One of the many great things about playing golf in Chiang Mai is the rural areas you get to visit. Those on a standard Thailand holiday tend to stick to the most popular tourists areas but by playing golf in Chiang Mai, you have the opportunity to explore further afield. A great example of this is Artitaya Golf & Resort (former Gold Canyon).
This golf course is located just over an hour away from the city of Chiang Mai. It is in a rural area close to Lamphun, which is a town in northern Thailand and the capital of the province which goes by the same name. It is a splendid, natural environment for a good round of golf and Artitaya Golf & Resort does not disappoint.
This par-72 18 hole golf course was designed by Seni Thirawat and opened for play in 2009. Playing to over 7,200 yards from the back tees, this is one of the longest golf courses in Northern Thailand. However, there is a choice of four tee boxes on each hole and that makes the course suitable for all players.
Artitaya Golf & Resort differs to many others in Chiang Mai and much of Thailand in that there is not a great deal of water on the course. In fact, there is not much in the way of bunkering either and the hazards are kept to a minimum.
However, some of trees provide a natural hazard and they come into play immediately off the tee box in some cases, which is an interesting design feature of the course. Players much attempt to hit over the trees on some of the fairways and if that is not an option, sometimes the only alternative is try and play through them.
The course at Artitaya Golf & Resort is long and hilly but there are no significant changes in elevation throughout the 18 holes. To begin the round, the fairways are wide and flat, with almost every player feeling comfortable pulling out the driver. However, that soon begins to change, especially on the back nine holes when the fairways become tighter. There are also a few water hazards which come into play on the back nine holes, which are considered to be the best at Gold Canyon Country Club.
The clubhouse will not win any awards for design and things are kept simple at Artitaya Golf & Resort but that is part of the charm. The facilities are somewhat basic but there are locker rooms and you can buy something to eat and drink following your round.
For those who would like to play a natural and rural golf course in Chiang Mai, Artitaya Golf & Resort is a good choice.