- Friday 06 December 2019
An avid golfer, our Managing Director Michael had a once-in-a-lifetime experience playing in Vietnam:
“Ho Chi Minh might be turning in his mausoleum at the thought of a golf itinerary named after him - the Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail in Vietnam, which launched in 2007. He should be happy as it is bringing in lots of foreign golfers, tourists and money into his lovely country.
I had the delightful experience of taking a group of 20 Irish golfers to Vietnam on a golf trip. It was one of the best golf trips I've been on. The courses, club houses, caddies, food, hotels, scenery, sightseeing and of course the gracious hospitality of the Vietnamese people were all outstanding. If you’re a golfer put it on your bucket list.
Our first course was the Vietnam Golf and Country Club in Ho Chi Minh. This is anexcellent course with a 5-star club house. Leave your credit card with reception and all charges for golf, drinks etc are charged to that. Plus, the caddies were very knowledgeable and helpful.
The city itself is a busy heaving metropolis with, it seemed, millions of Honda 50's. Crossing the streets is an art. Taking a private food tour and a hidden treasures tour are a must-do. You can also visit and enter the famous Cu Chi Tunnels- if you’re small enough.
Our next round of golf was played in Dalat, high in the mountains and once a favourite for the former French occupiers. You can fly there from Ho Chi Minh but we took a coach and it was one of the most enjoyable and interesting journeys, winding through the countryside and small towns.
The course in Dalat was a little gem. The Dalat Palace Golf Club was once a favourite of the French, but had been neglected for years after World War II. Built as a 9-hole course in 1922, it recently has received the tender care needed to bring it back up to par. It's often been named as the top club in Vietnam and in 2009 it was named the best course in Asia.
Our only complaint here was that the clubhouse was not quite up to standard. But we made up for it by dining outside under the trees in lovely balmy weather with excellent food and beer. Dalat sits high above sea level, so it can be cold- be prepared with warm layers.
We then moved on to the coastal city of Phan Thiet to play at the Ocean Dunes Golf Club. This is a joint Vietnam-USA project and the course is difficult enough. The hotel attached to it is right on the magnificent beach.
We next moved to Hanoi, which is my favourite city. The French influence is visible in the architecture and more enjoyably in the food. On one night our guide would take us to a French restaurant; the next night to a Vietnamese and then to a restaurant specialising in a fusion of both; divine.
Our golf course was over one hour by coach from the city centre but worth the journey. This course was owned by a lady who also owns a bank. The 36-hole golf resort is a good challenge. The caddies here were all female and very professional, knowledgeable and great fun.
There are now over 60 excellent courses to play in this country. The culture, food and friendly people all enhance the golfing experience. Vietnam is a long way away, but for a once-in-a-lifetime golfing experience it is absolutely worth the journey."
Want to plan your own golf holiday to anywhere in the world? Get in touch via 021 4277094 or 01 6965135, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call into our shops in Clonakilty, Bantry and on Cork's Grand Parade.