Siem Reap is not only home base for lost ancient temples, but also home to 3 (!) golf courses. With Angkor Golf – Cambodian’s best course – being on of them.
We didn’t bring our bags this time (too much international transfers in one trip) but learning that golfsets were for hire was just the push we needed to exchange temples for bunkers.
I like to start at 07.30 am since it gets quite hot – too hot for our taste – after 11.00 am. Bonus for an early morning rise ‘n shine is catching the sun rise behind a palm and jasmin tree horizon.
Angkor Golf Resort
The course provides a hotel pick-up, so at 07.00 sharp the dedicated driver of Angkor Golf awaited us in the lobby of our hotel, Phum Baitang. From that moment on, smooth operation summs it up.
Buggy, golf bags and caddies, all ready to go when we arrived after a short drive from the hotel.
It is custom and mandatory in Asia to hire caddies, mostly female. I like to play with caddies – as we do often in Scotland. The feeling of a team and the advantage of local knowledge is very special. It gives me a chance to connect with locals, talk about each other’s life, work and family. If I’ve ever seen snow? Yep.
By the way – in case you’re wondering – they don’t carry your bag! Bags are on the buggy and we both drive and walk.
My elegant caddy Sarat – left in picture – knew within a few holes which clubs fitted my game and made me play better. I beat mr. B, which is a very rare case.
Another thing is that when playing with caddies you can tip well and directly help a relatively poor Cambodian family. Tourism is the primary source of income in Siem Reap.
State of the art Ladies Locker Room
Now we’re talking locker rooms! As if entering a design boudoir. All you might wish for to freshen up after a sweaty round of golf in 30+ degrees. Since the adjecent Buddhist temple was the location for a marriage today, we were playing golf with the sounds of mantra chanting in the background. I feel blessed!
The Angkor Golf Course
This tropical course is designed by Nick Faldo and oh my, what a bunkers in play! Seen so many from the inside, might have opted for a day at the beach as well.
Our fairways are typically generous but our bunkering style is impressively bold. The greens have plenty of subtle undulations rewarding and encouraging a variety of approach shots.
__ Nick Faldo
The different tee boxes are indicated by little sandstone statues. Lions for yellow tees and turtles for reds. Fairways and greens are immaculate, on almost every hole you’ll see local gardeners (by bike) who take care of the course.
The front nine ends with a fairly long par three over a Van Gogh like waterlily pond. Make sure to grab a club extra. You have been warned. Mine took a swim…
Angkor Golf Resort | 18 holes | Par 72 | 7279 yards – green fee from 155 $