A scenic and hilly alternative to its more illustrious neighbour.
The cooler climes north of Chiang Rai provide the setting for the scenic Waterford Valley Golf Club & Resort, spectacularly carved into the hillside by Rathert International Golf Design. Replete with elevation changes, tropical vegetation and the obligatory water hazards, this is a challenging course despite the generous fairways. This is largely thanks to the very small putting surfaces which require very accurate approach play or, if you fall victim to the dome-shaped greens that often punish off-line shots, an excellent short game. Whilst the flatter holes play fairly straightforward, there are a few trickier holes that stick in the memory. At the par-4 9th, if you take a driver from the tee you require a well controlled draw around a hill to avoid water before an approach shot over a water-filled ravine to a sloping green that demands that you keep below the hole in order to avoid a nightmarish putt. This is swiftly followed by an epic par-5 with an unusually narrow fairway flanked with a large bunker on one side and out of bounds on the other. If you can keep your drive straight though, you can run down the hill close enough for a chance to reach the green in two.
The clubhouse facilities are a little dated, but nonetheless clean and functional with excellent views over the beautiful property, particularly from the open air restaurant which serves basic Thai fare with a few spicy local specialities thrown in. It is possible to stay overnight too, in the 20 room golf lodge or in one of the 30 dormitory style rooms, but we'd recommend staying in the superior accommodation available nearer the city centre. Despite being known as 'the other course' thanks to its more illustrious neighbour (The Santiburi), Waterford Valley nonetheless provides an excellent alternative, particularly given the course is relatively empty during the low season.
Like the sound of this course? Secure a tee time and take advantage of the discounted green fees on offer by adding Waterford Valley Golf Club to your Chiang Rai golf holiday package.