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Euro PGA player Shiv rates Laguna Phuket’s new course “exceptional’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: European Tour and Asian Tour player Shiv Kapur last Sunday rated the re-designed course at Laguna Phuket Golf Club as “an exceptional golf course” that maintained traditions of the game.

“You walk off with a smile on your face,” he said at the inaugural tournament held to officially open the course.

Kapur began the 76-player Scramble tourney with an impressive tee-off, but it was the team of Ken Lye, Ju Kuang Tan, Mike Moir and Martin Carpenter who finished the course with a combined score of 24 under par to lift the crystal winners’ trophies and claim the assorted prizes.

Playing 6,719 yards from the back tees, Kapur described Laguna Phuket as reminiscent of many famous championship courses.

“The mark of a great course is when you stand on the tee and have to think strategically,” he said. “This is such a thinking man’s course, a feature that has been lost in some modern designs. The main challenge in Majors is around the green, which is very apparent here.

“Shorter courses can be tougher than long courses. Hong Kong Golf Club and Delhi Golf Club are examples. This course is better than many of the new championship courses built in the past five to 10 years.”

Billed as offering a “new look, new experience”, the club’s re-development under the direction of golf course architect, Paul Jansen, has come 22 years after the course first opened.

Ravi Chandran, managing director of Laguna Resorts & Hotels Plc, said the upgrading of the course over the past 18 months has brought it to an international standard consistent with the quality of hotels and facilities in the Laguna Phuket resort complex.

“Our recent investment shows how serious we are about golf and our hotel guests,” Ravi said. “It is good for kids, non-professionals and serious golfers.

“After hosting the Thailand Open in 2009, we now hope to host more professional events. In the last quarter of this year, we will hold the inaugural Laguna Phuket Amateur Golf Tournament.”

Jansen, who directed the course re-design, said that he had sought to create interest and memorability in the re-design, while being environmentally conscious throughout the entire reconstruction process.

“We used Zoysia on fairways, which is the lowest maintenance warm season grass available, reduced the amount of grass [through woodchip and mulch areas on the side of fairways], decreased the number of sprinklers from 1,400 to less than 800, recycled trees in building steps and benches, and accentuated water features,” he explained.

“Everything was done in-house by the Laguna Phuket maintenance staff. The course reflects its surroundings very well, and I believe it will stand the test of time.”

Paul Wilson, director of Laguna Phuket Golf Club, said that the re-launch event was the first gourmet golf-themed event held in Phuket.

“The golf tournament on Sunday enabled us to showcase the golf course, as well as the wonderful variety of food, beverage and spa experiences available at the resort,” he told the 120 guests at the opening event.

— Maciek Klimowicz

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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