The long anticipated re-opening of Laguna Phuket Golf Club in Thailand has been met with an avid response from players wanting to try out the revamped layout.
More than 600 golfers sampled the Paul Jansen redesigned course last weekend, the first time since July 2013 all 18 holes have been in play and marking the introduction of golf carts.
Director of Golf, Paul Wilson, says the club has been overwhelmed by the response.
“We knew many local Phuket, Thailand-based and overseas golfers were keenly anticipating the re-opening, but the enthusiasm and participation last weekend far exceeded expectations.
“The comments about the course redesign have been especially pleasing. Everyone has remarked how much more visually interesting and thought-provoking it has become, and how much they love the new holes. Heading in to our official relaunch event this weekend, which will feature European and Asian Tour player Shiv Kapur, we are really excited about the future.”
Canadian-based designer, Paul Jansen, who worked with Sir Nick Faldo to create Laguna Lang Co in Vietnam, has given Laguna Phuket a facelift that promises to make it one of the leading courses in Thailand. He has reversed the front and back nine holes, accentuated water features and contours and built several stunning new holes.
“In making changes to the original course, I wanted to create a story full of adventure,” he explains. “I want golfers to explore the property and discover the many outstanding features, as I did through the design and build stages. This been achieved and the course is now more strategic and memorable.”
He especially notes the first holes on each nine, describing the opening hole, a medium-length par-4, as “a wonderful introduction” that requires an accurate tee shot to avoid being stymied behind a large Banyan tree on the right side and a water hazard that comes more into play close to the green.
The back nine starts with a short, strategic par-4 that plays towards a large water body at the back of the green complex. “This hole is visually impressive, but is more difficult than the length suggests,” Jansen says. “The green is best attacked from the left side of the fairway, but beware the large fairway bunker and long is wet, so be sure to choose the right club.”
At a little more than 6700 yards off the back tees, sound strategy is needed to negotiate through the course’s many unique features and beautiful water bodies.
As well as the course redesign and the addition of cart paths, there also has been significant investment in off-course facilities. Locker rooms and the pro shop have been remodeled and the practice area enhanced with a full-length driving range staffed by PGA professionals.
With 1200 on-site hotel and villa rooms – in internationally renowned brands including Banyan Tree, Angsana, Dusit Thani and Outrigger – the Laguna Phuket resort complex has traditionally supplied a third of the golf course’s customer base, a level expected to increase as more visiting golfers make the resort their base in Phuket.
More than 100 specially invited industry guests – including officials representing the Tourism Authority of Thailand, international media and tour operators – will attend the re-launch event this weekend.
Laguna Phuket Golf Club www.lagunaphuketgolf.com
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