A new golf course is set to open for play later this year in Thailand.
The layout at Chee Chan Golf Resort has been drawn up by architect David Dale of Golplan.
GCA spoke to Dale to find out more about what golfers can expect, and how he’s aimed to deliver a golfing experience unlike any other in Thailand.
“We’re pushing hard to try and get greens nice and smooth like butter, and get the zoysia grass grown in and the bahia grass established,” he explained. “We have the fair weather now. We’re out of the rainy season and working to fix the erosion damage that comes when the rainy season strikes in Thailand – and doesn’t particularly help when trying to grow in a golf course!”
Despite being located around 15 miles to the south of Pattaya City, Dale says that the course has a feel reminiscent of another part of the world.
“It’s got a very unique contour – quite a British Isles feel to it,” he said. “It has a coastal influence, yet it also has big elevation changes. It’s really neat, and golfers have not seen anything like this in Thailand. It’s fresh for them.”
The course is overlooked by the iconic Khao Chee Chan Buddha – a huge tourist attraction in the region.
“What’s neat about his site is that you have the Khao Chee Chan Buddha at the course’s south end, to the east you have a Chinese temple, to the north you have a Buddhist temple and to the west, behind the clubhouse, you have these amazing rock outcrop in a national forest park, which means it will always be preserved,” he explained. “One edge of the course at least will always be natural.”
The new course is located in a resort tourism area, and the course will predominantly cater for this type of golfer.
“Golfers in the region around Pattaya are wanting more places to play, and the idea with Chee Chan is to posture as the top track in the country – that’s the client’s goal,” Dale said.
Dale believes much of what will separate the course from others in Thailand is its conditioning.
“The holes are grand in scale and the ball is intended to roll out,” he said. “The ground will impart strategic opportunities for all levels of play. We have an intermediate cut that will go into the bahia grass, which we’re planting on mounds between the holes. This has a darker colour that contrasts with the Zemet zoysia grass on the rest of the course. The blades are rather stiff in the way they grow, but it waves beautifully in the breeze, and there is a nice breeze that blows across the course every afternoon. The breeze will impact play however, so we’ve built the fairways to be void of the conventional rough cut. Firm and fast is the aim, with a lot of collection areas around the greens and the landing zones too.”
The course is scheduled to open for play in May 2018.