Halong bay, north Vietnam’s dazzling tourism magnet, is about to offer another reason to visit the Unesco World Heritage-listed region: a world-class golf course perched above the old town, overlooking the spectacular limestone karst-riddled bay.
Although a site above the city was set aside for a golf course years ago, actually playing golf in such a stunning environment has been, until now, a dream.
But Hanoi-based FLC Group, which is developing golf resorts along Vietnam’s 3260-km coast, is mid-way through building a spectacular 18-hole par-71 course that will be accompanied by a hotel, convention centre and villas for sale.
FLC Golf Links Halong Bay resort’s expected opening date is third quarter 2017. Expectation is already running high among golfers of an unforgettable golf experience.
With four holes directly facing Halong Bay and others ridging a steep valley, FLC Golf Links Halong Bay will provide something golfers dream about but rarely find: views to die for, playability without being severely penal, a year-round playing climate – all in a bucket-list destination with an abundance of non-golf activities.
Several million foreign visitors come to Halong Bay each year, as well as many more Vietnamese to experience the 2000 limestone karsts formed over 20 million years and jutting majestically from the 1553-sq-km bay.
Most make the three-hour road journey from Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, while some enter on cruise ships that make a beeline for one of the world’s “New 7 Wonders of Nature”, announced in 2011.
The course will be some 6800 yards from the “tips” and 6200-6300 yards from the white tees – relatively short by modern standards. There are five par-3 holes, three of which offer 180-degree vistas over Halong Bay, with two (the eighth and 12th) likely to be compared to the iconic 7th hole at Pebble Beach, California.
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