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Best Golf Courses in Phuket

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You will struggle to find an island anywhere else in the world, which offers more in terms of a holiday destination, than Phuket.  Situated on the west-facing Andaman Sea coastline in Southern Thailand, although Phuket is an island, it is quite big and stretches 48 kilometres in length and is 21 kilometres wide.

Due to its size, it’s possible to split Phuket into four distinct regions, with Western Phuket being the most popular region and the one most talked about around the world.  There are some great beaches here, although many become quite full during the day and the night life in Patong, is second to none.  South-eastern Phuket is home to quieter beaches, some of which are off the beaten track and the largest town in this region, Chalong Bay, is the place to go for boat trips to the neighbouring islands.  The islands make up the third region of Phuket and many of them are picture-postcard beautiful, including the famous James Bond island.  Finally, the interior of the island, which is the fourth region, remains almost untouched by visitors and the Phra Taew National Park is a lovely place to visit, especially if you want to get away from the crowds.

However, with Phuket being hot throughout the year, one of the islands biggest attractions is golf although Phuket golf course prices are a bit higher than other parts of Thailand. .  For those living in Europe or North America, Phuket is a great place to visit for golf during the winter months, as between December and March rainfall is at a minimum.  The temperature tends to range between the late 20’s and early 30’s (degrees) and the days are sunny and bright, perfect for a round of golf.  The summer monsoon season is between May to October, although much of the rain falls in the evening and at night, so you could still enjoy a round of golf during the day, without much disruption.  So, with this Thai island clearly being a great place to play golf, what are the best golf courses in Phuket?

Red Mountain Golf Club

It’s expensive but worth every penny and regarded by many as best golf course in Phuket

Red Mountain Golf Club, Phuket

The stunning scenery around the island of Phuket, make it the perfect place for golf and you are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to golf courses.  Regarded by many as being the best golf course in Phuket, is Red Mountain Golf Club.

Red Mountian was designed by Jonathan Morrow and opened for play in 2007.  The course is conveniently located in the centre of the island, within just 15 minutes of Karon and Patong beaches.  As you head to the golf course, you will begin to understand just why the course was named Red Mountain and it may be difficult to believe a golf course could exist amongst the jungle and red rock.  However, with huge undulations, the landscape has been transformed in one of Phuket’s most spectacular golf courses.  The course itself is based on a former tin mine and the cliffs provide a lovely backdrop and frame many of the holes, with flooded canyons also featuring throughout.  Red Mountain is one of the best golf courses in Phuket because of the full array of challenges which await visitors.  Whether it be water, changes in elevation, bunkers or wind, be prepared to have everything thrown at you when playing this course.  However, also take a minute to admire the tremendous views around the course, as this is the highest golf course on the island and you will be tempted to get your camera out several times.

Back to the course itself and you will find both large and small greens throughout the 18 holes, some with minimal breaks and others with severe undulations, which will test your putting control.  The final six holes are considered to be the real test at Red Mountain golf club and this is where the changes in elevation become noticeable, in addition to the dense vegetation and red rock cliffs.  To master this course requires a very good strategy and you must use the knowledge of your local caddie, if you are to shoot a low score.  Due to its central location, it’s possible to play Red Mountain early in the morning and then enjoy the rest of the day with family and friends, which is another reason why it is ranked as one of the top golf courses in Phuket.  When visiting Phuket on a golf holiday and considering which courses you should play, Red Mountain Golf Club must be at the top of your list.

Location:            45 minutes from airport and 20 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Wonderful scenery as you drive around course

Bogeys:             The cost – one of most expensive in Thailand

Favourite Hole:   17th – play from the elevated tees to green 70 metres below.

Blue Canyon Country Club – Canyon Course

The best layout in Phuket which has suffered in recent years but much improved following recent refurbishment.

Blue Canyon Country Club, Canyon Course

Heading back a little closer to Phuket, Blue Canyon Country Club is the home of two golf courses, one of which played host to the Johnnie Walker Classic, featuring a certain Tiger Woods.  The Canyon Course, designed by Yoshikazu Kato and opened in 1991, is classed as not only one the best golf courses in Phuket and the surrounding area but the whole of Thailand.   However, over the past few years, the golf club has been the subject of an ownership dispute and there have been numerous management changes

As with many golf courses in this region of Thailand, the Canyon Course is located on a former tin mine and there is plenty of evidence of its mining past as you play your way around the course.  The canyons and cliffs expose red and white tin rock and the water in the streams is rust coloured and this adds a unique flavour to the course.  Palm-oil trees frame the front nine holes on the Canyon Course but it’s at the start of the back nine, where the real excitement of this golf course begins.  In fact, the stretch of five holes between 11 and 15 are considered by many to be not only the best in Thailand but the best in Asia, which is some praise indeed.  However, once you step onto the tee at the 600 yard, par-5 11th hole, you begin to understand just why this stretch of holes is so highly regarded.

The tee shot on the 11th hole requires a shot over water, which stretches across the fairway.  There is also water guarding the green on both sides but having successfully negotiated this hole, just wait for the surprise on the par-4, 13th hole which features a large canyon and will have you reaching for the driver, in an attempt to clear it.  Onto the par-3 14th and this hole has an island green and there is no bail out area available, so you must have full confidence in your ability on this hole.  Judge the wind and pick the right club because you cannot afford any mistakes.

Having enjoyed the thrill of the Canyon Course, make sure you make full use of the clubhouse facilities, which offers three restaurants and spa, in addition to the pro-shop, locker rooms and showers.  To experience arguably the ultimate golf course in Phuket.

Location:            20 minutes from airport and 40 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Fantastic layout and some very exciting holes

Bogeys:             Maintenance is inconsistent – check before playing here

Favourite Hole:   14th – play from the elevated tees to island green

Blue Canyon Country Club – Lakes Course

Excellent course but take plenty of balls as water hazards on nearly every hole

Blue Canyon Country Club – Lakes Course – 12th Hole

Although not as famous as its sister course, Blue Canyon Lakes Course is an excellent layout with plenty of challenges with water coming into play on all but three holes.  The opening four holes are all difficult with a scary approach to a semi-island green on the 1st, followed by a long carry over water to reach the 2nd green.  This is followed by a very daunting tee shot with water both sides and a reasonably long carry to reach the safety of the 3rd fairway.  The 4th is rated the most difficult hole on the course and is a tricky dogleg with a ravine protecting the green.  The remainder of the holes on the front nine are much easier providing you can keep the ball on the fairway and out of the many water hazards and ponds.

A bit of respite as you make your way home and long hitters will have fun trying to drive the green on the short downhill par-4, 11th.  The trouble starts on the 14th which looks quite innocuous from the tee but the 3-tier green with its false front and wicked slopes can cause all sorts of issues if you end up on the wrong level – 3-putts and worse are very common here!  Positioning off the tee is critical on the next two holes as you can get easily blocked by the trees – the 17th is an easy par-3 and then it’s on to the 18th which is a wonderful golf hole.  Most golfers will have to play up because you will probably end up 180-200 yards out with an uphill shot across a water-filled ravine to a sloping green.  It’s not over when you reach the green because if your ball finishes above the hole you are faced with fast downhill putt.

Location:            45 minutes from airport and 20 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Wonderful scenery as you drive around course

Bogeys:             The cost – one of most expensive in Thailand

Favourite Hole:   18th – got to be one of best finishing holes in golf

Loch Palm Golf Club

The course itself is perhaps one the easiest golf courses in Phuket and features a parkland style layout

Loch Palm Golf Club

Back to the centre of Phuket and a favourite course with the local Thai golfers is Loch Palm Golf Club.  This 18-hole golf course was designed by Dr. Sukitti Klangvisai and opened for play in 1993, making it one of the longest established golf courses in Phuket.  This is a very nice golf course to play and enjoys an enviable location below jungle covered hills.  The course itself is perhaps one the easiest golf courses in Phuket and features a parkland style layout but that’s not to say it doesn’t come with its own challenges.  There is a large lake, which comes into play on many of the front nine holes and the main test is to keep your ball dry as you reach the turn.  The water even crosses some of the fairways, so be wary of this when teeing up.  The back nine holes are tighter but with less water coming into play. However, several of the holes are undulating, so be prepared to play some shots downhill or from on a slope.  Although water is less of a feature throughout the back nine, it makes a return on the par-3 14th hole, with the green protected by water on three sides.  This is an intimidating tee shot, from an elevated position and will test the nerve of even the most experienced golfer in your group.  Loch Palm Golf Club is one of the few golf courses in Phuket where a golf cart is entirely optional and if you would like to walk the course you can, without too much difficulty.  The clubhouse serves good Thai food and having been renovated in 2008, is up to the standard of the clubhouses at the more modern golf courses in Phuket and the surrounding area.

Location:            45 minutes from airport and 20 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Course is usually in excellent condition

Bogeys:             Can get very crowded and slow at weekends

Favourite Hole:   15th – downhill par 3 from elevated tee

Laguna Golf Phuket

Excellent and very playable resort course in heart of Laguna Resort complex

Laguna Golf Phuket

Laguna golf Phuket was remodelled and renovated a few years ago and has become one of the best golf courses in Phuket and ideal for the average golfer looking for some fun.  It’s not long and lower handicappers may find it pretty easy to reach the green in regulation and the main defence for the course are the heavily bunkered and undulating greens which can be quite difficult to hold unless you have a wedge in your hand.

Quite a challenging start and you need to find the narrow fairway off the first tee with water one side and OB the other – the approach is equally challenging with water both sides of the narrow green.  Nice par-3 to follow with water all along the right and you will face a tricky chip if you decide to bail out left of the green.  Very difficult tee shot on the 3rd as you need to keep out of the lake along the right and also avoid the deep bunkers protecting the middle of the fairway.  The 7th is the stand out hole on the opening nine- its a par-5 with water both sides of the fairway off the tee and then you have a daunting 2nd across another water hazard to reach the safety of the fairway.

Gentle start to the back nine with a driveable par-4 and a shortish dogleg par-5 followed by a straightforward par-3.  The next two holes skirt the water hazard and if you tend to hook the ball you could be in trouble!  The 16th is a difficult par-3 with a green that is almost impossible to hold with its extreme slopes. Great hole to finish and you need to flirt with the OB line to get in the right position on the fairway.

Location:            25 minutes from airport and 20 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Excellent maintenance and management

Bogeys:             Can get very crowded and clubhouse prices very high

Favourite Hole:   8th – very attractive and challenging par-3

Phuket Country Club

An old favourite in convenient location which has recently purchased golf carts so you don’t have to walk

Phuket Country Club

Phuket Country Club is the oldest golf course in Phuket but it is still very popular due to its convenient location and also beacuse it is quite short by modern standards which makes for an enjoybale round for the average golfer.  It used to be a walking course but they recently installed buggy tracks and so you can now hire a golf cart if you prefer.  The course goes through various different types of terrain with a mixture of roling terrain – some quite flat sections and a few holes that skirt the jungle.

The 10th is probably the most memorable hole at Phuket Country Club – a Par 5 shaped like a banana and you need to decide how much of the lake you dare to cross with your drive – aim too far right and you end up in the lake.  The long hitters may be tempted to go straight for the green – some risk but the reward is a certain birdie or better.

Changing rooms and pro-shop were quite recently renovated and although the restaurent has seen better days, the food is excellent.

Location:            45 minutes from airport and 20 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Well managed course always in good condition

Bogeys:             A bit short for better players

Favourite Hole:   17th – short par-3 surrounded by water

Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club Resort and Spa

A Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, almost every hole provides tremendous views of the Andaman Sea.  The maintenance of this course is not up to standard so check with us before playing.

Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club Resort and Spa

If you enjoy the views at Red Mountain Golf Club, you will absolutely love them when playing at Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club Resort and Spa.  A Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, almost every hole provides tremendous views of the Andaman Sea and you will believe you are playing in a PGA Tour event, with several holes playing out across the ocean.  For this experience alone, Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club is one of the golf courses in Phuket you must play before leave.

Established in 2004 and located 35 minutes from Patong beach, the course features, as one would expect from a Nicklaus design, large beach sand bunkers.  These, together with the bright colours of the greens and the turquoise blue ocean, make Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club a sight for sore eyes, with lovely contrasting colours throughout the 18 holes.  However, you cannot allow yourself to be taken in by the views, as the water comes into play on several holes and being so close to the coast, the wind can easily pick up, adding to the test of this golf course.  The pick of the holes include the par-5 2nd hole, which after two shots, features a cracking approach shot to an island green and the par-4 5th hole, which boasts both an island tee and island green.  The 5th hole also has a large waste bunker and significant elevation changes on the fairway, adding to the challenge.  The signature hole is the 12th and this is the longest par-4 on the golf course.  The tee shot must carry at least 250 yards, to have any chance of making the green in two, which is protected along the right side by a lake and down the left side by a hollow, which will gobble up your ball.  Many golfers are happy to walk away from this hole with a par and take in the magnificent views of the ocean and mountains in the distance.

Following your round, make time to enjoy the clubhouse restaurant and spa, which are both excellent.  If you think you will not have enough time to get something to eat, why not place an order before you start and have it delivered to you out on the course?  It’s a nice little feature and in addition to the fantastic course setting, makes Mission Hills Phuket Golf Club Resort really stand out from the other golf courses in Phuket.

Location:            20 minutes from airport and 45 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Great views over the ocean

Bogeys:             Poor maintenance – need to check condition before playing here

Favourite Hole:   4th – lovely par 3 with green beside the ocean

Katathong Golf Resort and Spa

The mountain views are excellent and feature throughout the course, with natural waterfalls and streams crossing many of the holes

Katathong Golf Resort and Spa

If you are looking for a real test of your golfing ability, Katathong Golf Resort and Spa is ranked as one of the most challenging golf courses in the area – its actually not on the island of Phuket but in the adjacent province of Phang Nga.  A modern golf course, created by a local designer in 2015, Katathong Golf Resort and Spa requires a bit more of a journey than the two courses highlighted above, being north of Phuket and it takes about an hour to get there by car.  This course was also a former tin mine and you get a taste of its past as you play your way around the course, spotting traditional mining equipment which was left behind when it was abandoned in the 1900’s.

The mountain views are excellent and feature throughout the course, with natural waterfalls and streams common across many of the holes.  The fairways are not as long as many other golf courses in Phuket but are narrow, making accuracy off the tee more important than distance.  This makes Katathong Golf Resort and Spa a good contrast to the other golf course in Phuket and is the reason why it is considered a good test of a golfers ability.  The par-3’s are perhaps the pick of the holes on this golf course, as they are very undulating, with big elevation changes but once on the green, these tend to be flat, although some have multiple tiers to contend with, so accurate approach play is a must for a low score.

The pick of the holes is probably the par-5 4th hole, which is one of the longest on the golf course but with a narrow fairway and hazards on both sides, accuracy off the tee is a must.  There is a ravine on the right and bunkers and trees on the left, meaning you cannot afford to be reckless with your drive.  Having found the fairway, you cannot switch off, as a hidden bunker complex waits to eat up any approach shot which fails to find the green.  For a pure thrill and adrenaline rush, the par-3 10th hole is one of the best at Katathong Golf Resort and Spa.  The elevated tee box overlooks an island green and any ball which fails to land on the green, is never to be seen again.  One shot off line, can result in a bogey or even worse on this hole.  Despite the distance from Phuket, if you are looking for a good test of golfing ability, it is worth making the drive to this golf course but make sure you have something to eat in the clubhouse afterwards, as there is not much else around in terms of restaurants.

Location:            80 minutes from airport and 120 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Beautiful rural location surrounded by jungle-covered hills

Bogeys:             A long drive but you can stay overnight on the course

Favourite Hole:   10th – par 3. Play from elevated tee beside clubhouse to virtual island green

Aquella Golf Resort & Country Club

Brand new course built on site of former Thai Mueang Golf Course 40 Minutes from Phuket.  

Aquella Golf Resort and Country Club

At the time of writing, the course has not yet opened for play but we expect this course to become one of the best in the area.  Aquella Golf Resort and Country Club has been built alongside the Andaman Sea overlooking Thai Muang Beach, 40 minutes north of Phuket Airport. The 177-hectare development of the area includes a completely new design and totla refursbishment of the previous Thai Muang Golf Club as well as the construction of deluxe villas and a hotel.  The reconstruction of the golf courses was undertaken by Pacific Coast Design from Australia and is scheduled to open towards the end of 2020.

A few of the new holes follow the ordinal layout but have been totally rebuilt  and everywhere the achitect has added a thick layer of sand to be certain that the course drains well even after heavy thunderstorms.The course wanders across the gently rolling landscape and sometimes in he shadow of the many Casuarina trees beside the beach The course has been designed as a resort course so will be enjoyed by  golfers of standards

Location:            45 minutes from airport and 80 minutes from Patong Beach

Birdies:              Beautiful location alonside the Andaman Sea

Bogeys:             A long drive to reach the course

Favourite Hole:   11th which is a 186-yard par-3

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