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Hariphunchai Golf Club

 

Located just a 30 minute drive south of Chiang Mai, this true hidden gem entices you with perfectly manicured conditions from tee to green and the feel of your very own private course nestled within the surrounding rice fields and mountain vistas. With the sacred Hariphunchai Temple nearby and known to house one of the Buddha's relics, this enchanting oasis offers a truly magical and spiritual day on the links.

Usually one would want to pass on a nine hole course, but this special place was created by world renown Japanese designer Yoshikazu Kato, who also designed some of Asia's best layouts including famed Blue Canyon in Phuket. Kato has created one of his finest masterpieces (and there is a second nine in the works) as this course offers you true championship standards and will test every facet of your game.

As you turn off road 114 onto the meandering drive that takes you past a couple temples and vast rice fields, the sights and sounds of the city are replaced with a very relaxed countryside feeling.  Once arriving at the club, you are greeted by enthusiastic smiling caddies who are waiting outside the small yet beautifully suited clubhouse.  Not like most other courses in the region, even though the restaurant area features indoor and outdoor sitting, this place gives the feel of a quaint private club.  With the men's and ladies locker facilities only offering four showers and 18 lockers each, you will not be overpowered by large visiting groups here and on most days you will have the stunning layout to yourself.

I almost didn't want to write this review as it may spoil the true hiddenness of one of my favorite courses, but I know Hariphunchai Golf Club will always keep its special charm.

Arriving at the first tee after warming up on the well suited range complete with covered hitting bays , cooling fans and a simple coffee hut and then getting the pace of the smooth undulating greens in the short game practice area, you are greeted by a gorgeous view onto the first hole.  You gaze out at a perfectly striped fairway framed by a daunting pond up the right side and and native vegetation on the left.  After finding the fairway with a well played shot, you will have a short iron in to a slightly elevated putting service with a perfectly placed bunker at the front of the right to left and back to front sloping green.  Your special day has officially begun.

The nine holes continue with superb conditions, risk and reward shots and some tough demanding holes that do not resemble a nine hole layout but a championship world class design. With water in play on six of the nine holes, a par four of 460 yards and a finishing par five measuring over 650 yards, you will be impressed not only by the condition but the high caliber of golf.

Some holes that you will always remember for the beauty or be awoken by nightmares on how they jumped up to attack you during your pleasant stroll around Hariphunchai are: the second hole, a par five with a great risk and reward second shot of two hundred plus yards over a small creek and ominous pot bunker to a plateaued green; the fifth with its seemly wide fairway over water with the golden glow of the Hariphunchai Temple's stupa as an aiming point in the distance and then dog legging ninety degrees to one of the best short irons shots over water to a green protected on both sides with perfectly placed bunkers and a false front that will take your missed shot ever so close to the water hazard short of the green; the killer six hole playing straight into a breeze at 460 yards with a swamp hazard running up the entire right hand side; the short par three seventh over water to the largest and most sloping green on the course where a record of three putts has already been recorded; and the fantastic finishing par 5 three shot hole measuring over 650 yards with a large tree in the middle of the fairway that will demand creativity to lay up far enough if your tee shot gets trapped behind it.

The course is also set up with secondary tee decks so if chosen to make the day an 18 hole affair (which I highly recommend) you will have different angles off the tees and different clubs into most greens.  Yes, even though Hariphunchai Golf Club is currently a nine hole course, it is one of the best conditioned and tests of golf in the area with a surreal feeling of your very own private manicured hidden gem.

This course is a must when visiting the North of Thailand and may very well become your favorite course due to its layout, conditioning and very relaxed atmosphere, as it has for me and is now my home course here in the North.

Course Details

 

9-hole, Par 36  (Second 9 opening in 2019)

Black Tees: 3516 yards

Blue Tees: 3291 yards

White Tees: 3073 yards

Red Tees: 2769 yards

Course Designer: Yoshikazu Kato

Contact Information

Website: www.hariphunchaigolfclub.com

Facebook: Hariphunchai Golf Club Lamphun

Tel: +66 053 096 222

 

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