Health & Educational

Phunaka Golf Academy

The Phunaka Golf Academy is a 9-hole golf course and driving range on almost 100 rai of beautiful land in the Chalong area of Phuket designed to be a learning centre for the great game of golf.

Due to open in June this year, the centre will have 3 professional golfers on the teaching staff, including Oliver Paul Bates, an Englishman with 15 years experience who moved to Phuket in 2001, and who will be in overall control as director of the Golf Academy.

Oliver will be joined by a two Thai professionals who will primarily, but not exclusively, help out on the range. The aim is to attract juniors and seniors, experienced and inexperienced alike, to introduce or improve the game by focusing on producing a consistent and reliable swing.

“I have taught and will teach individually and in group sessions. Obviously individual instruction is best, but if a group session is desired we will usually restrict it to four persons, with a maximum of six.” says Oliver. “We like to work on individuals whenever possible since we try not to teach all students the same way. We prefer to talk to them first so that we can design a course of instruction which suits their requirements. It depends a lot on their experience, standard, goals, availability, age etc. Some can come regularly, others maybe only once a week. We will tailor the lessons to the individual’s ability and circumstances.”

To facilitate these aims, the Academy has a driving range with 56 bays which is 170 yards wide by 320 yards long with realistic targets to aim at covering everything from the short chip to the full drive. In addition, the 9–hole course provides the golfer with a chance to practice in an even more realistic situation, with instruction if desired, before venturing out onto a full size golf course. Both the range and course are floodlit, allowing after office or after beach relaxation and practice.

The Academy covers all aspects of the game, including knowledge, etiquette, rules, etc., and those are gently fed in as the student walks the course. “This place is for everyone; young, old, male, female, beginner or professional,” continues Oliver, “You do not need to bring your own equipment, we can supply it on a rental basis for you. And if you do decide to buy or upgrade, we can also give you advice on the best choice for you as an individual.”

When it opens in June, the Phunaka will provide a unique learning and improving facility in a setting as close to a full scale course as a golf school can possibly get. The aim is to make it the foremost golf academy in the region, but only time will tell if it will achieve that goal. In the meanwhile, if you are interested in the game, at any level of play, Phunaka is a very affordable option in Phuket.

Phunaka Driving Range and Golf Academy
61/17-18 Moo 6, Soi Chaofa 73, Chaofa (West) Rd., Chalong, Muang, Phuket 83000 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 86 470 9092
Fax: +66 (0) 76 521 121
Email: Golf Academy :


    1. Hi Martin.I've been a top class teaching pro for 13years. Over that period I have a client base of thousands of students including some tour pros. I trained hard in the Uk (metro golf academy), and have been based in Asia since 2001, during this period we have been highly sucessfull due to top quality teaching fundamentals, standards and reputation.. At present my pro licence is contracted with the European Golf Teachers Federation (EGTF). If you visit Phuket, come and see our academy (I have 3 or 4 pros working here) it is a world class facility with excellent coaches.
      I always respect fellow professionals, best regards.

      1. Hello Oliver…

        I am a USGTF cert golf teaching pro that has been working full time as a Nike Staff pro on various cruise lines including Princess, Carnival, etc. I was down in South East Asia last year and was in Phuket quite a bit during that time. I am absolutely wanting to relocate down there and am wondering if you could give me any advice as to how I should go about it and what I would need to do to get going teaching down there. I sure would appreciate any help. My email is :

      2. Maybe better to explain to your 1000's of clients why you were advertising as PGA pro for so long until advised not to do so by the British PGA and also that the qualification you do posess has no entry requirements and takes a lengthy 7 days to obtain. You can fool some people some of the time, but not all the people all the time!


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