Planting your peg on the first tee of a great new course is like waking up on Christmas morning. You may have some idea about the gifts that await, but the surprise is half the fun. As each hole unfolds, it’s akin to unwrapping one present at a time. Each hole, and course, is different, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable. As the calendar year comes to a close, GOLF.com will unveil its best of the best when it comes to new courses of 2018. Check the December 2018 issue of GOLF magazine for the full lineup.
On the tee: The best new course in Asia of the year
KN Golf Links Cam Ranh
Cam Ranh, Vietnam
7,165 Yards, Par 72
Twice a winner of the British Open, Greg Norman knows his way around a links. His latest work confirms that. KN Golf Links Cam Ranh sits along a five-mile stretch of sandy white coastline in south central Vietnam, an hour’s flight from Ho Chi Minh City. The coastal dunes site yields a classic links experience; it’s hard and swift-running, framed not by trees but by low- profile native vegetation, and buffeted by breezes off Cam Ranh Bay.
Toss in ideal elevation change, rippled fairways, inspired contouring on and around the greens—much of it natural—and stirring ocean views from most holes, and you have a touch of Scotland in Southeast Asia. A pair of downhill par 4s, the 10th and the 15th, are especially memorable as they play toward the sea. Norman already owns the two top-ranked courses in Vietnam, Bluff Ho Tram Strip and Danang (Dunes). Look for KN Golf Links Cam Ranh to complete the trifecta.