Vietnam golf is probably not the very first thing that comes to your mind when you think of this country in Southeast Asia, and you may be surprised by the presence of a Vietnamese golf resort in just about every region of the country where you will find tourists. The quality of play at golf courses in Vietnam is also quite high. Combine this with a rich history, ancient monuments, and beautiful landscapes and you have a country that provides wonderful vacations.
Golfing in Vietnam dates to the era of colonial rule under France. At the same time the game became widely popular in Europe during the years between the two World Wars, a celebrated French architect, Ernest Hebrard, designed the first Vietnamese golf resort in Dalat when it was still just a remote and provincial hill station. By 1933, another course was opened in Saigon, today’s Ho Chi Minh City. The Saigon Golf Club appeared in a 1935 issue of National Geographic. Under the French, the courses in the southern part of the country flourished and continued to be well kept, and there were international tournaments played into the late 1960s. The courses languished in neglect after troops from the United States left in 1975, and stayed that way until the country opened to Western tourists in the 1990s.
Today, golf courses in Vietnam provide some of the best undiscovered holidays in the world, and world-class venues can be found from one end of the country to the other. Surrounded by stunning natural beauty, some are set along pristine beaches and some in the foothills of mountains. Vietnam golf is even played within sight of the graceful towers of ancient pagodas.
One of the finest golf courses in Vietnam is the five-star King’s Island Golf Resort about 35 miles from Hanoi at the foot of the majestic Ba Vi Mountain Range. Not far away and in the direction of Halong Bay is the Chi Linh Country Club. Visitors who golf at these venues often take some time off from the sport to enjoy cruises on the beautiful bay.
Most Vietnam golf in the south is concentrated around Ho Chi Minh City, where visitors can also enjoy the attractions of the Mekong Delta and its rich cultural heritage. The premier golf venues here are two championship courses, the Vietnam Golf and Country Club (the first 36-hole venue in the country) and the Song Be Country Club.
There is also still plenty of sport to be had at the oldest Vietnamese golf resort in Dalat. The historic Dalat Palace has grown into an internationally acclaimed golf course since its humble beginnings in 1922. Visitors who play here will often purchase vacation packages that include time at the Ocean Dunes Golf Club, located about 50 miles away at Phan Thiet on the South China Sea. As golf becomes more and more popular in the country, plans are well underway for more resorts in Da Nang near China Beach as well as on the idyllic tropical paradise of Phu Quoc Island in the Bay of Thailand off the coast of Cambodia.