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From SEA Games 31 towards SEA Games 33

Golf is not the strength of Vietnamese sports, but with the strongest-youngest national roster in history, Vietnamese golf promises to leave a positive mark at the 31st SEA Games, laying the groundwork for development and forecasting a good future in the next Southeast Asian Games.

First time hosting golf tournament at SEA Games

In 2002, Vietnamhosted the 22nd SEA Games for the first time. As a home team, Vietnam achieved resounding achievements, ranked first with a record number of medals (158 gold, 97 silver,  91 bronze) in the 11 participating countries. From the 22nd SEA Games onwards, Vietnam has always been in the top 3 strongest national sports delegations at every SEA Games.

This year, Vietnam was honored to become the host country of the 31st SEA Games for the second time. After 19 years without having a throne, the biggest goal of Vietnam’s sports delegation is to regain 1st place. An opportunity not to be missed. If at the 22nd SEA Games, Vietnam did not organize a golf tournament, then in the 31st SEA Games, Vietnam will. And for the first time competing golf as a home team, hopefully the Vietnam National Golf team will leave a mark of progress.

Youngest national golf team

Looking at the list of Vietnamese golf teamparticipating in the 31st SEA Games, we will see a good sign when all the participating athletes are very young, with 7/9 athletes under 18 years old. The average age of the Vietnamese men's golf team is only 17.6 years old, competing for the position of the youngest golf teams to attend the 31st SEA Games. Perhaps we are not outside the top 3. Besides, the Vietnamese women's golf team participating in this year's Olympics also has an average age of 18 - also in the top group of the youngest golf teams of the 31st SEA Games.

Looking at the list of national golf team participating in the 31st Southeast Asian Games, we will see a good sign that all the athletes are extremely young, with 7/9 golfers under 18. The average age of the Vietnamese men’s golf team is only 17,6 years old, competing for the position of the youngest golf teams to attend the 31st SEA Games. Perhaps we are not outside the top 3. Besides, the Vietnamese women’s golf team this year has an average age of 18 - also in the top group of the youngest team.

Future prospects

Vietnamese male athleteshave an excellent technical foundation as they have learned golf with professional golf coaches from a very young age. Nevertheless, the number of tournaments for these golfers to attend and experience is not much, so when compared to countries like Thailand, the Philippines or Malaysia, Vietnamese golfers still have many limitations. However, because they are still very young, the opportunity for Vietnam to improve our level and shine is promising.

In the 31st SEA Games, with the small advantage of a home team, the Vietnamese men’s golf team is forecast to have individuals in the top 15. Although this is just a modest achievement, it will be considered an initial victory for the development of Vietnam's golf industry. And let's look to the near future with hope. We are having young athletes, promising that in the 32nd SEA Games, our achievement will be significantly better. More optimistically, from the 33rd SEA Games onwards, there will be Vietnamese golfers in the medal competition group.

Women’s golf is one of the fields where Vietnam has the opportunity to soon be equal to international level. In the Southeast Asian region, Thailand is now one of the top five countries in terms of the number of women’s golfers playing on the LPGA Tour. There have been Thai female golfers ranked No.1 in the world and won at Majors. From there, it can be seen that if the number of young female golfers in Vietnam increase rapidly, the position of Vietnamese women’s golf will quickly change. At the 31st SEA Games, hopefully there will be Vietnamese female golfers in the top 10. That definitely will be a huge success.

VGA Tour is becoming more and more professional 

Never before has the Vietnamese golf team been carefully selected, well-trained with professional coaches, health experts, psychologists, and supporting referees like this time. It is also an unprecedented opportunity for golfers to be trained through pro tournaments of VGA Tour such as Lexus Challenges 2022 and National Championship - VinFast Cup 2022. In the near future, with the continuous development of the VGA Tour, the training opportunities of the Vietnamese golf team will get bigger and bigger.

It is impossible not to mention another mark of Vietnam golf. It was the first time that Vietnamese golf experts organized and operated the SEA Games golf tournamenton our own. From field preparation, pitch layout, refereeing, tournament organization and administration, etc., all are handled by the Vietnamese. In this respect, Vietnamese golf has made great strides in development.

In any field, there is no such thing as a magical dream that comes naturally. Only tireless, persistent, long-term work has a chance to succeed. Golf Vietnam is on the right track. And perhaps, just a few more SEA Games, Vietnamese golf will be in the top medal competition.

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