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
Nicklaus Design must have been pinching themselves at their good fortune in landing the design job on this site. It really is an outstanding piece of land for golf with big sand dunes covered with pine trees, and with views of the South China sea from many vantage points. But it is one thing for a site to have potential and quite another for it to come to fruition as an outstanding course. Pat yourself on the back Jim Wagner and team- you have produced a course that will be regarded amongst the best in Asia, if not THE best!
The front nine heads into the hills behind the clubhouse and covers some gorgeous golfing terrain with narrow rolling fairways framed by mature pine trees, and bold use of bunkering which fits the land like it was always there. It's dramatic golf and challenging. There are blind shots, elevated greens, and lots of sand.
The back nine is routed through slightly quieter territory nearer the beach, and on 3 holes luxury villas border the holes. Perhaps because of this I was thinking that the back nine might not compare favourably with the front-- but bang!- the closing holes are very strong.
The critic in me looks at a course of this quality and rates it a little harder- and in that respect I thought that perhaps the course might be too challenging for the typical resort guest...I thought the night lights were an ugly addition to a wonderful golfing landscape. While the course is very walkable, as a resort course it will more often than not be a cart course and cart paths dont improve the look or playability of a course- especially when the carts stay on the paths...
Another beef of mine is where developers cash in on housing adjacent to the beach, and route the golf through the housing...
With that off my chest I can say the course is challenging but entirely playable, and that every effort has been made on this course to hide the cart paths with pavers with grass cover winding through the rough and hidden side of dunes so that the visual impact is minimal. And the housing? I have a sneaking suspicion that perhaps the land used for the golf holes was just superior land, notwithstanding the immediate beach views. Holes like the par 3 fourteenth just don't pop up everyday!
Although the nines cover different terrain the look and feel of the course is consistent throughout with carpet like fairways merging straight into sand and pine straw inside the tree line. Similarly the pine straw and local vegetation has been used to adorn the bunkering- giving a dash of colour and texture to complement the sculpted white sand, and rich green fairways..
Notable holes include:
- the downhill par 3 fourth hole, with a very long green running left to right from the golfers view and with a striking splash bunker running across in front.
- the twisting, turning, heaving par 5 fifth hole with lovely elevated green
- the no 1 rated par 4 sixth hole with an 'in your face' green set behind a steep slope and bold bunkering
- the long roller coaster par 4 seventh hole
- the attractive downhill par 3 eighth hole
- the downhill par 4 thirteenth hole with the South China Sea as a backdrop
- the 'all world' par 3 fourteenth hole
- the long downhill par 3 sixteenth hole with it's 'ring of sand' bunkering, and ocean backdrop
- the rocking, rolling par 5 seventeenth hole with ocean views and wonderfully sculpted green
This is a course that will reward multiple plays. Not just because you would know where you were heading the second or third time around- but also because these green complexes have some pretty neat pin positions I would just love to explore. With an international airport opening here soon, and a pretty decent sister course I would plan on staying quite a few days!!
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to Vietnam to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions please see Great Golf Destinations: Vietnam- The South Central Coast
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