Chiang Mai is a city located in the north of Thailand. It was once the capital of the independent Lanna Kingdom and the old city is home to many Buddhist temples including the 14th-century Wat Phra Singh and 15th-century Wat Chedi Luang.
In addition to the fabulous architecture, Chiang Mai is surrounded by lovely scenery. The mountains are some of the highest in Thailand and the city sits on the Ping River, from which much of its ancient history can be traced.
However, the nature around Chiang Mai is not only great on the eye but also perfect for golf and Chiang Mai golf holidays are becoming very popular. Located 700 kilometres to the north, it is not advised to travel from the capital city to Chiang Mai by road unless you are planning on stopping several times along the way.
If you are planning a Chiang Mai golf holiday and arriving from outside Thailand, you can catch a flight to Bangkok and pick up a connecting flight to Chiang Mai. The airport, which is called Chiang Mai International Airport does accept some flights from other countries including Malaysia, China, Myanmar, Laos, Singapore and Qatar.
The tropical climate in Chiang Mai means the driest and coolest weather can be found between the months of November and March. The daily average temperature is in the mid to low 20’s and this make it perfect for playing golf. If you cannot make it to Chiang Mai for a golf holiday between these months, May to July and October are also good months to travel. You may even find some good deals on tee times at that time of year.
However, it is best to avoid August and September if you want the best chance of missing the wet weather.
When booking a Chiang Mai golf holiday, you will find plenty of options in terms of accommodation. From luxurious resorts to simple guest houses, there is something to suit all tastes. You can even stay at golf course is you wish and that brings us on nicely to the top golf courses in this region of Thailand.
No Chiang Mai golf holiday would be complete without playing a round at Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort. This is rated as one of the top golf courses in the country and it easy to see why. The golf club opened in 2005 having been designed by Lee Schmidt and immediately grabbed the attention of the golfing world.
Located 45 minutes from the city, the journey is very pleasant and takes you into the mountains through fruit plantations and rice fields. The climate is cool, with fresh air thanks to the high elevation and the golf course is always in tremendous condition. With five tee boxes and each hole boasting challenging yet receptive greens, the Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort is the perfect place to begin a Chiang Mai golf holiday for players of all abilities.
Competing with Chiang Mai Highlands Golf Resort for the title of best golf course in Chiang Mai is Gassan Legacy Golf Club. This was also designed by Lee Schmidt and he has again produced a superb layout. This is a tough test of golf and water comes into play regularly throughout the 18 holes. Established in 2014, this is a new addition to the golfing landscape in Chiang Mai with the original course having enjoyed a complete renovation.
Look out for the island fairway on the par-4 9th hole and the island green on the 15th hole, both of which provide plenty of enjoyment.
From one spectacular golf course to another as we move to Alpine Golf Club. This is another course which deserves a place on every Chiang Mai golf holiday itinerary. Designed by Ron Garl of Golf East, Alpine Golf Club is 40 minutes from the centre of the city and has played host to the Asian Tour on more than one occasion.
Nature is abundant here and whether it is the views of the hills in the distance or the varied trees of the nearby forests, you are surrounded by a great environment for golf. There are three sets of nine holes to enjoy and Alpine Golf Club is home to Thailand’s only rice paddy green, making it a great course to be able to scratch off the list.
The 524 yard par-4 is the most difficult course on the course. Not only does it play long but it has water down the left side of the fairway, to the green. Alpine Golf Club will both test and delight golf lovers at the same time.
From some of the latest additions to the golfing landscape in Chiang Mai to one of the long-time favourites, Summit Green Valley Chiang Mai Country Club. This golf course was designed by Denis Griffiths and opened for play in 1990.
It just 20 minutes from the city and situated in the lowlands. Playing long and difficult to par from the back tees, arguably the most distinguishable feature on this golf course is the palm trees. They line many of the fairways although do not provide the major hazard on the course. That’s left to the bunkers and water.
You will find plenty of well-place bunkers throughout the 18 holes and the first hole is a good example. Bunkers are found along the right side of the fairway and there are two large bunkers guarding the left side of the green.
In addition to the four golf courses highlighted above you will find many more to add to an itinerary. Inthanon Golf Resort, Gassan Khuntan, Gassan Panorama and Mae Jo Golf Club are just some of those available. The selection of top quality golf courses is one of the many reasons why Chiang Mai golf holidays are becoming so popular.