15th Hole, Par-4, 386 Yards
Cam Ranh, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam
Architect: Greg Norman / October 27, 2018
One of the most stunning golf success stories has been the rapid ascension of enticing golf facilities located in Vietnam, including KN Golf Links Cam Ranh.
What had been a war-torn country in years past is now one thoroughly involved in creating golf facilities that have become a much-sought destination for traveling golfers.
Coastal golf sites are becoming more and more difficult to both locate and develop as critical environmental rules are put into place to ensure a lasting harmony that preserves the fundamental integrity of the broader landscape.
Among the most noted golf efforts is KN Golf Links in Cam Ranh located northeast of Ho Chi Minh City and approximately a two-hour car drive to reach. The facility is located in the south-central coast region of Vietnam and recently played host (April 13-16) to The International Series Vietnam.
The International Series was launched last year through a historic investment by LIV Golf that created a premier level of events to develop the next generation of stars and offer unprecedented pathways to top competition in the LIV Golf League. The ground-breaking initiative sits with the Asian Tour schedule and saw seven International Series events staged last season across seven countries in three continents.
KN Golf Links is the is the third golf facility developed by KN Investment Chairman Le Van Kiem, whose company also owns and operates Long Thanh Golf Club near Ho Chi Minh City and Long Vien Golf Club in Vientiane, Laos.
The property is located on peninsula bracketed by water with Cam Ranh Bay on the western flank and with sweepings vistas of the nearby South China Sea on the eastern side.
The design is meant to imitate that of the famed Scottish links style and the sandy dunes encountered provide segregated holes open to varying wind velocities featured on a daily basis.
The 15th plays 386 yards and commences from an elevated teeing area with five pads provided. In the distance is the glimmering South China Sea. The drive is fraught with demands. Working the tee shot via a right-to-left ball flight can reap major gains, however, the landing area narrows considerably as more length is sought. A massive bunker stretches over 200 yards on the left side and those finding its grasp will be most fortunate to escape unscathed.
Pinching in the drive zone is a right-side sand waste area. Generally, the hole plays into the prevailing wind off the Sea and that can mean a bedeviling time in selecting the right club for the approach. When wind conditions permit, strong players can attempt to get near to the green with the tee shot but the necessity in combining sufficient distance with unerring accuracy is always front and center.
Varying pin placements makes gauging the approach a necessity. “Don’t be long on your shot to the green as there is a big drop-off the back, thus giving you a couple of more hits of the golf ball without a doubt,” said Nguyen Duc Long Hung General Manager at KN Golf Links.
Creating challenging par-4 holes less than 400 yards is often a difficult process. Being able to provide a sufficient test without underwhelming the most proficient of players and overtaxing those with lesser skills. The 15th provides that ideal intersection.
KN Golf Links is the third design effort in Vietnam by Greg Norman.
Drone photos of the par 4 15th hole at KN Golf Links.
Picture taken by Ryan Brooksbank/ @hellacamgolf.
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