Dalat Palace Golf Club has been named the country’s best golf course by Vietnam Golf Magazine, in conjunction with Vietnam Tourism. The selection process included input from readers and a panel of experts.
“Phrases like ‘timeless quality’ are frequently applied to golf courses and anything else that’s designed,” said Kurt Greve, general manager of Dalat Palace. “But as our members and others who’ve played the course know, it’s not just a cliché in this case. You find something new and interesting every time you tee it up here. So this award is like seeing an old friend recognized for his hard work and intelligence.”
Indeed, Dalat Palace could be said to embody Vietnam’s stop-and-start, but now-thriving golf scene. Along with the country’s other “original” course, the Go Vap Golf Course — familiarly known as Saigon Golf Club — Dalat Palace dates to the late 1920s and early 1930s, the golden age of golf course architecture. It is evident that Colt & Alison, the distinguished British firm, had a hand in the design, though it is not clear exactly what that consisted of.
Like the clubhouse, a Le Tourquet-style villa with Tudor features that suggest the property’s connection to the British Isles, Dalat Palace – also called Dalat Pine Lake at one stage – has gone through a couple of boom-and-bust cycles. Most recently, the course essentially went to seed during the years from 1975 to 1993, when a joint venture project between U.S.-based Danao International Holdings Limited and Lam Dong Province renovated nine holes and built a new nine to go along with it.
Since then, Dalat Palace has hosted numerous golf tournaments, including the Vietnam Amateur Championships last summer; and been recognized repeatedly by Golf Digest (USA) as the country’s top course. Apart from its strategic challenge and precipitous changes in elevation, the course is known for its colorful flora, including bougainvillea, red salvia, impatiens, mimosa, and hydrangeas.
“We hope the award will encourage golfers who’ve never played Dalat Palace to give the course a try,” said Greve. “We know they’ll be back once they do.”
Vietnam Golf Magazine also cited for excellence the two other courses owned and operated under the Indochina Land and Danao International Holdings, Ltd. umbrella. The Montgomerie Links, in Quang Nam Province, was recognized as Vietnam’s best new course. Ocean Dunes Golf Club, in Phan Thiet, was chosen for having the best par 3 hole, No. 9.
Dalat Palace Golf Club