First golf course for famous Asian UNESCO World Heritage site

Halong Bay, the famous UNESCO World Heritage site in Vietnam, will soon become an international golf destination, following the development of a new course overlooking the limestone karst-studded bay.

Hanoi-based FLC Group has employed US-based golf course design company, Schmidt-Curley, to create the new 18-hole, par-71 course FLC Golf Links Halong Bay. The development will be accompanied by a hotel, villas and a convention centre.

Designer Brian Curley said the Halong Bay course would be “a world-class destination resort”.

“If you tell someone – golfer or non-golfer – there are 10 places in the world you must visit for the views, this would be one of them. Throw in a year-round resort with golf and there’s no doubt this will be on every golfer’s wish-list,” he commented.

Golfers will be offered spectacular views from the FLC Golf Links Halong Bay
Golfers will be offered spectacular views from the FLC Golf Links Halong Bay

The course will be measure 6,800 yards from the “tips” and 6,200-6,300 yards from the white tees, which is relatively short by modern standards. There are five par-three holes, three of which offer 180-degree views over Halong Bay. According to Curley, two of the holes (the eighth and 12th) are comparable to the famous seventh at Pebble Beach.

Curley also reassured novice golfers that the course would be “eminently playable”.

“We have deliberately created sufficient width to make it a ‘find-your-ball course’,” he explained. “As a resort course, we don’t want players to get beaten up, although it won’t be a pushover either.”

He admitted however, that construction has been difficult. “The terrain means there is some disconnect between holes, which may not please purists, but the views are so spectacular it’s not going to be an issue.”

FLC Golf Links Halong Bay is expected to open in the third quarter 2017.

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