Golf club gears up for Masters

The clubÕs well-stocked pro shop.

The Qatar Masters, the premier event on Doha Golf Club's calendar, will this year be bigger and better, promise organisers Qatar Golf Association.

The European PGA event from March 14-17, which this year is offering $1.5 million in prize money, has attracted its highest ranking player in its five-year history.

European number two and world number 10, Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland, will lead a distinguished field of players at the event which also includes defending champion Tony Johnstone of Zimbabwe, 2000 winner Rolf Muntz of Holland and 1998 winner Andrew Coltart from Scotland.

The home of the Masters, the Doha Golf Club in the prestigious West Bay Lagoon area of Qatar's capital, has been selected as one of the world's finest private golf clubs in the world by the Finest Golf Clubs of the World (FGCW), a new global golfing association.

The recognition is awarded to clubs which offer "magnificent destinations where the historic traditions of the game are promoted scrupulously in environments which combine pure luxury with the very highest standards of service".

Founded by Qatar National Hotels in 1997, facilities at the club include an 18-hole championship course, a nine-hole floodlit academy course, golf academy, a prestigious clubhouse with two restaurants, and a golf shop.