There is something almost surreal to playing golf at somewhere like this in Vietnam as it's so far away from what constitutes normaility for almost every single person in the country. The green fee is obscene, but that seems to be pretty normal for Asian courses where it seems highlighting your wealth is much more important than the golf. This course didn't impress me and first and foremost, I'm there to pay golf, not look at caddies or be wowed by clubhouses. The caddie I was allocated was pleasant enough but could only discuss very basic golf concepts such as yardage and "flag front", or "flag back". So effectively useless to me as I've seemed to have no problems pulling my own buggy around and getting my own clubs in about 35
other countries. Plus I have a golf GPS on my bag (in metres) as that's what I know all my clubs in. (Caddie used yards). The other reason I use a GPS is it shows me distances to the start of/to clear hazards and helps me plan how best to play unfamiliar courses. The allocated caddie could do none of that. (and yes I fully understand that I'm a visitor to the country and it's my fault I don't speak Vietnamese, but if you want to force me to take a caddie and charge me fees for such, then surely I should expect to get something out of it?) Another bizarre experience: as I was a single I wasn't allowed to tee off before my tee time as I had to wait at the starters for others to join me. It wasn't busy! They arrived at my tee time and were three pleasant Korean guys. It was pretty clear they didn't want to play as a foursome probably because I don't speak Korean and they had only minimal English, but mostly because I was playing from the Blue tees and they looked like they wanted to play from the more forward Whites, but even after encouraging them to do so, I suspect 'loss of face' meant that they all duly hit off from the Blues as well. We reached the second green and were caught by, surprisingly, a single golfer! So even though the caddies didn't seem to like the decision, I joined with the single and played the rest of the round as a twosome and left
the others to their original threesome. Who knows what the starters plan was... Course was nice enough and I'd rate it 8/10, but that is mostly from the conditioning (overwatered though) and aesthetics. The design of the layout didn't inspire me and I can't really remember much of the holes. They did tend to blend into one another due to the layout of the site and the fact that it appears constrained. (much more so than Danang GC next door which has MUCH better landscape to work with and is routed in a much more interesting fashion). 4th was an interesting short par 4 with water hidden along the right, but maybe I remember that hole because it was my only birdie for the day. 5th was a too short par 3 (it was 118yards on the card (over water) but the tee markers were well forward so only wedge required) and this was overcompensated for by the par 3 14th which was playing longer than its indicated 204yards (due to the breeze and it's also over water). Summary: - Too expensive for the game (and nickel and diming for the range balls!). - Course was mediocre. - Compulsory caddie was pointless. - It was nice to be playing golf on holidays! - Clubhouse and staff are all very pleasant, but I'm quite capable of doing things myself and this isn't the middle ages so I don't need serfs. - Danang GC was much better.
September 27, 2015