Hoiana Shores Golf Club in Hoi An, Vietnam, will welcome golfers on 23 September, to preview the completed golf course by Robert Trent Jones II.
“What we have tried to achieve at Hoiana Shores — with help from the design team at Robert Trent Jones II — is something specific and nuanced: a traditional links that proudly builds on local traditions, which, if we are honest, is what all great golf courses do,” said Ben Styles, vice president of golf for Hoiana Shores.
Six of the holes come into direct contact with the beach. “It speaks volumes about our ownership group — to allow so much interaction with the shoreline,” said Styles. “That’s a rarity. The beachfront could have been otherwise developed. But this decision will ultimately pay off, as this part of the course is uniquely unforgettable. There is nothing quite like playing those holes — playing shots from the beach itself! It is proof you are playing a proper links. There aren’t many courses in Asia that serve up that type of experience.”
When golfers visit the course in September, they will notice no flags, instead, the pins will be adorned with red lanterns. All proceeds from the visiting golfers during this preview will be donated to local charities.
Construction of the golf course began in late 2017 under direction of Hong Kong-based course builder Linksshape, led by Stuart Stone. “It’s been an amazing experience to be entrusted with this extraordinary piece of land,” said Stone. “Almost the dictionary definition of what ‘linksland’ should be.”
Hoiana Shores has also been developed in accordance with sustainability principles laid out by the UK-based GEO Foundation. “In Southeast Asia, there are no other golf developments at this stage of construction that are going through this program,” said GEO executive director Sam Thomas. “All others are in the planning or design stage. I think it’s fair to say that, if they continue on this path, Hoiana Shores will be first past the post, the market leader in this regard.”
Greens are grassed with TifEagle bermuda, and all fairways and tees feature Zeon Zoysia — sourced from Sports Turf Solutions’ turf farms. “Zeon Zoysia’s an upright grower where you can cut back on water and get it right — firm and fast,” said Rob Weiks, golf course superintendent at Hoiana Shores. “It’s less grainy than bermuda, way less than the paspalum. It frankly freed up the architects and shapers to manufacture some wonderful shapes and contours — a lot of created architecture that could not be rushed. It is a great luxury to pile the sand up, shape it, then let the wind shape it again. It’s one reason the landforms out here are so compelling.”
“Let me give you an example of how that process worked, because it’s pretty unique and required real patience,” said Stone. “On the sixteenth and seventeenth, for example, where the wind is coming right off the sea, our fine shapers carved out the shapes, and then we let Mother Nature further shape it. Then the team came back, refined it and finalised it. Ultimately, we created truly windswept areas there that were quite different from the original shapes.”
The golf course will be the first facility within a new 985-hectare, US$4 billion Hoiana Integrated Resort, which will include more than 1,000 rooms, suites and villas — managed by Rosewood Hotel Group, four kilometres of pristine beach, pools and restaurants, a beach club, an entertainment facility managed by Suncity Group, and an array of retail partners.
A grand opening will occur in early 2020, along with the unveiling of other Hoiana phase one facilities.
“Hoiana Shores Golf Club will indeed be the first component of this larger development welcoming both domestic and international tourism to our shores,” said Steve Wolstenholme, Group COO at Hoiana. “As a group we intend to showcase the vibrancy and economic potential of not only Hoi An and Central Vietnam but this region in general.”