Once was the time, as recently as a decade ago, when Aussie golfers could fly to Thailand, Vietnam or Bali and play a week’s golf, stay in decent accommodation, eat and drink to their heart’s content for about the same cost as playing six or seven better courses at home.

Those were the days of $100 green fees at new, appealing South-East Asian courses that were making their mark among golfers from Asia/Pacific and western Europe.

Not now. The era of inexpensive golf in South-East Asia is over, especially if you’re an independent traveller. In 2023, on a course-for-course comparison, you’ll pay higher green fees just about everywhere than in Australia. Yesteryear’s $200 a day for golf, accommodation and extras has become at least $300 and, often, $500 throughout Asia.

In Bangkok, five fancied public-access clubs – Alpine, Thai Country Club, Royal Gems City, Navatanee and Nikanti – each charge $200 to $300 green fees with cart and caddie. Add a caddie tip ($20-$25) and transfers ($50) – all are well out of the city – and you’re looking at $275-$375 for a day’s outing, plus accommodation, meals and a few beers. The new Ballyshear Golf Links, designed by Gil Hanse and modelled on Long Island’s Lido Golf Club in New York, charges $350-$400 for 18 holes.

In Hua Hin, a popular golf destination three hours’ drive south of Bangkok, Black Mountain charges $150 for green fee, caddie and cart in low season (Australia’s winter) plus caddie tip; nearby Banyan is similar. Phuket can be more expensive, with Red Mountain charging $200 to $250 for the same inclusions in low season.

The view from the 10th tee at Katathong near Phuket in Thailand.

On Vietnam’s Central Coast, green fees at Danang Golf Club and Hoiana Shores, two of the best in the region, are $250-plus. Hoiana Shores, the acclaimed Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed links layout near ancient Hoi An town, charges a whopping $US62 ($95) for a cart, which is compulsory, making the 18 holes cost close to $300 plus caddie tip.

Ba Na Hills and Montgomerie Links are about $230. Transfers there are cheaper than Bangkok, but it still means $300 a day before you sleep, eat and drink. When opened in 2010, the Greg Norman-designed Dunes course at Danang was charging about $100 for a green fee, similar to others nearby when golf tourism to Vietnam was in its infancy.

In Bali, green fees at Bali National start at $230, with New Kuta slightly more affordable at $180-plus; at Handara, 60 to 90 minutes’ drive from Kuta in the hinterland, the cost is lower at $110 plus caddie tip. On Bintan, the Indonesian island close to Singapore, Ria Bintan and Laguna Bintan are both above $200 for green fee alone.

Kawana Golf Club in Shizuoka prefecture south of Tokyo charges $400 green fee for its famed Fuji course, or a two-night, two-round package with transfers from Narita Airport will set you back a whopping $3,000.

A round at each of Sentosa’s two courses, Tajong and Serapong, in Singapore, is $600-$750 before you step into the clubhouse for a refreshment. Clearwater Bay in Hong Kong charges visitors $300-$350 depending on the time of year, while Manila Southwoods in the Philippine capital is $275-$300 in a shared cart; both courses accept visitors on weekdays only.

Black Mountain in Hua Hin, Thailand, was designed by Australian-based Pacific Coast Design.

Spring City’s Lake and Mountain courses near Kunming in Yunnan, China, each charge $400 to $475 green fees, even more than Mission Hills near Shenzhen (close to Hong Kong) where two nights’ accommodation and golf at two of its 12 courses costs $850-$900.

Contrast these prices with some of the standout public-access courses in Australia: Barnbougle’s two main courses for less than $150 each, King Island’s Cape Wickham $225 or Ocean Dunes $160-$205, Joondalup $130-$150, The Cut $75-$100, Moonah Links $125-$150, 13th Beach $115-$135, St Andrews Beach $105, Magenta Shores $95-$125, The Vintage $110, Bonville $175, Noosa Springs $125, Hamilton Island $195, Brookwater $120 (at special times) and Royal Pines $100-$125. All without the need to pay a caddie fee or tip and usually including a cart. Each is at least as good as most highly regarded courses in Asia.

It’s no wonder group packaged golf tours, rather than players travelling and booking independently, have become so popular in Asia, as have multi-course amateur tournaments, which, although pricey, are popular and growing. This is the big change in the past decade as specialist golf tour operators seek to rejuvenate in-bound tourism and replenish client numbers devastated by COVID. 

The lofty Jade Dragon Snow Mountain course in China.

Our Tips

You can beat the price hikes with some savvy planning, timing and more.


  1. It’s usually cheaper and less hassle to book ground arrangements through a golf tour operator, based either in Australia or Asia. 
  2. In high season (November to March), courses in South-East Asia are busy and prices are higher. Low season (April to October) offers better value, although in southern Thailand and coastal Vietnam it can be wet from September until November.
  3. Go off the beaten track for value. Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai in Thailand offer excellent choices at reasonable cost; as do Sapporo and Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan, Bogor in Indonesia, Sabah in Malaysia (northern Borneo) and Dalat, Vietnam.
  4. Look for mid-level courses in major cities like Bangkok. Many offer green fees from $80 to $120, but be prepared for an hour or more travel each way, occasional five-balls and five-hour rounds.
  5. Play on weekdays. Weekends are always more expensive.
  6. Join a multi-course tournament in Thailand or Vietnam like the Centara World Masters (June) and Vietnam World Masters (September). Six nights’ accommodation and four rounds of golf with caddie and cart, gala dinner, evening drinks and prizes, playing with golfers from all over the globe costs $3,250 to $4,500 single occupancy and $2,600 to $3,400 double/twin. Expensive, but popular (thailandworldmasters.com and vietnamworldmasters.com).

Top dollar

  • Sentosa, Singapore (two courses), $600-$750 all inclusive.
  • Kawana, Shizuoka, Japan, approximately $400 including caddie and cart.
  • Mission Hills, Shenzhen, China, $320-$450 depending on course including caddie and cart.
  • Spring City, Kunming, China, $400-plus for Lake and Mountain courses including caddie and cart.
  • Ballyshear, Bangkok, $350-400 all inclusive.


  • Black Mountain and Banyan, Hua Hin, Thailand, $150-$190 including caddie and cart.
  • Summit Windmill $160, Lotus Valley $120, Lam Luk Ka $100, Thana City $100 (all close to Bangkok) including caddie and cart before November 1.
  • Dalit Bay, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, $130 green fee and cart.

Value deals

  • Blue Canyon Lakes course, Phuket, Thailand, $110 (until October 31, so move fast!) including caddie and cart (golfsavers.com).
  • Seven nights/four rounds of golf in Pattaya, Thailand, (low season) $1,600 based on four golfers travelling together (asiagolfexperiences.com).
  • Hua Hin, Thailand, offers special rates at most courses each August and September, as low as $90 including caddie and cart.
  • One night and one round of golf at Rancamaya, Bogor, Indonesia, $220 (rancamayagolf.com).
  • Hanazono, Niseko, Hokkaido, Japan, $80-$110 and Niseko Village $70-$100 with cart, no caddies required, May to October.

Bucket list

  • Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yunnan, China – the second-highest golf course in the world at 3,000 metres above sea level, 7,800 metres (8,500 yards) off the tips – $225-$275 with caddie and cart.

Visit these websites for itineraries and cost comparisons: