Playing golf close to the famous River Kwai is definitely worth adding to your ‘bucket list’ of experiences. The main city is Kanchanaburi, which is located in Thailand’s fourth largest province bordering on Burma, is around two hours west of Bangkok. A very picturesque part of Thailand, this region not only has the famous River Kwai, but also wonderful green mountains, waterfalls, caves and great sunsets. The golf courses here have some beautiful scenic backdrops with excellent playing conditions. Add to this the World War II railway and museums and you have the makings of a very nostaligic golf vacation.
Kanchanaburi River Kwai Golfing Information
Golf in the world-famous River Kwai Valley has been something of a well-kept secret. With the improvement in the expressways from the capital, many are now playing their golf in this region. Recently a new top class course has opened, and this has spurred several of the older courses to upgrade their courses and clubhouses as well.
There are now a number of top quality Thailand golf courses to be found in this region, so variety is not a problem for your River Kwai golf tour. With Golforient, River Kwai golf provides an ideal retreat during your custom Thailand golf vacation. We have recommended golf in Kanchanaburi to many tourists and they are all amazed at the variety, quality, and superb golf values in the area. In the Kanchanaburi / River Kwai Valley region itself there are around ten golf courses of varying quality.
Perhaps the best golf course in this region and in the top twenty courses in the country has to be The Grand Prix Golf Club
. This exceptional 18 hole masterpiece was the brainchild of the Bangkok International Motor Show organiser who has managed to raise a lot of funds from the large car manufacturers to enable them to maintain the course in tip top condition all year round. With some elevations of 50 metres from tee to green along with well placed bunkers, waterhazards and island greens, this is a true championship challenge. After your round enjoy the sunsets from their modern clubhoses with the Burmese mountains in the backgound. A class act!
Close by is the Blue Sapphire Golf Club
a 36 hole country course, offering many challenges. Perhaps not in the same class as its neighbour Grand Prix, which their front nine you can actually see from this course, Blue Sapphire still has some fun holes, with mature trees, a few large lakes and some unusual bridges too. Clubhouse is a bit old, however the beeers were cool and the food traditional.
There is also the 27 – hole Nichigo Resort and Country Club
championship course, designed by Mitsuaki Kobayashi, about 30 kms north of Kanchaburi. Located next to the larger River Kwai Yai, their Lakes, Mountain and River courses use imported Noshiba grass from Korea for the fairways that requires no pesticides, so they are in great shape all year round. There are many challenging dog legs and uphill fairways to be played, all in a very scencic setting. There is even an interesting miniature replica of the bridge over the River Kwai. Good photo opportunity here!
Mission Hills Golf Club is another challenging Jack Nicklaus designed golf course in beautiful natural surroundings. According to Jack, these 18 holes will test your mind, swing, spirit and soul. 110kms west of Bangkok, the course is located on a sloping hill, while local palms line the fairways of this outstanding course that relies on water, sand, trees and, Nicklaus’ specialty, waste bunkers, for its hazards. The course has a choice of five well-spaced tees for you to choose from according to your abilities (or how many beers you consumed the evening before). A number of holes have “alternative fairways”, with different routes to the greens. The big timber clad clubhouse is nice to relax in after your round.
Evergreen Hills Golf Club
is set in a valley between round-topped hills covered with jungle, with fine views over crystal clear lakes. From the standard men’s tees you will find the course, designed by Artanan Yomchinda, not too long but still a fair test of golf. Water comes into play on the 3rd, 4th and 6th holes on the outward nine and on the inward nine at the 15th, 16th and 17th. At the 17th signature hole water encroaches on both sides of the fairway, and you need to play straight if you are not to hear the caddie call a plunger.
Dragon Hills Golf and Country Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus, Isao Aoki and Jim Engh. This fairly remote course is located about 90 minutes from Kanchaburi, and about the same distance to Hua Hin. The designers have used 2,400 acres in one of the most picturesque mountain aras in the region to create 18 interesting and testing holes. Dragon Hills has a combination of undulating fairways and greens plus water hazards and stragegically place sand traps. Previously kept in good condition, although nowadays conditions can vary, this par 72 is mostly enjoyed by local golfers wanting to get away from it all. The scenic background makes for a pleasurable round of golf.
About Kanchanaburi River Kwai
Kanchanaburi, often referred to as River Kwai due to the famous river and bridge, is Thailand´s third largest of 76 provinces. It is located around two hours drive west of Bangkok and covers an area of about 19,480 km². About 735,000 inhabitant are living in Kanchanaburi province which borders Myanmar (formerly Burma) at the north-west side.
Kanchanaburi town has a population of 54,000 and was originally established by King Rama I as a first line of defence against the Burmese, who might use the old invasion route through the Three Pagodas Pass on the Thai-Myanmar border. More recently it has attracted tourists from all over the world, many wishing to see the Bridge on the River Kwai, made famous by several films including the 2014 movie ‘The Railway Man’.
Apart from the Bridge there are many reminders of World War II in the region with the new Hellfire Pass museum and 2kms of railway cuttings 50 minute drive north of Kanchanaburi, now adding to this incredible story of bravery. Every year in late November and early December the River Kwai Bridge Festival is held at the bridge with a spectacular Sound & Light Show. They also remember Anzac Day every year on April 25th, when thousands of veterans and their families go to the Hellfire Passage for an early morning remeberance service. All these events will remind generations to come about the history of the Death Railway and the bombardments during World War II.
Other major attractions in this region include several waterfalls, mountains, caves (that were once inhabited by neolithic man), national parks and last, but not least, the River Kwai. The unique Erawan Waterfalls with its seven levels set amongst rough jungle in the Erawan National Park are worth a visit and rank among the most beautiful falls in Asia. Kanchanaburi features also three war museums, two war cemeteries, a national museum, a historical park, hot springs and Thai and Chinese temples.
Well worth a side trip during your golfing vacation.