Terry Miller Invests in Thailand Disc Golf


Miller,
Luke
Butch
have
purchased
the
Samui
Disc
Golf
course

Terry
Miller
playing
the
Swine
Classic
on
Koh
Samui
in
2019.

After
first
visiting
Thailand’s
island
of
Koh
Samui
in
2019,
Terry
Miller
has
been
drawn
back
three
times,
and
if
it
wasn’t
for
COVID-19,
it
would
have
been
more.
After
producing
video
content
for
the


Swine
Classic

series
of
tournaments
and
traveling
throughout
the
region,
“The
Disc
Golf
Guy”
has
decided
to
back
the
expansion
of
disc
golf
in
Southeast
Asia
by
taking
a
financial
stake
in
the
course
where
it
all
started
for
him

in
Mae
Nam,
almost
equidistant
between
Koh
Samui’s
busy
tourist
area
of
Chaweng
and
the
island’s
capital,
the
port
town
of
Nathon. 

The

Samui
Disc
Golf
course
,
established
by
Californian
expat
Nigel
Mills
in
2013,
has
become
a
favorite
off-season
destination
for
many
pros.
Philo
Brathwaite,
Gregg
Barsby,
and
Nikko
Locastro
took
up
the
invitation
to
stop
by
for
the
fourth
edition
of
the
Samui
Swine
Classic
tournament
on
their
way
to
the
Aussie
Open
in
2017
and
then
spread
the
word.
Since
then,
other
pros
like
Paige
Pierce,
Nate
Perkins,
James
Conrad,
Scott
Stokely,
and
Sarah
Hokum
have
visited. 

The
COVID
years
took
their
toll,
however.
“It
was
hard
to
keep
the
passion,”
said
Mills,
who
has
since
left
Koh
Samui
and
moved
with
his
family
to
the
northern
mainland
province
of
Chiang
Mai.
“I’m
very
happy
to
pass
the
torch
to
Luke
Butch
and
Terry.
There
couldn’t
be
a
better
pair
to
take
it
forward.
Now
as
a
country
coordinator
for
Thailand,
I
can
focus
on
growing
the
sport
here.” 

“The
immediate
concern
was
just
to
not
let
the
course
die,”
said
Miller.
“I
initially
didn’t
think
much
about
a
longer-term
goal.
However,
as
both
the
island
and
the
rest
of
SE
Asia
continue
to
discover
disc
golf,
I
think
it’s
on
everyone’s
agenda
to
simply
grow
it
and
make
it
bigger.” 

Miller’s
journey
from
first
time
visitor
to
course
owner
has
been
a
rapid
one.
“It’s
another
one
to
check
off
the
bucket
list
that
I
never
knew
I
had,”
he
said.
“In
2018
I
couldn’t
have
located
Thailand
on
a
map.
Nor
would
I
have
ever
known
anything
about
the
hundreds
of
islands,
let
alone
their
second
biggest
one
being
Samui.
It
was
simply
an
old
friend
in


Luke
Butch

that
got
me
really
interested
in
traveling
there.” 

Terry
Miller
(left)
interviews
Nigel
Mills
in
Mae
Nam
in
2020.

Butch
and
Miller
met
playing
on
the
same
card
at
the
2008
Memorial
in
Arizona.
“He
and
I
have
that
old
school
connection
from
before
the
glitz
and
glory
of
present-day
disc
golf,”
Miller
said.
“I
think
one
of
his
early
messages
to
me
about
Thailand
was
essentially
something
along
the
lines
of
‘What
might
it
cost
to
get
you
to
come
film
a
tournament
here
in
Samui?’
or
something
of
that
nature.
It
all
snow-balled
from
there.”

 

Terry
admits
to
some
nerves
about
the
challenge
the
venture
faces
though.
“The
main
challenge
is
the
course
location,”
he
said.
“There
are
so
many
tourist
destinations
in
Thailand
so
people
just
randomly
discovering
us
won’t
be
too
common.
Then
the
people
who
do
know
about
it
might
think
that
traveling
to
the
island
is
too
cumbersome.
We’ll
need
to
keep
fresh
people
coming
to
play
and
work
on
growing
the
game
in
the
community.
Then
again,
there
is
the
famous
‘If
you
build
it,
they
will
come’
line
so
we’ll
see.” 

There
is
also
the
uncertainty
that
comes
from
Miller
and
Butch
not
being
Thai
and
unable
to
own
the
coconut
groves
and
fields
that
the
course
sits
on.
The
land
is
rented
from
a
number
of
different
neighbors,
but
this
is
an
arrangement
that
has
stood
for
10
years
and
has
the
support
of
the
locals,
who
benefit
economically
from
the
visiting
disc
golfers.
Part
of
the
property
is
a
house
overlooking
holes
two
and
three
that
can
be
rented
via
Airbnb. 

The
Samui
Disc
Golf
Course
in
Mae
Nam,
Koh
Samui,
Thailand

Growing
the
game
locally
is
a
priority
for
Butch,
who
is
managing
the
course
day-to-day.
“What
I’m
looking
forward
to
the
most
is
growing
the
local
demographic;
as
in
getting
more
Samui
locals
playing,
both
expat
and
Thai,”
Butch
said.
“Too
many
people
who’ve
lived
in
Samui
for
years
don’t
even
know
we
are
here,
that
has
to
change.”

“We
haven’t
even
scratched
the
surface
in
terms
of
the
potential,”
said
Miller.
“There
have
been
a
few
notable
players
who
developed
their
game
here,
like


View
Georgiou

and


Pichet
Panturat.

But
like
anywhere,
we’ll
see
top
level
talent
emerge
all
in
due
time;
we
just
need
to
get
discs
into
kids
hands
first
and
they
need
a
course
to
play
on.
As
for
the
course,
I
always
want
it
to
be
a
relatively
easy
and
fun
course. 
There
is
plenty
of
emphasis
put
on
championship
level
gold
courses,
but
when
you
have
an
island
destination
that
is
for
either
new
players
or
people
simply
enjoying
vacation
time,
you
don’t
need
a
10,000-foot
layout.
In
fact,
you
need
exactly
like
what’s
offered
in
Mae
Nam.”

Spend
any
time
with
Terry
Miller
talking
about
Koh
Samui
and
disc
golf
in
Thailand
and
his
passion
is
obvious.

What
Nigel
and
his
family,
along
with
Luke
and
others,
have
built
is
both
inspiring
and
exciting,”
he
explained.
“It’s
also
random,
exotic,
fun
and
a
touch
crazy. 
So
many
of
my
favorite
disc
golf
moments
have
come
from
international
travels
and
Samui
is
on
the
top
of
that
list.
I
want
to
encourage
others
to
take
that
vacation
of
a
week
or
a
month
and
travel
around
that
part
of
the
world
and
connect
the
disc
golf
course
dots
while
doing
so.
Like
so
many
destinations

it’s
not
just
about
the
disc
golf
when
coming
to
Samui.

“You
are
in
for
a
cultural
experience
and
awakening
when
you
visit
any
part
of
Thailand
or
the
surrounding
region:
the
food,
the
people,
the
sunrises
&
sunsets,
the
weather,
the
beaches,
the
entertainment,
and
the
sheer
freedom
of
roaming
around
on
a
scooter.
It’s
all
pretty
wild
to
think
I’m
involved
in
this
operation
on
the
other
side
of
the
world,
but
it
means
I’ll
really
have
an
excuse
to
get
there
more
than
just
once
a
year.” 

Original source

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