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Faldo’s new Vietnam golf course has star quality

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Scheduled for a soft opening in December, Sir Nick Faldo’s newest design – Laguna Lang Cô Golf Club on Vietnam’s Central Coast – is shaping up as one of his finest creations and a likely future contender for best new course in Asia.

The multiple-character layout, part of Laguna Lang Cô, a major new tourism development by Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, has all the makings of being a star golf attraction in the region.

Three years after the launch of Montgomerie Links designed by Colin Montgomerie and Danang Golf Club’s Dunes course designed by Greg Norman, the opening of Laguna Lang Cô is poised to position the Danang-Hoi An-Hue region as Vietnam’s top golf tourism destination.

All three courses are members of Golf Coast Vietnam (www.golfcoastvietnam.com), a destination-marketing group established last year to promote golf tourism to the Central Coast region.

Laguna Lang Cô Golf Club’s appeal lies in its ever-changing character. Whereas the two other Golf Coast Vietnam courses present a constant environment over their entire 18 holes, the new Faldo creation’s trademark is variation and “what comes next?” thought when golfers begin playing the course.

“This is a stunning and very diverse piece of land with gently rolling terrain, splashes of sand throughout and an impressive array of natural design features,” Faldo said when he began the design process two years ago.

“Our layout will incorporate sand dunes, rice-paddy fields, trees and scrub, wonderful exposed rock formations as well as a section of dramatic coastline and a routing that will visit each of these features on both nines.

“For this part of Vietnam it’s a real hidden gem. We have the opportunity to create a very strategic golf course that offers golfers an abundance of shot and route options. Players will need to plot their way through some very picturesque surroundings. The course will sport a ruggedly-handsome look with a real sense of place.”

Two months before its soft opening, it is obvious that the six-time major tournament winner’s promise has been fulfilled. As the 6958-yard par-71 course is prepared for a full launch in March 2013, to be attended by Faldo himself, it is shaping up as a wonderful example of creative design that blends perfectly with the natural environment.

The par-3 fifth is already standing out as the likely signature hole. Incorporating large “chocolate-drop” mounds around the green that mirror a mountain peak in the background, it is the only hole with any obvious man-made influence.

Undoubtedly, it will be the most talked-about in an alluring layout, although many others, including a beautiful dog-leg par-5 finishing hole, have character that is sure to excite – and entice more visiting golfers to the region. As well as catering for the golf tourism market, memberships will also be available.

The Laguna Lang Cô resort is situated near Lang Co Bay, framed by a three-kilometre beach in the Chan May region of Central Vietnam, an area renowned for its pristine coastline, natural scenery and proximity to UNESCO World Heritage sites. The complex includes Banyan Tree and Angsana branded hotels and spas, villas and residences available for sale.

For more information, visit www.lagunalangco.com

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