That is the prediction and expectation of the Lexus Challenge 2022’s director, Mr. Nguyen Thai Duong, about the development potential of professional golf in Vietnam.
Lexus Challenge 2022, the opening tournament for the VGA Tour 2022 season, owns a prize pool of up to 1.6 billion VND with a record number of golfers registering to participate in professional tournaments. With the impact of the global pandemic, the fact that the VGA Tour organized the tournament and received a strong response from the golf community, proved the fact that Vietnam is really ready to bring professional golf to a new level.
Golf Vietnam “is in the Arctic”
Mr. Nguyen Thai Duong – Director of the Lexus Challenge 2022 tournamentVietnam’s golf industry is quite new. However, a late starting point does not mean that we are easily left behind. “Vietnam ‘is in the Arctic’, approaching the equator, still very far from the pinnacle of world professional golf. Yet we are also making very fast and steady progress”, that’s the answer of Mr. Nguyen Thai Duong when asked about where Vietnam stands on the world golf map.
Obviously, the opportunity for Vietnam to develop professional golf is extremely large, especially when the number of golf courses and golfers is quickly increasing. However, in order to actualize those opportunities, we have to face many challenges.
Firstly, in terms of income, Vietnamese income is low compared to developed countries. That is a big obstacle because investing, developing professional golf, and training a top-notch athlete costs a lot. Besides, we are a country with a late starting point, so to narrow the level between Vietnamese and international golfers is not a day or two.
“I have a pretty bright view for professional golf in Vietnam. I believe that we will develop very far, as a leader in Southeast Asia, and hope that we will be a developed country in Asia, just like how Korea reaches out to the world”, Mr. Nguyen Thai Duong made predictions about Vietnamese professional golf in the future.
Accompany with prestigious tournament systems in the world
Regarding the development plan, VGA Tour will try to increase the number of tournaments to 7 in 2023 (there are now 5 tournaments on the schedule), and continue to increase more in the number of golfers, as well as the prize pool in the future. And especially, VGA Tour has also worked out scenarios to work with the world’s largest golf tournament systems such as the Asian Tour, European Tour or even the PGA Tour to co-organize extremely large-scale tournaments in Vietnamese territory.
Those are huge but not unfounded expectations of the VGA Tour in general and of coach Nguyen Thai Duong in particular for the development of Vietnamese professional golf. And of course, if it becomes a reality, it will take a lot of time, as well as the contribution of the whole Vietnamese golf community.