WHERE TO PLAY
BLACK MOUNTAIN ****1/2
This five-year-old course, a 25-minute drive from the centre of town, has received a lot of hype, thanks in part to its twice-hosting of the Black Mountain Masters, an Asian Tour event, and last year’s Royal Trophy, the annual Asia versus Europe Ryder Cup-style tournament. Swedish star Johann Edfors owns a villa here, as does Simon Yates, the Scottish touring pro. And to be frank, the hype is well and truly justified. This is a high quality venue, one that is kept in mind-blowing condition year-round. While some of the routing is a little contrived – the mountainous terrain the developers had to work with isn’t exactly perfectly suited to golf – there are a great many fun and fabulous holes out here, particularly on the scenic back nine, which rises and plunges constantly. The surprising thing about Black Mountain – and one of the keys behind its popularity among recreational players ¬– is its playability. A number of large man-made lakes make this Phil Ryan design look a lot more menacing than it really is. The landing areas are wide, the greens large, receptive and not ridiculously contoured, while the rough is kept to a minimum. Not everyone will immediately take to it perhaps – the purists out there may not appreciate a few of the more ornamental features, such as the sculptured rock creation and babbling brook fronting the second green – but the majority will salivate over Black Mountain’s lush landscaping, superlative views and five-star clubhouse – and will undoubtedly do so for years to come.
Black Mountain Golf Club
YARDAGE: 6,881 PAR: 72
Designed by Phil Ryan/Pacific Coast Design
Getting there: 25mins from Hua Hin
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