- Zone 4, Nhon Ly – Cat Tien Beach, Nhon Ly Commune, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam
- 84 56 628 8888
If you are after an exotic luxury golfing vacation, then you should put FLC Luxury Resort Quy Nhon high on the list of destinations. This is more of a stay, play and chill-out-by-the-beach sojourn with daquiri in hand than an adrenaline-filled getaway. Located on the golden coastline of mid-Vietnam, some 40 minutes by car from Phu Cat Airport, the resort is built around the beach and two golf courses as its central attractions.
FLC Quy Nhon Golf Links (the Ocean Course), the first to open in early 2016, was created by Nicklaus Design who laid the link-style course out over sand dunes, with ample views of Nhon Ly Beach and the South China Sea to enjoy. The Links won the award for Best New Course in Asia Pacific at the Asian Golf Awards 2016.
“The 18-hole golf course was built on natural sand with spectacular views of the sea from 14 different holes,” said Jim Wagner of Nicklaus Design. “The front 9 is carved through an existing pine forest with a higher elevation than the back 9. The back 9 is routed along the sea and takes on a more rugged and playful character with large sand dunes helping to frame golf holes.”
The second course, the Mountain Course, was designed by fellow US company Schmidt and Curley (of Mission Hills fame). It offers more elevation changes and sits on higher ground above the resort with sweeping views of the sea on 16 of the 18 holes. This course opened only at the beginning of 2017 and was yet to have a slope and rating at time of publishing.
“We set out to create a course that was not just great itself, but also did its best to both compliment and contrast the existing Nicklaus designed Ocean course on the property below us,” designer Brian Curley said. “The Ocean course is wonderful and creates a character that makes the most of its tree-lined corridors and ocean-front dunes.
“On the Mountain Course, we chose to go in a slightly opposite direction, relying on width to accommodate the average player but still employing plenty of difficulty, especially at the greens, in order to keep the course challenging and fun.”
US construction company Flagstick, with the help of local labor, built both courses (it took just five and a half months to finish Links). Renowned Japanese golf writer Masa Nishijima rates FLC Quy Nhon as one of the top five resorts in Asia.
The challenges: Links course: Miss the fairway and you’ll be hitting off sand and straw, but there is minimal rough, and wide fairways should invite big hitters to let loose off most tees. Holes 6, 12 and 13 are challenging due to their length and difficulty around the greens. Par or bogey is a great score if the wind picks up, especially on the par-4 Hole 13, which plays straight at the sea.
When to play: You can play year-round, although it rains regularly in the monsoon season from September to January and the hottest month is June, with an average temperature of 34 degrees Celsius, according to Hikersbay.com.
Yardage: FLC Quy Nhon Golf Links – Ocean Course: 7273 yards, 6650 meters. Schmidt and Curley’s Mountain Course: 7077 yards, 6471 meters
Slope: FLC Quy Nhon Golf Links: 133
Rating: FLC Quy Nhon Golf Links: 75.1
Best hole: On the Links course, the final three holes along the ocean and sand dunes are all superb.
The designer says: “Although the par-4 13th will certainly leave a long-lasting impression on most golfers, the finishing sequence of holes 16-18 will be memorable for their endless sea views and the strategic impact of the stunning sand dunes that encompass parts of the last three holes.”
– Jim Wagner, Nicklaus Design
The resort experience:
FLC Quy Nhon Beach & Golf Resort is spread out over 300 hectares (741 acres) and makes full use of the views of Nhon Ly – Cat Tien Beach. As well as the two golf courses, it features a five-star hotel, luxury villas, a convention center, pine forests and Hon Kho Island. The rooms feature contemporary décor and a mix of traditional and modern design. Watching the sun rise over the South China Sea to the east is recommended here. There are outdoor and indoor swimming pools to cool off in, or lounge next to under an umbrella – you get the picture.
Dine and wine:
There are three restaurants to choose from: Mistral Top View, which is built on a hilly cove overlooking the Links course and ocean; Salsa the Beach Club covers most palates with Asian, Mediterranean, Brazilian BBQ and more common Western dishes; and Cheers Fun Pub encourages you to dance and eat tapas (but not at the same time). Elsewhere sip a daiquiri at Ocean Pool Bar or suck on a stogie at the Wine & Cigar Bar. Alternatively opt for your own private meal as a chef cooks up a storm in your room.
There are 327 rooms and suites in total. Each of the 90 villas offers a higher level of privacy than the hotel rooms – so might heighten the romance on this Vietnam getaway as you gaze out to the sea or take a dip in your swimming pool. Many villas have easy access to the beach, too. The villas feature modern interiors and range from two-bedroom suites (with king and double beds) with 218 square meters (2347 square feet), to the four-bedroom Golf Villa (two king and two twin beds) with a luxurious 431 square meters (4639 square feet). You won’t have to go without satellite TV, A/C or high-speed internet either.
It would be hard to go past The Spa. For a start, you could opt for ancient Cham purification rituals, which sound quite liberating. There is also “yogassage”, herbal therapy and thalassa (or seawater) therapy. For those more adventurous types, head out on a kayak safari, explore the area on mountain bike, or take a boat trip to Hon Seo Island and snorkel over the coral reef near Rang Beach.