Norman hails newly-opened Bluffs course on Vietnamese coast


Norman hails newly-opened Bluffs course on Vietnamese coast
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Greg Norman flew into Vietnam last week to perform the official opening ceremony for the new Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course, which his firm has designed.

“As you walk down the fairways and you look at all the undulations, and the green settings — most of those are exactly the way the original form of the land was,” Norman said. “So it’s almost the least disturbance approach you can possibly do.”

“It’s no secret that Greg loves this style of golf course, where the ball rolls, and where mounds and ridges can be a used to a player’s advantage,” said fellow Australian Ben Styles, the course’s general manager. “It’s just such a natural — and naturally fun — golf course.”

Routed over and around large seaside sand dunes, The Bluffs’ highest spot is 50 metres above sea level, on the fifteenth green. The green of the par three fourth is perched on a bluff backdropped by national forest, the East Sea and the 20-story Grand Ho Tram Strip, which opened in July 2013 as Vietnam's first international luxury casino resort.

“We actually had a couple of holes designed down on the water,” Norman said. “But because of future development we were asked to shift those holes away from there. It would have been great to get a hole down there. But there are great links golf course in England are not on the water as well.”

The course is the first phase of the Ho Tram Strip development, which is being implemented by the Ho Tram Project Company, a subsidiary of Canada-based Asian Coast Development. When finished, the development will include three more hotels, an oceanfront condominium tower and a villa community on the golf course.