Billed as the biggest and richest tournament for club golfers in all of Asia and again attracting 500 plus players from 27 countries, sharing in US$50,000 in prizes, the Centara World Masters Golf Championship has rightly earned this tagline.
While the numbers are impressive, talking to the players you come to understand this event has a certain magic that makes it both unique and compelling.
Maria Kohut from Melbourne Australia says this event pampers you from start to finish. “Big international airports can be daunting, but from the moment I stepped off the plane there was a hospitality team to welcome us and whisk us off to Hua Hin. At every point there’s friendly staff who knew what we wanted before we even wanted it. There’s hundreds of golfers here and somehow the organisers make us all feel so special.”
Das Nambiar from India was so impressed by the event he brought 4 new players with him this year. “It’s a great event. You play with golfers from all over the world and become friends. The four courses are sensational with Black Mountain and Banyan my favourites. The caddies are excellent and really save you shots by guiding you around the course and you just need to trust their lines on the greens. They wear caddie bibs with your name and country flag.”
There are now five World Masters Golf Championship events hosted throughout Australia, Thailand and Vietnam each year. Go Golfing’s Peter McCarthy founded the World Masters Golf Championship concept in Australia 23 years ago and I asked him about the ‘magic’ that makes these events so enjoyable. “There’s no smoke and mirrors,” he jokes. “Bringing golfers together for the best time of their life is what we do. Listening to golfers has inspired many innovations that add to player enjoyment. We used to set the tee off times, now golfers can choose to play in the morning or afternoon. We love our clients and our 30 staff are motivated to go above and beyond to make players feel special. That’s the Magic!”
As an interested observer you can see this event is a well-oiled machine. Players are guided onto buses and arriving at courses there’s a chorus of caddies welcoming them with big smiles that make you want to smile. There’s a real party atmosphere with loud music playing ABBA, BeeGee’s and rock anthems bringing the energy. Right before tee-off the caddies rush together to perform the Macarena and the players join in.
Most of the players are 50 plus but there’s thousands of posts on social media every day. Everyone is having a great time and they want the world to know.
The Centara World Masters Golf Championship is a week-long celebration of golf, social and entertainment events in the popular seaside resort town of Hua Hin in Thailand. The event is open to all male and female golfers over the age of 35.
Hua Hin, about 2.5 hours south of Bangkok, was awarded Asia’s Best Golf Destination in 2014 and serves up a winning combination for tournament participants.
Centara Hotels & Resorts is the major sponsor and have confirmed their involvement through to 2019. Most golfers stay at the ideally located Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin. Established in the 1920’s, the resort has modern luxuries while retaining its bygone age of elegance. Taking full advantage of Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin’s beachfront location, the opening night welcome dinner and gala presentation dinners are hosted around the resort pool with the beach and ocean as a stunning backdrop. Golfers gather each night during the tournament for 19th Hole festivities where tempting Thai cuisine and Chang beer flows and daily golf winners are celebrated.
Big name sponsors are pleased to be involved such as the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chang, TaylorMade, Supersports, Coca Cola and D’Ablo. The event also raised more than THB 200,000 for Jungle Aid, a charity providing a better future for displaced and disadvantaged Thai children in remote communities.
Golf and lucky draw prizes worth over US$50,000 have been won. Big winners were Tony Margiotta from Australia who won a return trip to the 2019 Centara Masters and Chris Brown also from Australia who won at trip to the Gold Coast World Masters in October.
The Tournament is played in 15 divisions based on age and handicap. Golfers play each day with competitors of a similar age and handicap. Visit https://www.thailandworldmasters.com to view the official results.
The sixth annual Centara World Masters Golf Championship returns to Hua Hin, Thailand, from 9 to 15 June 2019. For complete event information and to book visit www.thailandworldmasters.com. Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/centaraworldmastersgolfchampionship