Laguna Phuket Golf Club to unveil its redesigned course this Sunday at an event featuring, European and Asian Tour player, Shiv Kapur and 100 invited golfers.
With this re-opening the full 18 hole, par 71 course will be the newest golf course in Phuket since Red Mountain opened eight years ago. Canadian-based designer, Paul Jansen, has reversed the front and back nine holes, accentuated water features and contours and built several stunning new holes to offer a challenging, thought provoking and visually interesting course.
Golf carts have been introduced upgrading the facilities and offering a wider reach. The course set-up has been developed to provide consistent, quality year-round playing conditions. Zoysia matrella grass has been chosen for the tees, fairways and rough as it is a low maintenance, drought tolerant grass that is very adaptable to the climatic conditions in South East Asia. The greens are Tif-Eagle Bermuda grass which is known for getting established quickly to ensure premium, quality putting surfaces.
Jansen, who worked with Sir Nick Faldo to create Laguna Lang Co in Vietnam, explains the Laguna Phuket Golf Club redesign:
“In making changes to the original course, I wanted to create a story full of adventure,” Jansen explains. “I want golfers to explore the property and discover the many outstanding features, as I did through the design and build stages. This has 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 water behind the green, so be sure to choose the right club.”
Measuring 6,719 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.
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.”
With 1,200 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 relaunch event this weekend.
Facts and Figures – Laguna Phuket Golf Club:
• Length: 6,719 yards of the back tees
• Par: 71
• Golf carts available to all golfers
• Equipment available for hire
• Opening date: 1992 with the relaunch course opening on January 2015
• Original designer: Max Wexler and David Abell
• New course designer: Paul Jensen