Will Danang be Vietnam's first links?

Will Danang be Vietnam's first links?
Sean Dudley

Due to open this April, Danang Golf Club will make a splash in the southeast Asian country, where golf tourism is growing rapidly, according to the club’s general manager Howie Roberts.

“This will be different from anything anyone’s ever seen in southeast Asia, I can assure you that,” he said. Set on 280 hectares of tropical linksland, the Dunes Course at Danang, designed by Greg Norman’s practice, is being described as Vietnam’s first links course, firm and fast fairways bleeding into wild seaside vegetation, rugged waste areas, swales and hollows. 

“Links golf hasn't traditionally exerted the same allure among Asian players as it has with golfers in other regions,” Roberts said. “But that's about to change, and I think Danang will be a pivotal element in that transformation.”

“Like Bandon Dunes or Doonbeg, Danang is going to look as if it’s been here for centuries,” said Roberts. “That’s the type of course we were after, and I think we nailed it.”

“Terms such as ‘links-style,’ ‘linksish,’ and ‘links-like’ are indiscriminately applied to coastal courses these days, but this is the real deal,” said Harley Kruse, senior architect with Greg Norman Golf Course Design. “It’s wild and exotic and lends itself to the development of the kind of golf course the likes of Old Tom Morris played on. For someone in the golf business, the chance to work with terrain like this is like winning the lottery. And that's how lucky we feel.”

When complete, Danang will also feature a 3,800 sq m clubhouse by Sydney-based architecture firm Hassell, whose chairman was awarded the Gold Medal by the Australian Institute of Architects last year, a practice facility with swing studios and a custom club-fitting lab – both firsts for Vietnam – and 190 Ocean Villas, luxury residences ranging from two to five bedrooms.

Blueprints call for a second golf course and a five star hotel. VinaCapital Group, Vietnam’s leading asset management, investment banking and real estate consulting firm, owns the property.