Where do I start with this one? Well the travelling to Lat Krabang started at precisely 4.50pm after work on Friday a day before the round. This round came unexpected in body but long overdue in mind, I was desperate to play again, it had been a couple of weeks and anyone with the same passion knows this hobby grabs hold of you. Firstly I’ll explain my travel commitments to acheive the goal of playing this course. The Londoners had set up a Ryder Cup style game and Ray had agreed that I could join in so I was desperate for a social crack here. The match was in Lat Krabang, I was in Nakhon Pathom, not too far in terms of kilometers but it started with over a 2.5 hour mini van journey and I had to pay for two seats because of all the gear I was carrying to Mo Chit, Bangkok. From Mo Chit bus terminal to Mo Chit BTS was another 20 minutes on a motorbike taxi which was hell through Bangkok on a Friday evening with a set of clubs on your back and a backpack on your front. Then a packed BTS from Mo Chit to Phaya Thai, people did not look happy with me taking up space with the Pings overflowing and my over-protectiveness towards them. Then the airport rail link from Phaya Thai to Lat Krabang on an even busier train, not feeling as guilty with the amount of luggage I had as this was the airport link and a lot of people had luggage. The last leg of the journey was a 20 minute taxi drive from the airport link to my hotel for the night, a journey totalling 4 hours. Where else in the world would I be as desperate to put myself through that for a round of golf? Only here!
The following morning I made the short journey to Royal Golf and Country Club and by gosh the nightmare of the journey had already been forgotten. The clubhouse was lovely just not quite as majestic as Royal Lakeside, but the water features and scenery that looked upon this great mansion that split the 9th and 18th fairways were unreal.
My fourball was great all 4 of us were unqualified to play in the Ryder Cup game so we just tagged along and had a really nice sociable round. Two Americans, Val and Paul, and an Aussie guy called Phil a great bunch I particularly got on well with Val and will probably meet him for a beer in the future. Right, enough of brown nosing and lets talk about the best course I’ve currently played in Thailand. Every hole was a test, almost perfect for a professional player to test thereself on, we started on the 10th and what a start it was, a particularly testing par 4 with water all the way down the right (glad I sorted the slice out) and bunkers all the way down the left, it was a slight dog leg to an inviting beautiful yet quick green, the only downside is the greens didn’t seem to be smooth they seemed rough but we were late on the course so it could have been foot traffic.
The beautiful 10th with the water down the right and the bunkers to the left a beautiful but testing start for us.
The course just had this lovely continual feeling about it, I walked this course with ease and it was very relaxing. From the 10th came for me the easiest hole on the course a short par 5 and with open fairways and no doglegs it was a given par for the average golfer probably the most anti climatic hole on the course to be honest. The back nine had two of the best par 3’s I have ever played, the typical yet beautiful greens surrounded by water 13th and 17th the 13th in particularly was good looking and actually with a 150 yard shot in quite a formality for an amateur but the 17th was a different matter a 200 plus yard shot in made it particularly difficult. The 18th typified an extraordinary best back nine holes of a golf course I have played up to date. You tee off looking at the beautiful clubhouse along side the mansion that has been built to the left with water following you down the fairway like many holes on this course, the lush grass and many different species of tree make it a finale to remember.
Par 3 13th particular easy yet nevertheless beautiful.
The extremely beautiful and tough 200+ yard par 3 with bunkers around the green and a particular fierce left to right roll on the quick green.
The front 9 had a lot to live up to and it did particularly well but didn’t quite match up to the layout and beauty of the back 9 although I was still in my heaven. The 1st a particularly stunning hole with the shadow of the mansion looming down a slight dog left left with water down the left in front of the mansion, a particular testing tight fairway but again slightly raised and inviting green. Then came the ever impressive par 3’s on this course, I want a par 3 course with just the par 3’s of this course to be on it and I’d give up playing golf and just mess about on these amazing par 3’s. The 3rd similar to the 13th about 150 yards with surrounding waters and bunkers and the 7th yet again similar to the 17th when it comes to difficulty around 200 yards with a whole heap of bunkers to negotiate along side a beautiful lake down the left, that shouldn’t come into play to be far. For me the best hole on the front 9 was the par 5 5th, that had a mass of water down the left that gave you a little teaser of a tee shot for you to decide how much of it to cut out, if you went big you could potentially hit the green in two but it was a safe bet to be a little conservative. the front 9 finishes with a lovely par 4 with a teaser of a lake to the left, bunkers down the right and a tree in the middle to aim for, opening up to a lovely green that sits nicely with the clubhouse shadow spreading over it. What a great course probably my favourite although I don’t want to start picking favourite’s and the company was great. I must visit here again in the near future, yet I don’t know my next destination yet although Hua Hin is on the agenda. I also must apologise for not being able to match my photo’s with description’s as a golf addict once I’m on the course I’m completely thinking about golf only, the pictures are really an after thought. I know I must work on this.
The 17th green looked lovely as the sun went down, the rather beautiful but daunting 6th tee shot with water either side, the particularly gorgeous par 3 3rd and a rare one of me putting on the first!