PHUKET: The island’s Loch Palm and Laguna Phuket golf courses were tested out last week by Finnish pro golfer Peter Puhakka.
Puhakka spent the last three-and-a-half months playing courses in Pattaya and Bangkok, taking part in the Bangkok Open Championships (finished 30th with a 151, seven over par) and the Singha All Thailand Tour (finished 50th), before falling short of qualifying for the Asian Tour 2015.
It isn’t easy to make ends meet for an up-and-coming golfer who needs to be playing regularly and is still paying full prices to get on the green, Puhakka confesses. The blogging and television hosting are ways to help bolster his income.
“The island is a perfect place for a holiday. Playing [golf] is a bit expensive, you are really paying for the whole Phuket experience,” Puhakka told the Phuket Gazette.
“The courses aren’t really that much better than in Hua Hin or Pattaya, but those are much cheaper.”
Though the green fees and mandatory caddy fees took a toll on Puhakka’s experience, he had to admit that as a holiday golfing destinations, Phuket was second to none in Thailand.
“The positive thing is that when you add all the other aspects of the island to your experience, and compare this to other golfing destinations, you start to see why people come here. I would really like to organize some bigger events or pro-am [professional-armature] in here,” he said.
“There is so much more than just golfing. On Saturday, we went scuba diving for the first time, and I fell in love with that sport. I want to come back to Phuket to take part in all kinds of activities that the island has to offer – this is truly a holiday paradise.”
Having enjoyed his time in the sun, Puhakka explained that it was time to get back to the green for work – something he can’t afford to do in Phuket.
“Now it is time for some practicing at Hua Hin before I go back to Finland for a little while,” he told the Gazette.
“I will be coming back to Thailand to play in some local competitions. The weather here is perfect for golfing.”
— Isaac Stone Simonelli
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