Tropical Golf 13/10
Friday October 13, King Naga – St
Ronnie and Mick Crowned At King Naga!
A nice and wet greeting to all golf fans. How long has it been since we missed a day of rain? Well, just remember this in a few months when we complain the courses are parched. It was a lucky Friday the 13th, also the late King’s Memorial Day, so perhaps fittingly twenty one Tropical Golfers decided to check out the newly re-opened King Naga course.
Our first trip here after a two year absence, deserves a special review. First, what is the correct name? The entrance says King’s Naga (possessive) yet pretty much all else reads King Naga. Never mind, most will remember it as originally Great Lakes and more recently, Rayong Country Club. Since it was closed for over a year, many won’t have played it nor, if played, remembers much from previous visits. The good news is this is an excellent Nick Faldo design. The land and course layout is quite scenic, obviously professionally done, and far from the noises of civilization. Many times during the round we would look with awe at the design and the surrounding beauty. Closer inspection however reveals the rough edges. King Naga remains (we hope) a work-in-progress. As one player put it, “It needs better tees, fairways, greens, and bunkers”. That might be a bit harsh, but the tee area grass was no different than the rough on some holes, fairways weedy, and some greens fair, some bumpy due to coring but not sanded. Most likely the current period of heavy thundershowers has interrupted routine maintenance. In the locker room, run down showers had no hot water and plumbing at rest areas is in need of repair. All is not lost however. Someone is taking an interest in it. We saw workers on the course, and Caddies sported nice new uniforms. On a Sport day (M-W-F) you can walk for 550 bt including Caddie, and you can share carts for 300 bt each. A good summary was one player who said “At that price I’d play it again, but not tomorrow”. While King Naga might not be ready for Pattaya Prime Time, it is now open and now you can play a most interesting design for the amazing price of 550 bt. With all the grass cut and the bunkers maintained the course would appear much better under blue skies. Give it a try, as the results show; it is a very playable layout.
A-Flight (0-21): Newbie Ronnie Ratte (c/h 21) took A-flight with a fine 36 points. Next came Brian “Where are my keys?” Parish (13), with 34 points, taking second place on count-back over Andre Van Dyk (17).
B-Flight (22+): B-flight shined this day, with Mick Coghlan (25) announcing his run for Golfer of the Month with the day’s high of 38 points. Next Brian Gabe (22) earned a fine 37, and Nigel Perry (25) hit enough straight drives to make 36 points. Way to go!
Best Nine (non winner): Dick Warberg and Steen Habersaat earned claps for having at least a good nine on a tough course.
Near pins: Brian Gabe (2), Andre Van Dyk, Mashi Kaneta