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Hua Hin To Host World Amateur Tournament

November 20, 2013 Golf Tourism No Comments Email Email

The format of Australia’s longest-running and most successful amateur golf tournament, the Mitsubishi World Masters, which has been held on the Gold Coast for the past 18 years, is being taken to Thailand from 2014.

Peter McCarthy, the principal of Go Golfing, who has conducted the week-long event for club golfers since its inception, has teamed up with Golfasian, a leading Bangkok-based inbound tour operator, and Centara Hotels and Resorts to create the Centara World Masters Golf Championship in Hua Hin, 200 kilometres south of Bangkok.

Hua Hin was named last week by the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators at its annual convention in Spain as 2014 golf destination of the year for Asia and Australasia.

The holiday home of the Thai Royal family for the past 80 years, Hua Hin has seven golf courses, numerous cultural and tourism attractions and has become one of Asia’s leading golf tourism destinations.

The Centara World Masters will be held at four leading courses – including two of Thailand’s best, Black Mountain and Banyan – from June 15 to 21, 2014. Open to golfers aged 35 and over, the four-round stableford tournament will be played in 15 age and handicap divisions ensuring golfers of a similar age and standard play together. Prizes valued at more than $30,000 will be given away at the final night gala dinner.

Peter McCarthy is expecting up to 600 golfers from around the world to attend, including more than 250 from Australia. It is open to all amateur golfers aged over 35 with an official handicap.

“The Mitsubishi World Masters has been such a huge success we wanted to take the format overseas. Like the Gold Coast, Hua Hin is a perfect golf destination, with great courses, beaches and other attractions,” he said this week. “In fact, Royal Hua Hin Golf Club established in 1924, was the first golf course in Thailand.

“Black Mountain has been named best course in Thailand for each of the past three years and is an awesome golf experience. Banyan was named best new course in Asia in 2009, has been in the top three in Thailand for several years and its clubhouse was voted best in Asia for 2013 and again for 2014.

“The other two courses where the tournament will be played, Majestic Creek and Imperial Lake View, are beautifully presented and highly enjoyable layouts that will please all participants.”

The Mitsubishi World Masters has attracted up to 1100 golfers a year since it began in 1996, many of whom are repeat participants. “People like these events because they are much more than golf tournaments,” Peter McCarthy explains. “There are lively social and entertainment events every night. In Hua Hin, international acts will be a highlight at the welcome and farewell celebrations, while Thailand’s biggest 19th hole will move each night to stunning rooftop, beach, and poolside settings. A decadent farewell dinner will cap off the fun-filled week.”

Accommodation will be at the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Banyan Resort, Hua Hin. Packages are now available, with a $100 discount for bookings made by December 31. Pre and post golf tours in Thailand can also be booked.

The major sponsor, Centara Hotels and Resorts, has 20 properties in major tourism centres of Thailand, including Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi and Chiangmai.

Centara’s senior vice president of sales, Chris Bailey, said as a global sport with huge awareness and followers, it made perfect sense for Thailand’s leading hospitality company to be aligned with the amateur golf tournament. “It allows us to showcase our range of products and services not only in Hua Hin, but throughout Thailand with the pre and post touring programs.”

Other sponsors include Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, the brewer of Chang beer, Coca-Cola (Thailand) Limited, Thai Airways and Golfasian.

The principal of Golfasian, Mark Siegel, said Thailand had emerged in the past decade as one of the world’s top three golf destinations and is now welcoming 750,000 foreign players a year.

“You don’t just get great golf in Thailand, you get a memorable holiday experience,” he said. “The record speaks for itself – foreign golfers come back again and again. The Centara World Masters will give golfers a great insight into golf in Thailand, especially those who also take a pre or post-tournament tour option.”

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