The Bluffs Ho Tam Strip in Vietnam is officially the world’s best new golf course. It took the title at the World Golf Awards, beating competition from Lofoten Links in Norway, Palm Garden Golf Club in Malaysia, and TPC at Baha Mar in Nassau, the Bahamas.
General manager Ben Styles says: “When golf legend and course designer Greg Norman visited The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip in May 2013, he called the site one of the two best he’s ever had the privilege to work with – the other being Doonbeg in Ireland. We here at The Bluffs think it’s pretty incredible too. And we’re confident you’ll agree.”
“Ever since I was appointed general manager, my team and I have worked tirelessly to complete a course that I passionately believe is among the finest in Asia and comparable to the world’s best links courses,” adds Styles. “Mr. Norman, a two-time Major champion, has accentuated the amazing natural site here on Vietnam’s southern coastline in a way that only the game’s greatest minds can. This golf course will appeal to everyone, but the real golf purists will appreciate the constant references around the property to the world’s great links layouts.”
“As a professional golfer myself, I have much experience playing around the world on links golf courses, and I can honestly say that The Bluffs is as good a test of golf as any other layout I’ve seen. The Bluffs makes me try new shots, hit shots I’ve not hit in a long time, and use every club in my bag. I find myself putting from well off the green, hitting 6-irons along the fairway from 100 yards, and playing away from pins and riding the slopes instead of taking dead aim at the hole. It’s fun, and the kind of thing golfers rarely get exposure to in Asia.”
Greg Norman says: “We begin each new golf course design with a least-disturbance approach. Our design team dedicates time and effort to finding the most desirable natural features of a site and incorporates them into the routing. Streams, rock features, vegetation and undulating topography are a few natural elements that can provide a golf course with its own unique feel when incorporated into the playing strategy.”
“This is one of only two pieces of land of this quality and character I have ever been given to work with — the other being Doonbeg,” adds Norman. “I’m a firm believer in using what Mother Nature gives us on a particular site. This one has it all.”
The 6,855-yard par 71 layour is routed over and around towering sand dunes, and can play entirely differently from one day to the next, depending on the direction of the wind, which is always strong.
“The experience of playing true links golf among the dunes of southern Vietnam and having dramatic ocean views throughout your round will make The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip one of the most unique golf experiences in the world,” says Norman.