|| Soi Dao Highlands
|Comments from Brian Ewen, Stonehaven, Grampian, Scotland
| This is not a course you will just stumble across, situated in the jungle in Eastern Thailand on the border with Cambodia, it is well away from the usual places normally frequented by the Golfers holidaying in Thailand. It is the type of place that is passed, by word of mouth, by Foreigners living in the country. So is it worth the long drive to get to it ?
Yes, It is a wonderful deal, for one night in the golf lodge, breakfast & evening meal and unlimited golf, you will expect to pay around 1000 baht add to this a caddy fee of 160 baht + Tip ( normally 200 baht ) and another 550 baht if you require a buggy.
The golf lodge has the usual amenities that you would expect in a western hotel room and the Clubhouse has an extensive menu, full of Thai, Chinese, Cambodian delicacies ( Try the sweet n' sour Hot Plate ) at normal Thai prices.
So to the Golf Course. The first thing that strikes you is the beauty of the place, at times you could be back in the British Isles but the cacophony of noise emanating from the Jungle always reminds you of where you are and to keep your eyes open for the ample local wildlife.
Well, you better have your 'A' game with you, as it is a brute of a course, at 7162, 6642, 6182, 5379 yds, depending on your level, Dennis Griffiths has designed, one tough golf course. Right from the off, we are into a 438 par 4 with a 2nd shot carry over water with both fairway and green sloping to the water. Easily, the prettiest hole on the course, only no time to enjoy it !
After the easy enough par 4 second, you are met with a stunner of a hole, 206yds Par 3 from a high tee with a carry all across water, again not for the faint hearted.
The 4th is an ugly par 5, with 2 blind shots, that will get your lungs working but once again its worth it, as you walk towards the 5th tee, you get a spectacular view of the rest of the course and the surrounding jungle and down on your left is another 200+ yds Par 3. It is around this time you discover you haven't enough film left in the camera.
Before you tee off, remember to stock up on the water, at the near-by "Drink Stop".
From the 6th tee onwards the course flattens out, but never really lets up, neither on beauty or toughness, though the 2 par 3's on the back nine are a bit of a dissapointment after the front nine's. Surely a more adventurous hole could have been built at the par 3 12th, and at the 16th, Mr Griffiths , resorts to the type of hole, American Designer's are obssessed with, " The Island Green "
After all this, at the 18th, you get the easiest hole on the course, a par 5 of 485 yds, a good birdie hole to finish. All in all, a very beautiful course, with not too bad a design, though lengthening the 1st hole and making it a par 5 and making the 18th into a par 4, would, in my opinion, improve it.
Everything closes up at 10' o' clock, but you will be glad of the early night and ready to take on this brute again the next morning.
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