Shaping is in progress on the new Lao Cai golf course, designed by IMG Golf Course Design, in Bat Xat, northwest Vietnam, close to the border with China.
The brief for IMG was to provide Vietnamese developer Sun Group with the province’s first course, that can be enjoyed by tourists and local golfers.
Clearing started in July 2018, earthworks in August and shaping began in February 2019.
“We have been responsible for all the drawings and have been doing monthly construction visits since earthworks began in August 2018,” said Paul Burley, senior vice president, IMG Golf Course Services.
“We were focused on getting eighteen good holes to fit onto this site which is pretty hilly. The holes are in the valleys or on the ridges and the elevation changes and views on a clear day are the main features. There will be a very nice series of lakes, streams and waterfalls through the bottom of the site that crosses about six holes. If the holes come out like we envision them, the stretch from twelve to seventeen should be pretty memorable.
“The site has narrow ridges and some deep valleys. The river on many of the holes is the Red River which separates China and Vietnam,” continued Burley. “The soil throughout the site has been very good. Only a couple of rocks have been found so far, which has allowed the earthworks to proceed very well. We will sand cap the holes with 20 centimetres of sand before grassing. The changes in elevation will be one of the main challenges to the course.”
Most holes will have five sets of tees, fairway widths will be in the 40-45-metre range and greens will be large.
IMG has a project manager, shaper and drainage/nursery foreman on site.
The layout will be grassed with Platinum TE paspalum from Atlas Turf International, and the hills and slopes will be revegetated with native trees and grasses.
The course is expected to open by the end of 2020.