Spectacularly located in the mountains, this excellent course is rightfully highly regarded.
Set in a valley surrounded by epic mountains whose waterfalls and lush foliage will catch your eye during a round, the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club & Resort is a wonderful course that fully justifies its burgeoning reputation. The course was built on the site of a former fruit orchard and benefits from cooler temperatures and lower humidity thanks to the high altitude, which makes for a particularly pleasing alternative to the sweltering conditions often found in Thailand. It's a parkland design with elements of links thrown in for good measure - think bumpy rolling fairways lined by trees, numerous pot bunkers and close cut grass around the greens. At only 6969 yards it's not overly long, with an emphasis on accuracy rather than driving John Daly distances off the tee. Having said that, the distances on quite a few holes are deceptive making it easy to under-club, and with plenty of water in play this simple error can do some real damage to your scorecard. However this isn't a course deliberately designed to catch you out - there are no blind tee shots or gimmicky green positioning, meaning it's a fair test of your abilities even on your first attempt.
Particularly welcome is the Bermuda grass on the fairways which is mown to a generous height allowing the ball to sit up invitingly. This helps on those occasions where a fairway wood is required, such as the long par-4 4th where if you can avoid the fairway bunkers and the creek down the right, you'll face a long approach that must clear a couple of awkward pot bunkers located right in front of the green. On site is a 55-room hotel which provides great views over the course and a variety of facilities including a swimming pool, sauna and restaurant, all run by a friendly and efficient staff.
While it could do with a bit of a minor renovation, it's not really cause for complaint, and it's the course we care about the most. In that respect, Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club & Resort does not disappoint.
Like the sound of this course? Secure a tee time and take advantage of the discounted green fees on offer by adding Royal Chiang Mai Golf Resort to your Chiang Mai golf holiday package.