Here are three tips to make your golfing holiday in Danang more enjoyable:
1. Money Changing: US Dollars used to be widely accepted and the preferred currency of choice for a Danang golf vacation. However, over the past 2 years this has all changed. Nowadays the Vietnamese Dong is used everywhere. The rates are controlled by the Vietnam Central Bank, so changing money at an official money changer will get you the best rates. There are two exchange kiosks at the Danang Airport and the rates are competitive. Read more
I have played many Thailand golf courses before they opened, but last week was the first time I played a Vietnam golf course pre-opening. Most times, the pre-opening phase is used to work out the operational bugs in any new golf club. Therefore, it was to my great surprise to experience new perfection at the new Laguna Lang Co Golf Club.
Getting to Lang Co took exactly 77 minutes from the center of Hoi An using the new tunnel that connects Danang and Hue. The arrival greetings at Lang Co were as good as I have experienced. The greeters were expecting us and had our names and bag tags all ready. Check-in at the pro-shop was equally smooth as we all received our day passports that allowed us to use all the facilities and make purchases throughout the Laguna Lang Co resort. After changing into our golf gear we were introduced to our caddies and shown cordially to the first tee.
On the course, things started out a little rough as the last holes to be grassed were the few nearest to the clubhouse. Anyway, getting past the first 3-4 holes things came into light. The course layout plays through 3 distinct areas. Several holes wander through former rice paddies. These are fairly wide open and nothing special. However, moving into the jungle section is where the golf got fun. Playing through forested areas on a new course is most welcome as trees are mature and other than the grass, the holes seemed to have been made years ago. Contrast this to many other new Vietnam golf courses where staked small tress are the rule and old hardwoods are only a dream 5 years down the road.
The final section of the course is laid out along the South China Sea. These holes play as most links courses do with pot bunkers, waste areas, and greens with natural dunes protecting them. Our caddies were able to advise us the best routes to the pins as well as provided needed assistance reading the undulated greens.
Back at the clubhouse the excellent on course service continued. We had a great Vietnamese meal at the golfer’s café and the free Wi-Fi came in handy as everyone posted their Laguna Lang Co pictures online for the world to see.
If Laguna Lang Co Golf Club has been opened for 10 years I could understand how they were able to fine tune the facility and service. However, given that the new Hue golf course does not officially open for another 2 moths, it is nothing short of a miracle to see how well-oiled things are. My hats off to Tim Haddon and his staff for a pre-opening job well done!
Get ready for a bang; Laguna Lang Co Golf Club is set to hit the ground running and don’t be surprised to hear about them winning the best new golf course in Asia this year!
Here is the latest from Rick, one of the key guys on the ground involved in Saigon golf development.
I just spent the weekend in Danang. Montgomerie Links Vietnam and Danang Golf Club are both in the best condition I have seen them in. The greens at Danang Golf Club were running at about 10 with not one single deviation or bump off line. I just wish I could read the greens properly.
The new superintendent at Montgomerie Links Vietnam has it striped up and looking really good, greens were very true. I also had a knock round the Faldo track at Laguna Lang Co Golf Club. It still has about 4 holes growing in and some landscape to fill out but it is a really good test for all standards with breath taking views of the hills as a back drop. The clubhouse is well put together and they are getting their act together with service levels. A full day package of golf, food and beverages, spa and beach would be a great day out for anyone visiting Hue for golf. As you know it is realistically an 80 min trip from Danang or Hoi An. A nice tranquil day of beach and pampering with golf would be perfect. The Lang Co beach is really nice and the area is almost silent, no traffic noises etc. I could envisage Laguna Lang Co Golf Club getting 2013 best new course in Asia. The superintendent is intending to keep it with running fairways and has all the necessary equipment to implement what he says.
I just wanted to give some feedback to you. Keep up all the good work and news of golf in Asia.
With three of the best Vietnam golf courses in operation by years end, how do you actually get to Danang? Most Vietnam golfers will arrive in Danang via connecting flights from either Saigon or Hanoi. This is convenient, but sometimes involves a long layover and or unnecessary baggage handling as you cannot through check bags to domestic flights in Vietnam. There are numerous daily non-stop flights to choose from.
However, there are some better options for travelling to Danang. My favorite is to fly from Siem Reap after combining a few days golfing in Cambodia. This option makes for a great multi-destination golf holiday and combines 2 wonderful golf destinations. The Silk Air flight operates non-stop 3 days a week. Be sure to schedule your trip on the day of the week to match!
Air Asia fly’s direct to Danang from Kuala Lumpur and while not the best airline for golfers (bags can cost more than people), it is a good route to avoid the domestic connection in Vietnam. Also, Kuala Lumpur has some good golf courses, but make sure you are there weekdays as the Malaysia golf courses are mainly for members, expensive, and busy on weekends.
In the near future there will be non-stop service to Danang from Bangkok. This will open up even more golf holiday possibilities as there is also great golf in Bangkok and the city is served by most major carriers. For those of you travelling direct to Danang, bags can be checked straight through and transiting in Bangkok is simple.
So now that the secret is out, why wait any longer. Hop on one of the flights mentioned above and play the best golf courses in Vietnam.
Currently there are but 2 golf courses in Danang. Both are equally excellent. Some may also argue that they are the best 2 Vietnam golf courses.
Danang Golf Club is a Greg Norman design that plays in links style among the dunes of China Beach. In fact one hole, the par-3 signature 16th plays right over the South China Sea. The unique point of the Danang golf course is how the sand dunes were left as natural waste areas. They also combine seamlessly where needed into fairway and green side bunkers. Play is challenging and rugged.
Montgomerie Links Vietnam is a full branded Colin Montgomerie design which was built by IMG. The Danang golf course is actually located in Hoi An and is currently the only Colin Montgomerie golf course in Asia. Contrasting with the Danang Golf Club, Montgomerie Vietnam is a contemporary links courses located 200 meters inland and has a resort feel. While not directly on the sea, several of the holes and the clubhouse do provide ocean views. The layout is excellent, fairways well groomed, and the play relaxed, albeit by no means easy.
Most golf destinations need at least 3 courses to make them worthwhile for a golf holiday and fortunately a third course is set to open by the years’ end. The Laguna Lang Co Golf Club is a Nick Faldo designed course located about 1 hour north of Danang and 2 hours south of Hue. The Hue golf course will feature 3 distinct zones. Six holes play along the sea, 6 are in the woods, and 6 play in the foothills. Fairways are all narrow and undulated to the point of every drive needing to be accurate to have any chance to score well.
Which Danang golf course will be best? I suggest playing all three Danang golf courses and deciding for yourself. Each course has its own unique style and will appeal in different ways to different Vietnam golfers. Just be sure to post your comment or feedback here after playing golf in Danang.
The Greg Norman designed Danang Golf Club is one of the most unique golf courses in Vietnam, if not all Asia. It is a fun and exciting golf challenge that every Vietnam golfer will appreciate.
The entire “rough” was intentionally left out and in its place are large sandy waste areas that were the original sand dunes before the golf course was built. Fairways are wide and there is hardly any water and no out of bounds. However, tee shots need to be well-struck to have par chances on the well-bunkered and undulated greens. The Danang golf course is surrounded by Casuarina Pines, so miss left or right and you will be playing off pine needles over sand. In the latter case, forget about scoring well and be glad to get back to the fairway.
The other unique aspect of the Danang Golf Club is the wind. Most golf courses in tropical Asia and practically all other Vietnam golf courses play in relatively calm conditions. In fact, rarely does the wind affect the ball flight more than around 10 yards. However, playing right on the South China Sea (actually hole #16 is over the sea), the wind is often a major factor that comes into play with club and shot selection. Many times late in the day winds can whip up to 30-40 miles per hour. This is welcome as far as the heat index goes, but the wind causes havoc even with well-struck golf shots. When combined with the firm and sloped greens, the wind makes play even more difficult.
Those accustomed to links style golf have an advantage. Low trajectory chip shots and Texas wedge style putting from the fringes and out into the fairways are good options in many circumstances at Danang Golf Club. More like an Australia sand-belt links golf course, the Danang Golf club is something really special in Vietnam, if not all Asia.