Harley Kruse, who designed Danang Golf Club and the golf course architect to have worked for the design companies of Australia’s greatest golfers, Greg Norman, returned to Vietnam in February 2015 for the first time after five years and left deeply impressed with the course and how golf courses in Vietnam has developed as one of the world’s best all year round golf package locations.
“It really has been a case of build it and they will come,” says Kruse of the speedy growth of golf tourism and all associated infrastructure in the Danang region. “Two 18-hole international-standard golf courses, new luxury hotels, a casino, an international airport and many nearby cultural, historical and culinary found in the city have really put Danang on the international golfing map. With a new course –Ba Na Hills due to open to the public in 2016, the region has gone from strength to strength”.
Harley Kruse is also very enthusiastic about the way Danang Golf Club has very quickly matured. Da Nang Golf Club was accorded Top 10 Golf Courses in Asian Pacific by Asian Golf Monthly Award in 2013 and is rated 4.5 stars by hundreds of TripAdvisor’s User.
“The design has held up well and I challenge any course to have a better set of 18 greens in Vietnam,” he says. “The shaper, Pete Wadell, and I got a great set of greens with their own individual character. It is a piece of my hometown Melbourne’s sandbelt in Vietnam. Smooth tight lies, striking sand-faced bunkers and tightly-mown green surrounds that promote ball roll and encourage a skilled short game is what the great courses, like Royal Melbourne, do. The tightness of the playing surfaces is a credit to superintendent Dan Brown, whose turf skills come from time spent on Barnbougle Dunes in Tasmania, the remodelling of Royal Queensland in Brisbane and working under Richard Forsyth, who is now superintendent at Royal Melbourne.”
He says the difference in style between Danang Golf Club and Montgomerie Links next door is “a big plus”.
Across the golfing market, some golfers may prefer a well-manicured golf course, highly-maintained with very green, very short grass that’s easy to play and planted landscape of Monty, while the naturalized landscape of Danang Golf Club makes it more of a true golfers’ course that appeals to another part of the market.
Either way, both courses are become more popular with both local Vietnamese and Chinese, Koreans, South East Asian players as well as a good number of Australians. The word has spread well over the years and the high number of returning golfers is testament to the quality of customer care provided and the quality of the playing experience.
Harley Kruse says that after five years, Danang GC’s Dunes Course looks as though it has been there for years. “It has proved to be a resilient layout of wide fairways and a sandy open rough, which makes it hard to lose a ball. This was the intent and will always be popular with resort golfers. It is a fun course and the wide fairways give players a choice of approaches to the greens, depending on the pin position of the day. Off the back tees the course is not far off 7200 yards, which includes the brutally long 630-yard 10th hole.”
“During construction there were favourite holes, and some new holes became favorites after being grassed. Hole 11 would always be my favourite par 3 and of course hole 16, which I located on a naturally-shaped saddle in the oceanside dune, will be a excellent golf-memory for most golfers. But the short hole 8, which was manufactured out of a low wet depression, has evolved into a truly great par 3 where players will experience breathtaking panoramic views of Marble Mountain in the distant backdrop.
Harley Kruse says he is also absolutely impressed how the course plays host to a little more than 40,000 rounds of golf per year and is standing up well to the wear and tear.
“Danang is proof that if the right tourism infrastructure is in place, along with excellent golf only 20 minutes from the Da Nang international airport, golfers will gladly come from far and wide.”
The future of golf in Vietnam looks very bright. The latest massive real estate boom occurred in Vietnam in the 2007-2008 period but the property market in Vietnam is showing signs of getting warmer and industry insiders do not think there will be another real estate bubble. The success of Danang as a popular international golfing destination has really showed the way for other destinations in Vietnam. I suspect Danang and adjacent areas could now support more quality courses to cement its desirability and status as one of the best golfing destinations in Asia. Other places such as Halong Bay have the opportunity to replicate Danang’s success of quality golf that is well supported by tourism and transport infrastructure.
“Vietnam is competing like every other country in Asia for the golfing tourism dollar. Many courses in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand were built more than 20 years ago. Some are a little tired and perhaps weren’t designed or built as well as more modern courses. So Vietnam has a great opportunity to become a very good destination if it delivers well-designed and built courses on quality sites.”
“Growing the game of golf in Vietnam is important. While golf is still a relatively new game for the privileged few, there is a wonderful opportunity to invest in the growth and expansion of junior golf through academies, clubs and developing sporting scholarships. Spotting young talent and nurturing it towards national, regional and ultimately the world stage is the challenge. With golf becoming an Olympic sport once again in 2016, the possibilities are unlimited.”
Some information in this article collected from www.vietnamgolfmagazine.net
Keyword: danang golf, danang golf club, danang golf course.