Tee box massages: One reason slow play is okay on Thailand golf courses
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Muang Kaew Golf Club is the closest golf course to sprawling Bangkok, a city that feels like there’s no center and no end. It’s a pretty urban-feeling environment in most spots, which includes a walk under a freeway and teeing off on a par 5 over a net and house - how Thailand golf does the Road hole in St. Andrews, perhaps.
It’s an older club, but received a facelift from Schmidt-Curley in 1998 and today is a good test of golf. Golf packager GolfAsian.com says it’s often the first course of an itinerary in Thailand given its proximity to Bangkok, it’s first-impression-worthy hospitality and a course design that’s championship-caliber but not back-breaking.
On weekends, the membership is out in full force and can make for a pretty busy scene, as was the case Saturday. I’m never an advocate for slow play, and despite finishing in less than five hours, we still had our share of tee box waits.
In Thailand, with the country’s famously hospitable caddies, a little break on the tee is hardly a bad thing.
A few times during the round, our caddies would come up to us and give us quickie back massages, while another caddie fanned us. Really, all you have to do at Muang Kaew is a little acting job: grimace and show some back or shoulder distress, and she gets the hint quick and runs over with their hands in ready position. They work your shoulders, arms, lower back and my personal favorite, using the forearms on the top of the shoulders and around the neck.
I’m convinced every woman in Thailand is a Ph.D-level masseuse. Or maybe its just in their genes.
Thailand’s caddies put the country over the top as a golf destination. They speak spotty English, their green reads are hit-and-miss, and the yardage they give you is more of a ballpark figure. But does the mid-handicap, traveling golfer want precise yardage - or a smiling face with hands of gold?
You can follow Brandon Tucker’s golf blog and more on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brandontucker or follow WorldGolf.com at Twitter.com/worldgolf . Have a golf travel question for Brandon? Email him by clicking here
|« Cities Hua Hin, Bangkok and Pattaya present three very different Thailand golf vacations||Thailand golf vacations leave you suffering from reverse sticker shock »|