The Thomas Detry Diary: ‘Dubai is my home, but I have to be committed to the PGA Tour for at least the Start of 2024’

‘Golf teaches you to stay grounded, and I am so proud to have managed to improve every year of my career so far – the statistics say that’

By Thomas Detry

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Dubai resident Belian golferThomas Detry, at home overlooking Emirates Golf Club. - Supplied photo
Dubai resident Belian golferThomas Detry, at home overlooking Emirates Golf Club. - Supplied photo

Published: Tue 2 Jan 2024, 10:37 PM

‘Dubai is, in my opinion, the best place to live in the world, with the weather, safety, golf and so much more.

I bought an apartment here in Dubai last year overlooking Emirates Golf Club and have been a resident for four years now.

This year I arrived on 20th November, 2023 for a break but I am spending Christmas and New Year in England - so, it is a shortish trip to the UAE this year.

I am committed to playing the PGA Tour this year.

Originally, I obtained my PGA Tour Card in the summer of 2022, through what was then called the Korn Ferry Finals. I had played well in The 2022 Open and a few other tournaments that entitled me to play in the Korn Ferry Finals and I played well again that week to get my PGA Tour Card. That access route is not now available.

I am now 90th in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

It is the current state of modern professional golf that my priority for 2024 has to be to play on the PGA Tour and to accumulate FedEx Cup points.

With a strong 2024 start and sensible scheduling I would love to play more on the DP World Tour – especially my National Open - the Soudal Open in May 2024 in Antwerp `– but it will depend on my performances in the first few months in the US.

I feel a bit like I am on the outside looking in. Whereas, I really want and need to be on the inside looking out.

With the new enhanced schedule on the PGA Tour, I just do not know what tournaments I will get into – I was pleasantly surprised to be just told I am in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in the first week of February.

I like to tell people I base myself in Dubai – not England or the US although

I have a place in Sevenoaks, Kent, England where my wife is from.

We would love to spend more time in Dubai, we both love it here – but with my commitment to the PGA Tour that is not easy.

We have two young children, two months and 20 months old, and when school decisions are to be made then we have to really look at locations to live.

I golf here mainly at The Els Club, Dubai, where Jamie McConnell looks after me as well as at JA The Resort, Jebel Ali, where Stuart McMurdo is always very helpful.

I have some good friends, both pros and amateurs here in Dubai and I play some ‘reasonably’ competitive golf at The Els Club in The Den, which keeps my game sharp.

My next tournament is The American Express on the PGA Tour in mid-January in Palm Springs, California.

We are all going to Scottsdale as a family and practice in Arizona and the plan is to have different mini-bases for groups of events during the season.

I have had one year of learning on the PGA Tour, especially about my scheduling and not playing too much. I know the importance of fitness for the modern elite golfer - I am actually just about to go to the gym now after this.

One of my best friends is fellow Belgium, Thomas Pieters – he is one year older than me but I do not see him much now as he is on the LIV Golf Tour.

We won the World Cup of Golf together in 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. We are still the champions as they have not held the event since – it is a great event and I do hope they can bring it back on the calendar. The names of the winners on the Canada Cup trophy are a ‘Who’s Who of Golf’ and include Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Tiger Woods, Sir Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam, Seve Ballesteros, Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer and so many more greats of the game.

I have huge ambitions in golf, but I prefer to keep those thoughts to myself.

Golf teaches you to stay grounded, and I am so proud to have managed to improve every year of my career so far – the statistics say that.

I am looking to play more of the significant golf events in 2024 plus the Majors. There are many ways to qualify for the Majors, through the PGA Tour, mini-Order of Merits and even qualifiers.

My father-in-law is a member of Royal Cinque Ports GC in Kent, a regional qualifier of The Open. I know it well and I will go this route if when and where required.

If I play well – my schedule will all take care of itself.

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I am disappointed and somewhat sad to not be playing on the DP World Tour’s Swing in Dubai over the next few weeks, it is just the nature of how global professional golf is shaping at the moment.

Thank you for your time and hope to see you all in Dubai soon.’

Thomas Detry is 30 years old, born in Belgium and calls Dubai his home. He has won once on the Challenge Tour, winning by 12 shots as well as the World Cup of Golf. His highest finish in a Major is tied 13th in The 2023 Open.


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