Dalat Palace named Vietnam’s best course
A Vietnamese golf magazine, in conjunction with Vietnam Tourism has named Dalat Palace Golf Club the country’s best golf course. The selection process included input from readers and a panel of experts.
Dalat Palace has been sitting proudly at the No.1 position in Vietnam on the website Top 100 Golf Courses of the World (www.top100golfcourses.com) for a number of years.
“Phrases like ‘timeless quality’ are frequently applied to golf courses and anything else that’s designed,” said Kurt Greve, general manager of Dalat Palace. “But as our members and others who’ve played the course know, it’s not just a cliché in this case. You find something new and interesting every time you tee it up here. So this award is like seeing an old friend recognized for his hard work and intelligence.”
Indeed, Dalat Palace could be said to embody Vietnam’s stop-and-start, but now-thriving golf scene. Along with the country’s other “original” course, the Go Vap Golf Course — familiarly known as Saigon Golf Club — Dalat Palace dates to the late 1920s and early 1930s, the golden age of golf course architecture. It is evident that Colt & Alison, the distinguished British firm, had a hand in the design, though it is not clear exactly what that consisted of.
Like the clubhouse, a Le Tourquet-style villa with Tudor features that suggest the property’s connection to the British Isles, Dalat Palace – also called Dalat Pine Lake at one stage – has gone through a couple of boom-and-bust cycles. Most recently, the course essentially went to seed during the years from 1975 to 1993, when a joint venture project between U.S.-based Danao International Holdings Limited and Lam Dong Province renovated nine holes and built a new nine to go along with it.
Since then, Dalat Palace has hosted numerous golf tournaments, including the Vietnam Amateur Championships last summer. Apart from its strategic challenge and precipitous changes in elevation, the course is known for its colorful flora, including bougainvillea, red salvia, impatiens, mimosa, and hydrangeas.
“We hope the award will encourage golfers who’ve never played Dalat Palace to give the course a try,” said Greve. “We know they’ll be back once they do.”
The Vietnamese golf magazine also voted Ocean Dunes Golf Club, in Phan Thiet, for having the best par 3 hole, No. 9. Ocean Dunes is also owned and operated under the Indochina Land and Danao International Holdings, Ltd. umbrella.
ABOUT DANAO INTERNATIONAL HOLDINGS
Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Danao manages a portfolio of hotels, resorts and serviced apartments, including the 5-star Sofitel Dalat Palace Hotel, 4-star Novotel Dalat, Dalat Palace Golf Club, 4-star Novotel Ocean Dunes, Ocean Dunes Golf Club and the Riverside Apartments in Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2007, Indochina Capital and Dragon Capital became joint investors in the Danao portfolio. Founded in 1999, Indochina Capital ranks as one of Vietnam's leading financial services firms. Dragon Capital, one of the most experienced investors in Vietnam, was founded in 1994 and now has US$1.6 billion in assets under management.
Contact: Tom Harack
09 December 2009 Respond to this article