First Thailand Team Amateur Championship

26 November - 3 December 2011

Black Mountain Golf Club

A world class championship golf course and true testament to excellent golf course design. Designer Phil Ryan has retained all the natural features of the surrounding environment to create this masterpiece. The golf course has been carved out of jungle, pineapple plantations, natural creeks, large rocks and trees into a visually stunning golf course.

The course nestles in a valley, within touching distance of the “Black Mountains” which take their name from large black rocks set into the mountain providing a magnificent backdrop to many of the holes.

Site of the Asian Tours “Black Mountain Masters” in 2009 and 2010, plus the 2011 “Royal Trophy”.

Black Mountain is a test for the top professionals, but also very playable for the average golfer. All of the holes provide the golfer with a safe route but for the more adventurous player there is a higher risk option with a potential greater reward.

For example, the par 5, 6th peninsula green can be reached in 2 shots by aggressive long hitters, while casual golfers have a regulation path to the green almost requiring a 360 degree series of 3 shots. Many birdies and a now and again eagle can be had here. Immediately following, the 7th hole, a par 4, provides two realistic ways to play the hole. Those who can carry their drives 230 yards or more over water will be rewarded with an easy chip shot to the green. Others, will need to 2 shots to skirt around the water, first left and then back right, making it almost impossible to par. Again, this hole is a good example of the risk & reward situation on each of the holes at Black Mountain.

Most impressive is the new signature 11th hole, a par 3 over water to an island green. With no bail-out area and an all-water carry club selection is critical to achieve a dry landing and birdie chance. Otherwise, the generous drop area to the left of the green minimizes high scores and at least provides a good “wet bogey” opportunity for most Hua Hin golf visitors.

Black Mountain offers generous fairways for the shorter hitters that become narrower for the longer tee shots. The greens are large with many pin positions, with different degrees of difficulty, and the course is well protected by many white sand sculptured bunkers.

Seashore Paspalum grass was used for the tees, fairways and rough. This grass gives a wonderful playing surface and a beautiful emerald green color. Tifeagle Bermuda grass was used for the greens and this expensive hybrid grass is the same turf as is used on the greens at other championship courses in Thailand like Thai Country Club.

The view from the clubhouse is stunning, and gives a panoramic view of the whole golf course. The clubhouse facilities on offer include fine dining in the restaurant, Hua Hin’s most extensively  stocked golf pro shop and luxurious locker rooms. Black Mountain is European owned and managed which assures smooth operations and year round excellent standards.

Black Mountain is a test for the top professionals, but also very playable for the average golfer. All of the holes provide the golfer with a safe route but for the more adventurous player there is a higher risk option with a potential greater reward. For example, the par 5, 6th peninsula green can be reached in 2 shots by aggressive long hitters, while casual golfers have a regulation path to the green almost requiring a 360 degree series of 3 shots. Many birdies and a now and again eagle can be had here. Immediately following, the 7th hole, a par 4, provides two realistic ways to play the hole. Those who can carry their drives 230 yards or more over water will be rewarded with an easy chip shot to the green. Others, will need to 2 shots to skirt around the water, first left and then back right, making it almost impossible to par. Again, this hole is a good example of the risk & reward situation on each of the holes at Black Mountain.

Banyan Golf Club

Built among a pineapple plantation, Banyan Golf Club is the newest Hua Hin golf course, open in October 2008, the course provides spectacular mountain and ocean views from almost all holes and is one of the best layouts in the Southeast Asia.

Each hole has six tee boxes making the course more or less challenging depending on each golfer’s abilities and tee selection. Strategically placed water hazards, waste bunkers, and sand traps are spread throughout the course. Clever use of native pineapple groves make the local Hua Hin “fruits” come into play if you stray too far off most fairways.

 

Lush Zyosia fairways, a local grass but a rarely seen on golf courses in Thailand, are a pleasure to hit as balls sit up nice throughout the fairways and roughs. Dark green Paspalum tee boxes add to the stark color contrast on the course and are a nice decorative feature. Greens, constructed of the same Tiffeagle grass as used at other Thailand premier courses like Thai Country Club and Alpine Golf Clubs in Bangkok, make for fast but receptive putting surfaces.

The signature 15th hole is a 139 yard par 3 with panoramic ocean views all the way to Sing Toh (Tiger) Island in the Gulf of Thailand. Hole 12, a par 5 monster is 610 yards, all uphill, making it impossible to reach for even the most accomplished of golfers.

Warm up facilities are include a grass practice area and 2 large putting and chipping greens. The Banyan Golf Club has a contemporary Thai styled club house including, well run reception area, full stocked pro shop, elegant locker rooms, and international restaurant all of which are first class. The Mulligan’s pub with western views over the golf course and mountains make for an ideal way to have a few cold drinks, reflect on your round and take in a picture perfect Thai sunset.

Springfield Royal Golf Club

Designed by Jack Nicklaus in 1993, the magnificent Springfield Royal Country Club has long been one of Thailand’s most popular golf courses. This intriguing course will provide a challenge for golfers of
all standards as they thread their way through well-placed hazards to greens of the highest standards. Accuracy is required at all times as the fairways are flanked by a series of hillocks covered by young trees.

This golf course is truly absorbing, with rolling fairways and mounding surrounding the greens, often hidden by mature trees making approach shots rather tricky.

 

The course at Springfield has been designed to meet the high demands of a recognized championship golf course, and yet it remains an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all standards. Each hole has a minimum of five tees to play from, but only the brave, and those regularly rub shoulders with the world’s best will venture from the black tee. Water hazards regularly come into play and each hole presents it own individual challenge and character requiring finesse or unrestraint. Accuracy is required at all times as the fairways are flanked by a series of hillocks and covered by a forest of small trees.

Nicklaus designs love to catch the player out who hits a poor weak fade, better known as a slice and the back nine when tiredness begins to creep into your game can be punishing with either a huge waste bunker and water or just water on your right hand side and close to the fairway to tighten you up. If you are on top of your game this course will reward you, it is not especially long.

Starting with a par 4 the first hole is a gentle 367 yards from the white tee, and on appearance looks to be quite simple. Hopes can quickly fade, as the well protected green can prove difficult & requires accuracy. As you conclude your round, the par 5 18th and Springfield’s signature hole, requires one last perfect shot to the difficult island green.

Reachable in two by the longer hitter and those with an ego who will, having hit a good drive over the trees of the dogleg left, just have to have a go. Use caution, this shot is longer than it looks.

Springfield offers other first class facilities apart from the course. The club house was constructed in an elevated position that will leave you with a lasting impression. The interior is beautifully finished in polished marble & granite, and portrays a feeling of opulence associated with grand palaces. Changing rooms also excellent (and even feature a bar inside the locker rooms!), as are the caddies who are also well trained which adds to the enjoyment of playing at Springfield.

Springfield opened an additional 9 holes for play in 2005 which was designed by the award winning golf course architects Lee Schmidt and Brain Curley. These nine contrast the Nicklaus 18 and are considered by many as even more challenging.

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