Windsor Park & Golf Club (Panya Park)

Windsor Park & Golf Club (Panya Park)
Location: Northeast Bangkok, near MinburiEstablished: 1994Holes: 18Designer: Ronald Fream
 Windsor Park & Golf Club (Panya Park)

Windsor Park Golf & Sports Club is set in a large park on the outskirts of Bangkok. More than 6,000 colorful plants and trees are found throughout the golf course. The course also features tree lined fairways, many green side bunkers, sweeping creeks and ponds, and sloping greens. All aspects including design, challenge, beauty, and playing conditions are well blended to make Windsor Park a good choice for golfers of all abilities.
Formerly known as Panya Park, Windsor Park now boasts two 18-hole championship courses with the A, B and C nines being joined by the much newer and contrasting D-course. The first 27 holes consisting of Courses A, B, and C all opened the same time and share similar design characteristics. Although the golf course tends to be short, water comes into play on almost every hole so accuracy is a must.  Greens are kept slow to speed up play and cater to golfers of all abilities.

The Lagoon (A-nine) / Palm (B-nine) combination, stretches to just over 6900 yards of classic parkland golf, with some decidedly garden-like overtones. On the A-nine's opening hole, tall palms handsomely line the fairway, while water makes the first of many appearances, seriously protecting the approach shot to a well-bunkered green. Quite often during the round, your view from the tee will feature a good-width fairway, flanked by a combination of substantial bunkering on one side and a menacing looking water hazard on the other.

As you approach the green a fine array of defenses are introduced, including water carries to island greens, sharp dog-legs, deep greenside bunkering, some modest elevation changes and occasional scatterings of boulders and rocks. Even though some of the nicely contoured fairways run parallel to each other, they are separated by a good width of light rough and several palms and other tree types. Included within a varied assortment of design ideas that Ron Fream incorporated into this layout, the par-3 3rd (B-nine) was bestowed with one of the biggest collections of bunkers you'll ever see between tee and green.

The most recently constructed 9 holes (course D), opened in 2006, is much more of an extreme challenge. This nine at Windsor plays around a man-made lake and requires very accurate tee and approach shots to prevent many balls going into the water. Undulating and close cut greens enhance the challenge even more and can be very frustrating even for the best professional golfers.

For example, the long par-5 3rd has water down the entire left and out of bounds along the right. The narrow, long green sits at a left angle to the fairway and a very aggressive drive kept left might tempt to take the green in two. But a full water carry and a small landing area make this risky.

The golf course upkeep is about average as compared to other Bangkok courses. The large clubhouse which overlooks the course C 9th hole is quiet old and could make use of a renovation. Nevertheless, the restaurant serves excellent western breakfasts as well as the usual Thai and Asian selections. The Windsor Park staff is friendly and attentive.  Request one of the more experienced caddies otherwise you will be on your own when it comes to reading the greens and club selection.

Windsor Park Golf Club is a favorite among locals and is also popular with Japanese and Korean golfers. Nevertheless, it is good choice for those who looking for a Bangkok golf course away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, it is best to avoid course D, unless you are looking for the ultimate golf challenge, as opposed to enjoyment.
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