If there was a single course that gave me a feeling of golfing in southern Vietnam, it was here at Taekwang Jeongsan Country Club.
Perhaps it was the day’s hot balmy weather or the way we made our way to the course -- boarding a speedy boat in the city (District 4) for a 30-minute ride along the Saigon and Dong Nai RIvers to the Club. (Aside from the 30-minute riverboat, golfers also have the option to drive to the club, typically an 80-minute drive from HCMC.)
Upon arrival at the clubhouse, we were greeted by Mr. Kang Seung Kyun, Director of Golf, and a team of friendly assistants who introduced us to the club and arranged for our round of golf.
Setup with our golf buggies, caddies and golf kit, we made our way to the first tee on the Sun Course. Designed by American golf architect Ronald Fream, the 18-hole course labels it’s two 9-hole courses as the Sun Course (front 9) and the Moon Course (back 9). The Sun course plays along the Dong Nai River providing a series of wonderful views along the right side of the first few holes.
Though a relatively flat course, heavy bunkering on most holes added interest, enjoyment and challenge throughout. Holes 9 and 18 are their two signature holes with 9 being a long par-4 and 18 being a dogleg par-5. Both holes share a bunker, and play back to the clubhouse.
The course has a well-placed halfway house that can be used by golfers on either the Sun or Moon course. With the intensity of the heat and sun during our round, the cool air conditioned halfway house was a welcomed stop. Located on the 6th and 15 holes, this is a good place to restock on beverages or have a quick snack. This halfway house also has high-speed wifi internet.
Upon completing our round, we made our way up to the large clubhouse which forms the anchor for golf course, residential and commercial areas. Inside the clubhouse golfers find elaborate locker rooms with spa facilities, two restaurants serving local and Korean favorites, and a golf pro shop.
Mr. Kang Seung Kyun joined us for lunch, which features a wide selection of both Vietnamese and Korean meals. During the lunch, the conversation continued on the status of the course, their junior programs and their focus on encouraging women to pick-up the game.
The flow of international tourists into southern Vietnam has been increasing dramatically, by 15 to 20 percent annually. With such a high rate of growth, plans have been approved to build a new airport just 20 minutes the club -- the Long Thanh International Airport. Intended to become operational by 2020, this new airport is expected to be a significant benefit to the club, residential properties and businesses on Dai Phuoc Island.
Taekwang Jeongsan Country Club
Ong Con Island. Dai Phuoc Commune
Nhon Trach District, Dong Nai Province;