The Shwe Mann Taung Golf Resort includes an 18 hole golf course only 15 minutes from the heart of Mandalay on a hill that overlooks the Golden Palace grounds. The course from British colonial times was the first of the old courses in Myanmar to be renovated. Shwe Mann Tuang now boasts a modern parkland layout with up-to-date turf and irrigation.
The Mandalay golf course plays short at 6,564 yards from the tips. What the course lacks in the distance is made up for in challenges to all types of golfers. Shorter hitters enjoy the many par opportunities course and even an occasional birdie. Lower handicap golfers can reach the par-5 in two and will have many birdies or even an eagle chance. That said, the course plays tight, and without proper shot strategy and club selection, the course could easily result in a big score.
Both nines play to entirely different styles and conditions. The front nine is turfed with older Bermuda grass, while the back nine renovated in 2017 features the latest varieties of Zosia on the fairways and ultra-dwarf Bermuda on the greens. Accounting for the different turfs on both nines differ makes golf at Shwe Mann Taung special.
The South Course (holes 1-9) refurbished in 2014, plays to 3198 yards. What this nine lacks in the distance is made up in the challenge. The 3rd hole is index 1 and a dogleg right par 5. A straight tee shot is a must as any pull or hook will be out of bounds. Although the hole is reachable in two, the best approach is to lay up and attack with a short iron to the green. The 7th is a long 213-yard par 3 and plays as tough as they come. The other holes vary in length, so its best to use different woods depending on the playing strategy.
The North Course (holes 10-18) refurbished in 2017 and is the better conditioned of the two courses and plays 3,366 yards from the tips. The most memorable holes are found on this nine as are the best views of Mandalay. The shortest hole (number 11) on the golf course happens to be the Shwe Mann Taung signature hole. This hole requires a demanding tee shot with the green guarded by a big pond at its front and back. The green can be tricky and breaks both ways from its front depending on where the ball lays. It is a stunning hole.
Conversely, the 18th is the longest and second toughest hole on the course. The left out of bounds boundary tends to encourage a tee shot to the right resulting the ball landing under big trees as the hole bends to a sharp dogleg left midway through, making an aggressive approach in two foolish. Even a lay-up could cause misery as numerous bunkers come into play from about 150 yards to the green. A long approach is required and playing it to the wrong place on the green could see a very lengthy putt required. A par on this hole is most certainly a superb achievement. All in all this nine rewards strategy over distance and a good score is possible with the correct course management.