With an aim to embrace inclusivity in golf, the MENA Tour by Arena has reached an agreement with the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) that will help provide opportunities for four golfers with a disability to compete in the only officially recognized professional Tour in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Four EDGA-registered players, with a confirmed WR4GD (World Ranking for Golfers with Disability), a golf handicap of 4.4 or less, with an official World Ranking position, will be able to apply for one or more invitations in three chosen tournaments.
The four invitations will be offered at the following events – Ras Al Khaimah Open (Tower Links GC, March 29-April 1); Northern Emirates Open (Al Hamra GC, April 5-8) and the Al Ain Classic (Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, April 12-15).
Tony Bennett, President of EDGA, commented: “MENA Tour by Arena have shown great vision in making this agreement to include golfers with a disability in this exciting Tour by opening up these invitations.
“The agreement will encourage other organisations to take their responsibility to make golf a truly inclusive game more seriously. Such initiatives help create a trickle-down effect and grows awareness of the sport, even for those who have not yet considered golf to be a sport of their choice.”
EDGA players were recently part of two European Tour events, where a separate tournament was held for them alongside two Rolex Series events – the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and the DP World Tour Championship. Additionally, 12 players competed alongside the professionals in the Australian All Abilities Championship.
Wayne Johnson, MENA Tour by Arena Tournament Director and Player Liaison Official, said: “At the MENA Tour by Arena, we want to be proactive in creating awareness and facilitating change, and also play a role in growing the game.
“We are thrilled to announce this opportunity for golfers with disability to play alongside our professionals at three world-class venues in the UAE.
“Last season, the MENA Tour, along with our main sponsors Arena Middle East & Asia, announced we will refrain from using single-use plastic water bottle as part of our commitment to the environment, and this agreement with the EDGA is another example of us being socially responsible.”
Letters of application should be sent to the EDGA Director of Tournaments, Manon Eggermont at firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for applications for EDGA members for each tournament will be one week before the closing date of entries for the tournament.
The 2020 season of the MENA Tour started with the Qualifying School event at the Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba, Jordan from January 20. The next event on the schedule is this week’s Ghala Open at Ghala Golf Club in Muscat, Oman.
PICTURE CAPTION: George Groves, the No1 on the Rankings for Golfers With Disability, in action at the DP World Tour Championship, where he lifted the trophy last year.