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Sports tourism gets thrust with USGA-certified course in Sihanoukville

Updated: Feb 2

Officials and company representatives broke ground in a December ceremony on what is set to become Cambodia’s first world-class coastal golf destination in Sihanoukville.  Khmer Times

Construction of Cambodia’s first United States Golf Association (USGA) certified coastal golf course is set to commence, according to a Canopy Sands Development release.

The $41 million, 18-hole project is expected to be ready for hosting international tournaments by 2027, and will be another boost to Cambodia’s fast emerging sports tourism repertoire.

The Bay 19 course, is part of the ongoing Canopy Sands Development’s $16 billion, 934-hectare ‘Bay of Lights New Township’ project, which is located in Ream City, Sihanoukville Province.

The newly slated plans will incorporate a driving range and full USGA-certified course, clubhouse, pro shop and restaurants, four four-star hotels, three five to six-star resorts, and four scenic walkways, said the release.

Last month, the international standard golf driving range of the greater project officially broke ground in a ceremony officiated by the Governor of the Province, Kouch Chamroeun.

Chamroeun said, “The driving range will eventually lead to the country’s first ‘Greg Norman Signature Golf Course’ in Cambodia.”

Greg Norman is an Australian retired professional golfer who spent 331 weeks as world number one throughout the 1980s and 1990s, winning many PGA tour titles.

Further, the governor said that such a world-class course would fulfill former Prime Minister Hun Sen’s aspiration to see an international standard golf course in the coastal province and attract players from around the world.

The start of the project this year comes after Masswork Co. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bay of Lights Golf Development company to co-develop and invest in the golf course, during the Bay of Lights official groundbreaking ceremony in December 2022.

At the signing, Dalton Wong, Chairman of Masswork, said, “The partnership represents a unique opportunity for Masswork to bring our expertise in construction materials and contract works to the table, as we work alongside Bay of Lights Golf Development to deliver a truly one-of-a-kind coastal golf experience.”

Golf tourism isn’t new in Cambodia, however.

The announcement of the new course as part of the Bay of Lights city project, however, positions Cambodia to host USGA-level tours in an idyllic coastal setting and opens the region to new sport tourism opportunities from global golf tours.

The success of the Bay 19 golf course will also be aided by its strategic location, suggested the developer, eight minutes from Sihanoukville International Airport.

Managing Director of Canopy Sands Development, Ian Tan, said at the Bay of Lights project’s groundbreaking, “Sihanoukville being Cambodia’s strategic coastal region will play a key role in continuing Cambodia’s fast growth over the next decade… Being a relatively untapped market across the ASEAN region, one of the biggest markets in the world, we are confident that Bay of Lights will accelerate this trajectory further.”


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