The re-opening of Laguna Phuket Golf Club last weekend has firmly established the redesigned layout as one of the top resort courses in Asia.
Attended by more than 120 specially invited guests, international golf media and executives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the course has been hailed as a superb example of a modern, environmentally friendly design in an idyllic setting.
Billed as offering a “new look, new experience”, Laguna Phuket Golf Club’s redevelopment under the direction of golf course architect, Paul Jansen, has come 22 years after the course was first opened.
The relaunch event featured European Tour and Asian Tour player, Shiv Kapur, who described it as “an exceptional golf course” that maintained traditions of the game. “You walk off with a smile on your face,” he said.
The managing director of Laguna Phuket Hotels, Ravi Chandran, said upgrading of the course over the past 18 months had brought it to an international standard consistent with the quality of hotels and facilities in the Laguna Phuket resort complex.
“Our recent investment shows how serious we are about golf and our hotel guests,” he said. “It is good for kids, non-professional and serious golfers. After hosting the Thailand Open in 2009, we now hope to host more professional events and in the last quarter of this year we will hold the inaugural Laguna Phuket Amateur Golf Tournament.”
Mr Chandran said golf visitors to Phuket could now base themselves at Laguna Phuket and experience a “great integrated hotel resort and golf experience.”
The Director of Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Paul Wilson, said the relaunch event was the first gourmet golf themed event held in Phuket. “The golf tournament on Sunday enabled us to showcase the golf course as well as the wonderful variety of food, beverage and spa experiences available in the resort.”
Paul Jansen said he had sought to create interest and memorability in the redesign while being environmentally conscious throughout the reconstruction process.
“We used Zoysia [grass] on fairways, which is the lowest maintenance warm season grass available, reduced the amount of grass [through woodchip and mulch areas on the side of fairways], decreased the number of sprinklers from 1400 to less than 800, recycled trees in building steps and benches and accentuated water features. Everything was done in-house by the Laguna Phuket maintenance staff. The course reflects is surroundings very well and I believe will stand the test of time.”
Although playing 6719 yards from the back tees, Shiv Kapur described Laguna Phuket as a championship standard layout that was reminiscent of many famous championship courses.
“The mark of a great course is when you stand on the tee and have to think strategically. This is such a thinking man’s course, a feature that has been lost in some modern designs. The main challenge in Majors is around the green, which is very apparent here.
“Shorter courses can be tougher than long courses. Hong Kong Golf Club and Delhi Golf Club are examples. This course is better than many of the new championship courses built in the past five to 10 years.”
Laguna Phuket Resort includes six hotels – Banyan Tree, Angsana, DusitThani, Outrigger Beach Resort, Holiday Club, Outrigger Resort & Villas – as well as the golf club, in a 400-hectare setting on Bang Tao beach, just 30 minutes from Phuket International Airport.
Laguna Phuket Golf Club www.lagunaphuketgolfclub.com
Laguna Phuket Resort www.lagunaphuket.com
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