Norman’s Designs on New Vietnamese Golfing Empire
Tam Nong, Phu Tho Province, Vietnam: There’s a major new player in Vietnam’s burgeoning golfing industry. T&T Group is embarking on a crusade to create unforgettable experiences for golfers and place Northern Vietnam on the international golfing map with the development of two Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) masterpieces.
In what is being labelled as one of the largest and most important on-going projects in the north of the country, Vietnam Tourism Ambassador and acclaimed golf course architect Greg Norman is sculpting 36 holes.
Văn Lang Empire Golf Club is the brainchild of the T&T Group, a leading multi-business group within Vietnam that was founded in 1993 and is among the top-10 largest multi-sector private economic corporations in the country.
During a two-day visit to Vietnam (October 3-4), Norman met with Do Quang Hien, Chairman of the Board of Directors of T&T Group, before making his first visit to the spectacular 168-hectare site in the historic province of Phu Tho.
As well as presenting Hien with the completed plans for the 36 holes, Norman discussed his environmentally-friendly design philosophy which ensures the use of local vegetation and retention of the natural topography, and underlines his commitment to long-term sustainability.
With the company’s 30th anniversary on the horizon, Do Vinh Quang, Vice Chairman of T&T Group’s Board of Directors and Deputy General Director, recently announced the formation of T&T Golf, to manage and oversee its diversification into the Royal and Ancient sport, commencing with the Văn Lang Empire Golf Club project at an estimated total investment of VND 35,000 billion (about US$1.475 billion).
Quang said: “As part of the T&T Group, T&T Golf’s goal is to become a leading brand in golf in Vietnam, reaching out to the world. Golf courses operated and managed by T&T Golf will not only be challenging for golfers, but also will be the ‘bridge’ to culture, history and nature, helping local economies to ‘take-off’.
“We believe that T&T Group is entering the golf industry at the right time. We have brought together a team of experts and professional partners that will create a world-class golfing facility at Văn Lang Empire Golf Club.
“As well as striving to attain all the elements of international standards, the project will be in harmony with local culture and history. It is our vision to create unforgettable experiences for golfers and international visitors to Vietnam.
“In his role as Tourism Ambassador, we look forward to Greg Norman promoting Vietnam in general and the northern region in particular.”
For his part, Norman believes the tie-up with T&T Golf will contribute to bringing the Vietnamese golf brand to the world.
The Australian, a former world number one and two-time Open Championship winner who is known as the ‘Great White Shark’, said: “I think Vietnam is the place to realise the dream of golf course designers. It’s full of wonderful elements of weather, rivers, hills, friendly people, and unique cuisine … and it’s really easy to move around. There aren’t many places that have that many advantages.
“I always hold a firm belief in taking advantage of what nature gives us to design each special golf course in a different way.
“At Văn Lang Empire Golf Club we have found common ground (with the T&T Group) when pursuing the philosophy of sustainable development and creating values for the community and society. This is completely in line with the current development trend of the world golf industry.”
Ground was first broken on the site in February with the club’s state-of-the-art Golf Academy scheduled to open on December 24. The projected opening date for the two golf courses is September 2, 2023.
Located in Lam Son commune (Tam Nong, Phu Tho), The Prime Course is being laid out over an area of 93 hectares. Meanwhile, The Legend Course is situated in the Lam Son and Quang Huc communes and spans close to 75 hectares.
Not only will the addition of Văn Lang Empire Golf Club enhance Vietnam’s golfing landscape, but also it adds to the impressive portfolio of work in the country of GNGCD, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation. Among the company’s award-winning Vietnamese layouts are BRG Da Nang Golf Resort, The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip and KN Golf Links at Cam Ranh.
For the T&T Group, the Văn Lang Empire Golf Club project is just the first step in the company’s golfing journey.
Do Vinh Quang said: “From our comprehensive research, selection of international partners and methodical investment, Văn Lang Empire Golf Club is an important milestone for the T&T Group and marks the beginning of our extensive development in the Vietnamese golf industry.
“We believe that Văn Lang Empire Golf Club will become the leading golfing facility in northern Vietnam, a high-class venue that attracts golfing tourists from every corner of the globe.
“In so doing, it will promote the socio-economic development of Phu Tho Province in particular and Vietnam’s tourism industry in general – as well as contributing greatly to the Gross Domestic Product in Vietnam.”