The Wangjuntr Golf Park is perhaps one of the most unique golfing experiences you are most likely ever to encounter. A mix of Safari World, mountain climbing, disneyesque madness, three courses, 54 holes and yes 90 greens!
Park is in fact the correct term as their signature course, the Highland’s 18 holes, is actually built around an animal sanctuary with deer, ostrich and cattle roaming the spectacular countryside.
It is in the countryside away from Pattaya, but using Google Maps it takes just over an hour to get there along the 331, and then left after Greenwood GC onto the 344 towards Rayong.
Wangjuntr opened back in 1999, actually consists of three courses. The Valley (18 holes and currently closed for an upgrade), Highland (18 holes) and the new Jungle course opened in late 2014 (18 holes). To offer golfers 36 holes, both Valley and Highland courses have two separate greens on each hole. When you arrive they give you a left hand or right hand score card so you know what to play on that round.
Their new Jungle course is excellent and well worth booking, however a visit to Wangjuntr would not be complete until you have experienced their Highland Course with the right hand greens which play 7,646 yards from the back tees or 5,601 yards from the front tees, the longest layout in the region.
Having checked in at the pro shop, you are taken up to the Highland’s own club house “The Highland House” by open truck with all the caddies and golfers together. Gates are opened and you feel like you are on a safari trip with views of wild animals everywhere. It actually takes 10 minutes to arrive where you pick up your golf cart for another five minute trip to the first tee. It all adds to the mystery!
Hole No 1 is a par 4 408 yard par 4 where if you want you can tee off on the actual roof of the drinks kiosk down into the valley below. (Definitely a Kodak moment here!)
The greens here offer an additional challenge as many have mounds, boulders or even a pond slap bang in the middle, so beware and ask your caddy for advice before taking your final approach shot.
The views from both the 3rd and 4th greens are spectacular, with the countryside stretching as far as the eye can see.
Be prepared for a lot of hill climbing especially if you drive away from the cart paths, as golf carts are not allowed on the fairways. Exercise is part of the round and you will feel you have conquered the course at the end of 18 holes.
One characteristic here is they have a lot of uphill fairways and several tricky blind shots onto some seriously undulating greens, several surrounded by water. In fact the greens here are very large too!
Hole 7 looks simple and is a short par 4 at 326 yards but beware of the rocks in the middle of the green here.
Hole 8 is perhaps the most frustrating par 3 at Wangjuntr, as the right hand tee is obscured by bushes to the right of the tee box and the thin green is raised up surrounded by slopes, and is aptly given the name Edge of Life.
After a cool drink or snack back at Highland House the real adventure begins with the back nine.
Hole 11 is called Himalaya and it lives up to its name as it is all uphill to a hidden undulating green. Once you get your breath back, another Kodak moment starts on the 12th tee as you look down on to the scenery below. The owner’s palatial mansion lies here, so he picked one of the best views.
Stair Way to Heaven is the name given to the par 4 13th which literally has steps along the fairway before reaching a fairly long but undulating green above. No Led Zeppelin music here but great fun anyway!
The star attraction though has to be hole 14 where the golf cart needs all it power to get you to the top. Difficult to describe this hole in mere words known simple as THE BEAUTIFUL BEAST. Your view from any of the tees is awesome and as you tee off your ball will drop ‘hopefully’ down-down-down to the waiting thin ‘strip’ of fairway below, where the true delights of this hole will suddenly hit you!
Reminded me of the par 3 at Red Mountain down their mine shaft. You have to have your photo taken here!
Hole 17th known as the Dwarf’s Kingdom actually has a green shaped like Thailand .
A fitting finish to this wonderful course, the 18th known as Huge Heart, will have you shooting up hill from the tees towards a welcoming fairway.
Don’t worry about your score here. Just take in the wonderful scenery, the challenging terrain, the quirky if not sometimes amusing greens , and I am sure remember your round at the Highland for a long time with fondness.
Editors Note: Like most courses, Wangjuntr had survived the dry weather when we played in late May , but for a very quiet country club, their greens and fairways were in great condition. The caddies are very friendly, but not all speak English and some may not even understand the game of golf, but go with the flow.
The pro shop is adequate but does not stock a large range of clothing, and the locker rooms were clean and functional. The club’s restaurant although not fine dining had great local Thai food, cold beer and very friendly staff, and the rest is definitely needed before heading home. The club is normally close on Mondays and they also rotate the courses on other days, so best call ahead and book your favorite course.