Hilltop Valley Golf Club in Vietnam opens IMG layout

  • Hilltop Valley

    Hilltop Valley in Vietnam has opened a new course designed by IMG

  • Hilltop Valley

    Many holes are bordered by trees, thick vegetation, steep hills and water

  • Hilltop Valley

    The par-five third hole features a winding river that runs through a valley

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Hilltop Valley Golf Club in Hoa Binh, Vietnam, has officially opened with a new 18-hole course designed by IMG.

“The views on holes ten to eighteen are amazing,” said Paul Burley, senior vice president, IMG Golf Course Services. “There is a lot of elevation change throughout the course — particularly on the back nine, while the first nine is flatter and plays through a river valley.”

Many holes are bordered by trees, thick vegetation, steep hills and water, with a minimal amount of rough.

“The course requires accuracy off the tee in order to avoid the trouble, and to set up an approach shot from the optimal position,” said Burley.

“The par-five third hole is a challenging hole, with a winding river that runs through the valley being a real feature of this hole. The river comes into play off the tee down the left side and then it must be crossed twice before arriving at the green. A golfer’s second shot offers them the choice of a short shot to a small section of fairway that leaves a tough third to the green, or a much longer shot that must carry the winding river twice in order to leave a short pitch to the green from a better angle. The hole plays 576 yards from the back tee and 523 from the regular tee.”

The lead designer was Brit Stenson, the project is managed by Chavalit Osathanonda, with Calvin Sylva of Overseas Golf Construction the onsite shaper. Grow-in superintendent is Tan Thanh Son.

Work on a third nine started earlier this year, with an expected opening in early 2020. “The third nine has some severe elevation change, which offers magnificent views of the surrounding landscape on holes such as 26 and 27,” said Burley.