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Golf has a great future

Viet Nam News

Golf star Greg Norman has the nickname “Great White Shark”.

He says he lives like these animals by never stopping and always pressing forward.

One way he has done this is first by playing golf and then designing golf courses.

He believes that Việt Nam has a bright future as a place where people will like to play golf.

Legendary golfer and Vietnam Tourism Ambassador for 2018-2021 Greg Norman talks to Việt Nam News about his role and future endeavours to bring  golf in the country to the next level.

Inner Sanctum:  Việt Nam was voted the best golfing destination in Asia by Golf World Travel Awards. Could you tell us about your plans for this year as Việt Nam Tourism Ambassador?

I wasn’t surprised at all to see Việt Nam voted best golf destination in Asia. The country has some of the most diverse topography and coastline I’ve ever seen, and the pristine sites that developers have access to are producing some of the best courses in the world today. When you combine a high caliber of golf with history, culture, great people and amazing food it makes for a truly special destination – and that’s exactly what you have here in Việt Nam. Some of the world’s most unique resorts exist here now and there are many more to come because of the tremendous amount of growth potential.  I’ve been working very closely with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism over the last year or so to develop a plan for creating more exposure and visibility for these properties and various locations throughout the country and I firmly believe Việt Nam will ultimately emerge as one of the world’s premiere tourist destinations. 

Inner Sanctum:  Are you planning to set up any academies in the country to teach golf?

Every initiative we have with the Việt Nam government is focused on long term sustainability, so the answer is yes, we will be making a big push for the development of academies and public access golf courses over the next three years. We always encourage our golf course design clients to build a practice range that is fully equipped with the latest instructional technology, a short game area and even a short course if there’s enough space. Chairman Lê Văn Kiểm recognised the value of that at our most recent course near Nha Trang – KN Cam Ranh Links – and it’s actually one of the best facilities we’ve designed.     

Inner Sanctum:  Could you tell us about your golf playing plans for 2019, are you coming to play in Việt Nam or any of the Southeast Asian countries?

I will definitely be playing golf in Việt Nam during my trips there this year, but no plans to play anywhere else in Asia as of yet.    

Inner Sanctum: The tourism authorities and professionals of ten Southeast Asian countries are meeting in World Heritage site at Hạ Long Bay to map out latest tourism trends for the group this year in a few days, what’s your message to the event? (This edition comes out on Jan 13, the meeting shall last from Jan 14-18)

I was very impressed when I heard the theme for the ASEAN Tourism Forum this year – “The Power of One” – and I applaud the members for recognizing that there is strength in numbers. The fact that the forum has returned to Việt Nam after nine years is certainly a sign of the times and it will be an excellent opportunity for Việt Nam to further solidify its standing among the ASEAN alliance.

Inner Sanctum: Having been named “The Great White Shark”, how do you think it has affected your life and career?

There’s no doubt that I was very fortunate to have been named the great white shark early in my career and have the opportunity to create such a recognizable logo, but it was actually a perfect fit in many ways. A great white shark never stops moving and is always pressing forward, which is also how I live my life both on and off the golf course.

Inner Sanctum: After a long time playing golf, then designing new golf courses around the world, do you have some of your favourites? If you are going to play golf all year round, do you have a designated place for each month?

Some of my favourite courses are in the sand belt region of Melbourne Australia. Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath are literally one with the surrounding landscape and topography and I played them a lot when I was younger, so they really stuck in my mind. I’m a big fan of Alister MacKenzie’s work and his approach to golf course design definitely served as my inspiration when I decided to start my own design business in 1987.  

If I had my choice of locations to play worldwide throughout the year I would say Australia, Việt Nam, Great Britain and Ireland, the United States, and Mexico. — VNS

GLOSSARY

I wasn’t surprised at all to see Việt Nam voted best golf destination in Asia.

 A destination is a place to which people travel.

The country has some of the most diverse topography and coastline I’ve ever seen, and the pristine sites that developers have access to are producing some of the best courses in the world today.

Topography means landscape. In other words, the look of the land that may be characterised by mountains, lakes, valleys, hills and plains.

Diverse topography means lots of different types of landscapes.

Pristine sites are unspoiled places.

To have access to places means to be able to get to them and do things there.

When you combine a high caliber of golf with history, culture, great people and amazing food it makes for a truly special destination – and that’s exactly what you have here in Việt Nam.

Caliber, also spelt calibre, means quality.

Some of the world’s most unique resorts exist here now and there are many more to come because of the tremendous amount of growth potential.

If something is unique, there is only one of it in the whole world.

Potential means possibility.

I’ve been working very closely with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism over the last year or so to develop a plan for creating more exposure and visibility for these properties and various locations throughout the country and I firmly believe Việt Nam will ultimately emerge as one of the world’s premiere tourist destinations. 

If a place is given exposure, people see it and know about it.

Visibility, in this case, is the extent to which something can be noticed and attract attention.

Every initiative we have with the Việt Nam government is focused on long term sustainability, so the answer is yes, we will be making a big push for the development of academies and public access golf courses over the next three years.

An initiative is an enterprising project.

If something has sustainability, it can keep going.

I was very impressed when I heard the theme for the ASEAN Tourism Forum this year – “The Power of One” – and I applaud the members for recognizing that there is strength in numbers.

Applaud means to strongly approve.

 The fact that the forum has returned to Việt Nam after nine years is certainly a sign of the times and it will be an excellent opportunity for Việt Nam to further solidify its standing among the ASEAN alliance.

A forum, in this case, is a meeting.

To solidify means to become stronger.

There’s no doubt that I was very fortunate to have been named the great white shark early in my career and have the opportunity to create such a recognizable logo, but it was actually a perfect fit in many ways.

A logo is a sign that belongs to a certain company or organisation. A recognizable logo is one that people know about if they see it. In other words, they know it belongs to a certain company or organisation.

If you are going to play golf all year round, do you have a designated place for each month?

A designated place is a place that has been given out to someone.

I’m a big fan of Alister MacKenzie’s work and his approach to golf course design definitely served as my inspiration when I decided to start my own design business in 1987.  

An inspiration is a feeling you get when you like something and it makes you want to go out and do something positive.

WORKSHEET

State whether the following sentences are true, or false:

  1. Greg Norman would like to play golf in Mexico.
  2. This year’s ASEAN Tourism will have the theme “The Power of Three”.
  3. Greg Norman was given his nickname late in his career.
  4. Alister McKenzie designs golf courses.
  5. Greg Norman is a tourism ambassador for Việt Nam.

ANSWERS:

© Duncan Guy/Learn the News/ Viet Nam News 2019

1. True; 2. False; 3. False; 4. True; 5. True.

The article "Golf has a great future" was originally published on http://vietnamnews.vn/english-through-the-news/484407/golf-has-a-great-future.html