Silky Oaks in Rayong was to be my last day out golfing here in Chonburi/Rayong area this trip. I am heading to Bangkok for a teaching seminar and to join up with a guy from a Bangkok society called the Londoners in the hope for a few more rounds in the Bangkok area.
Last night I was out on the razzle again watching my Beloved Leicester City beat Swansea, I had a word with myself to get back to the hotel early enough so I would feel ok for my round the next day, but would you believe it we had the most wonderful thunderstorm there was no way I was walking in that and it lasted 3 hours making me consume a few more bottles of the old San Miguel Light. So a very late night topped off by what I could only describe as a walk home in the sewers. I had to empty the valuables from my pockets so I could walk at least 200 meters back to the hotel in hip deep water and to be honest it was like walking through a Severn Trent treatment station. After getting back to the hotel smelling like I’d spent a night in the Bangkok Hilton (prison), with a tide mark round my waste that Skegness beach would be proud of I proceeded to get clean and sleep ahead of a busy day at Silky Oaks.
The morning came around far too quickly according to my fuzzy head, a few aspirins and plenty of water sorted the job out. This time it was a Sunday round and as The Haven only play Monday, Wednesday’s and Friday’s I had to find a new society. I came across Colin from the appropriately named Colin’s Bar, on Soi Buakhao and he let me join his very friendly group of expats so I jumped in his car and took the 30 minute drive to Silky Oaks that was incidentally on the same site as the famous St Andrews course and Green Valley.
The course itself was the worst I played on this tour and if your keen on a nice walk with your round of golf then you can forget this one, the 2km buggy round to the first tee was long enough let alone the distances between green’s and tee’s, the course just had no flow, it just didn’t make sense. As I obviously had a buggy it was time to play and enjoy the few holes that seem to have had a bit of thought put into them and admittedly it wasn’t all bad, my playing partners were great, a South African guy who was as relaxed as the usual South African and an Englishmen who loved his golf as much as me. I was struggling to keep up with his tally of 43 points off a handicap of 21 though it gave me no chance giving him an extra 8 shots.
The opening hole was one of the best, hitting a drive over water with the inviting fairway below and then onto a nicely sat raised green. The 3rd par 3 over water is a lovely little hole (I do love a little bit of water on a par 3) the green precariously sloping backwards into the water makes it a very awkward yet nice par 3. The most impressive hole was the par 5 5th. The tee box beautifully constructed so you felt as if you were teeing off from the lake, as you looked up to your left was an appropriate positioned drink station and to be fair the drink stations on this course were beautiful. This par 5 will be one of the toughest you ever play, so you tee off over water then you still need a big hit second to have a chance of hitting over the water again to reach the green in 3, I could easily see people playing for the green in 4 on this hole as did the South African guy. The rest of the front 9 had little to be desired. The back 9 also offered little to the imagination, the best hole was probably the 11th, but even that was exactly the same as the first and as I said the course designer had quite the nightmare here and it’s not until you reach the par 3 14th do you completely realise the disaster they had. What a terrible hole, you look up on what you can only describe as a field onto the nice looking drink station, you can’t see the green and you can barely see the flag, it’s almost like they ran out of idea’s and just stuck a hole in the middle of a slope and did nothing with it.
All in all a good day had by all, Colin at Colin’s bar was very welcoming he just doesn’t have the transport options that The Haven have so his bar is aimed towards the expats more.
The par 3 14th (where is the green? Where is the flag even). A panoramic picture, I had to try and be technical to get a bit of beauty out of this course.