Montgomerie Links Vietnam, the most anticipated project in the country’s brief-but-blooming golf history, christened its practice facility last week with an invitation-only event that gave guests a sneak preview of the club’s first nine holes.
Under clear skies and with clubs in hand, more than 50 invited guests convened for the historic occasion, highlighted by instructional clinics, a 9-hole tournament and an al fresco lunch at the newly opened driving range cafe.
In his welcome speech, Peter Ryder, CEO of Indochina Capital, said the golf course not only brings value to the Central Coast region but raises the benchmark for golf tourism in Vietnam.
Indochina Land, the real estate division of Indochina Capital and developer of both the Montgomerie Links Vietnam and nearby award-winning Nam Hai resort, dedicated $45 million to the golf project, which includes the 18-hole, Colin Montgomerie-designed course and an estate of 54 luxury villas.
“Just as we thought The Nam Hai would set a new standard for resort excellence in Vietnam when it opened 20 months ago, the Montgomerie Links Vietnam will do the same on the golf side,” said Ryder. “The newly opened driving range and first nine holes is the first step in sharing this standard with our members and the wider golfing world. Colin Montgomerie has taken a non-descript piece of linksland and created an experience everyone, avid golfer or not, will love.”
After introductions, the course’s general manager, Jon Tomlinson, escorted guests to the practice facility, which features 30 covered hitting bays, a 300-meter-long driving range, a 450-square-meter putting and chipping area, a fully stocked pro shop and a chic cafà©.
Later, Tomlinson hosted a clinic for business leaders and government officials new to the game of golf, while others opted to play in an informal 9-hole tournament and get an exclusive peek at the layout destined to be the best in Vietnam upon completion in 2009.
“This remains a young golfing country, so we’ve planned an ongoing schedule of clinics for members and visitors who are new to the game,” said Tomlinson. “But this facility has been created to suit the most sophisticated golfing tastes, from the practice facility, to the clubhouse and villas, to the golf course itself.”
With developments slated or under construction all along the Central Coast, including hotels by Crowne Plaza, Raffles and Hyatt Regency, the Montgomerie Links Vietnam will be well positioned for any tourist itinerary.
“There will be no shortage of resort guests in this region,” said Tomlinson. “When they arrive, we’ll be here – and they’ll be suitably impressed by the standards of our course and club.”
Montgomerie has crafted a course that moves boldly over a striking landscape of wispy casuarina pines and sand dunes. Massive greens and rippled fairways are among the layout’s Old World features, while lakes and Paspalum – elements missing from classic links courses – provide a touch of modernity.
In addition to the course and practice facility, the 70-plus-hectare development will include a dramatic 3,000-square-metre clubhouse and 54 three-bedroom villas for sale called The Estates at Montgomerie Links.
The villas will range in size from 276 to 395 square meters on ample lots that range in size from 350 to 700 square meters. All villas feature heated swimming pools, contemporary American-style kitchens and expansive views of the course.