Over the course of the last twenty years. Golf in Vietnam has caught on in a big way. Now it seems like a new signature course is opening every year. Vietnam has some of the best golf courses in Asia, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. Here’s a brief look at ten challenging, well-designed golf courses throughout Vietnam.
The fabulous newly opened golf course at The Bluffs (Ho Tram Strip Resort Casino Vietnam) is breathtakingly beautiful and demanding by any stretch of the imagination. A links course crafted over rolling dunes, it is not flat, with the highest hole raising 54 metres above the lowest points on the course. The wind here is a major player, for seven months it blows strongly in one direction and just as regular players are getting used to it, it reverses completely and blows the other way for the rest of the year.
Sacom Golf Club
Tuyen Lam Lake Tourist Area, Ward 3, Dalat City, Lam Dong
Open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to allow for a range of different conditions specific to guests' requirements, this golf course is as big as it is beautiful. Sacom Golf Course was created in 2013, with 18 holes nestled among the beautiful rolling hills that line the Tuyen Lam Lake tourist area of Vietnam's luscious Dalat. 7,200 yards long, the course runs the length of a cool valley, with a few holes on the crests of hills from which golfers can admire the vast sweeping green around them. This course is located about 15km south of Dalat and is easily accessible by road.
Like all links courses this is challenging, in fact it is billed by the club as ”The Most Challenging Links Style Golf Course In Asia”. It was the first links course to be built in Vietnam and has tested players since it opened. The course is very long and the fairways have big undulations, all of which add to the physical difficulties as well as the technical. Set against the backdrop of The Eastern Sea, it is found in Phan Thiet on Vietnam’s southern coast.
There are two 18 hole courses here, but I chose the Lakeside course for the purpose of this article. McFarland specialises in designing challenging courses; he uses local terrain and natural hazards to build testing golf courses. The Lakeside course is no exception; that 13 of the 18 holes have water hazards tells you all you need to know. In addition, many greens are hidden and require testing approach shots over water or swamps.
Montgomerie uses a similar philosophy on all his courses, an all encompassing approach that takes in all aspects of the layout and works closely with what nature has provided. Here, sandy soil, wind-blown dunes, and indigenous flora have been incorporated to great effect to create the framework for a very strong links golf course. The par 5 12th is a stand out test and has been described as the best par 5 on any of the golf courses in Vietnam.
This has been described as the best course out of the 26 that Faldo has designed around the world. The great test here is simply the variety of environments all in one round of golf. There is a rice paddy, woodlands, the beach, rivers and streams and delightful rocky outcrops on the adjacent hillsides. And of course as with all links courses that sea breeze to contend with. This is certainly among the most challenging golf courses in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Golf & Country Club has two courses here, the East and the West. This is a very large piece of real estate covering as it does almost 750 acres. For the purpose of this article we are looking at the West Course. The course looks as though it was built by nature, so beautifully does it fit the landscape. The difficulty comes from the narrowness of the tree lined fairways. These are long holes and only single digit handicap players are allowed to play off the gold tees.
This is another 36 hole golf resort, though the Lake Course is only open to the members. The Sky Course plays over rolling hills amid delightful scenery. It requires long play and accuracy, there are several very long uphill par 4s. Some of the greens are multi tiered and are protected by steep bunkers, the fairways though are reasonably wide. Walking round this course is physically demanding, though ultimately very rewarding.
The Chi Linh Star Golf & Country Club is a challenging course offering international standard golfing. The golf club opened in late 2003, and is roughly halfway between Hanoi and the Halong Bay. The first professional golf tournament in North Vietnam, the 2004 Carlsberg Masters, was held here. There’s a large lake in the middle of the course which ensures plenty of water hazards. After a hard round of golf, you can look forward to the massive 680 yard uphill par 4 for the 18th.
Tam Dao Golf & Resort
Hop Chau Commune, Tam Dao District, Vinh Phuc Province.
This glorious 18 hole course opened in 2007 and is one of the best in the country. It is well thought out and will ensure that every club in your bag is brought into use. Clever use of natural surroundings and water make this a tricky course at times. Water hazards are well placed ensuring that approach shots have to be well considered. All this is played out with the mountains as the backdrop.
Golf is growing rapidly in Vietnam and no doubt this list could be longer and will undoubtedly be added to in the coming years. Let us know if you have any others that you think fit this list already.