My wife and I first visited Vietnam in 2012 while we were living and working at Nirwana Bali Golf Club. We booked a flight to Hanoi as we aimed to visit Ha long Bay. During our short time in the region, we immediately knew we would be back and, as luck would have it, we are now living in Lang Co in Central Vietnam (an hour from Da Nang and and an hour from the ancient city of Hue in Central Vietnam).
Da Nang is booming and with its appeal and the quality of golf that has recently been developed it has positioned itself as the top tourist destination in the region in just a few years. Over a decade ago, the costal city was known for its endless tropical beaches and jungle clade mountains. And where was once a small fishing village, now lies Vietnam’s third largest city with world class luxury resorts rapidly claiming the pristine coastline.
The Central Coast region boasts a year-round tropical climate with a cooler winter season (December – March temperatures between 15 – 28), perfect for a Danang golf holiday.
Surrounded by three UNESCO World Heritage Sites within an hour’s drive, Da Nang has evolved from a weekend getaway to a two – three week vacation destination. The family friendly destination boasts endless adventure, calming rejuvenating wellness retreats and Asia’s Best Golf Destination (Vietnam 2017 & 2018 WGA).
Heading north after exiting Da Nang airport’s brand new international terminal (opened in 2018), travelers can venture over the Hai Van Pass and visit the ancient imperial city of Hue. You can there step back in them and taste delightful regional cuisine while cruising a dragon boat on the Perfume River. Coming back south towards Danang, one has to stop at Laguna Lang Co, an integrated golf resort with two of the Top 20 Resorts in Asia according to the Conde Nast Readers Choice Awards (2019), the Banyan Tree and the Angsana Lang Co. A few steps away from the hotels you can play Sir Nick Faldo’s only operational Signature Design golf course – Laguna Golf Lang Co. Named Top 10 Golf Courses by Robb Report 2019 and listed by Golf Digest as a Top Golf Resort in Asia three years running, the golf course is the only Earth Check Certified Golf Course in Vietnam and is famous for its diversity in the design. With the opening holes venturing through ancient rice paddies with water buffalo wading through the flooded field, golfers gain a true sense of place as the lineup tee shots over the traditional landscape Central Vietnam is famous for. Golfers can expect to test their skills against numerus natural features such as gigantic boulders, raw jungle rivers while the finishing holes sweep though coastal sand dunes all set within an amphitheater of jungle covered coastal mountains. For the perfect golf getaway, the Laguna Park Golf Residences are positioned along the 18th hole and provide golfers with the perfect long stay accommodation just 50 meters for the Club House. For a bit of leisure between serious rounds, the Gongs putting course is a fun challenge, just a few hundred meters away from the 3-kilometer private beach.
Only 40 minutes from Laguna, Ba Na Hills Golf Club showcases vast mountain vistas throughout the course and is Luke Donald’s first design. The golf course is situated at the base of a panoramic cable car that takes guests to the famous Ba Na Hills Mountain Top Resort and the Golden Hands Bridge. Ba Na Hills is only 35 mins from the City of Da Nang which is the home of the first two golf courses to be built in the region: Montgomerie Links (Designed by Colin Montgomerie) and Greg Norman’s BRG Da Nang Golf Club. BRG Da Nang is also currently constructing their second course designed by Jack Nicklaus and scheduled to fully open in 2020.
Venturing further south, you reach the ancient town of Hoi An, another UNESCO World Heritage Site which has long been a draw for global travelers. From its famous tailors, night markets and streets lined with endless handmade lanterns, river cruises and culinary adventures, it’s a must for anyone seeking a glimpse into the past and looking to satisfy an obsession for local shopping. This is definitely the best spot for souvenirs before heading home. Hoi An is also well positioned to experience Vietnam’s most anticipated new golf course opening: Hoiana Shores Golf Club. This is Vietnam’s first tropical links course designed by RTJ Jr. and boasts several coastal holes shaped through numerous sand dunes.
The past four years have been pivotal for the Vietnam Golf Coast, expanding from three courses to a must play destination of six courses. The incredible variety in golf experiences, combined with endless white-sand beaches, cultural sites, nightlife and endless cuisine tastings makes Da nang an absolute must-visit on everyone’s list.
As for family life and living in the region it would be hard to find a better or more exciting destination to live in, with weekends on the beach and services constantly adding and improving.