My name is Mohamad. A close friend of mine and 18 other golfers who went on this trip are from Malaysia. We are all members of the Royal Perak Golf Club in Ipoh, to the north of the country. The club was opened over 50 years ago and has the Patronage of the State’s Ruler. I have been a golfer since the late 80s and all the group have played for over 10 years. My handicap is 15 and the rest range from 8 to 18.
This was our first trip to Vietnam for our golf because usually we go to Indonesia 2-3 times a year, particularly Jakarta and Surabaya. I booked the package with Golfasian Vietnam and my compact was Mr Dang Khao who was very professional. He was quite able to recommend the best Hotel and courses in Ho Chi Minh City.
Though the weather is hot at an average of 36C we didn’t mind as it was similar to what we experience in Malaysia. We were however, struck with the exceptional beauty of the golf courses.
The first day we played at Long Thanh Golf Club. It mesmerised us the minute we entered the property as its gorgeous fairways ran alongside the road. Everything was new for us and there was a buzz of excitement. When we arrived at the clubhouse all our members were so impressed; the registration was fast and hassle free especially with the assistance of our guide Mr Tony.
We played the Hills and Lake Nines; two very different courses as you can probably tell. The Lake nine was undulating with water hazards on most holes. As all of us are seasoned golfers thankfully not many balls went for a swim. The greens looked very simple but are actually quite treacherous and without the caddies we would have been lost. The tee shots were quite straightforward so the approach to the greens was where the fun started. As we were first timers the caddies were our saviours and advised us the line on which to hit. Most of us scored better on the lake nine. All in all I can highly recommend this course.
Second day we played at Twin Doves and our journey was over 1 hour. The club house was open plan which impressed us and after a fast registration we straight went for a 2 tee start. It’s an open course but very challenging in its own way, with many of us scoring doubles. Certainly the caddies were not as helpful as Long Thanh’s. They weren’t as involved in our games and wouldn’t offer advice unless asked. I wouldn’t particularly recommend this course.
The Final day was at Tan Son Nhat. This course can be summed up in one word…"phenomenal!"
The minute we arrived after a short journey from our hotel, even the Driving Range was beautiful and we knew we were in for a treat. As we pulled up the to the magnificent club house, again there was a buzz of excitement. After another hassle free registration we were off to the first tee; standing there, every one of us knew this was the best course we had played in South East Asia. The tee boxes were immaculate as were the fairways and hazards. Even after 18 gruelling holes from blues so many of us had good stories from the course. The deep bunkers, undulating greens, very knowledgeable male caddies, beautiful scenery, spectacular water hazards…all of us enjoyed Tan Son Nhat the most. Our satisfaction rating on this course is a well-deserved 10/10.
We left the course with good memories and will surely return to Tan Son Nhat.
Outside of golf, we also had a good time shopping at Ben Thanh day and night market; particularly enjoying the haggling. It was also a pleasure to experience either a foot or body massage with soothed away any aches and pains. Actually, because there is so much to see and do, 4 days / 3 nights is not sufficient in Ho Chi Minh City and 5 nights with 4 rounds of golf and 1 full day site-seeing would be perfect.
To sum up we had a wonderful time and were surprised with the city and courses we played. It was beyond our expectations for this third world country. We are sure to come again to VIETNAM and perhaps next time visit Hanoi.