Peter Cowen's thoughts from the range: Players give the EGC's Majlis Course a big thumbs-up

The general consensus was that the course provides a fair test heading into the 35th HERO Dubai Desert Classic

By Peter Cowen

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Peter Cowen, home on the Range at Emirates Golf Club.- Supplied photo
Peter Cowen, home on the Range at Emirates Golf Club.- Supplied photo

Published: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 10:15 PM

Last updated: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 10:16 PM

It is great to be back at Emirates Golf Club – definitely one of my favourite places to be anywhere around the world in golf at any time of the year.

All the players, without exception, are excited to be back in Dubai to experience the sun and so much more.

I’m sure they enjoyed last week at Dubai Creek as it was a nice fun and relaxing start to the year.

I really thought the scores may be even lower last week – Tommy Fleetwood shot 19 under par to take the top prize. Just looking back in the history books, David Howell won the Dubai Desert Classic in 1999 there, with a score of 13 under and Jose Caceres, the year after, the winning score was 14 under.

Few will remember that, especially in 1999, to protect the golf course, US Open-style rough was prepared adjacent to the narrow fairways. Playing from the short grass was essential that week.

Coming back to this week, the tournament infrastructure at Emirates Golf Club really is now exceptional, the corporate units around the 9th and 18th amphitheatre, the Player’s Lounge as well as so much more – in this the 35th anniversary of the tournament.

I incidentally played in the first one in 1989 where England’s Mark James took home the trophy which boasted a total prize fund of just over €250,000. It was then the second event of the season being held in the first week of March. It is now the eighth event on the DP World Tour calendar in mid-January.

My Peter Cowen Academy here at EGC is coming along well and I have been told it will be ready around April. I’m hoping that will make a huge difference to our operation here at Emirates Golf Club.

The players who have played the Majlis Course today in practice have provided exceptional feedback. They like the set-up and it seems to be a fair test.

My players here this week include Joaqim Niemann (Chile), I look after his short game, plus Padraig Harrington, who is now in good health. I had dinner last night with him, as well as Dubai resident Guido Migliozzi.

Guido did well last week at Dubai Creek and came 13th on his own with a 72-hole score on nine under par.

That is my lucky number for many reasons.

When I had my only professional tournament victory in the 1976 Zambia Open, my locker number was 13, my caddie bib number was 13 and I teed off at 1 pm (13.00) every day - as there were some rain delays during that week. I always try and get number 13 seats on my flights – no one else seems to want to sit there.

Fingers crossed that is a good omen for the week.

I will leave Dubai on Saturday this week, stay in Rotherham for a couple of days and then head off to Orlando, Florida to see some of my LIV Golf players and then off to Mexico for tournament number one of the LIV Golf Tour – season 2024.

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It is wonderful to see so many of my good friends here in Dubai, I know a lot of people who always make me so welcome.

Good luck to all and speak soon!

Peter Cowen is 73 years old and is regarded as the most successful Golf Coach in the game. He has Peter Cowen Academies at both Emirates Golf Club, and Dubai Creek Resort as well as headquartered in Rotherham, England.


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