you are forced to carry the water to reach the fairway which is flanked on the left by yet more water.
The 9th is shorter but again your accuracy and nerve will be tested as water is in play throughout. The green is well protected and requires a deft touch to find the putting surface.
Of the par 5s the third must be considered as the toughest. At 563 yards the hole requires both length and accuracy. Water comes into play with each shot, predominantly found to the left of the hole, the green is set on a peninsular making an approach over water almost inevitable. For longer hitters a brave tee shot hugging the water left will drastically shorten the hole bringing the green in range, anything but a pure second will find a watery grave.
Picturesque and a haven for local birds this is a tranquil setting for a remarkable golf course and the rustic-ness of the whole area is a lovely change to the more resort style courses in the area. The clubhouse is adequate but no more lavish than that.