Developed by the Rang Dong Group of companies, the Sea Links course is a links-style layout that’s routed around a residential estate near the Binh Thuan provincial capital of Phan Thiet.
The experienced design team from Golfplan set out the free draining fairways on a hilly, 400-acre cliff top site overlooking Mui Ne Bay on the South China Sea where they configured the course in two returning loops of nine holes.
Ordinary golfers should forget about playing from the back tees here as they total almost 7,700 yards in length – two of the par fives measure over 600 yards and all of the par threes play in excess of 200 yards from the tips.
Far better to concentrate on the regular tees – 6,670 yards for men and 5,482 yards for ladies – as they provide a more than adequate challenge on a track where some of the enormous, heavily-contoured greens will also test putting skills to the limit.
Sea Links architect Ron Fream kindly provided us with the follow comments:
“The planning for the adjacent villas and golf design occurred concurrently in the Santa Rosa office. I was involved in the planning and golf design. Several people in the office helped to produce the early construction working drawings and I made the call on links-inspired contouring.
However, as I made visits to the site, I noted the addition of adjacent buildings, in some cases crowding the golf course. Nonetheless, I took more than 200 feet (actually 85m) of sand and elaborated upon the office contouring. Wind conditions necessitated heavy stabilization tree planting so no really raw sand areas were retained.
Bill Kessener, construction supervisor, understood my goal of maximizing the contouring impact. Some people in Santa Rosa were shy and reserved about the magnitude of contouring - was Pete Dye ever shy when given a stellar opportunity?
Yes, the contouring is extreme, excessive even, but one of a kind which time has confirmed that sophisticated players find the course exhilarating and challenging.I have learned over more than forty years in golf design that courses which early on are regarded as over the top or extreme can, with age, become bragging sites.”