Founder - Andrew Yau
Interview with Andrew Yau
Q : What was your vision for Amata Spring?
I spent all my life in Thailand and had played all the courses here, and I knew there were two things lacking: a good world class private club (there are a lot of golf courses, but no private members clubs); and a course that could host an international professional tournament in the modern Tiger era. So I wanted to build a world class tournament course as part of a world class private club, a first for Thailand.
Q : With your prior course successes, what was your vision for the Amata course itself?
I had done it in Kunming, China (with Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones, Jr.) and in Ria Bintang, Indonesia (with Gary Player). I felt I needed to do something in the country I lived in.
My designer Lee Smith, who had worked with Nicklaus and me in Kunming, said “you gave me a piece of land that is flat as a pancake with a damn big hole in the middle and you want me to build a golf course?” I replied that the “damn big hole” was what made me interested! Amata had contemplated developing a course for many years but nobody would take on the project becuase they couldn’t evnision our solution.
There wasn’t enough land so I lowered the 28 meter lake by 10 meters to grab the sloping land surrounding the lake which created much of the course’s undulation. We never would have created slope and elevation without that. We drained the whole lake, divided it into two by creating the 18th hole, and designed the rest of the course around it. What previously was a waste water reservoir, was now one of the best golf courses in Asia!
Q : Seems with such a great track that came out of the gate well.
The results came quickly. We attracted an outstanding membership and many high profile international events including five Royal Trophies (Asia vs Europe) with Seve Ballesteros, five Thailand Golf Championships, the LPGA Honda, the Tiger Woods Skins game, The Open qualifier, the Asian Amateur/ Augusta Masters qualifier and the Japan vs Thailand Friendship Cup.
Q : What was your vision for creating the clubhouse and facility
the Spanish style there. I thought that style clubhouse was perfect for tropical weather and would be unique for Thailand.The credit goes to my architect Khun Smith who took my idea and created a masterpiece. It’s not only uniquely beautiful in the Kingdom, on its perch over the course it captures the breezes off the nearby Gulf wonderfully.
Q : Coming up to Amata Spring’s 20th anniversary, what is your vision for where the club goes in the next 20 years?
Hardware is hardware and that is done. Now we will continue to work diligently on the software, the service side. We want to keep raising the bar and continue to provide unparalleled member experiences across the board. We want to keep raising the bar on our service, and maintain our meticulous standards on the course while continuing to make ongoing improvements to keep us in a league of our own. And we want to enhance our relationships and activities with our array of world class affiliate clubs. Finally, our integrated villa community is truly the only of its kind in Thailand. For long or short term residency, stay/play member experiences, or golf tours by our affiliaite members, we want to more actively market the opportunities our members and guests have to enjoy the Amata Spring Golf Villa lifestyle.
Q : Thoughts to sum up?
New golf courses can come along, but I’m confident with our unique combination of history, tradition, course quality, facilities and service/member experience, that we will remain “Thailand’s World Class Private Club”.