Getting started with golf in Bangkok

It’s been said that if you want to get ahead in Asian business – or politics – you can’t afford not to play golf. We can’t estimate the amount of money you won’t make if you fail to get swinging on a course, but we can give you an idea of what it costs to get started playing.

Before committing to one club as a member, you’ll want to try out a few courses. There are scores across Bangkok and surrounding areas, so these are an arbitrary selection of some of the more popular. Greg Norman-designed Thana City charges walk-ins Bt1,620 on weekdays and Bt2,100 on weekends; a cart costs Bt400, caddy fees are Bt200, shoes are Bt150 and clubs are Bt600. Bangkok Golf Club charges walk-in weekday visitors Bt1,050, and Bt2,100 on weekends. A caddy costs Bt210, club hire is Bt500, shoehire is Bt100, and a cart costs Bt500 on weekdays or Bt600 on weekends.

Subhapruek is one of several courses offering discounts to afternoon golfers. Guests’ fees on weekdays are Bt750 before midday and Bt700 afterwards; weekend fees are Bt1,700 before midday and Bt950 afterwards, including caddy. Hiring shoes costs Bt200, while clubs are Bt500. Nick Faldo-designed Krung Kavee charges Bt800 weekdays and Bt1,500 weekends. Caddy fee is Bt200, a cart costs Bt600, shoehire is Bt200 and club hire is Bt600. Muang Ake Golf Course is good choice during the week, charging Bt610 to visitors, while weekend fees are Bt1,030. Caddy fee is Bt200, shoehire is Bt80 and clubs are Bt300.

For practice you’ll need to head to a driving range. Each forty balls at driving range Aree will set you back Bt50; hire an iron for Bt70 or a wood for Bt100 per session. At Sukhumvit Soi 18, forty balls also costs Bt50, but hiring a wood or an iron is Bt50. Bangplee charges Bt100 for 120 balls, with an iron or a wood costing Bt50.

Classes are offered at most driving ranges, as well as at some golf clubs. At Aree, classes are Bt500 an hour, or buy a set of ten for Bt4,000. At Bangplee, an hour’s lesson with a pro will set you back Bt800. British PGA golf professional Daniel Wyborn offers private classes at the Thai Country Club and Sukhumvit Soi 18 driving range for Bt1,500 an hour.

Eventually you’ll want to join a club. Bangkok Golf Club charges Bt35,000 for a year’s membership, with only a caddy fee of Bt210 then applicable. Subhapruek charges Bt40,000 for one year’s membership, after which green fees are Bt50, and caddy fees are Bt200. Krung Kavee Golf Course sells 30-year memberships for Bt550,000, after which there are no green fees.

The cost of a new set of golf clubs varies dramatically based on what brand you buy. According to Transview, a new Titlist set including 3-9 irons, pitching wedge, sand iron, three woods and a putter sells for Bt70,000 to 100,000. A similarly composed set from Mizuno can cost from Bt20,000 to Bt100,000. Pan West sells Callaway iron sets from Bt42,500; a Daiwa set costs Bt29,500. Extra Callaway woods range from Bt11,500 to 19,500, while a Ping putter costs around Bt6,000.

For beginners, second hand sets are a good idea. Honma Center says their Titlist secondhand iron sets (when in stock) start from Bt15,000; Callaway starts at Bt18,000 to 25,000; Mizuno starts from Bt23,000 to 25,000 and Bridgestone costs upwards of Bt22,000.

Golf balls start at around Bt280 for a dozen from brands such as X-cess and Maxfli, and range up to around Bt2,000 for brands like Tour Special and Nike. Golf bags range from Bt4,000 for local brands to around Bt40,000 for some Japanese brands. Golf shoes made in Thailand start at around Bt1,000, while imported brands such as Nike can cost up to Bt9,000. Expect to pay around Bt350 for a golf glove; Bt700 for a golf umbrella; and Bt100 for a large container of tees.

Finally, after a hard day on the course, head to Being Spa for a special "After Golf Release Package". The two-and-a-half hour session includes a sport massage, fitness facial for men or aromatherapy facial for women, and an ocean mud foot treatment. It costs Bt3,500.

And while relaxing, catch up on the latest developments in the golf world by browsing through the English-language Golf Magazine (Bt295), Golf International (Bt295), Golf for Women (Bt225) or Asian Golf (Bt195), Thai-language Golf Digest Thailand (Bt150) or English and Thai-language On Green Golf (Bt90).

Thana City Golf and Country Club
100-100/1 Moo 4
Bangna-Trad Rd. Km 14
Bangplee, Samutprakarn
Tel: 336 1968-78

Bangkok Golf Club
99 Moo 2 Tiwanon Rd. Bangkadi, Muang,
Pathumthani 12120
Tel : 501 2828

Subhapruek Country Club
102 Moo 7, Bangna-Trad Km.26
Bangplee, Samutprakarn
Tel: 317 0801-4

Krung Kavee Golf Club and Country Club
115/2 Rangsit – Nakhornnayok Rd
Thanyaburi, Pathumthani
Tel: 557 2891, 577 4147-9

Muang Ake Golf Club
52 Moo 7 Pathumthani
Tel: 997 7315-6

Aree Driving Range
Sukhumvit Soi 26
Tel: 259 8425-7

Sukhumvit Soi 18 Driving Range
End soi
Tel: 258-0985-6

Bangplee Driving Range
12/4 Moo 7, Bang Na Trad
Tel: 316 1547

Daniel Wyborn
01 889 0061

Transview
1st fl Thaniya Plaza
52 Thaniya Rd Bang Rak
Tel: 231 2113

Pan West International
43/1001 Moo 3 Ramintra Rd
Bang Khen
Tel: 552 8812, 970 5832

1st fl Thaniya Plaza
52 Thaniya Rd Bang Rak
Tel: 231 2179

3rd Fl Emporium
622 Sukhumvit 24
Tel: 664 8564

Honma Center
841/12 Sukhumvit Rd Soi 47
Tel: 258 7401, 258 7249

Being Spa
88 Soi Sukhumvit 51
Klongton Neua
Tel: 662 6171

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