Teeing Off in the Far East

Vietnam blazes a new Ho Chi Minh Trail for golfers

By: Jamie Wetherbe

Southeast Asian golf travel comes of age this month with launch of The Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, the region's first coherent, comprehensive golfing itinerary and one of the most exotic locales.

The Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail (www.hochiminhgolftrail.com) pairs first-class clubs and resorts with some of the most remarkable, luxury accommodations in world golf, while connecting golfers to all the trail's cultural offerings and transport options through its partnership with the Exotissimo Travel Group.

"I don't think anyone even hardcore golfers with an international scope have any idea how good the golf is here in Vietnam," said Jeff Puchalski, the country’s first PGA of America professional, now the director of golf for both Dalat Palace GC and Ocean Dunes, and past president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. "People understand that Vietnam’s economy is booming. What most people don’t yet recognize is that the caliber of golf in Vietnam is world class. The Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail will make that clear to discriminating golfers.”

Golfing stops on the Trail include: Chi Linh Star Golf Club, an 18-hole course outside Hanoi and recent host to the Asian PGA Tour's Carlsberg Masters, with another 18 on the way.

Tam Dao Golf Resort, a new 18-hold course in the cool highlands northeast of Hanoi, convenient to the airport.

Dalat Palace Golf Club, a mile-high gem, the only wall-to-wall bentgrass course in Southeast Asia, laid out in the 1920s for Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam Ocean Dunes Golf Club, a wind-swept Nick Faldo design, a “tropical links” lapped by the warm waters of the South China Sea.

Dong Nai Golf Resort, a breathtaking, 27-hole track laid out by American Ward Northrup, whose design skirts a scenic chain of natural lakes.

Vietnam Golf & Country Club, home to 36 pristine, otherwise private holes just 20 minutes from downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

King’s Island Country Club, Hanoi’s oldest club and home to two 18s that play over some of the finest, most diverse golfing ground in Southeast Asia.

To make travel plans for a tour of the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, contact Ms. Phi Thu Thuy at exotissimo@hochiminhgolftrail.com.