The FLC Quy Nhon Beach & Golf Resort is located 30 minutes from Quy Nhon (& 45 minutes from the airport), overlooking the South China Sea. The complex is home to a Luxury hotel, resort, convention centre, spa, restaurants, and two striking golf courses built in massive sand dunes and casuarina pine trees with views over Nhon Ly Beach.
Nicklaus Design were responsible for The Ocean Course which opened in 2016, and Schmidt Curley designed The Mountain Course which opened in January 2017
The Mountain Course is an intriguing design. It is routed on the slopes of some massive sand dunes, and at times it reminds one of The Plantation Course at Kapalua- it has those distant ocean views on 16 of the holes, and everything has been built to scale with the grandness of the surrounds dictating wide fairways, large greens, and constant slopes and movement.
I was immediately struck by the enormous tracts of sand throughout the course- one could imagine you were playing in the desert in Arizona, or Mexico, perhaps?
The fairways are very wide and forgiving, but at critical moments the sandy wastes tighten the landing areas, keeping you on your toes. This course has been designed for wind, and when she blows the wide fairways will be needed.
The wind has also dictated that greens be large, and they are- but like The Old Course in St Andrews, bigger greens need more movement to make them interesting. What Schmidt & Curley have done here is provide large greens with a number of sections of each green quiet enough to reward accurate approaches with very makeable putts. But it is the movement between these quiet sections that provides the entertainment. The half pipe on the front of the 15th green is the most dramatic, but a number of greens have some really fun movement in them- punchbowls, backstops etc...
The tees are also interesting- rather than individual tee boxes, the tee system is more like a mini fairway, so various tees can easily be moved back or forward depending on the wind conditions.
And on holes two and seventeen the views over Nhon Ly Beach are gorgeous!
Holes to note are:
Hole 5- a longish par 4 cape hole arcing to the right, with sandy waste to carry rather than water. How much do you take on?
Hole 6 is a shorter par 4 with a steeply uphill tee shot. Again you can be brave and try to shorten the journey by taking on vast expanses of sand, or you can play the long way around.
Hole 10 is a short par 4 in a lovely setting. The tee shot plays down into a valley framed by sand and pine trees, and the short approach to the elevated green is well protected by more bunkering..
Hole 13 is another short par 4 steeply uphill, and again you have the choice to try and carry the sand, or bail out right for a longer shot in.
Hole 14 is a downhill par 3 with a wonderful ocean backdrop. Club down and swing smoothly. It's a fun hole to play
Hole 15 is a medium length par 4 with an amazing green structure. The green itself is positioned beautifully running left to right to the fairway, and surrounded by sand to the rear and the right. It really looks like it is a natural site, and is a thrilling approach. But it is the 'half pipe' dip at the front of the green that will have everybody talking!
Hole 18 is an outstanding closing hole- a strong par 4 with another wonderful green setting. Your target sits on a ledge above a dramatic large bunker set into the hillside. You will have to hold your nerve to post a score!
The Mountain Course is a resort style course, with wide fairways- designed to accommodate carts, as well as the walking golfer.
In fact I think the way the green walk offs tie in to the next tee is a feature. You will remember the vast sandy wastes, the outstanding views, and the impressive green complexes.
'The Mountain' is well designed, has some wow factor, and is fun to play.
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to Vietnam to suit your group.
For itinerary suggestions please see Great Golf Destinations: Vietnam- The Central Coast
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