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The sweetest spot

April 20, 2010

Golf instructors tell students to hit the ball in the sweet spot, and that’s sensible advice. For golfers of every standard, Phuket is probably the sweetest spot of all for hitting a golf ball. While other destinations in Thailand are also home to good courses, only in Phuket is it possible to enjoy first-rate golf, plus sun-drenched beaches and coral-reef diving, all close to fine cuisine and a varied nightlife.

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Phuket Country Club’s Old Course was the first championship standard 18-hole golf course built on Phuket Island. It is located almost in the center of Phuket and can easily be reached from any of the main beach and hotel areas.

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The Old Course at Phuket Country Club is best described as a friendly resort golf course. Not intimidating or humiliating; wayward shots are not severely punished. High handicappers can score well, while at the same time low handicap golfers will find the course quite a challenge. The Phuket golf course is set in a valley with the golf course meandering through hills and limestone cliffs and traversing 3 distinct environments (6 holes in undulating hills, 6 holes on the level and 6 holes through landscape forest). In danger of being overshadowed by its exciting new companion course (Red Mountain Golf Club), Loch Palm is still one of Phuket’s most popular and enjoyable layouts. This 18 hole course par 72, 6,555 yards palm tree-lined beauty recently completed a major re-design and upgrade.

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Nestling beneath a panoramic range of jungle-clad hills, it is easier-going and less undulating than the newcomer, although is still capable of throwing down many challenges and giving your overall game a thorough workout. On the front-nine your main objective will be keeping the golf ball on dry land; many holes are played alongside the loch (a sizeable lake), which has a habit of cutting across some of the gently undulating fairways. Red Mountain Golf Course is the newest golf course on Phuket Island as of July 2009. The course was designed to take advantage of a huge variety of landforms and dramatic elevation changes, making it Phuket’s hilliest course.

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The entire Red Mountain site, like Blue Canyon, Phuket’s other famous golf course, is an abandoned tin mine. The hole routing explores the four corners of the former tin mine property representing a memorable tour of Phuket’s historical landscapes. Hillsides and gullies etched in sandy tailings over the years by storm waters feature on several holes. Towering cliffs cut out of the hills and flooded canyons frame several other holes. Golfers face the full range of natures hazards; wind, water, slopes and elevation changes. Red Mountain is the highest golf course on Phuket Island and dramatic views are realized from many of the points on the golf course.

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