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.
Here are 5 reasons why Vietnam is a world-class golf holiday destination.
- The courses: With many courses having been developed by leading golf architects of the world such as Greg Norman (Danang Golf Club), Nick Faldo (Ocean Dunes Golf Club & Laguna Lang Co Golf Club), Ron Fream (Long Thanh Golf Club & Sea Links Golf Club), and Peter Rousseau (Van Tri Golf Club & Twin Doves Golf Club) quality golfing is never far away.
- The locations: Vietnam is a beautiful and fascinating country that offers a variety of different golf destinations. The cities of Hanoi and Saigon are bustling centers of commerce, industry, and colonial history. The costal resorts of Danang, Hoi An, and Nha Trang have some of the best beaches in the world. The fresh mountains of Dalat have excellent year-round golf on offer at a perfect 20 degrees centigrade temperature.
- The history and culture: Only the past 50 years or so of Vietnamese history is familiar to most travelers. Moreover, Vietnamese culture is for the most part still mysterious and unknown. However, today more and more people are traveling to golf in Vietnam. Getting to know Vietnam’s history and Vietnamese culture is interesting and fascinating. Historically, fist recorded evidence dates back to 200 B.C. and is rich and varied ever since. Vietnamese culture is one of the most exotic and complex in the world. It is hard to find such an authentic and interesting place for golf travel anywhere!
- The caddies: A unique and truly memorable part of golf in Vietnam. All females, they provide excellent day service at $15 US Dollars a round. Greeting you upon arrival at the clubhouse, Vietnam caddies take care of everything before teeing off, during the round, and after finishing 18 holes. With a constant smiling face, they give yardages to the green, mark and clean golf balls, advise of the breaks on the green, keep their golfers cool during the round, and always provide great enjoyment.
- The food: Like with any other cuisine, Vietnamese food is influenced by its geography and history. Vietnamese food has retained its distinct identity, despite influences from Chinese and other Asian cuisine. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is greatly admired for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, and reliance on herbs and vegetables. As such, Vietnamese food is often ranked as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Where else can a golfer travel to and eat as much as he/she wants without worries of putting on extra pounds/kilos? That is except for the beer!
There are endless other reasons to golf in Vietnam and I could go on, but that will spoil all the additional surprises in store when you golf this fascinating country.
Since this is my first post, I thought to take this opportunity to introduce all readers to the Vietnam Golf Zone Blog. It is my intent to share my and other peoples, valuable knowledge and expert information about playing golf and golf travel in Vietnam. I will be writing on such topics as my day to day golf experiences, prior tours and travels I have made throughout Vietnam, useful golf tips which have helped me improved my game and other related subjects which golfers coming to Vietnam will find interesting and enjoyable. To get things started I wanted to share my one of my favorite images of golf in Vietnam. The photo was taken at Tam Dao Golf Resort on the Vietnam Golf Coast in the mountains above Hanoi. It reminds me what golf in Vietnam is all about; enjoyment, relaxation and quality. I hope this blog compliments and conveys the same emotions. Please feel free to subscribe, leave me comments, send an email, as well as visit my business web site which has even more information on Vietnam golf.