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Putting Saudi Arabia on the world’s golfing map!

FAIRWAY VIEWS/Dubai
Filed on November 17, 2020
England's Annabel Dimmock during the opening day at the Saudi Ladies Team International.

The third edition of the Saudi International in just over a couple of months, has already been announced on the European Tour’s 2021 schedule.

All eyes this week will again be on Saudi Arabia with The Saudi Ladies Team International, a second Ladies European Tour event in Saudi following last week’s ARAMCO Saudi Ladies International Presented by Public Investment Fund.

The Golf Saudi investment in golf, aligned to the Saudi Golf Federation, is significant, with so far four tournaments being held in the Kingdom since 2019, including this week’s event: two on the European Tour and two on the Ladies European Tour (LET).

The third edition of the Saudi International in just over a couple of months, has already been announced on the European Tour’s 2021 schedule.

The two current hottest golfers in the world: Dustin Johnson (US), last week’s Masters Champion and the 2019 inaugural Saudi International Champion, and Bryson DeChambeau (US), winner of the 2020 US Open, who played in Saudi in 2019 are both signed up along with defending champion Graeme McDowell (NI).

Also, more of the world’s best have also been confirmed for the February event: Shane Lowry (Ire), Sergio Garcia (Spain), Phil Mickelson (US), Patrick Reed (US), Justin Rose (Eng) and Henrik Stenson (Swe).

This week’s Saudi International Team event boasts an available prizefund of $500,000 in a combined team and individual format.

Golf Saudi have also invested in their Golf Saudi Ambassadors: Adri Arnaus (Spain), Pablo Larrazabal (Spain), Amy Boulden (Wales) and Camilla Lennarth (Sweden) to maintain their global profile.

In addition, the season long ‘LET Break Par Challenge,’ in a first of its kind points system is supported by Golf Saudi.

The long-term VISION of Golf Saudi, aligned to Saudi Vision 2030, is based on five key Pillars: Access & Infrastructure; Academies; Mass Participation; Events and Tourism.

To establish a nation’s sustainable golf industry needs a multitude of jigsaw pieces and it is all about planning, timelines and managing expectations.

Golf Saudi has obviously made huge fast-track strides in the Events pillar category that has, perhaps, never been seen before in the history of the game of golf. One of the priority challenges that all countries in this part of the world have had to date is engagement and participation with the country’s local population.

Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation have made significant progress to date, driven by the passion for the game of golf under the leadership of Yasir Al Rumayyan (Chairman) and Majed Al Surour (CEO).

New golfing facilities take time to plan and complete and be ready for use. Nature is wonderful, but we all have to be patient when grass growing and infrastructure is involved despite the fast-tracking mindset in Saudi.

Saudi currently promotes five golf facilities in the country: Royal Greens G&CC, KAEC, Riyadh Golf Club, Dirab G&CC, Nofa Golf Resort, Arizona Golf Resort, Riyadh. Note to all: It is the 12th largest country in the world.

Cluster golf facilities are one of the key ingredients for golf tourism and more facilities are in various stages of design and build which again will be reliant on time, nature and essential infrastructure and we look forward to hearing these being announced shortly in the Giga projects and elsewhere.

Regarding Mass Participation, the recently announced ‘Ladies First Club’ is again, a first of its kind in the world of golf. The key, longer term challenge, is to make it sustainable and to keep up the interest required to establish a National Golf Programme inclusive for all. For the youth of today, in Saudi and further afield, there are so many distractions that past generations did not see or have access to, but obviously the potential for Saudi Nationals for both playing the game and careers in the golf industry is enormous.

My advice to all, is to wish Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation all the best and to watch, and visit to experience everything they are doing.

See it for yourself!

Fairwayviewskt@gmail.com

GOLF THIS WEEK

PGA TOUR

RSM Classic

Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd November, 2020

Venue: Sea Island Resort, Sea Island, GA, USA.

Purse: $6,600,000

www.pgatour.com

EUROPEAN TOUR

Joburg Open

Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd November, 2020

Venue : Randpark GC, Johannesburg, South Africa

Purse: ZAR 19,500,000

www.europeantour.com

European Tour on TV (UAE local time on Dubai Sports Channel)

Thurs 11 am – 2 pm & 5 pm – 7 pm

Fri 2.00 pm – 7.00 pm

Sat 2.00 pm – 6.30 pm

Sun 2.00 pm – 6.30 pm

LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR

Saudi Ladies Team International

Tuesday 17th – Thursday 19th November, 2020.

Venue: Royal Greens G&CC, KAEC.

Purse: $500,000

www.ladieseuropeantour.com

LET on TV (UAE local time on Dubai Sports Channel)

Wed 4.00 pm – 7 pm.

Thurs 4.00 pm – 7 pm.





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