Phuket, Thailand: Asian Golf Industry Federation Golf Facility member Laguna Phuket Golf Club, which re-opened in January after an 18-month makeover by designer Paul Jansen, has joined Thailand’s Golf In A Kingdom collective.
The par-71, 6,719-yard eco-friendly layout has been hailed as one of Asia’s leading resort courses since its revamp, with record numbers of players experiencing the new layout.
Paul Wilson, the club’s Director of Golf, says the course and clubhouse upgrades have elevated the status and prestige of Laguna Phuket.
“New first-class practice facilities, the redesigned 18-hole course and luxury clubhouse facilities combine to create a truly memorable experience for visiting golfers. Furthermore, Laguna Phuket resort boasts fantastic accommodation, spa and dining at our world-renowned Banyan Tree and Angsana resorts.
“Joining the Golf in a Kingdom network allows us to co-operate closely with industry partners around Thailand as we work together to promote this amazing country to international golfers.”
Golf In A Kingdom now comprises 14 courses – including Laguna Phuket and fellow AGIF Golf Facility member Thai Country Club – and 11 hotels and resorts to make the network by far Asia’s largest and most successful golf tourism collective.
Laguna Phuket Golf Club opened in 1992 as Banyan Tree Golf Club. It hosted the 2009 Thailand Open and was transformed in 2013-14 into an alluring modern layout. It is located within the Laguna Phuket resort complex in northern Phuket, adjacent to Bang Tao beach and only 20 minutes from Phuket’s international airport.
In reinvigorating the course, designer Jansen, formerly with Faldo Design, has used the environment to create new green complexes, reshape fairways and enhance water features. Spectacular mountain views and state-of-the-art conditioning have rejuvenated the layout into an exciting, eco-friendly golf experience, while cart paths have been added – enabling cart golf for the first time.
The course appeals to players of all abilities, with a choice of four tee-boxes. Fairways are generous, but skillfully contoured and bunkers are few but carefully positioned, while greens are undulating with large run-off areas.
The clubhouse features modern amenities with refurbished locker rooms, a well-stocked pro-shop and outdoors Banyan Café. There is an excellent practice area that includes short-game greens and a full-length driving range staffed by PGA professionals.
Describing environmental credentials of the course, Jansen says sand areas were cut by more than half.
“Instead, we highlighted and enhanced many natural features for both strategic interest and visual effect. In no way was the course compromised. In fact, it is now more identifiable, strategic – and more interesting and fun to play.”
Fairways and tees were planted with zoysia matrella, a grass species that requires minimal input and is particularly drought tolerant.
Jansen is a strong advocate of ground contouring. He said: “Why wouldn’t you want to use more contouring in design, particularly from a sustainability perspective? Ground contours are cheap to build and maintain, offer as much interest as any other golf feature, help manage surface drainage and promote speedy play.”