First let me state that my partner & I love Thailand! Probably the main reason for that is the Thai people, who are so friendly & eager to help without being pushy or intrusive. Of course, it also helps that the exchange rate means that a good time can be had eating out, shopping & enjoying a Thai massage!
This trip we stayed mainly in Patong, the major tourist area of Phuket in the Southern peninsular of Thailand, which has completely recovered from the tsunami. It is brash, with plenty of shopping and nightlife and a crowded beach, although we stayed at one of the quieter beaches close by, Tri Trang. However, if it is shopping you are principally interested in, go to Bangkok instead, as it is cheaper and there is plenty of nightlife and things of interest there too.
Phuket has several world class golf courses, my main interest, most สล็อต of them carved out of old tin mining areas resulting in large water hazards with steep, deep sides in many cases!
Blue Canyon and the Lakes are two adjoining courses near the airport, exclusive & with residential facilities attached.