Danang GC draws curtain back on Dunes Course

DANANG, Vietnam (May 6, 2010) ‚ On a day when most of Vietnam was celebrating the 35th anniversary of the country’s reunification, a select number of residents were in Danang rejoicing for an additional reason: The opening of the Dunes Course at Danang Golf Club.

Under sunny skies last Friday ‚ one of the most important public holidays on Vietnam’s calendar ‚ more than 100 members of the country’s rapidly growing golf community teed off at the Central Coast course, a Greg Norman design that has already garnered international media attention for its historical traits and singular geography.

The 18-hole, links-style layout weaves its way through ‚ while seamlessly blending into ‚ rugged sand dunes that trundle down to a stretch of beach that Forbes magazine voted one of the world’s 10 most luxurious in 2005. In fact, the course’s signature hole ‚ the par-3 16th ‚ backs right up against it.

“No doubt that view east from 16 green ‚ of the coastline, the ocean, the Cham Islands just offshore ‚ is going to slow down play,” said Howie Roberts, general manager of Danang Golf Club. “But I’ll be shocked if anyone complains. It’s a photo opportunity if there ever was one.”

In addition to the breathtaking 16th, the minimalist Dunes Course features 17 more holes that could just as easily be lifted and placed in Australia’s Sandbelt region or along the British coastline ‚ the only other sites where Norman has attempted such compelling modern links.

In fact, the par-5 10th might be even more dramatic, for the way it snakes between some of the highest dunes on the course and is angled toward the iconic Marble Mountains.

“We had a respected golf writer here a couple weeks ago who compared his round to a great song,” said Roberts. “’You just don’t want it to end,’ he said.”

Credit that feeling to Norman, whose architectural chops are the result of his years of success as a world-class playing professional. He won two British Opens, finished in the top 10 of Major tournaments 30 times and held down the No. 1 ranking for an astounding 331 weeks.

In 1987, the astute Aussie took his profound knowledge of the game and made the official jump into the design profession. He formed Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) and the rest is history.

Over the past 22 years, GNGCD has created more than 70 courses on six continents and established a reputation for imaginative designs that acknowledge golf’s traditional origins and the landscapes on which it has been played.

Danang Golf Club is the latest beneficiary of that approach. Set amid 260 hectares of tropical linksland, the Dunes Course was crafted in the spirit of the world’s most recognizable links including the Moonah Course at The National in Australia and Doonbeg in Ireland ‚ GNGCD designs that rake in awards for their creativity, quality and environmental harmony.

With the addition of Danang Golf Club, the Central Coast solidifies its status as a bona fide golf destination. The Dunes Course gives the region two tracks, including the Colin Montgomerie-designed Montgomerie Links next door. A third layout, by three-time Masters champion Nick Faldo, will soon break ground next to a bay less than an hour north of Danang.

When complete, Danang Golf Club will also feature a 3,800-square-metre clubhouse by renowned Australian architecture firm HASSELL; a comprehensive, technologically sophisticated golf academy; four- and five-star hotels; and multiple residential enclaves totaling up to 300 luxury homes.

VinaCapital Group, Vietnam’s leading asset management, investment banking and real estate consulting firm, owns the property.

Danang Golf Club is currently developing an official Web site that when finished later this month will offer an array of useful and compelling features, including a video presentation that captures the essence of the Dunes Course.

To be notified when the site launches, visit and submit your email address in the designated field.

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