Golf Holidays Golf Travel Tips

Plan the Perfect Ho Chi Minh City Golf Tour

Long Tanh Golf Club, HCMC

The growing popularity of Ho Chi Minh golf tours derives directly from the quality of tracks on offer.  As many as 12 Ho Chi Minh golf courses offer 18 holes or more of golf within a 2 hour drive. Some of these are absolutely top notch and incentive enough for avid golfers to pack their clubs and take a crack.

In addition to the lure of golf, there is also the lure of Ho Chi Minh City – with its ubiquitous cafes, superb restaurants and throbbing nightlife. It is no surprise then that golfers want to stay on longer than their trip allows. Nevertheless, for the uninitiated, it’s good to know what the ideal Ho Chi Minh golf plan should entail. 

Tan Son Nhat Golf Club, HCMC

Choose the Right Duration for a Ho Chi Minh City Golf Break  : 

For the optimal Ho Chi Minh golf tour experience a minimum of 5 nights is recommended. This will allow golfers to play upto 4 quality Saigon golf courses. Of course, it is possible to play more rounds than 4, especially at courses which have 36 holes. 

Know the Best Time to Play Golf in Ho Chi Minh City

There is never really a bad time in the year to play golf in Ho Chi Minh City. However for minimal weather disturbance, it is advisable to avoid the rainy period between May to October. During this period, it is not uncommon to experience afternoon showers. That said, these showers generally only cause a delay,  it is rare for golf games to be washed out. 

The best weather conditions for Ho Chi Minh City golf are from December to February. The temperatures are at their mildest at this time of the year. It also helps with the overall Saigon experience. Mind you, this period also coincides with the busiest tourist season – which means golf and accommodation are at their peak pricing. An additional thing to be mindful of,  is the Chinese New Year period, when many establishments close down.

One thing to actively plan with Ho Chi Minh golf courses is  weekday golfing.  Weekend golf in Ho Chi MInh City can be extremely busy with locals and resident expats. Not only does this take away from the relaxed golfing mode you are looking at in your Ho Chi Minh golf tour, it is also significantly more expensive.  

Select the Best Ho Chi Minh City Golf Courses :

Bluffs Ho Tram, HCMC

There is no question that the courses selected for a golf tour should be the right fit for the golfers. It would hardly be enjoyable for a group of high handicap golfers to play on a demanding golf course. That said, there is no point in missing out on those golf courses in Saigon that define the Vietnam golf experience. 

Here’s a quick guide on selecting the golf courses for a Saigon golf tour. 

1. The Bucket List : The Bluffs, Ho Tram ( about 2 hours drive from the city center) designed by Greg Norman is considered the best golf course in Vietnam. It may even rank ahead of any other golf course in entire Southeast Asia. Missing out will be doing great injustice to yourself. If you think the drive is too long, you may consider doing it as part of an overnight trip, by including the Long Thanh golf course en route. There is an excellent 5 star- beach resort with a casino on site. 

2. Quick Access and Superb Golfing: The Tan Son Nhat golf course has 4 sets of 9 holes – making it a 36 hole golf course. The Nelson & Haworth design offers plenty of challenges regardless of which set of nine you are playing on. The course is almost always in superb shape leaving little room for disappointment. One of the big advantages in playing here is that it is just 25 minutes from the city center. 

Yet another and even bigger factor for it is it’s close proximity to the Ho Chi Minh City airport. So you can even play a round on the day of arrival or on departure or both. The fact that it has 36 holes, enables the possibility of fitting in 2 rounds here. The course also has floodlights,  which allows for more flexibility for your tee time. Last but not least is it’s palatial clubhouse and restaurant  – where a meal is included as part of the package. Mind you though, the caddies here are all-male, a departure from golf courses in Southeast Asia.

3. Long Time Favourite : Until the advent of the above Ho Chi Minh golf courses, Long Thanh was integral to any itinerary. The layout of the two courses at Long Thanh is still reason enough to include it in any Saigon golf trip. The hilly and forested layouts make for a superb golf experience. The drive time of about an hour is par for the course for any city golf outing.

4. More Quality Awaits : For those who don’t mind  slightly longer drive ( 1h 20 minutes), there are 2 more superb golf courses to consider. Twin Doves and the recently opened Harmonie Golf Park are fabulous courses to include in a Ho Chi Minh golf tour. In fact, if your itinerary permits, then they must be on it. If not, they are definitely worth a second Saigon visit. 

Ho Chi Minh City Golf Holidays     Ho Chi Minh City Golf Courses

District 1 is the ideal base for Ho Chi Minh golf 

The Ho Chi Minh golf courses are spread out in various directions, which means that stay should be in a central location. Besides, staying in an isolated location would not quite serve the purpose of a tour. On all counts, District 1 has to be the tried and tested place to stay on a Ho Chi Minh golf tour. Dining, shopping, nightlife, and entertainment are integral to any golf tour and District 1 serves all this best. And for the most part, you can simply get around by walking – of course it depends on exactly where you want to go. 

There is a wide range of accommodation choices in District 1, from affordable B&Bs to luxurious 5 stars hotels. Here’s a list of 3 locations within District 1 to consider for stay. You could also consider other options as getting around is very convenient.

  1. Riverfront  – With views over the Saigon river, there are a few higher-end hotels to consider.  For most shopping and dining/entertainment, you will have to move about a bit.
  2. The area between Dong Khoi, Nguyen Hue, Thi Sach, and Ly Tu Tong Streets – This is possibly the most upmarket area in Ho Chi Minh City with art galleries, restaurants, plush hotels, and nightclubs. 
  3. Ben Thanh Market Area – This is the most vibrant part of District 1 with several budget 3 star and some 4-star hotels. Plenty of charm with street food, cheap beer, and local shopping make up the scene. 

In Conclusion:  The Perfect Ho Chi Minh City Golf Tour 

Time of Year  : December to February ( Avoid The Chinese New Year Period)

Duration         : 5 Nights ( Ideally – Arrive Sunday, Depart Friday)

Golf                 : 4 Rounds ( Monday to Thursday)

Golf Courses  :  The Bluffs, Tan Son Nhat, Long Thanh, Harmonie Park

Stay                 : Riverfront, Dong Khoi Area or Ben Thanh Market Area ( All in District 1)

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