Vietnam conjures up a number of iconic images: tropical beaches, conical hats, surreal French colonial environs, amazing ruins, incredible cuisine and much, much more. But what about golf?
Golf, in fact, is one of the fastest-growing activities in Vietnam, particularly in its central area. Including world-class golf courses designed by the likes of Australian legend Greg Norman and Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie, several dozen golf courses are set in amazing locations along Vietnam’s coast. A double plus is that you get warm tropical weather on the links, far from the blustery, unpredictable climates in more predictable golfing locales such as in Scotland.
With 35,000 Vietnamese and 80,000 expat golfers as members of the Vietnam Golf Association – plus the 50,000-odd golfing enthusiasts who visit Vietnam annually to try out the local links – the explosion of golf as a major activity in Vietnam is just getting started. It was named the 2012 “Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year” by the International Association of Golf Travel Operators and has come a long way since then. There are already three dozen golf courses in the area, with an estimated 65 more in various stages of development.
Two golf courses really stand out on Vietnam’s central coast – a prime destination for visitors looking to go to southeast Asia during June, July and August when the southwest monsoon rains hit many parts of the continent. The first is Danang Golf Club, designed by Norman and named the best golf course in Asia by readers of Asian Golf Monthly for 2011, 2012 and 2013. There is also Montgomerie Links Vietnam, the first golf course in central Vietnam and designed by one of Scotland’s great golfing exports. With a rolling landscape of casuarinas, pines and sand dunes, it’s now considered one of the world’s elite courses.
What’s great about golfing is Vietnam is that there are so many other things to do during your trip. Unless you’re a true, hard-core professional golfer, you likely won’t be on the greens the entire time. Perhaps you’re looking to complement your holiday with a variety of activities that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do in other golfing hotspots – such as exploring the amazing underwater landscapes, sunbathing on pristine sandy beaches, exploring historic imperial structures and temples, and much more.
Plus, if you’re going with your family or significant other, you can hit the links while the other members of your traveling group can enjoy seeing the rest of what central Vietnam has to offer – and believe us, there’s a lot.