Isaan Golf

Isaan does not have the posh golf courses you find in Phuket, Pattaya or Bangkok, nor does it have the prices of those places.

Okay, so there are only two eighteen hole golf courses in Isaan. There is Victory Park, south of Nong Khai and the is the EGAT course at the Ubol Rattana Dam, north of Khon Kaen. Both courses have all the facilities you could want, are inexpensive and well maintained.

There are plenty of nine hole courses spread throughout the region and the range in qauality from brilliant to, well, best of luck.

Now there are plenty of books available that threaten to include the definitive list of golf courses in Thailand, but only one that I have found that comes anywhere close. “The Golf Book” Thailand 2005 published by Bangkok Book House Co., Ltd. is the only one I would spend my money on. It has only missed two coures I am aware of, one a six hole course in Mukdahan and one in amphor Sahatsakan in Kalasin, that may well be closed.

If you are interested in playing golf in Isaan I suggest you play on weekdays and tee-off early. There’s a couple reasons for the early start. First it’s cooler, but still bring your water with in case the refreshment shacks aren’t open yet. Next Thais do not generally start early. Now why is that important, you might ask. Well for some reason Thais like to play in herds of six or so. No if you’re familiar with golf in the west you’ll know this is not on, but it is allowed at many courses on Thailand. I have never found out why sixsomes are poplular here. I think it’s one of two reasons. One they are afraid of the golf phii. And second and I know this is hard to belive but there might be gambling going on out there.

Another thing about Thai golfers is that they must all have drivers with heads, well, as big as a head.

The Thais that play early are usually older guys and quick to let faster players play through, while later in the day it seems more difficult to find anyone who is aware of the rule that allows faster players to play through.

One of my favorite 9 hole courses is the one at the army base, next to the airport in Khon Kaen. Mornings it’s not rare for a Thai player to ask if you want to play along. They are the most friendly plaayers I have met in all of Isaan.

Anyhow if you do play golf don’t rule out Isaan.

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