Whether you’re a big Tiger Woods fan or just someone who likes to swing the clubs for business or leisure, the Saigon area has a golf course for you. Just follow our guide and we’ll get you to some nearby greens. Have fun!
Whether you’re a fair-weather golfer with a high handicap or a single-figure handicapper looking for a challenge, Ho Chi Minh golf courses will have something for you. The popularity of golf in Vietnam has snowballed in the last two decades. In fact, Vietnam was voted Asia Pacific’s premier golf tourism destination after an online poll of more than 104,000 votes was conducted in 2017.
The country is now home to over 40 golf courses, stretching from Ho Chi Minh City up to Hanoi. Vietnam is set to become a must-visit golfing destination. The “Ho Chi Minh Golf Trail” now also runs parallel with the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail. This only creates a bigger draw for those who like to spend their mornings on the golf course and their afternoons exploring some of Vietnam’s top destinations.
A brief history of golf in Vietnam
French colonialists built some tiny courses around Saigon in 1920s and 1930s. But the sport was only taken up by a small number of elite Vietnamese locals. Vietnam’s last emperor, Bao Dai, discovered the game while studying in France. He loved it so much that he built Vietnam’s first 8-hole golf course in Dalat in 1922. During the war, the Americans often came to Dalat to play golf along with the wealthy Vietnamese which was seen as a sign of imperialism by many natives. The sport was later banned at the end of the war, in 1975, and the golf courses were left to grow wild.
It wasn’t until the mid-1990’s that the government realized the power of the sport to bring in international commerce and attract elite visitors to Vietnam. Since then, more and more golf courses have popped up. Vietnam’s first international-standard golf course opened in 1994.
The best golf courses in Ho Chi Minh City
Most of the golf courses in the Saigon metropolitan area are a little outside the city. But they are well worth the drive to escape the pollution and spend the day swinging your club. (Just make sure you check the weather report before you go.)
It’s easy to see why this golf course is both one of the most popular and reputable golf courses in Vietnam. The greens sit just 20 km from the city center and boasts two 18-hole courses. Both serious and recreational golfers love this 300-hectare golf resort due to its natural feel and seamless layout. The west course of the two provides a difficult challenge for even the best of recreational golfers. It is championship length!
Twin Dives is just one hour away, one of the closest golf courses to Saigon. You’ll find a 27-hole international golf course and three 9-hole golf courses here. And all with varying landscapes falling against the backdrop of Vietnam’s countryside. Twin Dives, open since 2009, also boasts one of the best pro-shops in the country.
Dong Nai was Vietnam’s first 27-hole golf course and presents a peaceful yet challenging landscape. The course is 50 km from Saigon and offers the beautiful backdrop of a lake. But it does mean that water is in play for the first five holes, as well as the last seven. The Dong Nai golf course should definitely be on the list for golfers that like a challenge.
Song Be became Vietnam’s first international golf course in 1994, recognized for meeting USGA/SGA requirements.
The course is home to three 9-hole golf courses offering a variety of challenges and opportunities for avid golfers. Perhaps the most demanding is the “Desert Course.” This consists of long and narrow fairways and plenty of elaborate bunkers. At least getting there is not too much of a challenge. It’s just 22 km away.
Just 30 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, the Long Thanh Golf Club & Residential Estate is another popular place with holiday golfers and local golfers alike. This 36-hole golf course is one of the favorites in Vietnam. Course architects set the course in the scenic countryside, with the stunning backdrop of rolling rice paddies. There are also undulating greens and water hazards on almost every hole. The variety of challenges makes this course exciting for both high handicappers and professional golfers in Vietnam.
Jeongsan Country Club is situated on a secluded island on the Saigon River. It is only accessible by boat. From the city center, it takes around 90 minutes to reach this course via the highway and then a ferry. This Korean-owned 18-hole golf course is one of the flattest courses but golfers can often fall victim to the heavy bunkering. The first 9 holes are played with the beautiful backdrop of the river and the resort is home to a great pro-shop and clubhouse.
Just 7 kilometers from the city center, Tan Son Nhat Golf Course is one of the best-located golf courses for visitors to Ho Chi Minh City. The 36-hole course sits just next to the international airport in Saigon and is, therefore, very popular with traveling businessmen. The clubhouse is one of the largest in the country and doesn’t limit itself to golfers. It can host weddings and events for up to 5,000 guests. There are also a number of great facilities at the Tan Son Nhat Golf Course including a pro shop, driving range, and chipping and putting areas.
So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to tee off at any one of these great Ho Chi Minh golf courses today!