The grand opening of KN Golf Links Cam Ranh in Vietnam, with 27 holes designed by Greg Norman Golf Course Design, will take place on 27 October.
Construction of the nine-hole Oasis course is now complete, joining the 18-hole Links course at Cam Ranh, which is part of KN Paradise, an 800-hectare resort venture set on a white sand coastline, an hour’s flight from Ho Chi Minh City. The resort is also expected to include upscale villas, a gaming complex and private beach club.
The development is owned by KN Investment Group, which also owns the Long Thanh Golf Club near Ho Chi Minh City and Long Vien Golf Club in Vientiane, Laos. KN will manage the facility in consultation with IMG Golf Course Services.
Speaking in the January 2018 issue of Golf Course Architecture, Norman said: “Cam Rahn is a great coastal dunes site. When we approached it and started thinking about routing the golf course, it was certainly more about what not to disturb than what to disturb. We asked the owner to let us route the golf course before he did any land or infrastructure planning. The owner told us to build the best course in Vietnam. We said ok, let us go out and route the golf course as we see it, and you’ll have a good chance of getting it.”
The course at Cam Ranh features ocean views from most holes, while also boasting indigenous plant material throughout.
“As we had to disturb the ground to plant the grass, we pulled up the dunes grass and replanted it in the outer areas,” said Chris Campbell, senior vice president of Greg Norman Golf Course Design. “It’s all native material, and there’s not a tree on the site, which favours links golf. We balanced dirt to create playability, but the course’s true strength really is its routing.”
“The Links course plays hard and fast, just like a traditional links course,” said Simon Mees, general manager at KN Golf Links. “While the Oasis course feels somewhat like a tropical Augusta National, with beautiful flowers, streams and trees. Golfers are going to love the contrasting styles.”
The Wyndham Grand Cam Ranh hotel will overlook the closing two holes on the Links course.
“Cam Ranh is on the cusp of becoming the next great hot spot in Southeast Asia,” said Mees. “Having a golf course of the calibre of KN Golf Links is only going to speed that process.”
Since 2015, more than 30 hospitality projects have been licensed for development in the area. To accommodate the expected influx of tourists, a new, US$163 million international terminal opened in June 2018 at Cam Ranh International Airport. The upgrade opens the door to as many as eight million passengers per year once the second and final phase of the airport renovation is complete.