Luckily enough I had time to squeeze one more round in before I go to Nakhon Pathom and try to immerse myself in the real Thailand and living like the Thai people. As we were postponed for a few days travelling this may have been the luckiest break I had because Royal Lakeside for me was the best course I had played so far in Thailand. Once again the true gentleman Ray Bloom from The Londoners Golf Society had agreed to give me a lift to the course, and it seemed to be quite a short journey from the Bang Na side of Bangkok probably only 30 minutes. As we arrived at Royal lakeside I was greeted to what might be the most impressive looking clubhouse yet, and this being Thailand things are a bit OTT when it comes to impressive clubhouses but my gosh it was lovely.
My camera skills and my phone are shocking but you get my gist with these two pictures regarding the clubhouse.
The course matched up to the clubhouse, although some wouldn’t agree but as I am the one blogging I will be the judge. The fairways were immaculate, the only issue I have with golf in general in Thailand is they make the greens super fast but the fairways into the greens are slow, basically you can’t chip and run into the greens.
The game itself was highly intense, something I don’t particularly enjoy. I was playing with Ray, an Englishman called Richard and an American called Patrick. Ray and Richard were playing in a match-play that was to see who the winner of the match-play competition for the calendar year of 2017 at The Londoners was. You could cut the air with a knife, you could feel every mood swing, this is not an atmosphere I enjoy much but it kind of made me and Patrick quite competitive as we had the same handicap, it was almost like there were 2 match’s going on.
Anyway the forced competitiveness didn’t get in the way of me enjoying this beautiful arena. It started with an immaculate but fairly simple par 5, with a big fairway to hit and realistically if you are on your game you can be up and around the green in 2. The greens here were not as quick as Bangkok Golf Club, just how I like them being an Englishman. The course was lovely, the beautifully mowed fairways and the addition of probably the best weather I’ve had in terms of heat, as it wasn’t too hot made this course look and feel even better. the beautiful dog-leg right fourth par 4 was like a picture out of a golf magazine, beautifully sat palm trees, with beautifully placed bunkers on the dog leg opening up to a wonderful looking and inviting green and the to top a great front nine you are blessed with a tough par 4 9th with water hazards both sides (I didn’t know there was a water hazard to the left until I walked over the mound to find a big lake that the caddy didn’t mention). The tee off from the 9th is one of the better views of the absolutely amazing clubhouse here, very inspiring for a round of golf.
The view from the 9th tee box and the beautifully crafted 4th pr 4.
The back 9 didn’t disappoint either starting with a simply delightful par 5 10th following the water all the way down the left and the 11th par 4 continues to follow the water with an epic looking beach effect bunker all the way along the river. The par 3 12th has that much sand it makes you feel like that your playing in a desert for another added difference to the course and to make it a fairly difficult par 3. But my favourite hole had to be the 14th, it was a very simple par 4 but looked amazing, with a good 200 yard t shot left you a nice wedge into the island looking green, and as we don’t get many in England I do love these island greens here in Thailand.
The par 3 12th, and the par 4 14th green.
To conclude I don’t want to put this as number 1 because I enjoyed my time at Phoenix more but mainly due to my playing group, the added competitiveness did hamper the mood here but as per course layout and beauty this has to be number 1. I will go back here and hopefully get to play in a less serious situation. If you were wondering I beat Patrick by 1 shot but as I wasn’t a paid member of The Londoners it didn’t go down recognised and as would have one the whole day, not that I have a little bit of a competitive streak in me.