Vietnam tees up future
Vietnam, which already boasts some impressive courses, is shaping up as a new golfing paradise, especially in the heritage-rich Central Coast region.
Fast developing as an international luxury tourism hot spot, this region has launched two world-class golf courses in the past two years, with more in the pipeline.
'Various factors have conspired to peg Da Nang as Vietnam's top golf destination - one of Southeast Asia's finest,' says Mark Siegel, chief executive of GolfAsian Vietnam.
Located minutes apart, alongside Da Nang's historic China Beach and a new wave of luxury international beach resorts, Montgomerie Links and Danang Golf Club Dunes Course (DGCDC) weave through wild seaside landscape with outstanding links-style courses.
Designed by British golfer Colin Montgomerie and opened in 2009, the par-72 Montgomerie Links was Central Coast's first 18-hole course and is regarded as one of Asia's best new courses, while DGCDC, which opened last year, features 18 challenging holes designed by Australian legend Greg Norman.
Among several courses planned for the Central Coast, two notable ones will launch next year.
Vietnam's second golf course designed by British icon Nick Faldo will be located north of Danang in stunning Lang Co Bay within Laguna Lang Co complex. Faldo, winner of six major championships and designer of many award-winning courses, is creating an eagerly anticipated course.
Developed and managed by Banyan Tree Group, Laguna Lang Co will be Vietnam's first fully integrated resort - the same successful formula of Laguna Phuket. It will also be Vietnam's largest resort, with seven international five-star hotel and resort operators, spas, residences, convention facilities and retail, recreational and marina facilities alongside a beautiful beach.
Bana Hills Golf Club will open in mountains west of Da Nang at Bana Hills, a French hill station in colonial times but now earmarked for tourism development. It is the inaugural design of another British player, Luke Donald, and IMG's third in-progress golf project in Vietnam. The resort-style design will maximise cooling ocean breezes.
Access to the region will improve next year with the opening of Da Nang Airport's new international terminal.