Chiang Mai Golfing Information
Chiang Mai is around 70 minutes flight or approx 600kms north of Bangkok close to the border with Myanmar. It is a beautiful region with spectacular mountains and is also known as the ‘Land of a Million Rice Fields’. That is certainly your first impression as you ride out from your hotel to the golf courses. Weather wise the average temperatures from October to March is between 60-90f with the coolest month being January. Their rainy seasons runs from May to September. Chiang Mai is in fact Thailand’s second largest city, yet it only has a population of around 200,000. Comparing this to the ccapital Bangkok which has about 10 million and it is easy to see why even the Thai people in Bangkok love to visit Chiang Mai for a holiday. The city is now becoming increasingly popular with overseas travellers as word spreads of this magnificent tourist location. Lucky for you it also has some superb golf courses too. There is approx; 11 excellent courses most within 30-60 minutes from the centre of the city.
Alpine Golf Resort ChiaMng ai Description:
(host of 2013 Asian Tour and 2014 Chiangmai Golf Classic)
Formerly Chiang Mai Lamphun Golf Club, this 18 hole championship course was designed by Ron Garl the world famous golf course designer, and comprises some 450 rai of land within a valley with natural forests. It has recently hosted the 2013 Asian Tour and the 2014 Chiangmai Golf Classic with Erlie Els and Jason Dufner amoung the comepitors. Garl also created the TPC at Prestansia and Palm Beach Polo Club both in Florida, and the Alpine sister golf course in Bangkok. At 7,541 yards this is a great challenge for the low handicappers, but everyone will succumb to the enjoyment of playing on a wwell maintained course in the country alongside mature treees and beautiful scenery. The club has a full range of facilities including a 4-star resort hotel, an international restaurant plus a day spa; and all this in the spectacular ambience of the hills of Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort & Spa near Sankampheng’s Hot Springs is 45 minutes east of Chiang Mai. Opened in 2005 this spectacular 18 hole course (7,000 yards par 72) has already won several awards including ” Best New Golf Course in Asia” by Asian Golf Monthly, plus the “Best Value For Money Golf Course in Asia’ too. For you history buffs this golf course was actually built on a ‘power spot‘ – the hermitage of Kuba Sivichai, a respected monk who founded the famous temple on Doi Suthep. Designed by Schmidt-Curley, who recently created Amata Spring home of the Thailand Golf Championships, they have also worked their magic here, and you know you are in for a treat. The front nine is along the lower part of the course with wonderful bunkering, followed by the elevated part of the adventure with sloping fairways high on the mountain side. There is a great finishing hole alongside the clubhouse and spa. Definetly a top course in Asia not to be missed.
There are three courses under the Gassan group all located around Chiang Mai. Gassan Khutan Golf Club and Resort is located one hour south of Chiang Mai. Khuntan means “Devil Mountain’ and this 18-hole, 7,100 yard, par-72 course created in 2004.
Gassan Marina Golf Club has been built around Chiang Mai’s largest lake, and at 7,596 yards this is the longest golf course in Chiang Mai and in Thailand. The scenery is simply amazing , with waterside bunkers, mountain landscapes, and many flowers. The Club House has an unique designed, inspired from Arabian Dubai and completed by European furnishings.
Third course in the group is Gassan Legacy Golf Club. Formerly known as Gassan Legacy Golf Club Golf Club, it has been significantly improved in 2014 by the US design firm Schmidt-Curley. At a total of 6,582 yards or a more modest 5,967 yards from the white tees, it features gently rolling fairways, mature trees and several water hazards. The designers here have created several risk and reward shots to the greens for accomplished golfers plus easier layups and bail out areas on most holes for the average golfer.
Located just 20 minutes away from the heart of Chiang Mai city, Mae Jo Golf Club & Resort covers over 500 rais. This 18-Hole par 72 course was designed to blend in beautifully with the natural terrain and spectacular surroundings, and provides a challenging but fair play for all golfers. Each hole has a unique design and requires different game plan to shoot for a par. The course features rolling fairways and large challenging greens which are considered ones of the most challenging greens in the northern part of the kingdom of Thailand. Alongside the fairways, you see many local fruit-bearing trees, such as Longan, Lychee, Pomello and Tangerine, which provide not only unique scenery but also unique tasting experience.
Summit Green Valley Chiang Mai opened in 1990, was designed by Denis Griffiths and provides golfers with a thrilling experience – water hazards on every hole, very few trees and plenty of bunkers. Good idea to play early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat here. The course length, and several elevation changes, along with prevailing wind makes this golf course exciting to many golfers. This golf course is part of a larger group, that has other golf courses in Bangkok and Rayong.
About Chiang Mai
The first thing to understand is that the north is distinctly different from anywhere else in the Kingdom. The region bordering Laos in the east and Myanmar in the west is home to Thailand’s earliest civilization and there are still several ethnic hill tribe peoples with unique cultures, traditions, language and cuisine. The northern people are kind-hearted and generous and very polite and the women are noted for their beauty, charm, and hospitality. Chiang Mai has grown from its origins as a small northern Lanna capital and is now easily accessible.
The region is blessed with abundant natural wonders, including renowned national parks and the most famous and highest mountain range in Thailand – Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai – along with other ‘doi’ including Doi Suthep. Because of this, Chiang Mai is one of the locations where we locals escape to when it gets rather hot in Bangkok and the south. For example, there can be cold fronts blasting in from China, which can lower temperatures overnight! The north has the most beautiful winter season in Thailand.
At this time of year, cool-climate flowers are all in bloom, coloring the misty mountain ranges all over the area, especially in the province of Chiang Mai, which is known as the ‘Rose of the North’. From November to February the area becomes a spectacularly exotic and romantic place to go. When Jason Dufner played here in 2014, one of his fond memories was his elephant trek.
There are direct flights from Europe and cities around the Far East, in addition to the hourly flights from Bangkok. The airport is only a 15-20 minutes journey from downtown Chiang Mai. It is also possible for golfers to make the 700 kilometer journey overnight from Bangkok on the first class air-conditioned sleeper train, arriving fresh for an early morning round of golf.