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Asia’s most challenging golf courses

Thaiger

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Golfers fall in love with courses for their beautiful views, world-class services, and impeccable layouts. Some golfers also have a love to hate relationship with all those courses that really test their ability. The Golfscape team has been researching the most challenging courses to play in Asia with the help of journalists, professional golfers, and course designers.

Take a look at the golf courses that give an incredible game whilst also leaving players determined to complete some of the hardest holes in Asia…

All of the courses with stars alongside their names are golf clubs that have been recommended to us by industry leaders. Underneath these courses you will find their comments on why they stood out as the most challenging golf courses in Asia.

1. West Course, TPC Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Located in the lush hilltop setting of Bukit Kiara, TPC Kuala Lumpur is home to two courses, East and West. The 18 hole championship West Course underwent a redesign in 2007 that modernised the tournament play strategy. The most challenging hole on the course is the 16th, a risk versus reward decision that will make or break a player’s score on this drive-able par 4.

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

2. Eden Course, Hong Kong Golf Club, Hong Kong
Since 1959 a hole named “The Ultimate” is the finisher for players every year at the Hong Kong Open, European Tour, and Asian Tour at the Hong Kong Golf Club. “The Ultimate” is the 18th hole on the world renowned Eden Course and is one of Asia’s most notorious holes. The 18th has resulted in drama, frustration, and some slight joy for those lucky players over the last six decades. Nevertheless, there are too many victims of the hole to list in this piece…

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

3. Siem Reap Booyoung Country Club, Cambodia
The world class golf course in Cambodia, Siem Reap Booyoung Country Club, features one of the most challenging courses in Asia. The layout, a Kentaro Sato design, is a test for most players. Holes 7, 9, and 12 are the ones to watch out for. The 12th hole is an ‘S’ shaped course set upon a two tiered green, good luck!

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

4. Santiburi Samui Country Club, Koh Samui, Thailand
An essential stop on the PGA Asian Tour is the 18 hole championship Santiburi Samui Country Club, a beautiful hillside course in Thailand. The two most challenging holes on the course are the 3rd and 17th. In brief, the 17th named “The Summit” is the signature hole at Santiburi Samui Country Club. The shot is a difficult one as players need to avoid the cliffs along the right side of the fairway (be prepared for a blind tee shot!) On the other hand, the panoramic views from this hole are stunning.

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

5. Serapong, Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore ★
Voted best golf course in South East Asia, Sentosa Golf Club is the host of the well known Singapore Open. The Serapong course underwent a huge revamp in 2007 that boosted configurations and bunker complexes. Additionally, the greens are now faster and even more challenging! The course is filled with huge lakes and incredible views making it a popular round for golfers all over the world.

“I absolutely love Sentosa Golf Club, it was here that I won the 2018 Singapore Open. The layout is world-class and the way the greens play are incomparable to any other course I’ve played!” – Sergio Garcia, Professional Golfer, 2017 Masters Tournament Winner

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

6. Fuji Course, Kawana Hotel Golf Course, Japan ★
To play the Fuji Course you will need a caddie to walk alongside you, a hotel reservation, and a mindset ready to take on a challenge! The Fuji Course is located at Kawana Golf Course and is known to be one of the most popular golf courses in Japan. Furthermore, the course layout is famous for its variety of deep bunkers and rich natural features.

“The course has stunning views of the ocean, surrounded by picturesque woodland with Mount Fuji in the background – it is home to some of the most scenic holes in golf.” – Jonathan Spencer Online Golf Reporter, Daily Mail

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

7. East Course, Black Mountain Golf Club, Hua Hin, Thailand
Nestled in the foothills of the valleys, Black Mountain Golf Club is a world-class course golf course that goes above and beyond in offerings to players. The East Course is the original first 9 holes, however, in 2016 an additional 9 holes opened, turning Black Mountain into a challenging 27 holes golf resort.

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

8. Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club, Bali
Set with views of dramatic cliffs, a grand temple style clubhouse, and intricate greens results in Bukit Pandawa Golf & Country Club swinging into the list. Architectural relics and rock outcroppings offers a testing game of golf for those looking to take on Bukit Pandawa. Golfers flock to experience this course as it’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful golf courses in Bali.

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

9. Ba Na Hills, Vietnam
The world renown Ba Na Hills Golf Club located just outside the beautiful region of Da Nang has great hole variety with excellent greens and immaculate fairways. The course can be played by all handicappers as long as they select the right tee box position. The most challenging hole on the course is the 15th; its deceptive, has an uphill gradient, and has left hand bunkers.

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

10. Tanah Merah Country Club, Singapore
The tropical grounds of Tanah Merah Country Club in Singapore are home to exquisitely designed Tampines and Garden Course. One of the most testing holes on the Tampines Course is hole number 5. As a result, the tee shot requires the golfer to negotiate the island bunkers on the right and deep penalty bunkers to the left. A par here is well earned!

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

11. Angkor Golf Resort, Cambodia ★
A classic yet contemporary course; Angkor Golf Resort is an award winning course designed by golf legend, Sir Nick Faldo. This one of a kind layout used to be a paddy field; the challenging 18 hole course is one of South East Asia’s hidden gems. Additionally, Siem Reap is a must visit destination for golf enthusiasts.

“Our fairways are typically generous, but our bunkering style is impressively bold. The greens have plenty of subtle undulations and they reward and encourage a variety of approach shots.” – Sir Nick Faldo, Professional Golfer & Course Designer

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

12. Norman Course, Mission Hills Golf Resort, China
The Norman Course is said to be one of the most demanding golf courses in Asia. Built with distinctive bunkering, grand layout, and merciless greens will challenge all golfer types no matter the skill level. Mission Hills Golf Resort in China has 22 courses and the Norman Course definitely makes it into the top 10!

If you have experienced a course that has tested your skills or a hole that really stood out amongst the rest, please email your stories to jenna@golfscape.com to be featured on our social channels.

Asia's most challenging golf courses | News by Thaiger

 

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Hua Hin

Hua Hin to submit October re-opening plan for government approval

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Flickr/Prince Roy

The seaside town of Hua Hin, on the Gulf of Thailand, is working on a proposal to welcome vaccinated foreign tourists from October. Krod Rojanastien, from the Thai Chamber of Commerce, says the Hua Hin Recharge campaign aims to include the resort town in the government’s re-opening plan. He says the area has already earned a reputation for wellness holidays and being a popular seaside destination just a few hours from Bangkok.

According to a Bangkok Post report, the Hua Hin Recharge campaign includes Hua Hin municipality and the district of Nong Kae, an area of around 86 square kilometres, with 182 registered hotels. Adopting similar criteria to the Phuket sandbox model, the campaign is targeting vaccinated foreigners flying into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport or by private jet to Hua Hin airport. All international visitors would be subject to a Covid-19 test on arrival and would need to download the Thailand Plus tracing app prior to being transported to their hotel.

Krod says tourism operators are hoping to offer tour packages, as well as partnering with their counterparts in places like Phuket and Pattaya, to swap visitors once tourists have completed 7 days in Hua Hin. He says if the re-opening is approved, local operators hope to receive around 100,000 foreign visitors, primarily from countries like China, Japan, Germany, Scandinavia, and the UK. In total, these numbers should result in 1.2 billion baht in revenue.

However, as with elsewhere, everything hinges on the vaccine rollout.

“In order to achieve re-opening, inoculations in Hua Hin must start by June 1 and continue until September 30 with the number of required doses needed being 353,498.”

The Tourism and Sports Ministry has already given the Hua Hin Recharge campaign the go-ahead, on condition that people in areas such as Pran Buri and Cha-am, in the neighbouring province of Phetchaburi, are also vaccinated. The proposal will now go before a meeting of the National Tourism Policy Committee next week, before finally being submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Chiang Mai

Officials in Chiang Mai and Hua Hin express concern amid rapid rise in infections

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

Health officials in the northern province of Chiang Mai and the western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan are on high alert amid a surge in Covid-19 cases. Prachuap Khiri Khan has now reported 334 cases, with infections rising by 141 yesterday. The outbreak is primarily centred around the Hua Hin district, with provincial health official Suriya Khuharat saying most people contracted the virus after attending a concert at the Maya Exclusive Pub on March 30.

Anyone who is concerned they may be infected can receive a free Covid-19 test at either Prachuap Khiri Khan or Hua Hin hospitals. The Bangkok Post reports that, in the last few days, around 500 people a day have visited Hua Hin Hospital for testing.

Hua Hin district and health officials have filed a police complaint against the owners of the Maya Pub, who are accused of violating the emergency decree and disease prevention measures. The March 30 concert is thought to be behind the surge in infections in the seaside district, with over 90% of cases linked to the pub. The chain of transmission is believed to have originated with 1 customer who attended the concert after travelling from Bangkok. The woman is an employee at the Krystal Club in Thong Lor, itself at the centre of a Covid cluster.

Meanwhile, in Chiang Mai, health officials say a surge in infections, now exceeding 200 a day, is causing great concern. Yesterday, the northern province reported 260 new cases, with public health chief Chatuchai Maneerat admitting the surge could lead to a shortage of hospital beds.

“Currently we have 1,000 beds in the province’s field hospital and that may not be sufficient. So, the province’s communicable disease control panel has decided to add another 1,000 beds.”

Despite the rise in infections, the Department of Disease Control says there are currently no plans for a national lockdown, given that other provinces are not as severely affected. Opas Karnkawinpong from the DDC says the most important thing is for people to work from home and avoid social gatherings until at least the end of April.

“People are asking if there will be a lockdown. I’d say that a lockdown is the last resort if virus transmissions show no signs of letting-up. Activities that draw large crowds pose the greatest risk and should be avoided until the end of this month at least.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Hua Hin

Health officials say pubs, nightlife venues the new ground zero for third wave

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: mtgf93 / Flickr

Covid-19 cases continue to rise in Thailand, with 967 new infections reported yesterday, when there were just 26 at the start of the month. Health officials are in no doubt where the surge is coming from, pointing the finger at nightlife venues. A rise in infections in Hua Hin appears to back up the theory first floated after a cluster of infections was linked to Bangkok nightlife.

The Bangkok Post reports that the western province of Prachuap Khiri Khan has recorded 193 cases since the start of the month. 142 of them are in Hua Hin and officials believe they can be traced back to 1 “super-spreader” individual. A 26 year old woman, employed at the Krystal Club in Bangkok, travelled to Hua Hin with her boyfriend on March 30. At the time of her journey, she was showing no sign of infection.

On her first night in Hua Hin, she went to the Maya Exclusive Pub with 7 friends and family members. The next day, she developed a high fever, and the following day, April 1, was informed that her colleagues at the Krystal Club had tested positive for Covid-19. The woman went to a Hua Hin hospital to be tested and was confirmed as infected on April 3.

On April 4, she was admitted to Hua Hin hospital, but by then, the virus was already spreading in Hua Hin. The woman’s boyfriend tested positive, as did 140 people in Hua Hin, and 52 in other districts. The Public Health Ministry says the infections can be traced back to the woman’s attendance at the Maya pub on March 30.

Officials are using this example to illustrate the role pubs and entertainment venues play in this third wave of the virus. They say at least 137 nightlife establishments in at least 15 provinces are behind new surges of infection. Leading virologist Yong Poovorwan from Chulalongkorn University says the development is all the more concerning, given that the original cluster linked to Bangkok nightlife is the B117 variant, which is far more contagious.

Meanwhile, Opas Karnkawinpong from the Department of Disease Control accuses partygoers of not cooperating with contact-tracing officials, which makes controlling the spread of infection more difficult.

“Many pubgoers do not give us information until two or three days have passed.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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