Dozens of golfers are expected to descend on Cambodia in October for the 3rd FCC Nations Cup.
The two-day friendly golf tournament for golfers of varying abilities is being held at the Angkor Golf Resort in Siem Reap on Oct. 23–24.
The weekend's most sought after prize will be an all-expenses-paid vacation to Siem Reap and Laos. The prize will be awarded — provided someone is lucky enough to sink a hole in one.
"It's really difficult, and it happens quite rarely," said Raphael Guillien, Chief Operations Officer for FCC Hotels Indochina.
In addition to the hole-in-one winner (should there be one), a prize will also be given to the player who lands closest to the pin. And tournament organizers don't want players who don't perform too well on the course to feel left out.
"There will be prizes for the worst score too," Guillien said with a chuckle, "and a few funny things regardless of how players actually play on the weekend."
The FCC held its first Nations Cup in October 2008. The tournament is based loosely on the Ryder Cup format, where team members represent their home nations, and the battle is one of pride for the flag.
A dozen golfers turned out for the inaugural cup. The team from Vietnam, captained by Saigon Stan Kinnear, easily ran away with the victory to become the first nation to have its name etched on the now semi-fabled "trophy."
By the time the third cup was held in May 2010, the board had grown to nearly forty players representing eight countries. Organizers are expecting a 20 percent increase in numbers for the October event.
"Basically, everyone is going for the fun," Guillien said. "They all feel pretty relaxed and let it go."
"What's our agenda here?" asked Asian Senior Tour events manager Chuan Campbell, who was representing Singapore in the cup at the time. "The fundamental thing is good golfers ... and even bad golfers, going out to drink beer and have fun," he explained.
Amid the beer and fun, though, there is also a more serious aspect to the weekend. The money raised during the hole in one challenge goes to the Indochina Starfish Foundation, a Phnom Penh charity that started in 2006 and supports education and sports opportunities for underprivileged children.
The ISF has become well-known for its successful girls' football program, which recently completed its first full season and will be sending a delegation to Singapore for training later in the year.
The exposure that the ISF receives from the event is every bit as welcome as the donations, said Kate Griffin, the foundation's country director.
"It's not always monetary support that organizations need," said Griffin, who attended the last cup in May. "It was a great opportunity to raise awareness."
To entice golfers, The FCC is offering a special tournament package:
The cost for the package is US$285.
Green fees for the Angkor Golf Resort are typically $115 per 18 holes -- plus cart and equipment rentals, etc. A room at The FCC Angkor costs about $120 per night.
Including the dinner, lunch and caddy fees, the total value is over $400.
"In terms of value, there is no discussion," said Guillien. "But that's what we wanted. We wanted to do something exciting and fun. Because the FCC is a member of the Angkor Golf Resort, we can get that great discount, and then pass it on."