Nov. 6, 2018
Patrick Kelly, golf director at The Bluffs at the 2018 World Golf AwardsPatrick Kelly, golf director at The Bluffs, collects one of the top prizes at the 2018 World Golf Awards
HO TRAM, Vietnam — One of Vietnam’s top rated integrated golf resorts, the Ho Tram Strip, has added to its impressive awards haul, notching a notable double at the annual World Golf Awards in Spain.
At a lavish ceremony held at the Malaga Club in Andalucia, the acclaimed, multi-billion-dollar project’s hotel, The Grand, bagged ‘Vietnam’s Best Golf Hotel,’ and -- the coup de grace -- ‘Asia’s Best Golf Hotel’.
The latest honors follow a strong showing for The Grand at last year’s WGA and widespread recognition of the resort’s Greg Norman-designed Links, The Bluffs.
Regarded by many as Vietnam’s best course, the spectacular layout -- laid out among massive sand dunes on the coastline not far from Ho Chi Minh City -- has been rated as such by numerous esteemed authorities on the game.
Among the accolades the destination has received since welcoming its first holidaymakers, golfers and games in 2013 are ‘World’s Best New Course’ at the 2015 World Golf Awards. In 2017, Vietnam’s leading tourism and golf organizations voted it ‘Vietnam’s Best Golf Course’. It’s inclusion on Golf Digest’s bi-annual list of the ‘World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses’, meanwhile, further bolsters its claim to be the nation’s top-ranked golf test. It is currently ranked #35 on the index.
The success of Ho Tram Strip at the 2018 WGA was echoed by an overall strong performance by Vietnam at the ceremony: a reflection of the nation’s growing reputation as a golfing powerhouse. The country saw off strong competition from Thailand, Indonesia and others to be named ‘Asia’s Best Golf Destination.’
The 2018 World Golf Awards winners were determined by an open, online survey conducted over a seven-month period earlier this year.
“It’s hugely gratifying for us to be recognised so consistently at these awards,” said Michael Kelly, Executive Chairman of Asian Coast Development Ltd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Ho Tram Project Company Ltd., which owns and operates The Grand and The Bluffs. “These awards speak to what we’ve been trying to achieve here from day one, which is a world-class tourism destination. We’ve worked hard to get to where we are today and this recognition only pushes us to do even better in the future.”
Located on a 2.2-kilometer private stretch of beach less than two hours from Ho Chi Minh City, The Grand features a 550-room hotel, a casino with 90 table games and 600 slot machines, 13 food-and-beverage outlets, a spa offering a range of treatments for golfers, three swimming pools as well as high-end retail outlets.
Across the road, where towering seaside sand dunes dominate the landscape, The Bluffs offers a golf experience reminiscent of those more commonly found in southwest Ireland.
Opened in 2014, the course shot to international prominence in 2015, when it hosted the Ho Tram Open, a $1.5 million Asian Tour event won by Sergio Garcia and voted ‘Event of the Year’ by tour members.
The Bluffs is currently undergoing a multi-faceted renovation project designed to further elevate its profile.
In addition to reducing the amount of vegetation that has overtaken some of the dunes and removing the 419 bermudagrass between and around many of the tee boxes, the maintenance crew is working with US-based turf specialist On Course Agronomic Consulting to improve the performance of the playing surfaces, especially the greens.