Constructed by the Hong Kong-based Linksshape company and designed by Robert Trent Jones II, the course at Hoiana Shores Golf Club lies within an enormous 2,500-acre site to the south of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as The City of Lanterns . Fittingly, the pins on every green are adorned with lanterns instead of flags.
The golf course is the first component of the Hoiana Integrated Resort development that will ultimately include more than 1,000 rooms, suites and villas laid out along four kilometres of beach, along with pools and restaurants, a beach club, an entertainment facility and a whole host of retail partners.
Set out as two returning nines on a coastal property comprised entirely of pure sand, the course is grassed with TifEagle Bermuda greens, while tees and fairways feature Zeon Zoysia. The round at Hoiana Shores reaches a climax on the back nine with the greens on holes 15, 16 and 17 all located close to the shoreline, where the wind comes right off the sea.
The client asked for a course that can support a wide variety of set-up options in case it should ever host a professional or elite amateur tournament, while at the same time catering for resort players who want to be able to hit the ball, find it, then hit it again. The resulting wide playing corridors present golfers with a wide range of strategic options.
The course plays firm and fast on a sand-based property that exhibits many of the ground game playing characteristics found on a links layout in Great Britain & Ireland, but in a tropical setting. In fact, the term ‘tropical links’ is one that’s gaining traction in parts of southeast Asia, where a number of new coastal courses have been constructed on sites comprised entirely of sand.
RTJII had this to say about the project: “I’ve been working in Asia all of my adult life. We’ve worked all over the region and looked at projects in Vietnam. But it does feel as though the best site has been saved for us. It’s been a lovely treasure hunt that ends with us finding a golf course project hard by the sea. Where great land meets the sea, great golf can happen.”
I was luckily enough to play Hoiana in January of 2020. This is truly pure modem links style with all elements comes in play, ocean, dunes, wasteland, wind, angles, Bermuda grass by means of physical, and also gives fun to fly the ball high or run it on the fairways. These huge undulate greens let the pin positions change the course in so many ways. I enjoyed so much in imaging how to play approaching shot and expecting the ball land and roll. I randomly paired with the guy from New Zealand, who had experience of Tara Iti. We just did not get that big wind gust here that day. In the other side of good one, the heritage town of Hoi An is charming even after sun goes down. This course is the best in my solo golf journey among central and south of Vietnam.