Golf Legend Colin Montgomerie to Visit Course in Vietnam

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Thirteen years after Vietnam opened its first modern golf course, a British golf legend is en route to the storied sands of China Beach where he'll put his stamp on a links course that is shaping up to be one of Asia's finest.

Colin Montgomerie, who has set records on the European Tour with 31 tournament victories and eight money titles, travels to the historic Central Coast area the weekend of November 17-18, between playing stops in Shanghai for the HSBC Champions tournament and Shenzhen for the World Cup.

While in Vietnam, Montgomerie will work on The Montgomerie Links Vietnam - a collection of 18 breathtaking holes routed through casuarina pines and seaside vegetation just minutes from Danang's international airport - and meet with some of the country's highest ranking government officials.

"I'm excited to see how the site has evolved," said Montgomerie, who has also played on eight Ryder Cup teams. "It's a spectacular piece of land in one of the most beautiful parts of the world."

In the short space of five months, a distinctly Old World design has sprouted near the former R&R spot for American GIs, with massive green complexes and rolling fairways spreading out on a virtually treeless site. A comprehensive practice facility opens in December. The first nine holes are expected to be playable by Spring 2008.

"It's important to note that when the first course of this era was built [in Phan Thiet, south of Danang], Vietnam was only just opening itself up to golf and the West," said Peter Ryder, CEO of Indochina Capital, developer of the $45 million project, one of more than a dozen ongoing projects in the company's $1 billion real estate portfolio. "Ocean Dunes was followed by a trickle of activity in the course development realm. What did get built was done by no-name designers."

"It's different today. More than 20 projects are in some stage of development. The Montgomerie Links shows that this market isn't merely ready for a first-class resort course, it's prepared to respond to an international golfing brand."

In addition to the course and driving range, the development will include a 60-unit residential component on 38,000 square meters called The Montgomerie Links Estates and a stylish clubhouse designed by Hong Kong-based architectural firm Gravity Partnership Ltd., creators of almost 50 housing and mixed-use projects in China.

Montgomerie currently has seven layouts open for play around the globe and has more than 10 courses in some stage of construction or design.

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