Sunday, August 26, 2007

First Golf Round in Vietnam

So I finally had a chance to head out to a course and get in some golf, and man what a great idea that was. Hanoi doesn't have the availability of courses that Saigon does; heck, the whole country has on the order of 25 or so courses, with another 15-20 under license. But the lack of courses are made up by their quality.

I chose to play at Tam Dao Golf & Resort for two reasons (1) like a few other courses around Hanoi, King's Island and Chi Linh Star being the others, they have special discount days during the week, and I'm all about saving a buck or two and (2) like King's Island, they offered free transport.

Free transport was key - you can't navigate outside of the city through maps or GPS around here. You better know your way.

Here is what the course looked like:

In short, this was the nicest place I've ever played. Back in the States, I would play muni and mid-end public courses, so besides the overdressed greens, the conditions here were fabulous. Conditions are helped by the fact that utilizing a caddie is mandatory on this course - and the caddies are diligent in filling in all divots on the fairway.

The whole experience is more akin to a vacation golf round - beautiful course, great clubhouse, excellent service - yet, besides the long drive there (2+ hours for a 70km (42 mile) drive - yeah, the roadways need improvement here), this is a course that you can (sorta) afford weekly. If every course in Vietnam is similar to this, then I'm in for a treat.

I paid for everything - greens fee, caddie, tip, food and beverage for the day - with $100USD and got change back. Nice.

P.S. re the prior question by Blazer, yes the greens fees posted on the local course websites are accurate, so are the (new) membership fees. Memberships can be resold and are significantly discounted on the resale market.


Hong said...

You lucky bastiage. $100 will get you a twilight round of 9 holes and a self-guided walk of despair here in Sunny Silicon Valley.

D. said...

Haha, so there are some downsides to the Bay.

You should start up playing again 'cause you're getting old and slow. New bike tech ain't gonna help ya.

And I was wrong, there are about 14 courses open and another 26 licensed. Greens fees are relatively cheap but equipment is hella expensive.