Gassan is the largest golfing complex in the north of Thailand. They have a selection of golf courses and during a stay in Chiang Mai, you are sure to play at least one of them. Choosing which one to play is not easy but Gassan Legacy comes highly recommended.
The original course was in existence before Gassan Legacy but was completely renovated by Lee Schmidt of Schmidt-Curley and re-opened under the current name in 2014. It is located 45 minutes from Chiang Mai and can easily be enjoyed in a day from the city.
Gassan Legacy offers pleasant views of the tree-clad hills surrounding the course but if you want to score low, focus is essential. This is not a golf course where long hitters are favoured and an accurate, strategic approach will bring the most reward.
The 18-hole course plays to 6,852 yards from the back tees and there are four tee positions to choose from on each hole. However, it is the water features which provide the real test on this golf course and that becomes apparent early in the round.
Hole 1 requires a tee shot over water to a fairway protected on both sides by bunkers. The green is also protected to the front right and back right by sand and it is easy to get into trouble if you stray away from the fairway or putting surface.
Things do not get any easy on the par-3 2nd hole at Gassan Legacy. Water comes into play once more and you are required to hit a tee shot over a lake to a green with a bunker to both the front and back. The par-5, par-3, par-5 opening on this golf course is a tough start but focuses the mind and gets players thinking about where to land the ball on each shot.
Shots over water become the common theme at Gassan Legacy and the par-3 7th hole is the best example. This is a short par-3 but requires a shot over water to an island green. Anything but landing on the green here is unacceptable and there has been many a lost ball to the depths of the lake.
Gassan Legacy is certainly a challenge and great fun. Those who enjoy playing a round where accuracy and strategy is more important than distance will have a great time.
The turf and drainage mean Gassan Legacy is in great condition throughout the year and always open regardless of what time of the year you visit. The clubhouse may not be the most modern or well-equipped you will find in Chiang Mai but it has everything you need to enjoy a round of golf.