Singha Park, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Singha Park was to be the last proper course I played up here in Khon Kaen, and excuse me for the cliche but my word did I save the best till last. Again Sam (I still don’t know his surname) the true gent he has been, had let me join him and his friend Bryan (a fellow Leicester City supporter) in his weekly round of golf at Singha Park. At first impressions you knew this was going to be a bit more upmarket compared to the rest up here. You have a nice greeting by the caddies who take care of your clubs, then once you’ve parked the care a marshal chauffeurs you to the clubhouse. The clubhouse itself almost has a slightly quirky unfinished feel about it but very contemporary. The changing rooms are the best I’ve seen here in Thailand and the restaurant area has a formal room and a quite delightful outside bar with a more informal feel about it looking over the 9th green.

The view from the clubhouse onto the 9th green and the beautiful changing facilities.

The golf course from a gardening point of view is perfect, the grass is soft and lush, at no point on this course do you come across the horrible thick Bermuda grass that is quite common here in Thailand. The water features are all maintained well, the bunkers are plentiful and cut sharply to make it easy on the eye and the roll on the greens were easily on par with those of Royal Lakeview. The opening two holes have a slightly similar feel, two quite testing par 4’s with water down the side to the left for anyone that has a hooking problem. I started with two hooks so therefore started with two double bogeys, but my game and this course got better. The third a testing Par 5, the fairway had a lovely shape and you could either be left with a shot below or above you feet, following this par 5 was a reachable par 4 but fraught with some dangerously placed bunkers and a hit over water if you had the cheese for it, and the general flow continued to a beautiful looking but fairly simple par 3. The front 9 concluded with a quite lovely par 4 that heads you into the direction of this quite remarkable looking clubhouse, some would say its ugly but I for sure enjoyed the distinctive look of this clubhouse as you conclude the front 9.

The pristine 6th, the lovely 9th with the welcoming clubhouse and the beautiful water features that are dotted all the way around this course.

The back 9 didn’t disappoint either starting with a beautifully crafted but fairly short par 4 littered with bunkers so you really have to pick your position followed by my favourite hole on the course a nice par 5 with a dog leg left. The drive from the tee is very inviting almost easy but don’t be fooled as you can cut this hole a lot shorter if you go the “Tiger line” but from then on in its a very picky hole, if you can hit big then go for it but the fairway narrows to the green and either side of the green has a big slope down particular to the bottom left hand side and that is where you don’t want to be. The 12th to 16th are a beautiful selection of par 4s all very different in length and the 17th par 3 is beautiful, another one of my favourites with a lovely hit over water at about 150, not massively difficult but once again the gardening of this course is emphasised by how beautiful this par 3 is crafted. The finale is a grand old par 5 that doglegs left and right and as you stand on the tee for the first time you have no clue of where to hit, but as soon as you arrive over the brow at about 100 yards you can clearly see the green sat down tucked away near the waters edge with the stunning clubhouse perfectly sat behind, a big drive needed and like me a big hybrid over the water saw me through the green in two but very risky, but if you don’t go hard you might as well go home.

This course for me is one of the best I have played here in Thailand, it might lack the scenery and it actually might be quite easy, but as gold courses stand this probably was in the best condition I have seen a golf course here and if I am in the area again I will no doubt be calling Sam up for another round.

 

 

 

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