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Golf Clubs Are Trying to Maintain Their Standards While Struggling to Break Even


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Golf Clubs Are Trying to Maintain Their Standards While Struggling to Break Even

 

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Many of you have commented on a regular basis about the current cost of playing golf in Thailand.

 

Now with a second wave of the Corona Virus hitting the States and across Europe, international golfers will be missing in Thailand for some time.

 

And with the government trying to stop the virus spreading across Thailand, the future for the Thai golf industry is bleak.

 

Your Platform

 

Golf in Thailand is a platform for you the golfer to express your opinions, to post a helpful comment or even to write a review.

 

Naturally the most read articles, and the most popular comments, generally tend to feature the thorny subject about pricing.

 

We receive many promotions sent to us from the golf clubs, which we post either on the Golf Offers forum or next to the club’s own directory entry. This is to give you our viewer up to date information.

 

Golf in Thailand is still the new kid on the block, having only started in earnest in August 2020. However, with over 100,000 views a month, gradually the golf clubs and their staff are starting to realize, that we can hopefully work together for the benefit of all.

 

Some of you have commented that some courses do not seem to be adding value by lowering their packages.

 

Meanwhile we try to support you all, and where possible will report on a course that is in tip top condition and that is offering some great promotions, so you can benefit.

 

Premier League

 

That said, there is an invisible tier system over the 260 courses across Thailand, perhaps comparable to the Football leagues. Therefore, the elite clubs are finding it hard to reduce their rates too much, for fear of degrading their image.

 

Whether you like it or not they are all doing their best to maintain the courses in the best condition, but it still costs them the same if 40 play the course or 150.

 

We do often speak to the General Managers at the courses and they are fully aware of the demands of us golfers still here in Thailand.

Also, the Thais themselves, especially the middle classes are also earning less, and so they too are reducing the number of rounds played.

 

Personally, instead of reducing their rates, I think incentives would help us golfers while letting the golf courses retain their important brand image.

 

Vouchers for multiple rounds, free golf carts during the week, reduced rates after 2pm, even discounts in their restaurants would all help.

After the new year holidays, I am sure we will start to see some courses compete for our business, by offering promotions especially for weekday rounds.

 

Otherwise some may have to close or find a new buyer, as it will become harder to maintain an 18 hole course, when they have no players.

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some courses think double pricing helps !

 

another thing:

carts should not be a major revenue driver for honest courses.

what's a decent pricing for golf carts based on TCO calculations? I would guess somewhere around 250 to 350 baht per round - but not at the moment, obviously.

Edited by tgw
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To beat an old familiar drum " make caddies optional " . Choose between being a vehicle for a make work program or a legitimate golf course concerned with promoting golf and  being profitable .

 

 

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I am playing more than normal for the time of year. Last year in high season (Jan/Feb anyway) I only played once or twice per week as it was too busy. I don't play weekends. So playing 3 times a week now even if the courses halved their rates I would not play more often......others of course may think differently.

 

There are only so many golfers and the offers mentioned will probably just move golfers from one course to another. Making caddies optional would generate how many extra rounds overall..........?

I don't know what the sweetspot is for people to play more but personally I am doubting how much of an increase in numbers they would really see until more people are able to come back.

  

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Can't agree with those that want caddies to be made optional.  Where the majority of courses in Thailand are getting it wrong is their pricing. Here in Chiang Mai, and also Chiang Rai & Lamphun, like everywhere else there is 2 tier pricing, viz foreigner & Thai. However the courses in the mentioned provinces also have Thai resident rates, which means we pay the same as Thais. All we need to do to prove we are residents is show either our Thai drivers license of pink ID card, preferably the ID card as some courses are no longer accepting the license as proof of residency. 

From my golfing experience in Thailand since 2005, none of the courses, especially mainly in BKK, Pattaya, Phuket or Hua Hin and a couple of other provinces I've golfed in, offer Thai resident rates. Their greed is what's killing their business, as that is what's driving golfers away, not the course maintenance costs.

 

As an example, on Thursday I will be playing Harapunchai G C ( which I consider to be the best 9 hole course I've played here, in Australia, the UK or Europe ) and 18 holes all inclusive( green fee, caddy & cart ) is only 700 baht ( Thai & Thai resident rate ). A decent reduction on their normal price.

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19 hours ago, smylee52 said:

To beat an old familiar drum " make caddies optional " . Choose between being a vehicle for a make work program or a legitimate golf course concerned with promoting golf and  being profitable .

 

 

Agreed,now is the time to change the whole rationale on Caddies being compulsory,there are many golfers that dont want to use a caddy,but are co-erced into using one,whether they want them or not,i believe courses would get more green fees if it was an option rather than a statutory requirement at all clubs.

I would also say that the Course's have an ideal opportunity now to get their caddies language lessons,to add some value to their service instead of sitting around talking on their mobile phones etc.

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1 hour ago, TigerandDog said:

Can't agree with those that want caddies to be made optional.  Where the majority of courses in Thailand are getting it wrong is their pricing. Here in Chiang Mai, and also Chiang Rai & Lamphun, like everywhere else there is 2 tier pricing, viz foreigner & Thai. However the courses in the mentioned provinces also have Thai resident rates, which means we pay the same as Thais. All we need to do to prove we are residents is show either our Thai drivers license of pink ID card, preferably the ID card as some courses are no longer accepting the license as proof of residency. 

From my golfing experience in Thailand since 2005, none of the courses, especially mainly in BKK, Pattaya, Phuket or Hua Hin and a couple of other provinces I've golfed in, offer Thai resident rates. Their greed is what's killing their business, as that is what's driving golfers away, not the course maintenance costs.

 

As an example, on Thursday I will be playing Harapunchai G C ( which I consider to be the best 9 hole course I've played here, in Australia, the UK or Europe ) and 18 holes all inclusive( green fee, caddy & cart ) is only 700 baht ( Thai & Thai resident rate ). A decent reduction on their normal price.

'Can't agree with those that want caddies to be made optional'

 

So what you are saying is,that you dont believe in freedom of choice??? Sad!

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Most golf "clubs" in Thailand are owned by wealthy families , Companies or syndicates.

If they are not prepaed to weather the storm I for one do not have much sympathy for them

I am much more concerned for the very small & small businesses that I see shuttering up, many

never to be able to open again nor be able to service mortgages, hire purchase agreements nor

even know where their next lot of monies are going to come from to cover their daily living costs

 

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I for one, as a golf "walker" whenever I can do want a caddie as I do not wish to lug my bag around 

on a pushcart in this heat

Is the argument against caddies the money ?

Caddies I use do NOT "play" on their phones all day & are vey attentive.

Suggest make a little effort if you are having trouble communicating & learn some Thai

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25 minutes ago, natway09 said:

I for one, as a golf "walker" whenever I can do want a caddie as I do not wish to lug my bag around 

on a pushcart in this heat

Is the argument against caddies the money ?

Caddies I use do NOT "play" on their phones all day & are vey attentive.

Suggest make a little effort if you are having trouble communicating & learn some Thai

Ha, same with me.

Yes, I believe it is about the money 20 bucks is very dear to some people.

As far as getting sick from a caddie.  There is no requirement you have to be near them.  Don't like the caddie or cart, then tell them to stay away from you and carry your clubs.  Or, just walk and have them walk away from the cart and go grab the club yourself, tell them not to line up your putt and stay off the green.

It is possible to stay away from them but so sorry, you will still have to pay..

 

 

Edited by bkk6060
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2 hours ago, TigerandDog said:

Can't agree with those that want caddies to be made optional.  Where the majority of courses in Thailand are getting it wrong is their pricing. Here in Chiang Mai, and also Chiang Rai & Lamphun, like everywhere else there is 2 tier pricing, viz foreigner & Thai. However the courses in the mentioned provinces also have Thai resident rates, which means we pay the same as Thais. All we need to do to prove we are residents is show either our Thai drivers license of pink ID card, preferably the ID card as some courses are no longer accepting the license as proof of residency. 

From my golfing experience in Thailand since 2005, none of the courses, especially mainly in BKK, Pattaya, Phuket or Hua Hin and a couple of other provinces I've golfed in, offer Thai resident rates. Their greed is what's killing their business, as that is what's driving golfers away, not the course maintenance costs.

 

As an example, on Thursday I will be playing Harapunchai G C ( which I consider to be the best 9 hole course I've played here, in Australia, the UK or Europe ) and 18 holes all inclusive( green fee, caddy & cart ) is only 700 baht ( Thai & Thai resident rate ). A decent reduction on their normal price.

Haripunchai has dropped its price, it was 1000 baht six months ago. I'd agree Haripunchai is probably the best in terms of fairway grass, bunkers and greens in the Chiang Mai - Lamphun area, Santiburi in Chiang Rai is better in terms of design. IMO best 18 holes in Northern Thailand. 1600 baht including caddie and cart. Waterford Valley and Happy City are also good courses, 1000 baht each.

There are two ripoffs I object to with some golf clubs. One is charging an extra fee if you want the same caddie again, for whatever reason. I had a regular caddie at Chiang Mai's Gymkhana for several years, no problem. There's one club in Chiang Rai, and maybe more, that want to charge me 300 baht extra if I specify the caddie I want, instead of taking whoever is first in line. I'm the customer, all right?

The second ripoff is charging for my GF to walk around with me. No wear and tear on the course, not playing. Haripunchai wanted 500 baht for that privilege, pure greed. They would have got more of my custom but for that.

As far as caddies go, I was one myself as a youth, and I try to pass on my knowledge to them. I consider them good value for money.  I've observed it's usually the wood ducks and sand wrestlers that bitch about them.

 

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5 hours ago, Lacessit said:

Haripunchai has dropped its price, it was 1000 baht six months ago. I'd agree Haripunchai is probably the best in terms of fairway grass, bunkers and greens in the Chiang Mai - Lamphun area, Santiburi in Chiang Rai is better in terms of design. IMO best 18 holes in Northern Thailand. 1600 baht including caddie and cart. Waterford Valley and Happy City are also good courses, 1000 baht each.

There are two ripoffs I object to with some golf clubs. One is charging an extra fee if you want the same caddie again, for whatever reason. I had a regular caddie at Chiang Mai's Gymkhana for several years, no problem. There's one club in Chiang Rai, and maybe more, that want to charge me 300 baht extra if I specify the caddie I want, instead of taking whoever is first in line. I'm the customer, all right?

The second ripoff is charging for my GF to walk around with me. No wear and tear on the course, not playing. Haripunchai wanted 500 baht for that privilege, pure greed. They would have got more of my custom but for that.

As far as caddies go, I was one myself as a youth, and I try to pass on my knowledge to them. I consider them good value for money.  I've observed it's usually the wood ducks and sand wrestlers that bitch about them.

 

I've never paid more than 900 at Harapunchai and I've played there 6 times last year. Santiburi is a good course but overpriced and their caddies are pretty useless. I actually prefer Waterford Valley to Santiburi but again useless caddies. Not a fan of Happy City. Whilst I agree about the following fee, it's everywhere in Thailand, so no avoiding that. The only time I've encountered a requirement to pay an extra 300 for a caddy that you've booked was at Waterford. Haven't been back since. My GF likes to follow when she can and we've only ever been charged 150 at Harapunchai for that. Most other courses want either 400 or 500, so we just don't bother.

 

I also try to pass on basic caddying knowledge to the locals, that knowledge being gained from my 12 years as a tour caddy on the Australian PGA & LPG tours, the LET and European Seniors tours.

 

My real gripe about caddies here is that they are not properly trained, even on many of the better quality courses. I've been playing golf in Thailand since 2005 and I've only encountered 5 caddies that I would consider as excellent and 3 of them are here in CM and  they get paid accordingly. Most of the rest aren't even worth a 300 tip.

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7 hours ago, Jimbo53 said:

'Can't agree with those that want caddies to be made optional'

 

So what you are saying is,that you dont believe in freedom of choice??? Sad!

not at all. Caddying here is a major form of employment for many Thais, so why should we as visitors to their country ( whether short term or long term ) have the opportunity to deny them their employment and wages.

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1 hour ago, TigerandDog said:

not at all. Caddying here is a major form of employment for many Thais, so why should we as visitors to their country ( whether short term or long term ) have the opportunity to deny them their employment and wages.

Go and give yourself a good talking to!

 

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