What are the best regional golf courses to play?
The region is a mecca for golfers from all over the world with many championship and award winning golf courses available for all to play. Cha-Am/Hua Hin is the 2018 Asia Pacific Golf Destination of the Year.
There are opportunities to play with via golf societies, golf booking agents, hotel travel desks or by booking groups online or directly with the golf course. Within the Hua Hin city area, there are also off-course driving ranges. As well as driving ranges, lessons are available via most golf courses as well as independent golf coaches. Within the Hua Hin city area, there are also many off-course driving ranges.
Golf Courses offer many special events for both social golfers as well as tournaments for professional players. Each August and September the Hua Hin and Cha-Am Golf Festival offers reduced cost green fees and competition.
Local golfers are often asked by newcomers or visitors what are the best regional golf courses to play? That’s not an easy question to answer; golf course conditions change as well as facilities and costs. Every golfer has a different view about what is most important and opinions may depend upon personal experiences and playing arrangements.
We have listed eleven golf courses (in alphabetical order) to consider. There are also a number of ‘starter’ courses, often managed by the Thai armed services, not included.
Our guide considers the appeal of the layout and surrounds, how well the course is maintained and the club house experience. Most golfers travel from Hua Hin, so we also looked the ease of travel to the courses. Lastly; value for money, actual costs vary according to the time of the year or how the round is booked with green fees ranging from around 800 THB up to 3,500 THB.
Green fees do not include the cost of a caddie (always compulsory), a motorised buggy or a caddie tip. It’s important to understand the full cost when booking; some courses do not allow a buggy to be shared. The amount of a caddie tip is up to you with a ‘par tip’ being around the same as the caddie fee; that is around 400 – 600 THB.
Banyan Golf Club
A very highly rated 18 hole course with a range of special days available. Banyan is a frequent award winner with progressive and welcoming management and a sensational location amongst the hills west of Hua Hin.
- The course is always in excellent condition with scenic outlooks adding to the appeal.
- Mulligan’s Pub and classy onsite lodgings are real bonuses to a complete range of clubhouse facilities.
- A pleasant 15 minute inland drive from Hua Hin through pineapple fields on well signed roads.
- Not low cost golf, but with the quality you would expect.
Black Mountain Golf Club
Black Mountain is a 27 hole, multi-award winning golf resort with the original 18 holes (east & north) opened in 2007 and in 2017 an additional nine holes (west) was added. With an international reputation, visiting golfers always want to play a round at this renowned golfing challenge.
- A policy of constant improvement ensures a five star course rating is maintained.
- Immaculate facilities which include a spa, multi-level driving range and a deli to refuel mid round
- The course is around 12 kilometres inland from Hua Hin but some may get lost on their first trip.
- Expect to pay more than anywhere else, but visitors don’t seem to mind!
Kaeng Krachan Country Club & Resort
Set in the scenic surrounds of a National Park, this course is a favourite for Cha-Am residents. This is not a sophisticated course but the natural surrounds and relaxing ambience is very appealing.
- The Mountain 9 holes a standout from the other more mundane eighteen.
- Just the bare essential facilities and buggies may be suspect!
- Regulars have found the easiest route, but a long and confusing drive north for others
- One of the lowest cost regional golf courses with drinks on the way home a common strategy.
Lake View Resort & Golf Club
As the only 36 hole course in the region. Each 9 holes has a different design; i.e. lake, desert, mountain and links. Every golfer has their favourite and less favoured layouts.
- Course conditions can vary but generally maintained to acceptable standards.
- All the essential facilities although lacking some sophistication.
- Easily accessible and about 20 minutes away from both Hua Hin and Cha-Am
- Acceptable mid-range costs
Majestic Creek Golf Course & Resort
Some six years ago big improvements to the course conditions were seen with new greens and facilities as a complete make-over. Those improvements have meant that Majestic Creek now ranks as one of the better regional courses.
- A challenging 27 hole layout with local knowledge an advantage and many risk/reward encounters.
- Modern and well-designed facilities with everything golfers require.
- An easy half hour drive from Hua Hin along well-signed roads posing no difficulty to commuters.
- Acceptable mid-range costs with good deals for Members.
Palm Hills Golf Club & Residence
Set within a large residential estate and with a backdrop of hills to the west, Palm Hills is unpretentious, honest and user-friendly, a favourite with many local golfers even if it doesn’t reach the heights of some competitors.
- Course conditions are inconsistent and the design is not the most adventurous, but no real complaints.
- The facilities are now becoming slightly aged, but adequate.
- Very close to either Hua Hin or Cha-Am with easy access.
- Being unable to share golf carts plus F&B expenses makes a difference to reasonable green fee costs.
Royal Hua Hin Golf Course
Thailand’s original golf course deserves respect with historic buildings alongside the equally historic railway station. Look out for some pesky monkeys on the final holes.
- The condition of some fairways could be better and the layout is due for a remake.
- Basic facilities but enhanced by the historic significance.
- As close to Hua Hin city as could be imagined, just behind the renowned Hua Hin Railway Station.
- Mid-range costs; ask about ‘Sports Days’ for extra value
Sawang Golf Club & Hotel
Being around 70 kilometres north of Hua Hin, Sawang is often off the radar of Hua Hin golfers. Travelling from Cha-Am is much easier for the budget conscious golfer although course conditions are inconsistent.
- An interesting course layout which needs attention to detail.
- Only basic facilities with some outdated services and equipment including buggies.
- The most distant course in the region
- The lowest cost golf in the region
Seapine Golf Course
Part of the Royal Thai Army Sports Centre at Suanson Pradipat with a wonderful ocean frontage and holes next to the beach and views of coastline. The arrival of an army group may require you to give way!
- A very different style of course for the region; some would consider this to be close to a ‘links’ design.
- Attractive facilities with pleasant club house views over the course and coastline.
- Five kilometres south from downtown Hua Hin and easy to find.
- Reasonable mid-range prices, but not a low cost course
Springfield Royal Country Club
Springfield offers a high quality golfing experience, ranking very close to the best. Landmark features include an imposing clubhouse overlooking a signature closing hole with a must-carry water hazard approach.
- Being 27 holes of Jack Nicklaus design gives you the idea. A great test of golf in mint condition.
- Every facility you need within a resort setting.
- Not far off the Hua Hin – Cha-Am by pass road and easy to find.
- Expect to pay for the quality, with premium F & B prices.
The Hua Hin Korea Golf Club
Formerly the Hua Hin Seoul Country Club and (The Eagle) Milford, this course has endured many management changes. Loads of potential with scenic valley and ocean views. Korean golfers have claimed it as their own, but now mostly ignored by locals.
- Course maintenance issues abound despite a great location with contoured fairways and coastal views.
- The facilities are at best basic and in need of an upgrade.
- Around 15 kilometres south of Hua Hin and easy to find.
- The lowest cost course near to Hua Hin; but not really delivering what it could.
Written by Royal Coast Review Thailand