Golf in the North of Vietnam
Within 2 hours Drive of Hanoi
There are a variety of golf courses to choose from in the northern area of the country. They are all semi-private clubs, with membership and well designed and worth playing. Weekends tend to be busy with members and their guests playing, but mid-week, especially early in the week, there are often special deals making for good value for money golf.
Within 2 hours drive of Hanoi, there are plenty of options.
Chi Linh Star Golf and Country Club is about one hour’s drive from Hanoi, on the way to Halong Bay and with 36 holes covering 324 hectares, it is truly a golf club of international standards. This facility is set on a magnificent valley nestling beside a large lake and surrounded by a huge area of rolling forest hills. Both 18 hole courses are well maintained and well worth playing. The club first opened in late 2003 and has hosted many international tournaments. The golf shop is well equipped, rental clubs and shoes are available and the club house offers an excellent international cuisine. www.chilinhstargolf.com.vn
Kings Island Golf Club is another 36 hole facility, and arguably the most scenic golf course in the north of Vietnam. It is only 36 kilometers from the centre of Hanoi and it takes less than an hour to reach the club. The lakeside course completed 18 holes in 1997, so it is very well established. The mountain course was completed in 2004. There are many promotions on offer; therefore you should check the website to see what is on offer. Kings Island is one of the few courses in Vietnam offering night golf.
Both courses suit players of all handicap ranges and they are amongst the most popular in Vietnam. The facility features a clubhouse with an excellent restaurant serving a wide range of cuisines. There is also a bar, which is a great place to relax at after your round. In addition to golf, the club also offers other activities including sailing and fishing on Dong Mo Lake and swimming in the club’s Olympic-sized swimming pool. www.kingsislandgolf.com
On the way to the airport is Van Tri Golf Club, a Peter Rousseau design and always in great condition. However, this is a private members club and it is only possible to play if you are signed in by a member. If the opportunity to play arises, then take up the offer. You will not be disappointed. Be warned that even at member guest prices, fees are higher than most other golf clubs in the area. www.vaantrigolf.com.vn
The golf course nearest to the airport is Phoenix Golf Course, offering 54 holes of golf. Here you will envisage vistas of Halong Bay proportions. Quite unique and it will be unlike any other golf course you have played. The courses are named Phoenix, Dragon and Master. Phoenix is a links style of course, whilst the other two are more mountainous. The most spectacular and the best is the Dragon course.
Ron Fream of Golfplan has designed some spectacular holes that you will talk about time and time again. The clubhouse is huge and spectacular, however, it has a reputation for poor service and the facility falls short due to lack of maintenance. You may want to consider returning to Hanoi for your “19th hole” and discussion about the golf. www.hanoigolf.co.kr
Only 20 minutes drive from the airport is Hanoi Golf Club, an 18 hole facility, opened in 2006. It is a Japanese orientated club and well worth a visit. The prices are very reasonable and you will be made very welcome here.
On the front nine, the fairways are wide and lots of space between fairways. The back nine is more undulating and challenging. The greens are large and also undulating. The clubhouse is situated right in the middle of the course, offering a panoramic view of the whole facility. www.hanoigolfclub.vn
In the same area is Dalai Star Golf and Country, owned by the same company as Chi Linh Star. This picturesque course is set amongst the beautiful Ngoc Than Mountains and is one of the best settings in the north of Vietnam. Opened in 2010 this course has quickly established itself as one of the best in the north.
Each hole has been carefully designed alongside the huge lake that is the feature of the course. It is suitable for players of all handicap range, has a fully equipped clubhouse and rental clubs and shoes are available. www.dailaistargolf.com.vn
A little distance further out than Phoenix and Hanoi GC is Heron Lake Golf Course and Resort. It is designed by Pacific Coast Design, the same as Kings Island and Black Mountain in Thailand. The club was designed to create a unique golfing experience in a peaceful setting in harmony with its natural surroundings.
The course, approximately 55 km from Hanoi and covering some 90 hectares, blends well with the lake which is the main feature of the entire complex. An abundance of palm and evergreen trees provide a picturesque setting to entice any golf enthusiast to challenge their physical and mental abilities.
You will also see sightings of native heron birds, hence the name of the club. The clubhouse is well designed, very relaxing and also features an excellent international restaurant and a spa. www.heronlakegolf.com
If you are looking for a challenging golf course with spectacular views, the Tam Dao Golf Resort is the place for you to visit. It is a journey of just under two hours from Hanoi, with the last part of the journey helped by the views of Tam Dao Mountain, which towers over the golf course
A word of warning – this is a very popular club, especially at weekends and prior booking is a must. Designed by IMG, you will use every club in the bag on this well maintained golf course. The clubhouse is well equipped, the staff very experienced and friendly and all in all, a great place to visit. www.tamdaogolf.com
The latest golf course to open in the area is Sky Lake Resort and Golf Club, only 45 minutes from Hanoi. Currently 18 holes, and soon to be 36, this Korean orientated facility and aimed to be the best in Vietnam. At 7,625 yards, the Lake course is the longest in Vietnam and offers a great challenge to all golfers. There are grand lakes and mountain scenery to keep you interested all the time.
The impressive clubhouse is situated in the middle of the courses and offers everything imaginable, including a modern spa. There will also be a luxurious five star hotel with 390 rooms, plus pool and lake villas. The whole project will be completed by 2014, bringing a high-standard golfing experience and luxurious lifestyle for golfers and tourists. Well worth a visit. www.skylakegolfclub.com
Hanoi has typical North Vietnam climate, with a cold and dry winter (when temperatures can drop to as low as 6°C – 7°C) and a hot and extremely humid summer (temperatures can climb up to a maximum of 35°C). Spring is characterized with light drizzles while the summers bring heavy rain. Golf is available all the year round and you will need to bring warm clothes if you play in December and January. The spring and autumn time are perfect for golf.
As you would expect from the capitol of Vietnam, there is a first class international and domestic airport only 40 minutes from the city centre and a good choice of hotels. It is recommended to book golf courses before you arrive. All major hotels can book tee times and companies such as Golf Asian specialize in recommending and booking golf clubs – www.golfasian.com -