One of Vietnam’s newest golf courses, KN Golf Links – Cam Ranh, made a stellar debut at the 2018 Asian Golf Awards in Thailand recently, winning the prize for Best New Golf Course in Asia Pacific.
On Oct. 27, the Greg Norman-designed KN Golf Links officially opened in Cam Ranh, site of a spectacular, 8-kilometre crescent of sand that is rapidly becoming a destination of distinction in Southeast Asia.
And there were further celebrations less than a week later as the freshly inaugurated layout won one of the top honours at the Bangkok ceremony.
“It’s hugely gratifying for us to be recognised like this – especially given the fact that we have only just opened,” said Simon Mees, golf manager at KN Golf Links-Cam Ranh. “We’ve worked hard to get to where we are today and this recognition only pushes us to do even better in the future.”
In attendance at the ceremony was the development’s esteemed owner Mr Le Van Kiem who was joined on stage at the prize-giving by Mr Norman himself.
“I would put KN Golf Links up there in the top 10 in terms of unique properties I’ve ever been able to work with,” said Norman, who has over 100 designs to his name. “I’m looking forward to the world actually getting to experience playing this fantastic golf course.”
KN Golf Links features 27 holes altogether when the 9-hole, garden-style Oasis Course that runs inland from the clubhouse is factored in.
The links portion of the development boasts firm fast-releasing fairways, ample run-off areas around the greens and massive boulders, some of which form a striking backdrop to the par-5 17th hole.
“It’s not an Irish-style golf course. It’s not an Australian-style golf course. It’s not a Scottish-style golf course. It’s just a damn good links golf course,” said Norman, who won his two majors — the 1986 Open Championship and 1993 Open Championship — on links courses. “If this quality of course keeps coming online (in Vietnam), I think you are going to see people salivating at the prospect of coming here to play.”
KN Golf Links occupies 90 of the 800 hectares slated to be developed at KN Paradise, an ambitious integrated resort that will also feature at least three 5-star hotels, an array of luxury real estate opportunities, a marina, and a beach club among other entertainment facilities.
Now that the club is officially open for play, it will likely begin making its way into conversations about the best golf experiences in the region.
Norman’s other two creations in Vietnam — The Bluffs at Ho Tram Strip and The Dunes Course at BRG Da Nang Golf Resort — are widely considered the nation’s top two courses.
“The goal is to set a standard here by which all other projects to come will be measured by,” said Mr. Kiem, whose company also owns Long Thanh Golf Club, an award-winning, 36-hole venture on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. “Having 27 holes in Cam Ranh by one of the game’s all-time greats is a major step in that direction.”
Located less than an hour by air from Ho Chi Minh City and a five-minute drive from the recently expanded Cam Ranh International Airport, KN Golf Links is the first golf course in Cam Ranh and the third in the greater Nha Trang area.
Amenities include a secluded driving range with an instruction studio and 24 bays that face another eye-catching collection of gigantic rocks, and a three-story clubhouse that overlooks the ocean and three small islands about 10 kilometres offshore.
Pictured above: The Links course at Cam Ranh unfolds over spectacular rolling topography
KN Golf Links http://www.kngolflinks.com/
Greg Norman Golf Course Design http://gngcd.com/