Leg­end Nor­man driv­ing golf de­vel­op­ment In­ner

Viet Nam News - - INNER SANCTUM -

Sanc­tum: Vieät 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 Vieät Nam Tourism Am­bas­sador?

I wasn't sur­prised at all to see Vieät 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 Vieät 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 Vieät Nam will ul­ti­mately emerge as one of the world's pre­miere

I will def­i­nitely be play­ing golf in Vieät 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 Haï 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 Vieät Nam after nine years is cer­tainly a sign of the times and it will be an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity for Vieät 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, Vieät Nam, Great Bri­tain and Ire­land, the United States, and Mex­ico. VNS

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