European Champions Approve Central Vietnam as Prime Golf Destination
by Bernard Metzger, Travelindex Group and Golf Travel Writer Association
Sir Nick Faldo and Luke Donald praise region for its on-and-off course attributes. Two giants of European golf — Sir Nick Faldo, and Luke Donald — have added their voices to the chorus of approval surrounding Central Vietnam’s credentials as a golf destination.
“To my mind, Central Vietnam is near the pinnacle of places to play golf in Asia,” said Faldo, whose signature layout at Laguna Golf Lang Co is regarded as one of the best layouts in Asia. “The stunning landscapes of beaches and mountains are endlessly beautiful; the warmness of the people is a joy to encounter and there are wonderful golf courses to suit players of every ability.”
When Faldo and Donald express an opinion on golf it pays to take notice. After all, the English pair have decades of experience at the very highest level of the game. They have notched 58 professional wins between them. In Faldo’s case, six of these victories were major titles.
Both have starred in multiple Ryder Cup installments, with Donald due to perform a vital captain’s role when the biannual clash between Europe and US golfers takes place in Italy this September.
And their zeal for the golf options in Central Vietnam — not to mention an array of off-course attractions ranging from endless beaches, world-renowned cuisine, and luxury resorts — bodes well for the destination as golf travel returns with a vengeance.
“The topography of Vietnam is just unbelievable,” said Donald, whose design in the area, Ba Na Hills Golf Club, unfolds over rolling foothills amidst the dramatic peaks that back the coastline in Central Vietnam. “There are courses built around mountains and on sandy soil next to the ocean. The land is hard to match.”
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 and Ba Na Hills Golf Club are among Asia’s best courses. Ba Na Hills Golf Club features natural elevation changes, ravines, streams, and spectacular mountain backdrops. At Laguna Golf Lang Co, Faldo’s championship course threads between trees, over rice paddies and streams, through rock features, and alongside the pounding surf.
Other highlights for play, meanwhile, include courses designed by luminaries including Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, Robert Trent Jones Jr., and Jack Nicklaus.
“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 Vietnam Golf Coast (VGC), a freshly rebooted destination marketing organization that links the region’s best signature golf layouts.
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-meter-long pedestrian bridge that is one of Asia’s most photographed landmarks.
“Central Vietnam is a place you must see and experience to fully take in and appreciate,” added Faldo. “It’s a fantastic destination for tourism with great properties, great climates, and clean air. The outlook for it is amazing.”