Soon the only long drive golfers in Saigon will have to face is the one from the tee down the fairway. Premier quality golf is coming to the city as Saigon Country Club, just seven kilometers from the central business district, nears completion. The Greg Norman design features MiniVerde™ Ultra Dwarf Bermudagrass greens and Platinum TE™ Paspalum fairways, tees and roughs.
The course will be parkland style with rolling fairways, and the greens are designed with multiple run offs, making a “Texas wedge” or an excellent bump and run game necessary if greens are missed, according to Saigon Country Club General Manager Rick Blackie. “Off the back tees, the course will play just over 7,300 yards with four tee options for the various handicap levels. It is not intended for the course to be heavily landscaped, and the trees will be in copses dotted around to delineate play lines and allow the prevailing westerly breeze to come into play.”
Transforming the 130 hectare site presented a few challenges, with the most massive being to raise the entire golf course by an average of three metres, including mounds of seven metres and low spots of one and a half metres. The task required some six million square metres of sand to be brought in.
Topping the site will be two premium turfgrasses from Atlas Turf International. Turfgrass selection took into account the weather challenges of southern Vietnam with low light conditions, extensive rainfall and high humidity during the rainy season and high temperatures during the dry season. MiniVerde™, which is proven to withstand such extremes as the heat of Abu Dhabi and the humidity of India, will be planted on the greens. MiniVerde’s ability to root deeper than alternatives allows the grass to handle stressful situations such as these while providing golfers with improved aesthetics in relation to color, improved turf density, and consistently smoother and faster putting surfaces.
Platinum TE Paspalum was selected for the remainder of the course. Already a favorite among the highest quality golf courses throughout Asia, Platinum also has a proven track record of thriving in all types of warm season climates and producing striking course aesthetics with its luminous green color.
Mr. Ray Lobb (project manager) of Linksshape Ltd. serves as the construction subcontractor at Saigon Country Club. Mr. Alan Healey is the golf course superintendent, and Mr. Rick Blackie is the General Manager.