BLUE CANYON GOLF COURSE PHOTOGRAPHY
The legendary Blue Canyon Country Club in Phuket, Thailand is rated by international Journos as one of the most prestigious golfing venues in the region. Sprawling across a 725-acre verdant valley against a stunning backdrop of the scenic Phang Nga mountains and the Andaman Sea, Blue Canyon offers two award-winning championship golf courses, “The Canyon Course” built in 1991 and “The Lakes Course” in 1999, complete with accommodations, spa and luxurious clubhouse facilities.
In 1988, Yoshikazu Kato, a Japanese golf course architect started developing the site, originally an abandoned tin mine surrounded by rubber plantations. Both courses were designed around existing canyons and rubber groves, with minimal interruption to the natural landscape and wildlife. The property is a masterpiece of design denoted by stunning and fearsome natural hazards including numerous scary water features flanked by towering trees to challenge golfers of varying handicaps.
The Blue Canyon Country Club is the one and only three-time host of the Johnnie Walker Classic.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Johnnie Walker Classic – 2007, 1998 & 1994
Best Golf Course in Asia – FinanceAsia, 2009, 2008, 2006 & 2003
Asia’s Best Golf Course – Asiamoney, 2007, 2005 & 2004
Best Golf & Spa Destination – SpaAsia, 2005
Best Championship Course in Asia (Canyon Course) – Asian Golf Monthly, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 & 2000
Most Popular Course in Asia – Golf Vacations, 2004
Best Course in Thailand – US Golf Digest, 2003
Best Par Four in Asia (Lakes Course Hole 18) – Asian Golf Monthly, 2003
Asian & Pacific Golf Resort of the Year – Hertz International Golf Travel Awards, 2000
Asian & Pacific Golf Course of the Year – Hertz International Golf Travel Awards, 1999
Top 500 Best Holes in the World (Canyon Course Hole 17 – Par 3) – Golf Magazine
BLUE CANYON MAJOR TOURNAMENTS
The Blue Canyon Country Club rose to fame when the Canyon Course was selected for the 1994 Johnnie Walker Classic. This was followed by the 1996 Honda Invitational Tournament of the Omega Tour. The Canyon Course’s reputation as Asia’s best was reaffirmed in 1998 and again in 2007, when the Johnnie Walker Classic returned, making it the first golf course to ever host the tournament thrice in the JWC’s history.
2007 Johnnie Walker Classic
1-4 March, 2007 – The stellar field included world number three Australian Adam Scott, world number five Ernie Els and number six Retief Goosen, Ryder Cup stars Paul Casey, Colin Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam, Canadian Mike Weir, and Seniors Tour stalwart Sam Torrance. Challenging in the star-studded 156 player starting field was a force of the very best Asian talents including Indians Jeev Milkha Singh and Jyoti Randhawa, Yang Yong-eun of Korea, Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lian-wei of China, Wang Ter-chang of Taiwan and a formidable seven in-form Thai players led by Thongchai Jaidee, Prom Meesawat and Thaworn Wiratchant.
The event saw a nail-biting three-way play-off finale. South African Anton Haig captured the title, after keeping his cool in the play-off with fellow South African Richard Sterne and England’s Oliver Wilson. Haig birdied the last hole, joining Sterne and Wilson at 13 under par. To clinch the victory, Haig sank a six-foot birdie putt, giving him his first European Tour win and his fourth professional win. Haig is the youngest ever winner of the JWC.
Blue Canyon Tiger Skins 2005
15-17 April, 2005 – Top players who took part included Retief Goosen, Grace Park, Colin Montgomerie, and Thomas Bjorn. The decision to take the prestigious event to Phuket was made to help the island recover from the impact of the 26 December Tsunami, both through fund-raising and by bringing positive international attention back to the island. A total of US$180,000 (over THB 7 million) won in prize money was contributed to the tsunami relief efforts in Thailand. Retief Goosen and Thomas Bjorn won the prize of $85,000 each. A moment to remember was Goosen driving his tee shot straight to the green of Hole 13, just as Tiger Woods did at the 1998 Johnnie Walker Classic.
Thai Airways International Thailand Open 2005
3-6 March, 2005 – Staged on the Canyon Course, in an effort to aid the resort island’s recovery following the Tsunami tragedy. New Zealand’s Richard Lee struck it rich at the US$500,000 Thai Airways International Thailand Open, winning his maiden Asian Tour title after a play-off victory over Australian Scott Barr.
1998 Johnnie Walker Classic
In January 1998, JWC returned to the Canyon Course as the first event on the 1998 European Tour calendar. Once again, many of the world’s top golfers competed for the title, including Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam. The spectacular finish included one of the greatest comebacks in tournament golf. On the final day, Tiger Woods was 9 strokes behind the leading Ernie Els. Woods made up the 9 strokes in dynamic fashion and Els had to birdie the 18th for a playoff. The first hole of the playoff was a draw, but Woods birdied the next for a dramatic and hugely popular win.
Honda City Invitational Tournament 1996
Australia’s Steve Elkington left his world-class stamp by winning the Omega Tour’s US$300,000. Elkington carded a final round three-under-par 69 for a four-round total of 281, to win by one shot over Felix Casas of Philippines.
1994 Johnnie Walker Classic
Many of the world’s top golfers, including Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Greg Norman, kept the galleries captivated by their excellent play right until the last hole in 1994.
Greg Norman holed his final putt to win the 1994 JWC with a final round of 64, beating Nick Faldo to reclaim the World No.1 ranking and setting the Canyon Course record. Tiger Woods took part in the 1994 Johnnie Walker Classic as an amateur, finishing a joint 34th. He is still the current amateur record holder for the Canyon Course with a score of 61.