Golfing Getaways

Many of Vietnams best golf resorts are in ideal holiday locations and perfect for any level of golfer.

By Jenna Duong on August 08,2018 10:10 AM

Golfing Getaways

Vietnam’s fabled coastline stretches 3,260 kilometres from the ‘giant’s playground’ of Halong Bay to the teardrop-shaped jewel of Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand. It boasts long, beautiful beaches strewn with coconut palms and lapped by gentle, foam-crested waves. In the sweltering heat of a summer’s day in Hanoi or any day in HCMC, just the image of blue sea and white sand can loosen those tense knots in the shoulders. A fantastic game also awaits - golf.

Vietnam is considered an undiscovered golfing paradise in the Asia-Pacific region, with its perfect tropical and sub-tropical climate home to 58 golf courses. And from Hanoi in the north to Danang and Hoi An in the central region and HCMC in the south are many fine golf course resorts. Designed to create that perfect golf and beach experience, their rapidly increasing numbers attests to their ongoing popularity. Offering four or five-star services by the sea, a private beach, a fully-equipped resort with a golf course and other diversions to local places of interest, they offer those muscles a chance to relax.

‘The essential ingredients of a good golf resort experience include facilities, landscapes, location and services,’ said CEO of the SAM Tuyen Lam Golf Club, Mr Bui Xuan Phong. ‘But it seems that the greatest necessities in building a “playable” golf course are the quality of the grass and a topography that challenges golfers.’ The grass at SAM Tuyen Lam includes Greenleas Park and Novotek Grass, planted on greens and fairways built like the shapes of seaways around sand dune traps that are difficult even for professional golfers. The best golf courses are specially designed, with holes that challenge all golfers, from beginners to professional, and involve using all of the golf clubs in the bag.

The designer is also important in the reputation of the golf course. ‘Golf course designers are typically retired professional golfers,’ said Mr Phong. ‘They are already famous around the world, so their own reputation is added to the course. Some of the best designers of courses in Vietnam include Luke Donald, with Ba Na Hills Golf Club, Colin Montgomerie with Montgomerie Links, Greg Norman with the Da Nang Golf Club, and Nick Faldo with the Laguna Lang Co Golf Course.’

With so much coastline to choose from and perfect landscapes as well undulating sand dunes in some parts, there are more great golf courses in the central and southern regions of Vietnam than in the north. The Guide is pleased to introduce readers to the best courses in Dalat, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Quy Nhon and Danang.

LAGUNA GOLF LANG CO

Located in the heart of the Laguna Lang Co international integrated resort is Laguna Golf Lang Co, a par 71 course designed by six-time Major champion Nick Faldo. Ideally situated between the ancient capital of Hue to the north and Danang to the south, the rugged course overlooks one of Vietnam’s most beautiful bays. It presents variety for players of all levels, measuring just under 7,100 yards from the championship tees and a beginner-friendly 5,263 yards from the front tees.

Golfing Getaways

The course won IAGTO’s 2017 Golf Resort of the Year Award and Best Golf Resort in Asia - Vietnam 2018 from Golf Digest and is host to the annual Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, featuring many of the region’s finest junior golfers. The thoughtful design plots its way through the changing landscape framed by the mountain range on three sides and the East Sea to the east. Laguna Lang Co combines unique environs of rice paddies, soaring trees, ‘blowout’ areas, creeks, streams, and dramatic rock outcrops on oceanfront footage. Nick Faldo has described the course as one of his finest pieces of architectural work.

The course’s clubhouse has everything a golfer needs, including an outdoor dining café with a capacity of 80 guests, a fully-stocked pro-shop, a golf bag storage room, an activities centre, and even two tennis courts.

THE BLUFFS HO TRAM STRIP

Golfing Getaways

Located in Ba Ria Vung Tau province and 80 km southeast of HCMC, this unique links-style par 71 course sits on a coastal plateau with 50-metre elevation changes and holes nestled among towering seaside sand dunes. The course was built on sandy loam soil with native crawling vegetation, which provide excellent drainage and turf conditions. High winds at certain times throughout the year play havoc and create a challenge for even the best golfers. The links course also makes for a golf experience that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is a challenge.

‘The Bluffs is the definition of a playable golf course,’ said Ms  Sonia Mai Huong, General Manager. ‘We have hosted some of the best players in the world and, on a daily basis, we have members and guests from all over the globe enjoying the course. There are many reasons for this. For one, there are several tee boxes on each hole, which gives players options on where to hit from. Secondly, the course is generous in length and conditioning is always at a premium. Players of all levels enjoy that. I should also mention that since we are right on the ocean we are very cognisant of how the wind comes into play from one day to the next. So, we can and do make adjustments to the course set-up based on that.’

The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip’s facilities include a three-level 2,300 sq m clubhouse with an array of dining options. The onsite PGA golf academy and driving range, with more than 3,000 sq m of practice and training facilities, is a great place to warm up before any round. The complete Grand Ho Tram Strip golf and resort development has a 541-room five-star hotel, ten restaurants, entertainment outlets, and a convention centre.

BA NA HILLS GOLF CLUB

Golfing Getaways

Opened in 2016, Ba Na Hills was the first course designed by former world No 1 Luke Donald. It features 18 tour-calibre holes at the foot of a towering mountain range less than half an hour’s drive from Danang. The large rolling hills, stunning mountain backdrop, and adjacent river provides golfers with the ideal complement to existing courses in the area.

Stretching 7,858 yards from the championship tees - making it the longest layout in Vietnam - and comprising a non-stop succession of undulating and sometimes small greens, Ba Na Hills is capable of testing the world’s best golfers.

However, with four other sets of tees, generous landing areas, and high-density MiniVerde putting surfaces - whose ultra-fine leaf blades enable the truest of rolls - the course is well positioned to attract players of all skill levels. The most breathtaking view comes at the par 3 12th, where an elevated tee box reveals a dense forest stretching as far as the eye can see beyond the bunker-guarded target. Another distinct aspect of the course is its lighting system, a feature none of its competitors possess. What’s more, the arrangement is so comprehensive that golf can begin and end in the dark. The entire course can be illuminated, so golfers can play a full round even after the sun goes down.

MONTGOMERIE LINKS VIETNAM

Golfing Getaways

Montgomerie Links Vietnam is located a chip shot away from stunning Ha My Beach and a short drive from Da Nang International Airport. The layout of the 18-hole, par 72 championship course originates from Colin Montgomerie, one of the world’s best golf professionals. A well-equipped, 30-bay covered driving range and a stunning contemporary clubhouse with views of the 18th hole, Marble Mountains and distant highlands are among the other amenities at Montgomerie Links.

The links course by the sea is 7,090 yards long. With sand dunes, grasslands and pine trees, the course resembles the best Scottish or Irish links courses, but with a more pleasant climate, and some water hazards in the form of ponds and streams. Wavy fairways, dense rough, and large greens shape the course. The large and sometimes deep bunkers make the course tricky, but can also be played by occasional golfers, with green fees starting from VND2,700,000.

Facilities include a restaurant, training areas, a bar, locker rooms, and a pro shop.

VINPEARL GOLF NHA TRANG

Golfing Getaways

Vinpearl Golf Nha Trang is situated in its own picturesque valley along an 800-metre stretch of pristine white sand beach. It’s located in Vinpearl’s resort complex on Hon Tre Island, Nha Trang Bay - described by Forbes magazine as one of the 30 most beautiful bays on earth. Designed by the renowned IMG Worldwide, the impressive 18-hole, Par 71 championship masterpiece is Vietnam’s first international-standard island golf course, offering unique golfing experiences with views of the ocean from every hole.

The picturesque gem of a course provides a challenging layout of 6,787 yards stretching over 182 ha, meandering through the valley along lake banks and the seashore, with soothing breezes blowing in through palm trees. White sand bunkers compliment the serene beach as it fades into the clear blue bay. Most tees are elevated to give golfers an excellent view of the challenge ahead. The varying challenges and degrees of risk / reward have been specially created to test professionals as well as amateurs.

Facilities and services include a high-end clubhouse, a bar-restaurant, a meeting hall, a pro shop, golf lessons, and equipment rentals.

VINPEARL GOLF PHU QUOC

Golfing Getaways

Set amid unspoiled woodland on Bai Dai (Long Beach) on Phu Quoc Island, Vinpearl Golf Phu Quoc provides a sense of being immersed in nature on a magical island with stunning beaches. Its breathtaking scenery and unique golfing experience promise to impress golf tourists.

Catering to all levels, the seahorse paspalum grass course was designed by IMG Worldwide and has 18 holes with intriguing challenges, divided into two nines. Each has its own distinctive characteristics and presents differing landscapes and hazards.

Golfers can experience rolling fairways and contours that weave and undulate seamlessly through the beautiful landscape of Phu Quoc Island, commanding a breathtaking, panoramic vista of the tropical forest against the stunning backdrop of the pristine East Sea. The total area is 80 ha, with a par 72.

SAM TUYEN LAM GOLF CLUB

Golfing Getaways

In the east of the Tuyen Lam Lake Tourist Zone in Dalat, SAM Tuyen Lam Golf Club (Sacom Tuyen Lam Golf Resort) is famous for its heavenly natural landscape, which is highly inspirational for golfing and relaxing. The course was designed by Mr Robert Bicknell from the US. The wonderful scenery and cool mountain air make golf in Dalat a wonderful experience. The challenging course has many elevation changes, well-placed bunkers, and water hazards.

The 18-hole course is 7,035 yards in length and lies along a valley, with a hotel, villas, a clubhouse, driving ranges, and practice areas. Golfers can enjoy year-round cool temperatures, with mornings often covered in mist until 9 or 10am. The green Brent grass and Bermuda are well protected with nice slopes. While the clubhouse is built in a European style and allows visitors to see the entire course and surrounding mountains, the restaurant and bar both serve European and Asian dishes, while VIP players can also book a private dining room.

Ideally located in Dalat, SAM Tuyen Lam Golf Club is 25 km from Lien Khuong Airport. A small lake, the local environment, and the cool climate make for an unforgettable golfing experience.

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