One of the great advantages of living at La Vallee de Dalat — especially if you are a golfer like me! — is the proximity to historic Dalat Palace Golf Club which has been around for almost a century and is still one of the great golf venues in Asia, if not the world.
Located on the other side of Xuan Huong Lake, about two miles from La Vallee de Dalat, the course offers an uninterrupted string of inventive, demanding holes that twists and undulates through a landscape of bougainvillea, red salvia, impatiens, mimosa and hydrangeas.
In other words, it’s both challenging and beautiful — a combination of traits most courses claim to possess but few actually do.
“I’m not sure there’s a prettier setting for golf than Dalat,” said former PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman back in 2007. “The greens are as good as I’ve ever putted. They’re as good as you’re ever going to find. They sit well, like greens of the classic courses.”
While it’s difficult to know exactly when the course was built, a lot of evidence points to around 1930, when the renowned golf course architectural firm Colt & Alison listed the “Ville de Dalat” in “Indo China” as one of the courses in their worldwide portfolio. (The course had not been listed in their promotional material throughout the 1920s, according to researcher Paul Turner.)
By 1933, the course was definitely open for play, as evidenced by this passage from a brochure published that year: “The Lang-Biang Palace and the Grand Hotel de Dalat … offer every modern comfort and diversion, including concerts, tennis, golf, walking tours and motor excursions.”
Over the years, I’ve played Dalat Palace Golf Club hundreds of times. I never tire of it. As I’ve noted before, there’s an aura about it that’s hard to describe. It’s almost as if it was built to be a source of lasting memories.
I’ve got mine. And I know everyone else who has played it has theirs. Like owning a home at La Vallee de Dalat, it’s just plain special. Which is why we decided long ago to reward those buy the first two villas with Dalat Palace Golf Club memberships. How can you beat that?