Vietnam’s already unhealthy obsession with celebrity designed golf courses, is set to rise higher with news last week that the BRG Group had signed an agreement with Nicklaus Design to develop a series of golf courses across the emerging country.
According to a press release, the aim of the partnership is to help make Vietnam “one of the most attractive golf destinations in the world.” Presumably this will be achieved by providing golfers the world over with the opportunity to play the sorts of courses that already exist in their local area.
According to the article, “driving golf tourism and fostering the growth of the game” is a vision shared by the BRG Group and Nicklaus Design.
Chaired by Madame Nguyen Thi Nga, the BRG Group is already a major player in the golf industry in Vietnam having recently purchased the Danang Golf Resort as well as owning BRG Kings Island Golf Resort, BRG Ruby Tree Golf Resort and BRG Legend Hill Golf Resort. The additional courses will be dotted across the country, and designed by associates of the Nicklaus Design company rather than the Golden Bear himself. As some readers will be aware, the fees charged by Nicklaus Design for a Jack Nicklaus signature course are often double or triple that of his associates.
An interesting article from the Golf Course Architecture website provided a breakdown of the various projects, and suggested as many as ten courses were in the pipeline. According to the story:
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The ten new courses will be spread across the country. 36 holes will be built near Ho Chi Minh City. In the country’s central region, 36 holes will be built near the city of Hue, while 54 holes will be built in Quang Nam region south of Danang.
In the north of the country, 36 holes are to be built in Hoa Binh, while one 18-hole course will be created in Thanh Hoa.
A number of the courses will be designed by Sean Quinn, with Jack Nicklaus II also likely to create some of the designs.
Plans are currently under development, and Paul Stringer, president of Asia-Pacific for Nicklaus Design, confirmed to GCA that work on some preliminary routing plans has already began.
Nicklaus Design currently has one course open in Vietnam owned by BRG Group – Legend Hill in Hanoi. This course was designed by Nicklaus Design’s Jim Wagner.
Councillors to make a submission to Government preventing golf land being used for development.
Nearly 120 years after golf arrived at Pinehurst, the resort will open a nine-hole short course by Gil Hanse.