If you haven’t been to Thailand then you have probably had the thought of a visit niggling in the back of your mind somewhere and going to the island of Phuket while you’re there is a must.
Phuket is a picture-postcard paradise island. The white sand beaches are lapped by azure blue waters, the hotels are excellent, and if you love a good party you can’t be the nightlife in Patong. But, did you know that Phuket is home to some great golf courses?
While the outskirts of Phuket are all about enjoying the ocean, parts of the interior are all about golf. It’s a great place to play golf during the US and European winter as between December and March, Phuket is covered in sunshine. You can even play all year round, as the monsoon rains that hit Phuket between May and October tend to fall at nighttime.
Sold on a golfing trip to this Thai island? Here are the best golf courses in Phuket to play at.
Laguna Golf Phuket
Laguna Golf Phuket sits in the middle of the island on the western side and is part of the Laguna resort. The white sand beach of Bang Tao is just a few minute’s drive away so after a morning round of golf you can find yourself sipping margaritas and swimming in the Indian ocean in next to no time.
The Laguna golf course is comprised of 18 holes over 6,756 yards and is rated as a par 71 golf course. The course is not forgiving at all and each shot off every tee requires so accuracy as the fairways on the majority of the holes are surrounded by lagoons and sometimes bunkers too.
The greens are undulating and fast, plus they are heavily bunkered so make sure to have a wedge with you if you want the ball to hold on to them.
For amateurs, the Laguna golf course is great fun and a solid challenge but low handicap golfers may find the holes to be a little shorter than they are used to and will likely reach the green within regulation on every hole.
The course is beautifully maintained and stunning to walk around but it can get busy so book in advance.
Canyon Golf Course, Blue Canyon Country Club, Phuket
The Canyon golf course at Blue Canyon Country Club was also built on an old tin mine. Designed by Yoshikazu Kato it was first opened in 1991 and hosted the Johnnie Walker Classic which Tiger Woods played in 1994, and then hosted the classic again in 1998 & 2007.
The club sits on the northern end of Phuket and is easy to get to from pretty much anywhere on the island bar down south.
The canyon golf course is an 18 hole course that runs over 7,244 yards on the black tees and is rated as a par 74 golf course. You can also play off the blue tees for a par 72 round, or drop down to the white or red tees if you have a high handicap or a lower driving distance.
This golf course is not just one of the best in Phuket, but the back 9 are said to be the best golf holes in Thailand and some of the best holes in all of Asia too. With a 600 yard par 5, a par 4 with a canyon to drive over, and a par 3 with a green that sits on an island with no way out, you can begin to understand why.
It’s a challenging golf course that rolls through an undulating landscape with copper-colored streams, white and red rock backgrounds, and stunning views.
It’s advised to check the course conditions before you play as a dispute in ownership has caused the maintenance standards to fall a bit.
Red Mountain Golf Course, Phuket
Red Mountain golf course opened in 2007 and has since become known as one of Asia’s best golf courses, certainly the best golf course in Phuket.
The golf course sits slap bang in the middle of Phuket island making it very easy to access whether you’re staying on the east or west coast of the island. When you arrive, you understand why it’s called Red Mountain as the course winds its way around red rocked cliffs and towering jungle. It truly is a unique golf course and a stunning place to play a round or two.
Built on an old tin mine, the canyons of which were flooded to create water hazards, this Phuket golf course is not without its challenges. There is a lot of water to send your golf ball into as well as a load of bunkers, elevation changes and wind to navigate. Talk to your local caddie as they will have all the tips and advice you need to score as close to par as possible.
The course is made up of 18 holes over 6,781 yards and is rated as a par 72 golf course. There are 4 different colored tees to play off depending on your handicap or drive length, so it’s accommodating for most skill levels. The golf course at Red Mountain is also immaculately maintained and has excellent drainage to manage the monsoon rains.
One thing to be aware of is the price. This is one of the most expensive golf courses to play at in Thailand, and it’s hugely popular so book in advance.
Loch Palm Golf Course, Phuket
The Loch Palm golf course sits in central Phuket just next door to the Red Mountain golf course. This makes it very easy to get to no matter where you’re staying in Phuket, and the beach is just 20 minutes away when you’re done with your round.
The course runs over 6,470 yards with 18 holes and is rated as a par 72 golf course. It’s very popular with the local golfers and sits amongst jungle-covered mountainsides with amazing views across the island but despite this, somehow retains a parkland-style to it, plus it’s beautifully maintained.
It’s a pleasant golf course for amateurs to play on but it doesn’t come without its challenges and like most Phuket golf courses, there is a lot of water for you to contend with.
Almost every hole on the front 9 has a large lake that is featured, some of the holes even have water crossing the fairways, so be careful with your drives. There is quite a lot of elevation change too and watch out for the green on the par 3 14th, it’s surrounded by water on 3 sides and you have to tee off from an elevated position.
Another great thing about this golf course is that you can walk it, golf carts are optional unlike the other golf courses in Phuket which are a tad demanding.
You’re best off playing this golf course during the week if you can as it gets very busy on weekends and rounds can become very slow.
Mission Hills Golf Course, Phuket
Sitting on the northeastern side of Phuket, the Mission Hills golf course is the best place to play if you want a beautiful view of the ocean on pretty much every hole. The course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and somehow he managed to feature the Andaman Sea on the majority of the holes, and on some holes, you even get to play across it.
The golf course features 18 holes over 6,806 yards and is rated as a par 72 golf course. There are 4 tee colors to play off from black to red and the course features four par 5s, four par 3s, and ten par 4s.
It’s quite a challenging golf course with a lot of water hazards to negotiate as well as large beach sand bunkers. Being right on the sea, the wind can also play havoc with your game and there are also island greens, an island tee, and some elevation change to contend with.
The biggest distraction when playing this golf course is actually the view. The mix of colors between green fairways, yellow beaches, bunkers, blue seas, and mountains in the background make your mind far more likely to go into daydream mode and forget you’re even trying to make the green in two, so stay sharp, but take some pictures too.
The one issue with this golf course is that the maintenance can be very hit and miss. It pays to call ahead and check the conditions before you book a round. But, in our eyes, it’s worth it just for the views and the amazing food at the clubhouse.
You can even place an order at the clubhouse before you play and it will be delivered out to you on the course, so why not get some delicious Thai starters to snack on while you’re playing on one of the most beautiful golf courses in Phuket.
Driving Off To Phuket
As you can see, Phuket is home to some pretty fantastic golf courses all of which are worth playing at. The views, the water features, and the services are impeccable and you are never very far from a white sand beach when playing golf on this paradise island.
It truly is quite a unique golfing destination and one you can take the whole family to and they’ll all be smiling, even when you run off for a quick golf round or two.