Summit Windmill Golf Club

Summit Windmill Golf Club
Location: Eastern Bangkok towards the airportEstablished: 1993Holes: 18Designer: Nick Faldo
Summit Windmill Golf Club

Summit Windmill although not overly long at 6964 yards more than makes up for the distance as is one of the most challenging Bangkok golf courses. Despite its difficulty, it continues to attract all types of players as course conditions are mainly kept up well and the location is convenient; just 30 minutes from the center of Bangkok. Although in the city suburbs, the surroundings are also pleasant and park like. Plenty of wildlife including birds and reptiles share the course with golfers. This makes Summit Windmill the little golfing oasis just outside Bangkok.

Water comes into play on many of the holes starting with a large lake hazard that flanks the left side of the long par-5 1st hole. The same concept is repeated on the 18th and both these holes also happen to be the golf course signature holes that well exemplify the course challenge. The 1st hole is a long 624 yards, even by today's standards, and the 18th is an exciting finishing hole that can provide some dramatic endings to any round.

Nick Faldo’s often innovative design also is further characterized by contoured fairways and four excellent quality, water-protected par-3’s, the best of which is the island green 12th.  The par-4 9th is also a good risk-reward hole in that long hitters can shave off much of the 438 yards by cutting their tee shots across the water, which leaves a mid-iron into the green. However, anything too short or to the right will entail hitting over 2 sets of bunkers to the green with a long iron or hybrid, a shot that often winds up in the sand.

A substantial amount of earth moving was done on the golf course to create good elevation changes and hillside fairways, both of which are rarely seen at other Bangkok golf courses. A variety of palm trees line most fairways and extensive landscaping give the course a Thailand tropical feeling. With little rough to worry about, golfers can look forward to getting their balls onto the many elevated greens and coping with the severely undulated putting surfaces.

Make sure you play from the set of tees most suited to your level of play or you'll be in for a rough day. The black championship tees in particular are set on their own island teeing areas and are placed at very different and more difficult angles than the other more forward hitting areas. Many holes have angled teeing areas playing to dogleg fairways where you could bite off as much of the dogleg as you are comfortable with.  There are large bunker complexes fronting most greens, so make sure you take enough club to carry them. Though the course is completely artificial, it has a natural feel to it where you cannot take any shot or lie for granted.

The clubhouse is one of Thailand's most opulent; resembling a European castle, although it is in need to significant renovations and the restaurant, locker rooms, and other facilities  are nothing special. Some of the golf villas in the surrounding housing estate are just as grand and could easily be mistaken for the clubhouse at any other course. Canals separate the houses from the Summit Windmill golf course, so the private residences are never actually in play. However, good views into these homes can be had from many of the holes at Summit Windmill making for interesting walks and when waiting between shots. A five star luxury serviced residence adjoins the clubhouse making overnight options at Summit Windmill a good option for golfers who are lying over and want to get an early morning golf start.

Lighting was installed in 2004 and this makes night golf an option if you have limited time in Bangkok but still want to get in as much golf as possible during your Bangkok golf holiday. Summit Windmill is popular with both local members who are mostly and also Thailand golf holidaymakers. Good tee times are at a premium and the golf course is almost always fully booked on weekends. Overbooking is highly likely and coupled with and poor marshaling make 5 hour rounds quote the norm at Summit Windmill.

Although located within the city suburbs, there is a definite oasis quality about Summit Windmill. The golf course is good choice to escape from Bangkok and enjoy the pleasures of a nearby Thai golf course, especially for golfers who have the time during the weekdays.
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