Blue-chip tournaments and events allied to an expanded course portfolio and a renewed thirst for golf travel will see Central Vietnam cement its status as one of Asia’s must-visit golf destinations in 2023.
That’s the view from the Vietnam Golf Coast (VGC), a freshly rebooted destination marketing organization that links the region’s best signature golf layouts.
“Asia’s top golf destination is not just recovering following the pandemic: it’s getting even better,” said Gary Dixon, general manager at Ba Na Hills Golf Club, one of the driving forces in the VGC.
Clubs in the region — regarded as a leading golf hub not just in Vietnam but in all of Asia — are reporting brisk business as golf travel returns. The return of golf tourism, plus big events and expanded play options could help elevate Asian golf hub.
This resurgence is also reflected via several major golf events slated for 2023. These include the Asia Grand Final of the Faldo Series — the only global amateur series for boys and girls — which will play out over the Sir Nick Faldo Signature Design at Laguna Golf Lang Co in April.
Central Vietnam will also roll out the welcome mat for the global golf industry as Danang, its largest city, hosts the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) and Asian Development Tour (ADT) over the course of the year.
On course, the buzz about Central Vietnam’s layouts has grown almost as loud as the motorbike horns that soundtrack daily life in Danang.
Layouts such as Laguna Golf Lang Co, a Sir Nick Faldo Signature Design, and Ba Na Hills Golf Club, laid out by British former Ryder Cup star Luke Donald, are ranked among Asia’s best courses. Other highlights include courses designed by luminaries including Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, Robert Trent Jones Jr., and Jack Nicklaus.
“Many golfers won’t have been in Central Vietnam since 2019,” said Adam Calver, director of golf and destination marketing at Laguna Golf Lang Co. “We already had five great championship courses here at that time. Now, with the addition of two additional courses (laid out by Trent Jones Jr. and Nicklaus), we have seven.”
For golfers, the evolving play options is the area’s most compelling draw.
Highlights include Laguna Golf Lang Co, where a championship course threads between trees, over rice paddies and streams, through rock features and alongside the pounding surf. Designed by British former world No. 1 Donald (his first effort as an architect), Ba Na Hills is laid out over rolling foothills and features natural elevation changes, ravines, streams and spectacular mountain backdrops.
“Demand is surging once again,” Dixon said. “Before, I would have said that anyone serious about golf travel should be coming to Vietnam at least once in their life. With world-class courses opening all the time, I would revise that to say that you’d need to return every few years to do the place justice.”
Source: Golf Course Industry