A major new golf complex is now under construction near Dong Hoi, Vietnam.
A total of ten courses have been commissioned by developer FLC Group, who have brought in Schmidt-Curley Design to lead the project.
Architect Brian Curley spoke to GCA about his ambitions and visions for the project on a site comprised of 2,000 hectares of sandy coastline.
“The project will have ten full-length, 18-hole courses,” Curley explained. “In addition, we will have some short course and academy elements, as well as expansive practice areas. Three courses are located at the lower portion of the site near the beach, offering some beachfront holes in very nice dunes, and will be incorporated with a residential and resort component. The remaining courses will be pure golf with no development component.”
Curley explained that many of the courses will be located on what he describes as ‘fantastic dunes land with very appealing native vegetation’, with the dunes rising to over 30m in height in certain places.
“This site is tremendous in scale, all sand-based, and offers a very golf-friendly, natural terrain and a fair amount of beachfront,” Curley said. “It does not offer the coastline edges of say Cypress Point, but I cannot recall any project of this size and scale with so much to offer for easy, natural golf.”
Schmidt-Curley Design has plenty of experience to draw on when it comes to projects of this scale, having worked on the 22-course Mission Hills complex in Haikou, China. Despite the firm’s busy schedule and the sheer size of this new project, Curley is confident the facility will be complete sooner rather than later.
“At the moment, we are underway on the first two, but the intention is to bring most or all of the remaining courses to a start soon – likely within the next two years,” said Curley. “This is exciting for me as, given the recent activity in China, many of our creations of the past few years have gone unopened and unnoticed or completely demolished. We have rarely been given a site with such great quality nor a vision of such an expanse of pure golf experiences.”
The firm has long been a major player in the Asian golf design market, and Curley believes that the potential for growth in Vietnam is among the best in the continent.
“Unlike in China where courses popped up everywhere with no permitting process, there is a defined and observed permitting process in Vietnam,” he said. “This will keep the reigns on development and ensure it happens at a more sustainable pace. What this means in terms of the exact number of new courses is hard to say. I think there will be a good stream of work, but not at a frantic pace that will see multiple architects working in the country.”
More on this project can be found in issue 44 of Golf Course Architecture.