Back to Hua Hin & The Centara World Masters Golf Championship
By Sam Sakocius
We return to Hua Hin to see our new friends at Golfasian and Go Golfing put on what may be the coolest amateur event that’s open to almost everybody playing golf today.
I was looking forward to getting down to Hua Hin to follow up on the Centara World Masters Golf Championship to follow up on the preview I wrote a few months back and due to some airline snafu’s, I almost didn’t make it
In the end, I did and despite the fact I was working, I am glad I was there to see it.
Here is the hook that caught my attention when I wrote the preview for this event.
“Play world class golf courses with all the trappings of a major professional tournament.”
Every last bit of that statement turned out to be true, but what I didn’t expect was how much fun it really is.
For instance 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 four 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.”
It is a nonstop party with a whole lot of golf in-between.
Players arrive at courses to a chorus of caddies welcoming them with beaming grins that let you know why this country is dubbed “the Land of Smiles”. There is excitement back dropped with classic rock music in the staging area culminating by a flash mob of caddies rocking a Macarena with more than a few players joining in.
Sponsors derive great benefit from the event and importantly, help in a big way to keep the costs affordable. (Very Affordable) Centara Hotels & Resorts is the host sponsor at the awesomely restored and expanded colonial hotel which is right on the beach and has every modern luxury while retaining its bygone age of elegance. Event nights are hosted around the resort pool with the beach and ocean as a stunning backdrop. My favorite though is the nightly 19th Hole happy hour where a constant flow of Thai appetizers, wine, and Chang beer supplement the camaraderie. Tom Thrussell, “title”, is effusive, “This event is in its fifth year and gets bigger and better every year. This year’s guests encompass the most diverse spread of players from different countries ever. The event continues to be more and more international, more fun, more cultures, more exciting, more everything.”
The event attracts some impressive sponsors including the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chang, TaylorMade, Coca Cola and D’Ablo. This year the #1 retailer of sports equipment in Thailand, Super Sports jumped in with both feet.
President Tony Morton, could not be more thrilled with the platform and sees a long term commitment ensuring this the most fun golf event in Thailand has the enthusiasm and continued support of the vital sponsors.
The golf courses were in great shape and in mingling with the guests at the 19th Hole I was struck by the fact that I never once heard a single complaint or even, despite my prodding, a suggestion of how the event could be better.
Nonetheless, while the guests are clearly satisfied, the hosts never are. According to Mark Siegel of Golfasian, in order to provide the same outstanding service and add some new excitement, next year’s event will be limited to 400 players (same as this year’s) however the prizes will be bigger and better and there will be more ways to win them. There will also be a Club Championship where groups of players from the same club can compete against other club groups
It was in fact, amazingly well organized and a breeze to participate in.
Most of all, it was fun, truly fun.
The tournament is a collaboration between Australian based Go Golfing and Thailand based Golfasian. Go Golfing pioneered World Masters tournaments 23 years ago in Australia and now take more than 13,000 golfers each year to 24 countries for their tournaments and hosted group golf tours. Golfasian have forged an enviable reputation as the trusted company for golfers to book with when travelling to Thailand, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Each year both companies are awarded as the best golf tour operators in the Asia Pacific region at the World Golf Awards.
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 http://www.thailandworldmasters.com
Catch the Magic of the Centara World Masters on You Tube.