We continue our Thailand’s Top 18 Holes feature with the third entry in the series, the 16th hole at Sea Pines Golf Club in Hua Hin, Thailand. This hole is one of the most unique holes in Thailand, and can turn into quite a challenge depending on the conditions of the day. The 16th is a 530 yard par 5, normally playing into the wind with dog leg right on the last 100 yards of the hole. From tee to green, the hole presents some unique challenges, and if there is a strong wind off of the Gulf of Thailand, the hole can be a menacing challenge.
The 16th starts with a fairly straight forward drive with plenty of room that allows the player to open their shoulders to get as far down the fairway as possible, which is generous yet required, as the hole needs a good solid tee shot to give the golfer a chance at a good score. The decision here is with the second shot with three options. The big hitters can take the green on, but 250 yards over water into a wind is not what normal golfers think of and if the shot isn’t hit to perfection, a big score becomes entirely possible. The second option is a wood to the corner of the dog leg which leaves a 100 yard pitch straight up the green, but the landing area is very small thus requiring good accuracy with the second shot, not letting the wind take the ball, yet ensuring it gets down there far enough to take the water out of play. The most favoured option is a 5 or 6 iron into the wide part of the fairway, leaving a 7 or 8 iron in over water and a narrow landing area on to the green.
Any lay-up choice with a 3rd shot into the green will bring interesting wind options into play. The approach if going with a 100 yard 3rd shot will mean golfers need to play their shot far out to the left, which takes courage considering the beach and ocean which skirt the left hand side of the hole. If taking the more popular option and leaving a longer 3rd shot in, the wind will be hurting off of the left, which makes the approach even more dangerous as the water on the right will remain in play, while danger lurks to the left of the hole. Either way, the approach along with 2 good shots before is required to give a chance at par.
The green is quite narrow and long, but is relatively flat. A two putt shouldn’t be a problem here, but the putt can be affected by strong winds so golfers need to be sure to keep that in mind when standing over the ball. It is always recommended to listen to the caddie’s read, however on this hole, it is one to not question and go with is as their experience on this hole will surely help ensure a 2 putt at the most, and hopefully a well-earned par!
From memory, I think there are only 3 courses in the whole of Thailand that have holes by the ocean which makes this hole unique and one of the most picturesque in Thailand. The first person to name a 4th course with a hole along the ocean, in the comments of our Facebook post for this entry, will receive a Black Mountain golf shirt on their next visit to Thailand!
All Holes in the Series