A Championship Course!
Alpine Golf & Sports Club is located in north eastern Bangkok perhaps an hour from the city central- although traffic congestion may vary commute times significantly. Established in 1996, and designed by Ronald M Garl, Alpine GC is regarded as one of the best in Thailand. Moreover it is known as a championship layout and hosted The Johnnie Walker Classic in 2000 and 2004.
Given that the original site was flat rice fields, Garl did a fine job. The golf course has grown in and now the golfer is confronted with a combination of lush jungle type vegetation framing holes, dramatic splash bunkering catching the eye at every turn, and water in play laterally on fairways, in front of greens, surrounding greens- and generally in your face!
To say the course is well maintained is perhaps an understatement. The greens are seriously quick and true and fairways are like carpets. It is just a nice place 'to be'...
I have a number of holes that took my fancy:
- the par 4 first hole grabs your attention from the start with water on the right and bunkers and jungle to negotiate
- the picturesque par 3 third hole has a water carry and large waste bunker to carry to reach the green
- the short par 4 third hole brings water and bunkering in to play on the tee shot and demands a good decision with club and direction
- the par 5 eighth hole with it's island green
- the short par 4 eleventh hole with it's island green
- the par 3 twelfth hole with water and waste bunkering
A successful game at Alpine requires a player to make good decisions and then be able to deliver...The course is both strategic and penal...The greens are quick enough to give advantage to those who can stay below the hole, and there are many risk/reward type holes where taking on the trouble succesfully can reward the player with birdie opportunities. Alpine could beat up anybody badly, but thinking golfers will enjoy every moment.
The Travelling Golfer