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 Asia overall — are reporting brisk business as golf travel returns with a vengeance.
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 over rolling foothills, are ranked among Asia’s best courses. Other highlights, meanwhile, 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 & Destination Marketing at Laguna 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.”
With high-quality golf combined with incredible beaches and luxury resorts like the award winning properties at Laguna Lang Co — Banyan Tree Lang Co and Angsana Lang Co — Central Vietnam is arguably Vietnam’s hub for golf tourism. It offers a range of attractions, including the heritage sites in history-steeped Hoi An and the Golden Bridge at Sun World Ba Na Hills: a 150-metre-long pedestrian bridge that is one of Asia’s most photographed landmarks.
Its myriad attributes are complemented by world-class infrastructure that includes Danang International Airport, which links Danang with direct flights to destinations including Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Singapore.
But for golfers, the evolving play options is the area’s most compelling drawcard.
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 number one Donald (it is 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,” added Dixon. “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.”