Golf Coast Vietnam

CENTRAL COAST (DANANG), VIETNAM

Story & Images by Sam Gole, Discover Golf Magazine

Such is the buzz surrounding golf in Danang, mention ‘golf coast’ and most discerning golfers will immediately think of the bustling city situated on Vietnam’s central coast. With its three championship golf courses designed by some of the game’s best, luxury accommodation options, spectacular beaches and world heritage listed sites with centuries old history, the Danang region has become one of the world’s hottest golf destinations. It’s expected up to 100,000 rounds of golf will be played there in 2015.

It’s a remarkable rise to prominence when you consider up until five years ago, no rounds of golf were fired in the legendary region where US Marines first landed in 1965 and set up base on the sand dunes of My Khe beach.

The Colin Montgomerie designed Montgomerie Links, which officially opened in April 2010, was the region’s first golf course. And Monty has done an exceptional job—the resort-style track is a layout all golfers can enjoy.

The course is located just 15 minutes from Danang International Airport and ideally situated at the foot of the Marble Mountains, which provide a stunning backdrop clearly visible from various points on the stunning course.

From the tips, the 6493-metre course has enough length to test the low markers. But while the layout tightens for the longer hitters to challenge the best, there’s generally ample fairway closer to the tee to ensure the course is a delight to play for golfers of all abilities.

Montgomerie Links has plenty of visual appeal too. The layout is beautifully manicured and features many stunning holes.

The par-5, 12th is truly remarkable. The longer hitters can reach the 481-metre in two shots. Playing slightly uphill to a bunker-riddled fairway, the hole is framed by the clubhouse and features a superb mountain backdrop. The award-winning hole could easily be the best par-5 in Vietnam.

The layout also includes a historic gun placement pillbox—it’s a wartime relic and reminder of the country’s troubled past. These days it could be used as the perfect vantage point to view golfers whistle their tee-shot down the par-5, 6th hole.

Greg Norman’s Danang Golf Club is conveniently located right next door to Montgomerie Links. However, while both tracks are set in rolling coastal dunes and adjacent to Danang’s world famous beach, don’t expect the same golfing experience.

In contrast to Monty’s manicured resort-style layout with minimal waste areas, Norman opted for a more dramatic links feel.

Danang Golf Club will appeal to the golfing purists with artful bunkering and clever routing that utilises its extensive dune formations.

In typical Norman style, the course is intimidating from the tee. Each beautifully shaped hole features a myriad of sandy hazards including numerous holes that have sand edging along most of the fairway, often blending into shaped bunkers that guard heavily undulating greens.

Danang Golf Club has plenty of wow-factor. The view from the 16th green over the East Sea will make you stand to attention. Considered the signature hole, the 133-metre, par-3 plays up to the beachfront with the Cham Islands appearing in the distance. From the green, you can see the pounding surf and pristine sandy beach. There’s even a pillbox from French colonial days that stands between the sharply sloping green and the 17th tee.

The Nick Faldo design Laguna Lang Co is the newest course in the region and offers a golfing experience with a more authentic Vietnam flavour. The course weaves between trees, thick jungle, natural streams, over rice fields and through massive rock features.

Located within the greater Laguna Lang Co integrated resort, the 6365-metre layout is situated 40 minutes from Danang International Airport.

Accuracy and clever course management are the keys to scoring well at this classy Faldo track. Risk reward options are a distinct course feature. The most notable is at the right to left shaped 4th-hole. You can shorten the monster 430-metre par-4 by cutting the corner. Don’t get too greedy—a water hazard and expanse of dense vegetation will snap up any shot that doesn’t make the fairway.

Laguna Lang Co features a fabulous set of par 3s. Each short hole boasts stunning settings. The pick of the bunch is the 152-metre, 11th. The pretty hole features large boulders protruding out of its dense jungle location.

And the finishing stretch of holes will blow you away too. Featuring numerous bunker complexes cut into a natural sand dune, the 17th and 18th fairways run adjacent to the coast. The par-4, par-5 closing holes complete a round of golf laden with fun-filled challenges and natural beauty.

Just as you would expect from a destination attracting masses of golfers from around the world, Danang and its surrounds offer luxury accommodation options.

The Ocean Villas is located adjacent to Danang Golf Club, and on a pristine beach facing the East Sea. Only 15 minutes from Hoi An and Danang city, each stand-alone villa has its own private pool and garden, is luxuriously appointed and fully self contained with kitchen and laundry facilities. Offering a relaxing home-away-from-home atmosphere, this site is ideal for families and small golf groups.

Also located in Danang and resting on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Fusion Maia boasts the largest spa facility in Central Vietnam. The 5-star resort takes extra steps to offer its guests holiday experiences that are truly special. Most irresistibly, all spa services are included in the room rate. Breakfast is served at any time and any place.

And for those seeking a room near Faldo’s Laguna Lang Co, step off the course and into Angsana Lang Co Resort. The resort boasts slick exteriors and chic interiors—its architecture blends many Vietnamese design elements inspired by the country’s rich culture and heritage.

There are 229 stylish rooms and suites of varying configurations offering views of majestic mountains, the tranquil lagoon or the glistening East Sea. Of these, more than 100 rooms are equipped with their own private pools.

Vietnam’s Central Coast boasts plenty of non-golf attractions including three UNESCO World Heritage sites nearby—Hoi An Ancient Town, Hue monuments and My Son Sanctuary.

Hoi An Old Town is just 10 minutes from Danang and is colourful, charming and fascinating with a vibe that’s wonderfully alluring. The pedestrian-friendly riverfront streets house merchant homes, great restaurants and a wealth of shopping (including what many believe to be the country’s finest tailoring). You can explore Chinese temples too.

So, if you’re looking to discover a golf destination with brilliant golf courses, excellent accommodation and a rich culture, consider firing a few rounds on the Golf Coast Vietnam—take it from me, it’s definitely worth a shot!

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