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Published on : Friday, April 29, 2016
Forming the centerpiece of the master planned Ecopark residential community near Vietnam’s vibrant capital, Hanoi, the four-time Major champion’s academy represents a further collaboration between Troon’s International Division and the Els brand, following on from the development of the award winning Els Clubs in Dubai and Datai and Desaru in Malaysia.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering once again with our friends at Troon, alongside Chairman Ha and the team at Ecopark, to create our first ever Els Performance Golf Academy (EPGA),” commented Ernie Els. “We believe this is the start of something really incredible. This facility will redefine the art of practice and raise the bar for what’s available to golfers, not just here in Vietnam but ultimately with EPGAs right across Asia and at handpicked sites around the world.”
Located just 10km from Hanoi’s city centre, the Ecopark community integrates over 150 hectares of parks and lakes with carefully planned infrastructure for a comfortable lifestyle, complemented by stunning surrounding countryside and 4,000 year old historic villages. Developed by Viet Hung Urban Development and Investment J.S.C (VIHAJICO), the nine-phase master plan will feature 30,000 homes, shopping amenities, international medical centres, business and commercial districts, a University District comprised of 3 international campuses and the Sports complex home to The Els Performance Golf Academy.
“We’re excited to be working with VIHAJICO, Ernie and his team in the creation of such an impressive facility in Asia. We have no doubt that the Els Performance Golf Academy will become the go-to place for golfers looking to improve their game, not only in Vietnam but also across the region,” commented Bruce Glasco, Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director, Troon International Division.
“We’re pleased to build upon our experience in Vietnam with our first operational management contract. With our expertise in academy delivery internationally, we are sure that with the align-ment to the Els brand it will become the pinnacle of tuition facilities in Asia,” continued Glasco.
Utilising the latest teaching techniques and full swing video analysis, the venue aims to set a new standard of quality and service within the Vietnamese golf community. Creating a “Tour Player for the Day” experience, the academy will feature extensive practice facilities including a 30-bay covered tee with grassed platforms, practice fairway, a putting lab, a purpose built short-game practice area with bunkers and a large contoured putting green.
In addition, guests will be encouraged to use the bio-mechanical swing studio with the video analysis software as well as the state-of-the-art performance gymnasium, just as the top Tour Professionals would in preparation for their season. With cutting-edge fitness equipment, complimentary assessments, and movement screenings, qualified instructors will be on hand to establish bespoke training programmes to get the most out of each player’s game. A nine-hole par-three academy course will be available with golf course conditioning synonymous with the market-leaders to put the lessons into practice and further hone skills.
Adam Fowler, Director of Project Development, commented on the diversity of services that help make the EPGA such a special destination: “Post session, players can head up to the second level of the EPGA clubhouse to enjoy stunning views and refreshments in the Academy Café; or savor Hanoi’s finest selection of imported whiskies and Cuban cigars at the exclusive Whisky Library. Ernie Els’ private label of fine South African wines will also be featured within both venues. We’re very proud to continue to evolve our relationship with Ernie and all of the fantastic brands he has created and we’re looking forward to announcing other exciting projects in the near future.”
“I love the whole concept of the EPGA,” added Els. “It’s about giving golfers an opportunity to work on their games in an inspiring environment, somewhere they can improve their golf and also have a bit of fun with friends and family. Here at Ecopark we have a great team of PGA qualified Professionals, led by PGA member Wayne Johnson. It’s great to have WJ on board; I’ve known him for many years and he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the EPGA. It’s also important for us that we can provide juniors from local schools with access to a great golf program. If we can utilise EPGA to help get golf into schools and encourage more youngsters to take up the game, that would be the ultimate.”
Wayne Johnson has over thirty years of experience to offer. No stranger to high-profile positions in golf operations and instruction around the globe, Johnson’s previous tenures include Director of Instruction for the European Tour Performance Institute, Dubai and a Teaching Professional assignment at the Butch Harmon School of Golf in the USA. He has also written numerous instructional articles for leading Golf publications and held the position of Head Coach to the UAE National Golf Team.
“It’s always great to be involved with Ernie, establishing what we believe to be the ultimate practice and instructional facility here in Vietnam. The teaching and practice facilities on offer will create one of the best places to learn, improve and play golf for all levels of ability”, commented Johnson.
As well as offering a variety of Player Development and Introduction to Golf clinics, the Academy will also have Ladies group coaching, corporate clinics and a unique Little Easy Young Athlete program planned for its launch in August.
The facility in Vietnam bolsters the Els brand as well as the established connection with the Company, with a further Els Performance Golf Academy planned for the Troon-managed Els Club Desaru Coast. The agreement with the tuition specific venue also demonstrates Troon’s ability to offer a diverse and flexible array of bespoke services, beyond the management of traditional 18-hole golf course facilities.