October 10, 2002
The Chiang Mai Green Valley golf course is located only 10 minutes away from the Regent Chiang Mai, and about 20 minutes away from the city. At about 1200 Baht ($30 US) for 18 holes, it's a great deal. The good news was the course wasn't too crowded, and I noticed several players playing as singles or twosomes. I'm glad they weren't too difficult with tee times.
The golf experience in Asia is different from the U.S. because you're required to play with a caddie, who is a woman covered head to toe in the caddie uniform. They wear straw hats, long sleeves, and long pants to protect them from too much sun. They pull your bag, mark your ball on the green, give you some advice in basic golf-english, and keep your score. They even laugh with you at your bad shots!
I didn't play all that well, even with some new Callaway balls! The course is quite flat with mostly wide fairways, but there are a fair number of water hazards. In fact, water comes into play on about 10 holes. The course was in very good condition, which is an achievement in the September rainy season when it can rain two or three times per day. You'll have periods of heat and humidity, then you'll have to wait 15 minutes under an umbrella for the rain the stop.
I actually played a half round with Ally on Monday, and one full round on Wednesday when she had scheduled a long Spa treatment at the Regent. That way, I didn't feel too guilty about enjoying a round of golf!
From journal Chiang Mai memories