Welcome to the Fall 2006 newsletter of Golfasian. It has been a few months since I last wrote to you and there have been several new and exciting developments regarding Thailand and golfing here.
As all of you have heard, after initial uncertainly from the military coup, the change in government here is now underway. The new government, being more transparent and having greater popular support should have a positive impact towards affecting tourism and make it safer and easier to travel to Thailand.
As for golf in the Kingdom, new courses are opening at a rate of around one per month and several courses in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Chiang Mai and Phuket should be open in time for this holiday season. I will be posting informative reviews and updates on all of the new courses in my Thailand golf report.
However, if you are planning a holiday and need information on the new courses now, then please e-mail me for details.
Please remember to be certain to get regular updates on the Thailand golf scene, that you can sign up here for uninterrupted email delivery of this newsletter. In addition, all persons signing up will automatically enrolled to win a chance for a free sleeve of Titleist Pro V1x golf balls, plus a special Golfasian exclusive member’s only gift.
Have a great fall and if your plans allow, I hope to welcome as many of you as possible to Thailand this season. In the meantime, think positive and YOU WILL SHOOT PAR.
Featured Golf Course
Alpine Golf is one of the finest courses in Thailand and a must-play for any serious golfer visiting Bangkok. Those who play there will have an unforgettable experience of having their golf skills challenged.
Host to several PGA tournaments, Alpine was the venue for the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic won by Tiger Woods.
The course is extremely well maintained and features lightening fast greens and undulating fairways. This picturesque hilly golf course was created from flat rice paddy fields and may remind you of fairway places like Chiang Mai, Hua Hin or even Myrtle Beach. Good shots will be rewarded while badly placed shots held subject to costly penalties. On the greens, keeping the ball below the hole is the key to shooting low scores, as most of the greens slope back to front.
The main attraction is the golf course, but everything about the clubhouse is first class without being pretentious. If you’re looking for Bangkok’s ultimate golf experience, look no further than Alpine Golf & Sports Club.
Golfasian is fortunate to now act as the exclusive booking agent for Alpine, an otherwise strict members only course. As such we can arrange both weekday and weekend tee times for visitors to Thailand. Although in the top price range, it is a rare treat to play at Alpine. Upon your return home you can be assured of bragging rights about being one of the few non-members to have played at this most challenging and championship Thailand golf course.
Special Playing Tip
How to Hit a Chop Shot?
No this is not a typo and it really is a “chop”, not “chip”.
Nothing’s more common in Thailand than hitting into a green and winding up a few feet away in long, wet rough.
If you try pitching onto the green or fairway using standard techniques, you’ll probably end up hitting from a lie only a few feet away or from the exact same spot, with no better hope of improvement. Worse yet, you may find yourself digging into your pocket for another ball.
The best way out of this dilemma is the chop shot. Here are 5 keys to hitting this shot:
1. Choose the right club
2. Center the ball in your stance
3. Choke down on the club
4. Shift your weight forward
5. Take a steep, chopping swing
Taking a normal swing is obviously out of the question. The problem is the grass, which will twist the club head in your hands before impact. To play this shot, choose your most lofted club and center the ball in your stance. Choke down on the club a bit and shift your weight forward. Now, take a steep, chopping swing.
Think in terms of swinging the club as if it were an axe and you were chopping wood. Make the backswing and the downswing as steep as possible. Don’t worry about your follow-through. Swing to make impact only. The lack of follow-through augments the swing arc, causing the loft of the club to pitch the ball high in the air and land softly on the fairway.
It’s no fun landing in long, wet rough. But when you do, so common here in the tropics, your best bet is the chop shot. Executed properly, it will safely pitch you onto the green for an easy two putt, or better yet to be in a position save par and get up and down in only two shots.
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