Dalat Palace Golf Club
Address: Tran Nhan Tong Street, Da Lat City, Vietnam
Dalat Palace Golf Club Description
The Dalat Palace Golf Club is situated 5000 feet above sea level in the temperate highlands of Dalat and plays downhill to the Xuan Huong Lake. Golfers at The Dalat Palace Golf Club are reminded of the days when the pursuit of leisure was the norm for the French colonialists. Local Vietnamese staff greet guests with warm, friendly smiles and service that has made Dalat a popular retreat for decades.
Built as a 9-hole layout in 1922, it took support from the country's most prominent golfer (Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam) to finish the construction of a full 18-holes later in the decade. The Dalat Palace golf course was abandoned after WWII and revived in 1959. In early 1966, The Dalat Palace Golf Club hosted professional golfers from around the world including Billy Casper several months before he beat Arnold Palmer to win the U.S. Open at San Francisco's Olympic Club. The course was abandoned again in 1975, after the reunification of Vietnam, and initiated its second comeback in 1993 with a major renovation by a group of American investors. In early 1994, Dalat emerged once again as one of the up-and-coming golf destinations in Southeast Asia with the revival and expansion of Dalat Palace Golf Club.
The Dalat Palace Golf Club crosses through stately pine trees to oversized and delicately manicured bent grass greens, the only ones in Asia. Today, it's the top-rated course in Vietnam due to the excellent layout, many elevation changes, and for the bent grass greens. In fact, due to the cooler climate in the mountains of Dalat, Vietnam, the Dalat Palace Golf Club is the only golf course in South East Asia with bent grass tees, fairways and greens. Bent grass is often considered to be the ultimate playing surface in golf. The large, undulating bent grass greens are maintained to impeccable standards and present a good challenge. Once golfers adjust to the fast speed, they agree that the greens at Dalat Palace are among the finest in Asia.
The Brett Stensen redesigned course measures 7,009 yards and is an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all levels. Low handicap players will be tested by a series of lakes, which meander through ten of eighteen holes, as well as strategically placed bunkers, which penalize the miscalculating risk-taker. High handicappers will find relief with large accommodating greens normally left open for run-up approach shots, as well as wide, forgiving fairways.
Dalat Palace Golf Club features par 3's ranging in length from 164 to 234 yards and par 5's up to 556 yards. These varied lengths require that players use each club in their bag, one of the signs of a well designed golf course. Four different tee boxes on each hole make the golf course appealing to golfers of all abilities.
On downhill tee shots, such as the 400 yard thirteenth and seventeenth holes, longer hitters should use irons or fairway woods to stay away from the water. The par 3 fifth requires a carry of nearly 230 yards over water to reach the green. But the 547 yard par 5 sixth is even more difficult. Water lines the entire left side, and OB is on the right, requiring accurate tee and approach shots. The 387 yard seventh calls for a tee shot to carry two lakes, though shorter hitters may play to the left of the water for a 180 yard uphill approach to the green. The deep pot-style bunkers along the right side of the 374 yard fifteenth fairway are unique in themselves.
The original clubhouse, built in 1956 at the Dalat Palace Golf Club is still in use today. The clubhouse has been fully restored with a full pro shop, restaurant, wood burring fireplace and outdoor patio areas. The clubhouse restaurant offers both superb Vietnamese and International cuisine. A full practice facility complements the golf course and clubhouse, with a 290-yard grass driving range, a putting green, and practice bunkers. Areas surrounding the clubhouse are landscaped into beautiful gardens with bougainvillea, red salvia, impatiens, mimosa and hydrangeas. Views from the clubhouse patios include terraced rice fields and pine forests.
Surveys in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 by Golf Digest ranked the Dalat Palace Golf Club as the top course in Vietnam. Asian Golf Monthly in 2007 recognized the course as one of the top-10 in all Asia. The club is also a member of the Finest Golf Clubs of The World (London). All awards are a tribute to Vietnam’s best golf course!