Maureen Chang was the brainchild behind Casa Serena, which was named after Serena Lin, former wife of Terry Gou, a charismatic Taiwanese industrialist who purchased Chateau Roztez – a faded 17th century Hunting Lodge of Count Francis Sporck (known as the Father of Czech Freemasonry) – for a reputed $30 million in 2002. Maureen, a close friend of Serena, seized the opportunity to transform the historic property and adjacent grounds – located 53 km from Prague – into a private and exclusive global retreat to support Mr Gou’s business initiatives.
European Golf Design were called in to construct a top quality course, capable of hosting professional tournaments, and with a very generous budget, that’s just what they did. Unfortunately, the course at Casa Serena was completed in 2008, three years after Serena Lin died.
The course at Casa Serena is routed with returning loops of nine holes over ground that was previously used as farmland, secluded from the modern world by dense forest. The fairways wind their way through three separate plots, each of which are significantly undulating. Designed to be both strategic and beautiful, these immaculate emerald green fairways are sharply contrasted by vast areas of fescue.
Plenty of earth was moved to create the desired contours on the course and although the shaping isn't natural, it doesn't look or feel out of place at all. Many regard the par four 12th hole as the best on the scorecard. It features a long, sweeping fairway that rises gradually to an offset putting surface set into the hillside with deep bunkers protecting the front of the green.
One of the few private golf courses in all of the Czech Republic, Casa Serena does not accept pay and play customers. But the club signed a three-year agreement with the European PGA in 2008 to host the Casa Serena Open on the European Senior Tour.
In the inaugural competition, Bernhard Langer became the first person in eleven years to claim an important professional golf title in the Czech Republic – and, strangely enough, it was he who had last won at Karlštejn in 1997. The former Ryder Cup stalwart finished in fifth place, five strokes behind Peter Mitchell in 2009 and the following year, Gary Wolstenholme claimed the trophy when he won his first senior title in only his second start on the Tour. In 2011, Barry Lane won the 4th and final edition of the Casa Serena Open.
Played the golf course last month. The greens were extremely slow and soft and the other areas of the course werent much better. Not worth the money in my view, luckily i didnt have to pay. Very dissapointed, only played 9 holes.