World golfers flock to Hua Hin, Thailand
HUA HIN, Thailand -- Golfers from every continent except Antarctica have begun arriving in Thailand for the second running of the Centara World Masters Golf Championship, Asia's biggest and richest to
HUA HIN, Thailand — Golfers from every continent except Antarctica have begun arriving in Thailand for the second running of the Centara World Masters Golf Championship, Asia’s biggest and richest tournament for club golfers.
A record 700 visitors from 23 countries will have arrived in Hua Hin by Sunday for the start of the championship. The tournament has attracted big numbers from Australia, the Philippines, India, New Zealand and China is represented for the first time with 42 golfers from Grand Hill Golf Club in Chengdu.
The event’s international appeal has attracted players from France, Germany, United States, the United Kingdom, UAE and even Iceland. ASEAN nations are well represented with 88 players, including 18 from host country Thailand and 15 from Vietnam.
The Centara World Masters is open to golfers aged 35 and over, with competition across 14 divisions based on age and handicap. Golfers will compete for more than 1.5 million Thai baht in prizes.
Executive Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Tanes Petsuwan said, “We are delighted to be welcoming golfers from the entire world to Hua Hin to compete in the Centara World Masters Golf Championship. In 2013 Hua Hin was voted best golf destination in Asia and the continued growth and success of the Centara World Masters showcases the destination’s golf and tourism appeal. The Centara World Masters is expected to inject more than 85 million baht into the Thai economy.”
The tournament is a major boon for tourism in Hua Hin during low season. Host hotel, the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Hua Hin, is fully booked with event participants as is Banyan, The Resort. Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa is also nearing capacity.
More than a golf tournament, there are nightly social events. Starting poolside at Centara to welcome golfers and partners on Sunday and continuing at various venues throughout the week, the grand finale is a colorful presentation dinner on Friday evening.
The Centara World Masters is a join partnership between Australian-based Go Golfing and Thailand’s Golfasian. Both companies are the leading golf tour operators in their respective regions.
Golfasian Managing Director, Mark Siegel, is delighted with the turnout and commented, “In two short years, the Centara World Masters has become Asia Pacific’s biggest tournament for club golfers and to have visitors from so many countries confirms Thailand’s appeal as a world-class golf and holiday destination. Showcase events like the Centara World Masters that attract huge interest and profile internationally go a long way to growing year-round golf tourism. I think it is achievable we will have 1,000 players next year.”