On the weekend of Aug. 18, Vietnamese course owners and
officials gathered at King’s Island Golf Club to discuss and
celebrate their commitment to the formation of the new Vietnamese
Golf Association (VGA).
The association, which will be the first formal governing body
for golf in the country, is aimed to begin functioning in 2008 and
will be responsible for uniform course ratings, handicapping
services and nationwide tournament administration.
According to Vu Khoan, former deputy prime minister, “The birth
of the association is a new milestone in Vietnam’s international
It seems most appropriate that the VGA-organization meeting was
held at Kings’ Island, one of the seven Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail
clubs and the oldest in the country’s northern tier. Formed in
1994, the 36-hole facility began renovations on the original
Lakeside course (designed by Robert McFarland) earlier this year
and continues extensive refurbishment, largely focused on reshaping
fairways and enlarging greens.
According to Kings’ Island GC’s operations manager Thomas
Benefield, “Tourism is increasing, and golf interest is increasing,
so it’s vitally important that course quality increases with it.
Visitors want international standards, and they want it all to mesh
the lodging, the attractions, the golf. We’ll leave no stone
unturned. Grass, irrigation, tees, bunkers &You name it, we’re
The Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail, a conglomerate of seven clubs,
routes north to south through Vietnam and highlights the country’s
growing golf and golf-accommodation industry.
Besides the Kings’ Island location near the capital city of
Hanoi, the Golf Trail’s other locations include Chi Linh, Dalat
Palace, Dong Nai, Ocean Dunes, Tam Dao and Vietnam Golf and Country
Club (near downtown Ho Chi Minh City).