Last month’s Ryder Cup saw Team Europe secure a resounding victory over the US, a triumph that not only showcased the team’s golfing prowess but also the exceptional leadership skills of captain Luke Donald.
The Englishman’s knack for strategic planning and attention to detail, which played a crucial role in the victory, have long been evident at Ba Na Hills Golf Club in Central Vietnam, where he has made his mark as a golf course designer.
Ba Na Hills Golf Club stands as Donald’s first and only golf course design worldwide, and it is a testament to his understanding of the game and his ability to create a challenging yet rewarding golfing experience. Gary Dixon, the General Manager of Ba Na Hills Golf Club, expressed immense pride in Donald’s achievements, highlighting how his captaincy during the Ryder Cup mirrored the qualities he brought to the golf course design.
“His captaincy demonstrated all the qualities that he has displayed as a designer at Ba Na Hills. It’s a course where patience and clever tactical planning can pay enormous dividends,” Dixon said.
Team Europe’s victory was a stark contrast to the disorganized and unprepared appearance of Team US, especially during the opening 0-4 foursomes’ session. The home side eventually secured a comfortable 16.5-11.5 win, with key players like Rory McIlroy, Bob McIntyre, and Shane Lowry alluding to Donald’s thoroughness and attention to detail.
Ba Na Hills Golf Club itself is a marvel, set amidst rolling foothills and dramatic peaks along the coastline of Central Vietnam. The course takes full advantage of the spectacular terrain, with Donald’s clever use of natural elevation changes, ravines, streams, and mountain backdrops creating a unique and challenging golfing experience.
From the par-3 8th hole to the stunning closing stretch, the course offers breathtaking vistas and top-notch golfing, with the short 16th and its island green and the water-guarded dogleg par 4 17th hole being particular highlights.
Donald’s enthusiasm for golf in Central Vietnam, coupled with the region’s array of off-course attractions including beaches, cuisine, and luxury resorts, positions the destination as a top choice for golf travel. Ba Na Hills Golf Club, along with Laguna Golf Lang Co, has been recognized among Asia’s best courses and recently named among the top 11 resorts in Asia by Golf.com.
With additional courses designed by golf legends like Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, Robert Trent Jones Jr., and Jack Nicklaus, Central Vietnam offers an unparalleled concentration of world-class golfing options. Stephen Banks, Director of Golf at Laguna Golf Lang Co, highlighted that Donald’s success as Team Europe Ryder Cup captain further underscores the caliber of golfing experiences available in the region.