This article first appeared in the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of World Gaming Magazine.
Macau is the well established home of gaming in Asia. Yet Macau is still catching up compared to other gaming capitals like Las Vegas and Monte Carlo when it comes to providing attractions outside the casino. Every year this is improving with new shows, events and festivals and in particular one very special activity we are passionate about: golf.
Gaming aside, one of the best reasons to visit Macau is to play golf on one of the region’s most prestigious courses. Because of golf’s growing popularity, it has been a struggle to provide enough courses for those who want to play.
One of the most distinctive golf and leisure retreats in the region is Caesars Golf Macau, one of seven golf courses in Harrah’s Entertainment’s global resort portfolio. The 175-acre facility situated at the southern end of the Cotai entertainment district is one of the many attractions that are seeing a steady increase in international and Chinese tourists coming to Macau for a complete ‘holiday’, not just for gaming.
The 18-hole par-72 course offers links-style play with expansive fairways, lots of water and most importantly, plenty of sand for hackers to blast their way out of. Caesars Macau has recently been given an overhaul by the fastidious green keepers who are now honing their expertise on a world-class course.
Not only is the course world-class, so are the other golfing facilities provided including the practice area that offers players the perfect environment in which to improve their game. The course offers the only full-length driving range in Macau, comprising 22 state-of-the-art stations. When you combine that with a large practice putting green, a chipping and pitching area as well as fairway and green practice bunkers you have everything a budding golfer needs to sharpen their game.
This kind of facility doesn’t happen overnight. William Shen, Vice President of Development and interim head of Asia for Harrah’s Entertainment led the design, development, construction and branding of Caesars Golf Macau, and is also charged with heading the ‘Harrahs Entertainment’ brand in Asia and its 90 employees.
Phase one of the Caesars Golf Macau construction resulted in the course gaining international recognition and soon attracted the biggest and best names in the industry to get behind golf in this part of the world.
Coaching legend Butch Harmon was persuaded to open his first signature golf institute in Asia at Caesars Golf Macau. Harmon is known for having polished the game of some of the biggest names in golf including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, Greg Norman, Ernie Eels and young gun Adam Scott. Harmon has been rated by golfer’s bible Golf Digest as Teacher of the Year on numerous occasions over the years.
Harmon offers a range of teaching methods tailored to suit every golfer’s needs. From one-on-one coaching with the man himself to group courses coached by his specially trained staff there is no doubt that the best coaching in the Asia-Pacific region is situated right in the heart of Macau.
Caesars Golf Macau also realises that many golfers are busy businessmen and they have a wide range of ‘stay and play’ packages that takes all the headaches out of planning a trip.
The new 32,000 square-foot club house offers more than your average ’19th hole’. The dining facilities provide the international clientele an unrivalled level of service and cuisine. There are private dining rooms and a multi-function centre that caters to conferences of any form. After a relaxing round of golf there is nothing better than sitting back and looking over the panoramic views of Macau from the roof top terraces, with a cool drink in one hand and the prospect of a good meal ahead.
Golf is not the cheapest pastime but in comparison to many of the courses throughout Asia you will be pleasantly surprised at how affordable Harrah’s Entertainment has made the Caesars course. There are very competitive packages and green fees and you can pick up a good bargain if you are looking to play during the week. You can hire clubs, shoes, caddies and carts so you don’t need to drag your golf gear on and off planes, ferries, trains or coaches on your way to Macau.
There is also a well-stocked pro shop that features all the best-known brands and gear from around the world. Not only do they have an excellent range they also have the professional staff that will fit you out with the right gear for your game. There is no point in buying a set of clubs like Tiger Woods owns if you can’t hit the ball with them. Take the advice from the people who get paid to make you play your best.
Why not look the part too? There is a huge range of boutique golf lifestyle apparel and you might want to buy a Caesars Golf Macau hat or shirt to take back to your envious friends or have one for yourself to be reminded of your fabulous getaway.
Caesars Golf Course Macau is one of the jewels of Macau. Golf courses take time to build a reputation and with the advent of the new clubhouse this is a course that is starting to turn heads. My advice is to organise your golfing holiday sooner rather than later because it won’t be long before getting a starting tee time might be a hard thing to do.
You can visit www.caesarsgolfmacau.com for further information. May your drives hit the fairways and your putts find the middle of the cup!