Hua Hin, Thailand. The 6th edition of the Asia Pacific Golf Summit was held at the prestigious Empire Hotel and Country Club in the oil-rich Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. The conference attracted Asia’s golf industry movers and shakers from golf course architects, club managers, superintendents, leaders of professional golf related associations and authorities. Topics included in the presentations and forums where focused on improving the whole golf playing experience, future development of the game and an effort to create a lasting awareness and understanding of golf in the growing global sustainability movement. Over 60 guest speakers were invited in golf management and topics such as the value and impact of professional golf tournaments on golf clubs, has the shine gone off the club experience, growth of golf tourism in Asia and junior development was just a few of the many subjects discussed. Our region, in particular Thailand who won the award for Best Golf Destination in Asia will provide exciting opportunities for our golf clubs, travel agents, tour operators and DMC’s to promote golf tourism even further in Thailand. In one session it was emphasized that airlines should drop the extra charge for golfers to take on board golf clubs as well as high taxes on green fees. Visit www.golfinakingdom.com for the Best courses in Thailand.
Of those present at the conference Mr. Michael G. Leemhuis CEO of Congressional Country Club, USA presented golf club management trends in the states which are experiencing growth in lady golfers, membership al a carte, additional facilities required such as Spa’s, gyms and tennis courts. Clubs need to become recreational places for non-golfing activities as well. Food trends include lighter, healthier menu items. One of the significant movements in golf management is the use of technology, especially use of internet, online reservations systems and use of social media is growing. It appears that there is a gap between the golf club leaders and those that need to catch up with the times.This was often talked about inside and outside of the conference. Some clubs in the region are reluctant to change from their traditional ways and are not actively looking for new and innovative ways to bring the excitement back into the club experience. It was generally accepted that there are clear opportunities for transformational leadership, empowerment, and creativity in developing a quality golf experience. As the content of the conference and the awards won at this year’s event reconfirms that Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin position as a market leader in Thailand.
Alex Binnekamp, Managing Director of Banyan – Thailand commented “We are absolutely thrilled to be awarded Best Course in Thailand (1st runner up). This is another commendable achievement and I am very proud of our team in winning this award. Banyan’s golf course is available for everyone to come and play. Guests at our resort and visitors that come to Hua Hin on a golfing holiday should make time to visit and enjoy all of our facilities”. Stacey Walton, Banyan Golf Club’s manager further commented “I firmly believe Banyan Golf Club is one of the region’s best maintained courses and can be simply described as a masterpiece. Designed by Pirapon Namatra of Golf East the course has links/parkland characteristics which twists, turns, up-hill, downhill holes challenging every level of golfer. It’s a pleasure to play and I often hear that many of our golfers score well around here”.Further to wining a top award for the golf course the Clubhouse is indeed an icon for Thailand. The clubhouse designer Smith Obayawat from the office of Bangkok architects (OBA) commented:
“I am very proud that Banyan won Best Clubhouse in Asia Pacific. The iconic Thai style architecture cannot be found anywhere else in the World. It’ s modern and contemporary building has a boutique atmosphere created from a blend of teak, stone, water features and soft furnishings made out of traditional Thai silks and art. The views from the Terrace restaurant and Mulligan’s Pub are spectacular as the clubhouse faces west towards the Burmese mountains, and during the Sunset it is outstanding”.
Stuart Daly, EAM of Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin states:-
“The clubhouse has become a popular tourist attraction and we have experienced more none golfing visitors coming to enjoy our facilities and fine hospitality. Our social calendar of events from open golf competitions, social barbecues, special wine maker dinners or just simply enjoying a nice meal at the Terrace makes this one of the most popular clubs in Thailand”.Banyan Golf Club also has a pool villa resort and located in the royal town of Hua Hin approximately 200km South of Bangkok. It’s been a favorite holiday destination for Royals and those wanting to escape the city. It was once a traditional fishing village and has grown to become a popular golfing destination with its clean beaches, Spa’s, shopping, massage, restaurants and golf courses. Banyan has its own pool villa resort near the golf course just 20 minutes away from the town centre.