Nick Faldo was a frequent visitor to Cambodia during the early part of this decade, and he’s about to become a familiar face once again. The British golf star has been hired to design a 36-hole complex outside the nation’s capital.
The championship-length tracks will serve as drawing cards for Vattanac Golf Resort, which is to take shape on 1,250 acres in the Kien Svay district of eastern Phnom Penh. At build-out, the resort will include houses, at least one hotel, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment venues.
The resort is being developed by Vattanac Properties, which is also building a 38-story office tower in Phnom Penh. The building, scheduled to open next year, will serve as the headquarters of Vattanac Bank.
Sam Ang Vattanac, Vattanac Properties’ executive director, has called his partnership with Faldo “a match made in heaven.” Late last year, he told Cambodian reporters that he plans to break ground on the courses “very soon” and expects to open them in 2013.
“We strongly believe in the Faldo design,” Vattanac said. “His projects are always successful and provoke interest from clients.”
No doubt, Vattanac is referring to Faldo’s course at Angkor Golf Resort, which opened in late 2007. The course sits at or near the top of the list of venues to which Cambodian tour operators send foreign golf travelers, particularly those who wish to experience the rich historical treasures of Siem Reap.
At Vattanac, Faldo and design associate Andrew Haggar aim to create two contrasting courses. In a press release, Faldo said he believes the complex will “further raise the standard for golf in Cambodia, attracting more visitors to the country from across the region.”
These days the Windsor, England-based golf celebrity has courses under construction in India (the Lavasa resort in Pune) and Vietnam (Laguna Lang Co in Hue).