Phuket Golf Courses – the Horrible Hacker’s Guide

Today we want to share a local’s guide to Phuket golf courses, these are the best visitor-friendly options for hitting the green when you are holidaying. From what makes Phuket a top golf destination to what to expect from the course and the ones we think any golf lovers out there should have on their list. 

Playing golf in Thailand is very different from playing in Europe or Australia. The courses are generally in immaculate condition and have ground staff all over them. The greens tend to be very fast. 

We asked a self-professed horrible hacker from the Little Wandering Wren Travel Blog for his insider tips and course preferences, having lived and played golf on the island for many years.

Carts and Caddies

Carts are generally used and are often compulsory to help ensure a reasonable speed of play. You will always have a caddy. 

The caddies are almost exclusively female and, if you get a good one, are a hacker’s lifeline. They will give you tips on where to hit your long shots (advice that you then dismally fail to follow due to woeful lack of talent) and then give you sound advice on lines and speed on the green that you then dutifully fail to follow again.

Green Fee costs

Green fees for visitors, especially from overseas, are very expensive, at least compared to Australia and a normal course in the UK. 

Be prepared to pay around THB 3600 – 6000, depending on the course and time of year.

(150 – 250 AUD/ 80 – 130 GBP).

However, if you can befriend a member, members’ guest rates are significantly lower. These fees include a cart and the caddy fee, but you will need to add the caddy’s tip, which is generally around 500 Baht.

Laguna Phuket Golf Club

Location: Choeng Talay

Owned by the Banyan Tree and sits in the middle of the Laguna complex on the west of the island. The course is always in decent condition, and the greens play well. It’s easy to get to, and its Laguna location attracts many visitors staying at nearby hotels. 

Laguna Golf Club Phuket
Laguna Golf Club Phuket Credit: Little Wandering Wren

The hacker’s view

  • There is a decent amount of water, which makes most holes threatening for a horrible hacker.
  • A Par 71, it’s not a long course, particularly if you play off the white tees.
  • Playing off the blue makes the course a lot more interesting (especially the 11th) and more of a challenge.

Several professional tournaments are held at Laguna during the year, so watch out; the rough gets rougher, and the fairways get a lot narrower in the lead-up to the tournaments.

Blue Canyon Golf & Country Club

Location: Thalang district, close to the airport

It has two challenging 18-hole courses, the Canyon and Lakes courses. The Canyon course was renovated in 2023 to restore it to full PGA standards. 

Blue canyon : 18th hole of The Canyon Course with Clubhouse behind
Blue canyon: 18th hole of The Canyon Course with Clubhouse behind

Phuket’s green fees are reasonable and certainly better value than Laguna’s, but beware that a recent rule only allows non-members to book a caddy, so be prepared to take potluck on who you get paired with. 

Blue Canyon also has accommodation for the real fanatics.

The hacker’s view

  • The Canyon course is the more prestigious and more expensive. It is better, but only marginally so, so the Lakes course is better value and easier to book.
  • Look out for the iconic Par 3 14th, where you tee off from close to the clubhouse to an island green 50 metres below you. The 9th and the 13th are also memorable holes.
  • Tip: tee off with an old ball. 

Like its more famous sibling, the Lakes course owes its topography to the tin miners who used to work in this part of Phuket. It has many holes with deep ravines left by the mining work. This makes for some challenging shots across water-filled abysses, such as the 3rd, 7th, and 18th, which puts the wind up the hacker, particularly after the usual shoddy tee shot.

Red Mountain Golf Club

Location: Situated in the middle of the island in Kathu. 

Red Mountain Golf Course Phuket
Red Mountain: 17th Hole Credit: Wandering Wren

The hacker’s view

  • It is the most picturesque course in Phuket – particularly the signature 17th, where you hit off from a high tee box at the top of a cliff to a green way below that looks like it’s in the middle of the jungle. This hole wins my award as the most spectacular hole in Phuket. 
  • The course is Par 72, which is tight and not long and puts a real premium on accuracy. If you are wild like me, stock up with balls, although a lady sells bags of second-hand balls outside the gate on the walk to the 14th.
  • There are a couple of weaker holes, the 10th and 11th, which had to be changed and shortened due to a land dispute with a neighbour. Hopefully, these can be reconfigured and made more challenging at some stage.

Red Mountain should be on a Phuket or Southern Thailand golf tour itinerary, but it is expensive, particularly on weekends.

Loch Palm Golf Club 

Location: Kathu

Loch Arm, 11th Hole Credit: Wandering Wren

It is the more down-to-earth relative of Red Mountain situated next door. It is a more relaxed, less refined course than Red Mountain, and green fees are cheaper. 

The hacker’s viewe

It does not have the spectacular holes of Red Mountain and is more open and forgiving for the wayward.

Phuket Golf and Country Club

Location: Kathu, in the southern half of the island. 

It is the Grand Old Dame of Phuket. It has an 18-hole course and a 9-hole course. The courses are nowhere near as popular as Blue Canyon, Red Mountain, or Laguna, so getting a tee-off time is never a problem. 

The hacker’s view

  • The 9-hole course is considerably cheaper, so I have no worries about going around that twice. In fact, I have never played the 18-hole course. Members tell me the 9-hole course is as good and interesting as the 18-hole course. 
  • The club is a little weary and run down at the edges, which is particularly reflected in the clubhouse. The course itself is in pretty good condition and provides a good challenge. Water hazards abound.

There is also a large golf driving range at the club for you to retire to after carving up the course to work out what went wrong…

Mission Hills Phuket Golf Resort

Location: Thalang district – on the western side of the island

Mission Hills has some spectacular views of the sea. It was designed by Jack Nicklaus, and has a good driving range and nice accommodation. However, I have never played it, and most people in my golf group never go there. I don’t know why, though I have heard the course is not in great condition. I promise I’ll go and play there on my next trip to Phuket… 

The best Phuket Golf Courses for Visitors

The best courses:

  1. Red Mountain
  2. Blue Canyon – Canyon Course
  3. Blue Canyon – Lakes Course
  4. Laguna Phuket
  5. Loch Palm

And for the budget wary…. The best value:

  1. Blue Canyon – Lakes Course
  2. Loch Palm
  3. Blue Canyon – Canyon Course
  4. Phuket Country Club
  5. Red Mountain

About the authors: Little Wandering Wren’s travel blog was established in 2012, more can be found on Instagram @littlewanderingwren.