April 2014 — As one of only four inaugural recipients of a Diamond Award from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO), Danang Golf Club has confirmed its status among Asia’s premier golf courses.
The award, announced at the Asian Golf Tourism Convention in Haikou, China, in March, was presented to Danang Golf Club general manager Joe Millar.
It recognises the club’s overall excellence and customer satisfaction, determined objectively by neutral experts who assessed more than 250 golf courses and resorts for their appeal to first-time visitors.
IAGTO’s chief executive, Peter Walton, said the awards marked the beginning of a new IAGTO certification program, “through which we will identify, recognise and highlight the best golf travel experiences that every country worldwide has to offer.”
Millar says that since opening in 2010 it has been the club’s goal to provide the finest international standard golf experience possible – “not just in Vietnam, but anywhere.”
“Continuous staff training is a key component to this success,” he said. “We do this across all departments, providing foreign language instruction, hospitality and customer service courses to front-of-house staff and mechanical expertise instruction for the maintenance department. The pride our team takes in creating a warm environment and a special product is what shines through in the end.”
Reflecting this commitment to excellence, the Greg Norman-designed course was judged last year by the Vietnam Golf Association for the second time in succession as the best course in Vietnam. At the same time the Asia Pacific Golf Group named Danang Golf Club as one of the top 10 courses in Asia Pacific, joining illustrious names including The Club at Nine Bridges (Korea), Kingston Heath (Australia), Fuji (Japan) and Nirwana (Indonesia).
Millar says the IAGTO award has capped off a remarkable four years since the links layout — located midway between Danang and historic Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient trading port — first accepted members and visitors.
It was immediately named best new course in Asia Pacific and has grown in appeal ever since. Now, the course welcomes visitors from all around the world and boasts a strong membership base.
Other winners of an inaugural IAGTO Diamond Award were the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort (also designed by Norman) and Mission Hills China’s twin complexes at Shenzhen/Dongguan and Haikou.
Danang Golf Club is a founding member of Golf Coast Vietnam, a collective of the booming Central Coast’s three world-class golf courses, as well as several hotels and resorts.
In the five years since golf was first played in Danang, the region has recorded more than 250,000 rounds, with 100,000 rounds now being played on an annual basis.
“Danang has become one of the most popular golf destinations in Asia,” Millar said. “The region not only has three great courses, but culture, history, food, a wonderful climate and friendly, welcoming people.
“There has been a huge amount of infrastructure developed in the past few years, including a new airport terminal and numerous oceanfront resorts. Tourists from Asia Pacific and Europe, in particular, are recognising the area’s appeal, with golf playing a major role januvia price.”
Photo: Danang GC general manager Joe Millar receives the Diamond Award from IAGTO’s chief executive, Peter Walton