Students from South Korea have been permanent fixtures at many golf courses across Vietnam in recent years.
The Korean students usually visit the Southeast Asian country between December and March to play golf at courses scattered from the southern province of Dong Nai to the central city of Da Nang.
They come to these places to escape the cold winter back in their homeland and to have an opportunity to continue training and developing their golfing skills.
At the Bochang golf course in Dong Nai one recent day, many young students from South Korea gathered in the driving range early in the morning to practice the basic techniques with complete focus, discipline and determination similar to professional athletes.
The foreign trainees, along with their caddies, then moved to an 18-hole course to participate in a full game, which usually takes four to five hours to finish.
“The kids, who first came here with bright-toned skin, have become tanned after just a few weeks of practicing under the sun,” Van, a caddy at Bochang, said.
“When working with the Korean students, we only have to carry their golf clubs and do not have to provide any consultancy or guidance because they are very professional,” Van continued.
The young golfers make their own decision when it comes to selecting the direction, assessing the steepness of the slope, and several other skills, according to the Vietnamese caddy.
“What admirable about these students is not only their patience during the games but also the respect they have for their caddies,” the woman added.
Following the morning game, the Korean students then had a lunch break before quickly returning to the golf course.
Divided into groups of three to ten, the young trainees were accompanied by a coach to have their performances evaluated and postures fixed, before swinging continuously another 400 to 500 golf balls to master their skills.
“It is really amazing to watch these kids practice. They always listen carefully to their coaches and try hard to execute a better swing after every attempt,” said Hau, an employee in charge of the driving range at the venue.
As the winter break in South Korea is rather long, the students, who are also golf enthusiasts, decided to come to Vietnam, a country with beautiful golf courses and reasonable fees, to continue their training, according to Choi Ki Dong, a Korean golf coach currently working in Vietnam.
Golf is considered a favorite sport of Korean citizens, as it matches the physique of Asian people in general, Choi explained, adding that the game only requires an analytic mind and good instinct.
“South Korea is one of the world’s leading nations in golf. Many parents in the country hope that their children can become great golfers,” the coach said.
He added that there are about 15 to 20 golf tournaments for students in South Korea every year.