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Posted April 06, 2009 by publisher in Cuban Sports

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The Inaugural Montecristo Cup May 2-3, 2009

This is a pre-qualifying event for the 2010 Cuban Open.

On May 2nd, 2009,  Palmares SA, the organization responsible for golf in Cuba, will host the inaugural Montecristo Cup at the Varadero Golf Club in Varadero, Cuba.  This competition is expected to be Cuba’s biggest international golf tournament and will be the pre-qualifying event for the Cuban Open in 2010.

The main event will be held on Saturday May 2nd at the Varadero Golf Club. Limited to 72 competitors, the 18-hole tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30am. Both amateur and professional golfers are welcome to test their skills on the Varadero beachfront golf course and the winner will receive the opulent Montecristo Cup and a guaranteed place in the 2010 Cuban Open.

The awards dinner will take place following the competition at Xanadu Mansion which was built in 1930 and was once the luxurious residence of the Dupont family and is located within the grounds of the Golf Club.

On Sunday May 3rd, there will be a 9-hole Cuban Junior competition for the Esencia Cup. In an effort to encourage the game of golf among the younger Cuban generation, a group of local youths under the age of 17 will be coached and mentored by a PGA Golf Professional in the game of golf prior to the event. A select group of 12 juniors displaying the most remarkable skill will be invited to compete for the Esencia Cup. The tournament will consist of three four balls, followed by the trophy presentation by the British Ambassador to Cuba, Dianna Melrose.

The Varadero Golf course is a par-72 course running 6,856yards , (6,269 meters)  and features several salt water lakes that connect directly with the sea, a rare feature in golf course design. This is the first and (currently) only 18-hole Cuban golf course, designed by Canadian golf architect Les Furber (once an associate with Robert Trent Jones), which offers luxurious surroundings and an entertaining round of golf, both for beginners and experts. The course hosted two European Challenge Tour Grand Finals in 1999 and 2000.

The main sponsor of The Montecristo Cup is Habanos SA, the world leading premium cigar company and purveyor of the famous Montecristo brand.  Other supporters include Havana Club, Bucanero Beer and Sol Melia Hotels.  In addition, the weekend event is being supported and co-managed by Esencia Hotels and Resorts, one of the supporters and developers of golf in Cuba.

Varadero Golf Club & Xanadu Mansion

With a design that meets the highest international standards, the Varadero Golf Club has presently the only professional, 18-hole par golf course in Cuba. Designed by golf course architect Les Furber, President of the Canadian company Golf Design Services LTD (GDS), the course opened in 1998. Playing 6,896 yards gold tees, this par 72 course is challenging yet extremely fair with wide fairways and few hidden hazards. The signature hole is the par-5 18th, along the ocean and with an elevated green protected by bunkers and with the wind that sweeps in from the north. The view is spectacular with The God Of Life statue on the left and the magnificent view of the Caribbean sea. The course offers practice facilities with a driving range, two putting greens, a shipping green, and two practice bunkers. Club rentals are available as well as a Golf Academy.  Cart rental is mandatory.

The course runs from the San Bernardino Hill, the highest point at Varadero beach, all the way down. On the hilltop is the clubhouse – the monumental Xanadu Mansion, former residence of multi millionaire Irenée Dupont de Nemours which has been refurbished to its original construction in 1930. Upstairs is the Casa Blanca Panoramic Bar featuring cocktails and live music and a great view of the beach.

The mansion has 6 guestrooms, each with private balconies, featuring 1920’s classical furniture. Pure air, lush vegetation and peacefulness characterize the green and blue environment of the Varadero Golf Club, the grounds on which the Mansion Xanadu is set.

Varadero is Cuba’s primary tourist destination, 120 kilometres (75 miles) from downtown Havana with a series of all-inclusive hotels stretching along the beachfront of the peninsula. The Varadero Golf Club caters almost exclusively to the hotels located along a 3.5 km resort strip along Varadero Beach.

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