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Sport and Fitness

Thailand - Sport and Fitness

Golf is one of the most popular sports in Thailand. It is one of the top destinations throughout Asia for golfers and the country is home to many world class golf courses. The golf courses in Thailand are not just restricted to members and many tourists or temporary visitors to the country are welcome to play. All the major provinces of Thailand have golf courses particularly the larger cities such as Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Those who choose to stay in or around Bangkok have 60 golf courses to choose from, none of them more than one hour’s drive from the city. These courses include the Royal Thai Air Force Golf Course, Thai Country Club and the Alpine Golf Club. Chiang Mai’s top golf courses include the Royal Chiang Mai Golf Club and the Chiang Mai Green Valley Country Club. Chiang Rai’s top clubs include Waterford Valley Chiang Rai and the Santiburi Country Club. There are several beautiful courses in Phuket including The Phuket Country Club, Blue Canyon, Banyan Tree and Loch Palm Beach.

Many of the top golf courses will probably have a waiting list for membership, although to get a membership to the golf clubs is very simple. It is possible to join a golf club in Thailand just by registering and paying any applicable subscription fees. In general there is a joining fee, however, membership can be transferred to another club, for example if the golfer moves to another area or transferred into another person’s name. If a transfer takes place some clubs may impose heavy fees. Golf clubs in Thailand have dress codes which are individual to each course. The player must check these in advance. The clubs that are owned by Thai resorts often give discounts to their members for other resort facilities such as spa treatment or gym usage. There will also be access to the report restaurants and many clubhouses are open to the general public.

Many of the golf courses in Thailand have golfing instructors to those who have never played before and who wish to try, or for those who haven’t played in a while and want to refresh their game. The instructors are professional players some of whom played on the PGA circuit. The prices for instruction can vary depending on the course. It is a popular practice in Thailand to block book a course of lessons, this will also mean discounts on the fees. The Thai courses also follow the USGA (United States Golf Association) handicap system and in order to get a handicap the player must join the Thailand Golf Association (TGA), it is possible to transfer handicaps but only those who have USGA handicaps will be eligible to do so. In order to keep the handicap, score cards must be submitted at the end of play. Players who do not have a handicap will still be permitted to pay on the Thailand golf courses.

Sepak Takraw, or as it is referred to in Thailand Takraw is also known as Asian Football. It is a very popular sport in Thailand and is becoming more internationally recognised. The aim of the game is to keep the ball from hitting the ground. It is a mixture of both football and volleyball and players can use their feet, knees, head, shoulders or elbows to make contact with the ball but no hand contact is allowed. The game itself is played between two teams. Each team consists of three players. Players are only allowed to touch the ball three times and the basic rules of the game and the scoring is the same as volleyball. The game is played in many parks and recreational areas in Thailand and is normally played in the evenings.

Water sports are popular in Thailand, perhaps due to the thousands of miles of coastline and islands dotted around the country. Scuba diving and snorkelling are particularly popular as the waters around Thailand are home to some amazing sea life. For those who prefer to be on the water instead of under it then water skiing and deep sea fishing are also extremely popular in many regions.

If you are looking for a more traditional Thai sport then you can try your hand at Thai boxing. This sport is gaining popularity all over the world. Kite flying and kite fighting are unusual although very traditional Thai sports that are taken very seriously. Authentic fighting kites are large and it can take several people to launch them.

Although there are mountainous areas in Thailand there are no ski resorts. Gym membership is popular in the cities as it is relatively inexpensive but there are fewer facilities in rural areas.

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