Bang Pra, Chonburi, Thailand.

Wow, wow, wow, the only description I can think of. This course gave me the need to start blogging, this course has everything, stunning scenery, different kinds of tree life, monkeys, dogs, dogs chasing monkeys and a giant monitor lizard on the par 3 17th. A stunning clubhouse, quality caddies, backdrops like I’ve never seen, locker rooms good enough for tour pro’s and an Australian playing partner who moaned all the way around, but he was not going to ruin my day. He hit every rough on every hole and moaned about how bad the rough’s were (well don’t hit it there then), he moaned about every bunker (well don’t hit it there either). One of those playing partners you dread, nothing was ever his fault, “just enjoy where you are mate”.

The course was a dream, the first probably the only disappointing hole, but then after it was a mind blower. The second a lovely par 3 with water and awaiting monkeys the other side, then you get to hole 6 and the backdrop was unreal. If you hit a good straight shot the ball is visible against the trees all the way up and down. Already in awe after 6 holes, I was in my dreamland, my grin was from ear to ear. Hole 8 another stunning par 3, water hazards to the right, a couple of well placed bunkers and it’s a good hit to the green. Then the par 3 12th was simply the best par 3 I have ever had the chance to shoot on (see picture). I didn’t care much for how I was playing although it wasn’t bad, by time I got to the 16th there were dogs chasing monkeys up trees, Lizards casually walking across fairways it was so surreal, so relaxing, what a course, and to top it off we were watched onto the 17th green by a giant monitor lizard that lived in the lake you hit over for the par 3. This was my best golfing experience to date by a mile.

As  you walk out of the clubhouse you get greeted to this little charming drink station. The par 3 12th was so beautiful, possibly the best par 3 I have ever played. The usual monkeys and lizards that you see all over the UK (sarcasm), and the moaning Aussie guy I had to endure 4 hours of one of my favourite courses with.

Mountain Shadow, Chon Buri, Thailand.

It was Monday morning, I’d had a steady Sunday evening and I was feeling good we proceeded into the 50 minute drive to Mountain Shadow and again I was partnered with me old mate Trevor, a lovely guy from Oz in his 60’s, an expat who lived in Pattaya. The other two were Japanese guys who spoke very little English but with smiles from ear to ear you knew they were chilled, the weather was great a little hot but hey this is Thailand.

The clubhouse was the worst of the lot and needed loads of tlc, apparently this course was bankrupt and was repossessed by the Bangkok bank. The first tee was a little dogleg right with a tight fairway, I was confident, pulled it into the trees, the second hit another coconut tree, the third over the other side of the fairway scrambled onto the green two putted for a 6. I went from that lovely relaxed calm feeling to frustration in a matter of minute’s. The second another little par four, my heads a mess, I hit the first slice into the trees, next into the bunker, thins out over the green scrambles a 7. Holy shit this was gonna be a bad day. We all know this is what golf does to you the round was horrendous got 20 points the course was difficult, tight long roughs and I was having a mare. I made my mind up to just enjoy where I was, this time I had no buggy, I got to the 8th and thought I was going to die, I seriously questioned my lifestyle decisions at this point whilst Trevor in his 60’s was just strolling around making me look a dickhead. It was one of the hardest rounds I’d ever played. I Was exhausted, my mind was blown, my swing was shot to bits and I was ready for beer.

As for the course, It was lovely, as I said the clubhouse needed work and there were a few things going on, but this course is not for the faint hearted, thick strong roughs you really need to get a swing through it here in Thailand and the fairways were tight and lined with coconut trees, but nevertheless it was lovely.

Highlights of two challenging par 5’s in particular the 14th a long dogleg left hugging a lake all the way to the green. A couple of stunning Par 3’s over water particularly a long 150+ carry over the lake.

The beautifully cut yet narrow fairways of Mountain Shadow (well we all need an excuse).