Phnom Penh, Cambodia: Integrating cultural inspiration into the landscape was a key component in Sir Nick Faldo’s thinking when plotting the design of the West Course at Vattanac Golf Resort.
Managed by Troon International, the international operating division of Troon, the Phnom Penh facility, owned by Sam Ang Vattanac, is committed to placing Cambodia on the global golfing map.
Measuring 7,249 yards from the championship tees, the West Course complements the resort’s existing East Course, also sculpted by Faldo Design, an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Both courses provide spectacular settings around famous cultural expressions that include scale models of Khmer historical architectural sites, such as Angkor Wat, Preah Vihear and Bayon.
Positioned on the seventh hole of the new course, one statue pays heritage to King Jayavarman VII, from the Angkor period, who represents one of the most energetic reigns in Cambodian history.
Six-time Major champion Faldo said: “It’s a great moment to see the West Course now open and ready to play. The West Course complements the East Course magnificently with its fluid shaping giving the design its own identity.
“Much like the East, the West Course project focused heavily on celebrating the amazing culture in Cambodia and Vattanac Golf Resort’s surrounding environment to create the course’s truly unique character.
“By integrating cultural inspiration into the landscape, like the Terrace of Elephants replica statue or the Dragon Lake, for example, the course has a real sense of place and its local features help to create an unforgettable experience.
“The West Course offers a slightly more intimate look and feel to the resort’s East, but just like the East it offers different strategic challenges with fairway positioning and shot choice crucial for players looking to find reward and an inviting line to the green. It certainly asks questions of golfers’ game-management, long, short, left or right from the tee can find difficulty and create a complicated hole.
“However, with five tee sets the course is accessible to all with something for every golfer, from the very best to the very beginner, so, importantly, enjoyment out on the course will not be hard to come by.”
Set within captivating natural surroundings, the East Course offers a strategic test, utilising dramatic water features, creative bunkering and various forms of native fauna to challenge golfers of all levels.
The West Course has distinctive differences from the East Course, of which are defined by narrower and more undulating fairways, a variety of unique water features and testing Paspalum greens.