A new coastal resort golf course, designed by six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo, has opened for play on Vietnam’s Central Coast.
The Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club is the newest golf course in Vietnam, a country recently voted golf destination of the year for Asia and Australasia at the IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) conference in Portugal in November.
The course is part of the $200m Banyan Tree Hotels & Resort’s Laguna Lăng Cô development on the shores of Canh Duong beach, south of Hue.
Potentially Asia’s best new golf course
Vietnam destination marketing expert Paul Myers of Asian Travel Media claims it has all the ingredients to become Asia’s best new golf course.
According to Myers, the Zoysia fairways and Tiff Eagle greens are all bedding in well and will be in prime condition for the official opening in March 2013.
“We are really pleased with the way the course is coming along,” says Laguna Lang Co’s director of golf, Tim Haddon. “Sir Nick wanted a hard bump-and-run type of surface and that’s how it will play”.
The green fees are described as a “modest” VND 1,840,000 ($US88) for visitors (weekdays) and 2,440,000 ($US117) at weekends. Hotel guests staying at Banyan Tree Hotel and Resort will play for approximately 15 percent less.
Memberships are being sold to the golf club for the equivalent of a $US26,000 entry price plus $US800 per year, while members of the resort’s club facilities will receive discounts to play golf.
Myers adds: “Laguna Lang Co offers a different and more varied golf experience than the other two outstanding courses in the region – Montgomerie Links designed by Colin Montgomerie and Danang Golf Club’s Dunes course designed by Greg Norman.”
All three courses are members of Golf Coast Vietnam (www.golfcoastvietnam.com), a destination-marketing program that promotes the Central Coast’s golf tourism attributes.
Playing a relatively short 6961 yards (6365 metres) from the back tees, longer hitters need to think carefully about club selection to avoid waste areas, strategically placed mounds – often with long grass – and mid-fairway bunkers that demand a choice between attempting to hit over or play short for the second shot.
Laguna Lăng Cô Golf Club’s appeal lies in its ever-changing character. Starting from an open rice-paddy-style environment beside a large lake, the layout moves towards the edge of a mountainous forest area before swinging towards the beach at the ninth hole and heading homeward through coastal duneland.
Natural design features are stunning
When he first saw the landscape, Sir Nick Faldo described it as “a stunning and diverse piece of terrain with an impressive array of natural design features”.
The par-3 fifth is already standing out as a likely signature hole. Incorporating large “chocolate-drop” mounds around the green that mirror a mountain peak in the background, it is the only hole with any obvious man-made influence.
The course had a soft opening on December 1.
“Nowhere else in Vietnam, including Hanoi and Co Chi Minh City, can boast the quality of courses on the Central Coast,” says Myers.
The region’s appeal as a golf tourism destination is also enhanced by UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An Ancient Town south of Danang and the Hue monuments in the former imperial capital, just an hour’s drive from Laguna Lang Co.
The Laguna Lăng Cô resort complex includes Banyan Tree and Angsana branded hotels and spas, with on-site villas and residences available for sale.
For more information, visit www.lagunalangco.com