The highly-anticipated Hoiana Shores Golf Club in Da Nang, Vietnam, will welcome its first players when the Robert Trent Jones II layout opens for ‘preview play’ on September 23.
The golf course forms part of the US$4 billion Hoiana Integrated Resort, an ambitious development along a four-kilometre beachfront with its first operational phase set to eventually integrate more than 1,000 rooms, suites and villas, restaurants and retail outlets, beach club and an entertainment facility.
“Hoiana Shores Golf Club will indeed be the first component of this larger development welcoming both domestic and international tourism to our shores,” said Steve Wolstenholme, group COO at Hoiana. “As a group we intend to showcase the vibrancy and economic potential of not only Hoi An and Central Vietnam but this region in general.”
“It all starts with the golf,” said Ben Styles, vice president of golf for Hoiana. “And so we are particularly excited to announce that Hoiana Shores Golf Club will welcome its first golfers from September 23rd. The grand opening event will occur in early 2020, in concert with the unveiling of other Hoiana Phase 1 facilities.”
Until that time, Vietnam’s newest golf course will be available for limited ‘preview play’ with all proceeds from visiting golfers donated to local charities. “Golf occupies a very exciting place in Vietnam right now and I’m so proud and honored to be a small part of the development and evolution of the game here.
“What we have tried to achieve at Hoiana Shores — with help from the design team at Robert Trent Jones II — is something specific and nuanced: a traditional links that proudly builds on local traditions, which, if we are honest, is what all great golf courses do,” noted Styles.
Visiting golfers will notice no flags flapping in the ever-present, seaside breeze at Hoiana Shores. The pins will instead be adorned with red lanterns, the likes of which illuminate Hoi An’s famous Old Town at night.
Construction began in late 2017 under direction of Hong Kong-based course builder Linksshape, led by Australian Stuart Stone. The golf course has been developed in full accordance with strict sustainability principles laid out by the U.K.-based GEO Foundation.
“In Southeast Asia, there are no other golf developments at this stage of construction that are going through this program,” said GEO executive director Sam Thomas. “All others are in the planning or design stage. I think it’s fair to say that, if they continue on this path, Hoiana Shores will be first past the post, the market leader in this regard.”
While the greens at Hoiana Shores are grassed with Tifeagle Bermuda, all the fairways and tees feature Zeon Zoysia – a relatively new, drought-tolerant turfgrass strain specially developed to provide firm, fast conditions in equatorial regions.
“Zeon Zoysia is an upright grower where you can cut back on water and get it right — firm and fast,” explained Hoiana Shores’ course superintendent Rob Weiks. “It frankly freed up the architects and shapers to manufacture some wonderful shapes and contours — a lot of created architecture that could not be rushed. It is a great luxury to pile the sand up, shape it, then let the wind shape it again. It’s one reason the landforms out here are so compelling.”
Six of the 18 holes at Hoiana Shores come into direct contact with the beach, illustrating Hoiana’s vision and ambition. “The beachfront could have been otherwise developed, but this decision will ultimately pay off as this part of the course is uniquely unforgettable. There is nothing quite like playing those holes — playing shots from the beach itself! It is proof you are playing a proper links. There aren’t many courses in Asia that serve up that type of experience,” said Styles.