Get your mind out of the gutter. Not THAT kind of foursome. I’m talking Golf here. And, like most other things that involve fun, Samui will wow you. There are 2 courses on Samui, a fun little 9-hole short course in the hills above Lamai. Then there’s Santiburi, a Championship caliber 18-hole course cut through the mountain above Maenam and this is the place I’ll write about in this post. Like any good day of golf, it’s all about who you play with.
And today we assembled a foursome that is as good as any I’ve ever played with. I was lucky enough to play with my best friend on Samui, Bang. I’ve played with him many times and although small in stature he can absolutely crush the golf ball.
I also played with a great friend I hadn’t seen in over 10 years, Rock, who just happened to be visiting the island the same time as me. My Dad was also with us and it was the first time I’ve ever golfed with him in Asia. Special day to say the least.
We met at the course about 7am. Pro tip for ya – don’t get a late morning tee time unless sweating your ass off is your idea of a good time. The morning light and cooler temps make an early tee time the way to go. An even better pro tip, play on Wednesday as they often have special prices that day meaning you can save a bunch of money for the 19th hole.
A fun thing about golfing in Thailand at a nice course is that you each get a caddy and cart. The caddies are generally young girls who are bundled up in outfits that made me sweat just looking at them. I guess they’re used to the heat.
They’re also essential as both distance and greens are hard to read on this mountain-side course. My caddie was pretty cute which got the round off to an extra good start. And then I had to hit the ball….not my strong point.
From the very first tee box, you’ll get a sense as to the challenge that awaits. The fairways here are pretty narrow but what makes it real tough is how unforgiving it is.
Whenever you miss left or right your ball is generally in the jungle. Unless you feel like battling cobras, fire ants or centipedes, I’d highly recommend that you consider any ball in the jungle lost. So if you play like me….take lots of balls….you’ll need ‘em. While difficult, the course is beautiful. It’s well maintained, and the best part is the views. You look down over the entire North-West coastline of Samui and no matter how bad you play, you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth for the views alone.
The 12th hole may be the most majestic of all. This short par 3 sees you hit from an extremely elevated tee down into a tiny green on the jungle floor. Good luck judging your distance on this one! We hit the snack bar around the 14th hole and grabbed some beers to help combat the oncoming heat of the late morning.
As we drove down the 18thfairway my caddie slowed the cart to a crawl and I thought the cart was running out of battery. Just as I was preparing to get out and walk the 18thshe informed me that she was driving slow just to get some extra time together and my heart melted a little bit. If she was working me for an extra-generous tip then mission accomplished!
Our day ended with Bang shooting in the 70’s, Rock in the 80’s, my Dad in the 90’s and me in triple-digits. But they were low triple-digits! I’d say you can add about 10 shots to any typical flat course you might play back home, mainly because of the lost balls.
We tipped our caddies and headed into the gorgeous clubhouse for some well deserved and extra cold Singha’s. As we sat out on the patio, with perhaps the nicest view of the entire day, we did what all golfers do after a round…..drank beers and made fun of each other. I haven’t had a foursome like that since…..hey…..get that mind out of the gutter dammit!