Siam Royal View, Koh Chang, Thailand
Koh Chang is Thailand's second largest island, and the biggest in Eastern Thailand. With about 5,000 permanent residents the island is not heavily populated, but tourism (and development) has increased dramatically over the last few years. Koh Chang (it means elephant although elephants are not native to the island) is one of Thailand's most beautiful islands with long white sandy beaches, some quiet and secluded.
Last November, the developers of Siam Royal View housing project finalised construction of the island's only Pitch and Putt course. The course was laid out in the centre of the development and is entirely surrounded by the waters of a lagoon. This not only cools the air but also adds to the challenge as a couple of greens are only accessible by bridge. The signature hole is the 3rd, just 40 metres - but with the the tee and pin on two separate islands, linked by a footbridge. A consideration is that if you shank your pitch then the lagoon's waters are safe for swimming and also pretty shallow, so you can just jump in and retrieve it - thus saving yourself the 20 baht lost ball fee!
The picturesque course has been designed to FIPPA specifications. It plays 554 yards (507m) on the Chang Noi nine and 571 yards (523m) on the Half Moon nine. The nines (named after the two nearby beaches) are laid out over the same terrain, but are played in different directions. The direction reverses daily at lunchtime. The Koh Chang (Thailand) Pitch and Putt Association was formed in 2012 to promote, administer and control the sport of Pitch and Putt in Koh Chang. Mainly a tourist amenity right now, an ultimate goal is that the course might be used for competitions or even be used as a host course for championships.
Between rounds, visitors can eat lunch, or have a swim, at the Siam Royal Beach Club, just a couple of minutes walk away. It is expected to take the average player around 90 minutes to complete the course which will be open year round as it has also been designed to drain quickly. That's handy as Koh Chang can get pretty damp in the rainy season (June to October)!
The Siam Royal layout is the first Pitch and Putt course on the island of Koh Chang. It's also unique in that it utilises artificial greens. It was decided to use the latter along these with other features like raised greens and tees and lifted but well drained bunkers to enable the course to be played even after a major thunderstorm.
With its location within a lagoon, the course obviously features many water hazards. The player has to maneouvre along beautifully manicured fairways and between the lagoon islands. Longest holes on the course are the 7th and 18th at 90 metres. Water awaits all the way down the left of the hole. Water is genuinely in the equation on practically every hole. No. 6 measures just 42 metres over the lagoon.
Residents: 200 Baht
Non Residents: 300 Baht
Children: Under 12´s 100 Baht
Club set rental : 150 Baht per set, per day.
Each set includes 10 tees and 10 balls. Lost tees and balls must be paid after play. Additional balls can be purchased. Only wood or bio degradable plastic tees allowed. Tees: THB 5 per tee & Balls: THB 20.- per ball