Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand boasts 13 International quality golf courses in addition to local courses. With a more temperate climate and surrounded by lush mountains covered with tropical vegetation, golf in the north is especially pleasant especially in the cool of the ‘Winter’ months and even in the early Thai summer.
Chiang Mai Highlands Golf & Spa Resort is magnificent 27-hole Schmidt and Curley design utilising the local, rolling terrain. It is built on the hermitage of Kuba Sivichai, the highly revered monk who founded Doi Suthep temple. The course is designed to complement the tranquil environment and yet is quite challenging with immaculate playing conditions. Regularly voted as one of the 10 top courses in Thailand and also offers private villas and condominiums
Gassan Legacy Golf Club was opened in 2005 and then in 2013 completely renovated by Lee Schmidt and is located 45 minutes from Chiang Mai. The course features gently rolling fairways and a lot of mature trees. Water hazards play a large role at this curse and straight hitters are rewarded. The rather unique Club House looks impressive though facilities are limited.
Alpine Golf Resort is a Ron Garl designed course providing a most enjoyable experience with the deeply forested mountains providing a dramatic backdrop. It is one of the better courses and should definitely be on your list to visit. Quite challenging for all standards but a lovely course and immaculately maintained. Some challenging holes including Thailand’s only rice paddy green and the challenging island fairway on the 9th
The Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club & Resort is a parkland style course amongst scenic countryside designed by Peter Thomson. Relatively short with no black tees, it has a British links style but with an abundance of Thai flora and fauna. An excellent course for amateurs and better golfers it is challenging but forgiving and makes a wonderful day out from Chiang Mai, being just 40 minutes drive away.
The Mae Jo Golf Club is located at the Mae Jo University just 20 minutes from Chiang Mai. Designed by local architect Seni Thirawat, the course suits all abilities. Amazing views and surrounded by extensive orchards the course is pleasant and challenging to play and will provide a memorable day’s golf. Lovely Clubhouse in modern Lanna Style, extensive practise facilities and friendly service.
Just 20 minutes from Chiang Mai is Summit Green Valley Chiang Mai Country Club. Designed by Denis Griffiths, same architect as the Thai Country Cub in Bangkok it is amongst the best kept in the Chiang Mai region. It’s a challenging course with a range of landscaping themes, lots of palm trees line the fairways and the water hazards make for some challenging shots. An excellent choice for all golfing levels providing a great day out and only a short distance from the centre.
Golf in Thailand has an old tradition and earlier many courses were built by the armed forces. Lanna Golf Club is one such course, built by the army, it was one of the first courses in the country. It is not up to the standard of the modern purpose-built courses but offers good conditions for a reasonable price. There are 3 x 9-hole courses each offering unique styles and challenging holes. Just 10 minutes from the centre of Chiang Mai!
Located close to Khuntan National Park is the 27-hole complex of Gassan Khuntan Golf & Resort. Probably one of the most beautiful courses in the region, it is also challenging with each hole offering stunning views and requiring concentration for the player. The course has so many ‘signature’ holes that it is difficult to highlight one but holes 5 and 18 stand out! The new additional 9 holes play through the State Railway of Thailand tracks providing additional challenges. Formerly a 9-hole private club, North Hill Golf Club was expanded to 18-holes in 2014 and maintains it’s former quality with excellent conditions throughout the course. It is a relatively flat course but the spectacular Doi Suthep scenery makes it a most enjoyable golfing experience with it’s stylish Clubhouse and facilities. Just 15 minutes from Chiang Mai.
Located 40 minutes from downtown is the Chiang Mai Inthanon Golf & Natural Resort. Built in 2009 it is located South of Chiang Mai and is surrounded by fruit orchards. It has a rugged design and creatively laid out fairways with challenging greens. Thailand’s tallest mountain (2,565m), Doi Inthanon is visible from most holes providing a most impressive backdrop. In it’s prime it must have been a wonderful course, today the conditions are basic though the greens are excellent. A great course if you are lucky to enjoy one of their promotions but probably disappointing if paying full price.
Slightly further away and a drive of just over 1 hour, the Gold Canyon Golf Course is located in a wild, rural area not far from Lamphun. It is an interesting course, not much water and minimal bunkers, the challenge is the vast number of trees providing multiple natural hazards. An easy start but holes 10-18 are challenging. A bit of a drive, a challenging course but most enjoyable.
Re-opened in 2017 Gassan Panorama Golf Clubhas an interesting history and is currently again undergoing extensive landscaping. It’s an impressive course and despite the work in progress on either side is an excellent course in great condition with challenging Tee boxes, superb fairways and fast, tricky greens. There is a lot of water here! The course is dominated by the impressive and rather uniquely designed Arabian style clubhouse. Some excellent promotions available.
And now for something completely different! Mae Moh Golf Course is 125 kms from Chiang Mai and close to Lampang. The first 9-holes were built in 1884 along a mountain ridge with spectacular views. The course is run by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and overlooks a massive clay lignite mine. This is a course with many most memorable holes. Conditions are acceptable for more adventurous golfers and the facilities adequate.
Hariphunchai Good Club is a charming 9-hole course located 30 minutes south of Chiang Mai. It is a par-36 championship layout designed by renowned Japanese architect Yoshikazu Kato with manicured fairways and smooth rolling greens – similar in standard to private members clubs. With two tee boxes, Hariphunchai can be played as an 18 hole course.
Chiang Mai also boats some excellent 9-hole ‘locals’ courses offering excellent value for money and central location. Star Dome is a great facility located next to the airport. Massive driving range and a fun 9 -hole course that is interesting to play. Gymkhana Club is again located within the city and has a long history, dating back to 1898. Charming 9-hole course dominated by a massive tree by the clubhouse. Exceedingly friendly and not expensive.
Just a brief description and round up of most of the clubs in Chiang Mai and the surrounding areas. Basically, a golfers paradise with great courses, training courses, great temperature and stunning scenery.