The first time we played in Vietnam was in 2009. We played the now closed Ocean Dunes in Phan Thiet, Paradise in Vung Tau and Long Thanh near Saigon. I don’t have any golf course photos from this trip.
Recently, in 2019, we played in Vietnam again. Golf in 2009 cost about $80 per round. Golf in 2019 cost over $200 per round. The courses in Saigon are very busy on weekends. If you’re on vacation, try to play during the week.
Some of the courses require at least 3 people to get a tee time. We tried to play Long Thanh again, and Twin Doves, but both required minimum of 3 players to get a tee time.
We played Tan Son Nhat, Vietnam Golf and Country Club and the Bluffs in Vung Tau.
Tan Son Nhat Golf Course
Tan Son Nhat golf course is next to the airport. I have to admit, I didn’t expect much for a golf course in the middle of Ho Chi Minh city, next to a busy airport.
Tan Son Nhat consists of 4 9 holes golf courses. Course “C” is supposed to be the most scenic. We played A and B courses.
When you check-in, each player gets a wallet like thing containing what I think is a temporary member number on a form. While on the property, you use that to run an account, that you settle up at the end. The exception is the driving range and pro-shop next to the driving range. Those you pay-as-you-go.
Being next to the airport, I had somewhat low expectations. It turned out to be much nicer than I expected. If you’re in Saigon for a few days and want somewhere to play, it’s worth a play.
This is a locals course, not a resort course. Luckily our caddies spoke a little English.
Now because it’s 4 9 hole courses, that means that there are groups going off at the same time on all 4 courses. Now I called last minute and it was a Saturday, so I knew it was going to be slow. We had a tee time of 10:30am. We actually didn’t go out until 11am. We spent 25 minutes at the turn between course A and B. On the 5th hole on B, it started raining. They have shelters on every hole. We waited in one of the shelters for about 15 minutes. The rain let up, so we started playing again. Then it started pouring. It was now 3:30pm. Yes, 5 hours past our original tee time and we still had 4 holes to go. So we gave up at this point. We wanted to beat Saigon rush hour. You do not want to get stuck in rush hour during the week if you are going very far in Saigon.
While I would recommend playing this course, not on a Saturday. If you’re on vacation, save the weekends for the locals, and play during the week.
Vietnam Golf and Country Club
Booked the West course online. According to their website, it’s the oldest course. We got there and they moved us to the East Course, but I don’t think it would make much difference. Again, we booked on the weekend and the course was very busy.
Tee off on hole 10. We played 3 holes. We were behind a slow group. So the marshall jumped us over to the front nine to hole 4. We finished the front nine, and then played 1-3. Now we need to go to 13 and jump in the middle. It’s been 3 ½ hours and we have 6 holes to go. That would put us in Saigon rush hour traffic, and it started raining. We gave up. I had somewhere to be at 6pm, and if we finished then got in rush hour in the rain, we would not have made the 6pm dinner.
The greens are really tough. They are very fast. They have huge slopes that run off the green, so if you don’t hit the green in just the right spot, you’re going to roll off. The rest of the course was fine. Some fairway bunkers, minor elevation changes.
Bluffs Ho Tram Strip Golf Course
This is one of the best golf courses I’ve ever played. It’s located near Vung Tau. It’s a resort course, with the resort on the ocean. There are many ocean views from the course. This is a great Vietnam golf resort.
Family Friendly resort with badminton, mini-golf, outdoor bowling, basketball court, and a soccer field. Also, had a big pool with big water slide. There was also a nice cream snack café.
There are multiple western-style bars. The Steak restaurant, Chinese restaurant, and the beer place all had western-style bars. We didn’t eat at any of the restaurants, we went to a local seafood restaurant. Breakfast buffet was typical and pretty good.
Overall, it was a very large resort, with plenty for the whole family or even just a golf getaway. If you’re in Saigon, it’s about an hour and a half by car.
The Golf Course
The price was about $209 to play, per person, hotel guest rate. Don’t know how much if you weren’t staying in the hotel. Arrived a little early and had breakfast in the club house – 5 people, almost $100.
Everything was efficient. We played with 2 other people. One was a member, don’t know about the other. Caddies spoke a little English. Overall, the pace was good, we only waited a minute or two on a couple of holes.
The Bluffs is a beautiful golf course. It’s across the street from the hotel and the ocean. You have a view of the ocean on probably more than half the holes. The course is built into sand dunes. Lots of elevation changes. If you miss the fairway, just try to punch it back to the fairway. You’re probably not going to advance it much from the sand dune.
If you shoot over 90 normally, let your caddie line up your put. And when she tells you it breaks uphill, believe it. When you’d swear it’s a downhill put and she says uphill, it’s uphill.
Overall, this was a great course and I would play it again.