Bruce Charlton and Mike Gorman

Golf Course Designers for Hoiana Shores 

Bruce and Mike gave some time for a Q&A session to provide insights into the Hoiana Shores experience.

Q&A with Bruce and Mike 

GEO: How excited were you to get involved with the project as your first in Vietnam on a site like this?

Bruce & Mike: We could not believe our good fortune to be considered for this prestigious project! This unique opportunity presented a wonderful seaside, all sand site (golf architects would die for this kind of site) that also needed reclamation. We were excited about the challenge to help restore the landscape back to its original form of native seaside dunes land. In addition, the ambitious vision for this large parcel of land was one of the largest integrated resort projects in Asia. We started this project in the fall of 2015, it's been a highlight to be a part of this flagship project in Vietnam that will be a catalyst for tourism, and jobs for the historic Hoi An area. We told our clients at Hoi An South Development Company that we believed we can create a golf course that would be recognized around the globe, so this recognition from GEO Foundation confirms our convictions. We wanted to create something truly unique to Vietnam, with an emphasis on playability and fun creatively construct a restoration of dunes land that is blended into the golf holes.

GEO: When people come to Hoiana Shores, what can they expect?

Bruce & Mike: The thing that strikes most people the most about Hoiana Shores is the sheer scale of the golf course. Most fairways average 70 yards wide and greens averages around 10,000 square feet. Every hole has many different ways to play, causing players of all skill levels to think their way around the courses, there are preferred angles and routes that vary depending upon wind conditions and hole locations. We were inspired by some of the great links land courses in Scotland and Ireland and wanted to introduce this unique type of playing experience to Southeast Asia and beyond. Ultimately golfers will experience a linksland course, in a warm climate.

GEO: What are the main points that you see were unique about the way in which Hoiana was designed, and constructed?

Bruce & Mike: There were several points that really differentiated Hoiana Shores, that spanned across many areas and activities we see happening at the property:

    • We wanted to create something truly unique to Vietnam, with an emphasis on playability and fun
    • We creatively constructed and restored a dunes land that is blended with the golf holes.
    • This blend makes Hoiana Shores a must-play destination for the golfer wanting to play the world’sbestcourses.
    • The way the operations team have really embraced the links land design philosophy and promoted it extensively
    • The establishment of an unmatched caddy program enhances the player's experience
    • The selection of Zeon Zoysia turfgrass throughout the course allows for firm and fast playing conditions that can bring a player’s imagination to the forefront.

GEO: Tell us your vision for Hoiana Shores Resort-and what kind of consideration did you give to sustainability-related issues in the design of the course?

Bruce & Mike: The original landscape we worked with was a mixture of abandoned shrimp farm lakes, invasive plant species, and widespread dumping grounds. One of the more unknown parts of the design process was transforming and restoring these areas back into native dunes land. We pride ourselves with the creation of a seaside landscape that now looks like it's been around for ages. This project was a labour of love for us and the passions of all involved in the construction process is evident in the final product

Join the conversation

Sign up for the sustainable golf newsletter
Point of Impact