Kantarat Golf Course is built on the grass between the two airport runways – a unique experience for golfers and aviation enthusiasts!
Many airports have unusual or unique features. Don Mueang International in Bangkok certainly stands out as being the only airport to have a full golf course between its runways. This has been in place since the 1950s. The airport has changed a lot since then – when it was the main hub for Thailand – but the golf course remains the same.
Don Mueang and its golf course
Don Mueang is one of the oldest airports in the world. It initially opened as a Royal Thai Air Force base in 1914, with commercial flights beginning in 1924. It was the main airport for Bangkok until the new Suvarnabhumi Airport opened in 2006. Don Mueang closed for a short time after the new airport opened, but it soon re-opened as a hub for regional flights and a low-cost base for many airlines.
The airport has not always had a golf course. The golf course was added by the Royal Thai Air Force in 1952. It was built in the open space between the two runways – where it remains today and is known as Kantarat Golf Course.
18 holes between the two runways
Kantarat Golf Course is a full-size 18-hole golf course, with all holes located in green space between the two runways (21L/3R and 21R/3L). Incredibly, there are no walls or high fences separating the course from the runways (and taxiways). As you can imagine, this gives amazing views of landing and departing aircraft while playing golf!
Sadly, the Boeing 747s that frequented the airport in its heyday (as Thailand’s main hub airport before Suvarnabhumi Airport opened) are no longer there. But there is still lots to see, with plenty of flights from airlines including AirAsia, Scoot, Nok Air, and Lion Air. You will see many Boeing 737s and Airbus A320 family aircraft, but there are also some widebody movements at the airport (most likely the Airbus A330, or possibly the Boeing 787 with Scoot).
Golf course open to the public
The golf course is still owned by the Royal Thai Air Force, but it is open to the general public. It is not expensive either. According to course information provided by Thaigolfer.com, a round of golf costs up to 1,300 Baht ($38).
Practically, there are several differences when playing though. Players have to pass through security and metal screening before they can use the course. There is also apparently a red light system that holds play when aircraft are landing. And you can just imagine how distracting the noise and views will be to a game of golf – not really a problem if you are there for the plane experience though!
Playing a round of golf at Kantarat Golf Course must be a great experience for both golf lovers and aircraft enthusiasts.
Source: Simple Flying