Thai Diamond Land Kaeng Krachan
Designers: 18 Holes by Cherd Bunyaratavej
9 hole nountain course by Jack Nicklaus
Course: 27 holes Par 72
Course Length: 7,063 yards
Distance: 30 minutes from Hua Hin
Facilities: Driving Range, Chipping Greens, Putting Greens, Pro-Shop, Golf Carts, Club Hire, Restaurant.
Kaeng Krachan Country Club and Golf Resort is part of The Kaeng Krachan Estate and one of a handful of remote courses in Hua Hin area. The golf course lies in neighboring Petchaburi Province, 1 hour inland from Hua Hin. It is located on the northern side of the mountain range right in the center of an estate surrounded by mountains, forests and lakes.
Kaeng Krachan Country Club has operated since 1994. The first 18 holes (Lake and Valley) were designed by Cherd Bunyaratavej, a popular Thai golf architect. These holes require accuracy off the tee to avoid losing balls amongst the many trees and bamboo forest which line the fairways. The fairways are beautiful to play off and the greens can be tricky even though not appearing to have a lot of movement in them. Several natural lakes form the basis for the water hazard that come into play on 6 holes. All in all, Kaeng Krachan is a test of skill at every level of the game.
The new Jack Nicklaus 9 hole Mountain course opened for play in March 2008, making Kaeng Krachan a 27 hole golf facility. From the Championship tees the par 36 Nicklaus course stretches over 3,600 yards and offers some of the most dramatic elevation changes in Thailand. Each hole presents risk versus reward options and is playable for golfers of all skill levels. The Nicklaus design team did a remarkable job of preserving the natural terrain, lakes and streams and did minimal earth works so the golf course doesn’t feel contrived in any way. Interestingly enough, four of the holes dog leg to the left which go against Nicklaus’ early designs in which he seemed to favor dog leg right holes for his patented fade. Hole 3 is a majestic par 5 that sweeps left through forest-bordered fairways on either side. It features a sprinkling of fairway and pot bunkers with a two-tiered green sloping from back to front.
The Nicklaus Mountain nine is a must play as it was built to international standards and is one the best conditioned 9 holes in the Hua Hin area. In fact, in 2010 the Asian Tour qualifying event was played at Kaeng Krachan.
Kaeng Krachan is 51 kilometers from Hua Hin and the course gets very little play, especially in the off season. It is well suited for Hua Hin golfers looking for change and a golf course off the beaten tourist tracks. There is an on-site golf resort, but the rooms and facilities are rather basic. Golf visitors are advised to drive back to Hua Hin after their round.