Firstly I would like to start by wishing you all a Happy New Year, 2012 looks like it’s going to be a great year, especially with all of the sport we have on offer. As the European Tour kicks off this weekend points will not only be accumulated towards the newly renewed ‘Race to Dubai’ but also for the exciting prospect of the Ryder Cup to be held at Medinah in September.
The highly anticipated desert swing will begin in a little over two weeks time with the ‘giants’ of golf arriving in Abu Dhabi to conquer the National, followed by Qatar with the climax being the ever-popular Dubai Desert Classic. It is such an exciting time for anyone in the golf industry as the tour hits our adopted home heightened by the fact that ADTA has cleverly signed up Tiger to further boost the reputation of Abu Dhabi and its ability to hold world-class sporting events.
The region proves time and time again incredibly popular with Tour Professionals who genuinely enjoy playing the golf courses and of course the climate. Many of the players decide to use the UAE as their ‘winter’ home for warm weather practice or at least as a stop off to many of the tournaments in the far east. Dubai is central to most of the world, I just wonder how long it will be until the tour actually re-locate to the Middle East or is this highly unlikely?
There is a building at the back of the range at Jumeirah Golf Estates that looks incredibly impressive and although I have to admit I do not know the details, from rumors alone it seems as though this will be some sort of European Tour offices as well as fully kitted out swing studios. The ET has gone from strength to strength and in particular within the last five or six years seems to encompass most of the globe apart from America. Will there ever be a time when the European Tour deserves to be re-branded as a World Tour?
Whatever the future of the tour, and it can only be looked at in a positive way, I urge you to take the opportunity to go and see some live golf either in Abu Dhabi or Dubai and appreciate how lucky we are that these ‘giants’ of golf will make our local clubs look incredibly easy. On the 30th of January Yas Links will hold the Emirates Airlines Invitational with many of the European Tour players competing in the one-day pro-am. Not only can I not wait for this but it will be a great opportunity for spectators to get really close to the players as there are no ropes. With Westwood, Garcia and many of the other big names confirmed it will make for an even more exciting desert swing.
Enjoy the next few weeks and make the most of the beautiful weather we have to make sure you go and have a few games as well. We also never know, will Tiger make his real comeback at Abu Dhabi, wouldn’t the ADTA have pulled something off there!
All the best from the Links,