Laguna Golf Phuket, host venue of the Singha Laguna Phuket Open, is well advanced in preparing and toughening the course for the Asian Development Tour co-sanctioned tournament in May.
Two new tee boxes, set further back than existing black tees, have been built on the 5th and 9th holes; fairways are being narrowed as enhanced rough emerges all over the course; some run-off areas are being cut shorter and greens are firming up for an expected speed of 10 to 11 on the stimpmeter.
From the back tees, the course will play as a par-70 of more than 6800 yards for the All Thailand Golf Tour men’s and women’s professional and amateur tournament, to be held from May 9-13.
“Tightening of fairways will make it more difficult to find the right landing spot from the tee and extra rough will affect players’ control of the ball into the greens,” says Laguna Golf Phuket’s assistant vice president and golf director, Paul Wilson.
The THB2 million prize money tournament will have a larger pro-am event this year, with space for 30 teams, as well as larger clubhouse merchandise and hospitality offerings for spectators.
It is one of 10 events on the 2018 All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT) calendar and one of 23 Asian Development Tour tournaments.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the ATGT, which has fostered many of Thailand’s best players, such as Kiradech Aphibarnrat, currently ranked 40 in the world, to become international stars.
Course superintendent, Khun Sunpech, who worked with major co-tournament sponsor Singha Corporation for 12 years at courses in Chiangrai and Khon Kaen in northern Thailand, says the layout will be definitely more challenging.
“The rough will be at least 60mm, while the run-off from several raised greens will remain tight. The firm surfaces will demand good shots to hold the green and setup birdie chances.”
With water on all holes on the front nine and on four holes on the back nine, Laguna Golf Phuket will provide exciting viewing for visitors to the event. Attractive stay-and-play packages will soon be announced, including an opportunity to play the course from the final day’s tees and pin placements on Monday, May 14.