Off-course entertainment at January’s 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, the annual Desert Swing season opener, promises to outstrip anything seen in the event’s 10-year history.
As the world’s top golfers tee off at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from 21st January, spectators will be able to relax at the newly formed ‘HSBC Beach Club’ with a live cooking station featuring a menu created by Michelin-starred chef, Tom Sellers.
Spectators can also sign up to an ‘HSBC Hour’, where five UAE club professionals will give complimentary lessons on the driving range throughout the tournament, proving that golf really is anyone’s game.
The new activities will complement the hugely popular spectator village where fans will be treated to daily performances from the world famous Trick Shot Boys, have the chance to win a brand new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC, experience Abu Dhabi’s deep-rooted culture and heritage and take part in the junior UAE Touch rugby area.
Abu Dhabi Sports Council, ADSC, which owns the award-winning season opener, will bring its own active magic to the event with interactive promotions of its key events, including golf for the new Gary Player and Abu Dhabi Invitational, the FIBA 3x3 basketball, UCI Abu Dhabi Tour cycling and the ITU World Triathlon Series, which will be raced on 4th and 5th March.
"We envisage families and friends getting out for a day, enjoying the Championship play and getting super active with us off-course," said Aref Al Awani, ADSC’s General Secretary. "We are committed to helping all in Abu Dhabi achieve healthy lifestyles through sport and the best way is to get them to try out their skills in a very enjoyable atmosphere and the Championship fulfils this. Of course, it also gives us a great opportunity to bring to everyone’s attention to our new and existing major sporting events, which combined are earning the emirate a strong reputation on the international sports stage." Championship goers will also be able to also test their golfing skills with HSBC ambassadors including British tennis star, Tim Henman and 2014 HSBC Women’s Champion Paula Creamer, passing on expert tips. Golfing superstars will also make surprise visits to Championship Village to enthrall fans throughout the weekend.
"The Championship’s off-course entertainment has helped the event take award after award in public voting schemes and once again, we have raised the bar, determined to ensure that the weekend makes for great days out for all the family," added Al Awani.
To occupy young fans, there will be a Children’s Zone, while the Anyone’s Game golf activities in the HSBC Fan Zone will be fun for all the family, giving visitors the opportunity to challenge themselves on signature holes from HSBC’s worldwide golf events.
Giles Morgan, Global Head of Sponsorship and Events at HSBC, said, "The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is now well established as the prestigious curtain-raiser to the new golfing season, but this year we are taking things to a new level. As a long term sponsor of the sport, our ambition is to open up the world of golf and in order to achieve this ambition we have to attract new and younger audiences, that's why we are always looking at new ways to innovate around our flagship events. We want to make golf Anyone’s Game and are absolutely committed to growing the sport at all levels.
"For 2016, we have a heady mix of world class golf, Michelin-starred food and family focused entertainment. The Championship is now much more than a golf tournament, it's the place to be in Abu Dhabi in January, golf fan or not." Adding to the experience, lucky students from eight schools will enjoy unique hour-long, behind-the-scenes Championship tours on the Thursday and Sunday as part of the recently launched Abu Dhabi Junior Development Programme. The UAE capital’s largest, free-to- enter grassroots golf programme, Champions of Tomorrow, will engage more than 2,000 local school children over the course of the initiative.
Fans will again take centre stage with the ever-popular Ladies Day and Best Dressed competition returning on Friday, offering all women complimentary entry to the Championship and the chance to win an all-inclusive trip-of-a-lifetime to New York, courtesy of Championship partners Etihad Airways and The St. Regis Saadiyat Island.
On the Saturday, the National course fairways will again be lined with red, as the favourite Dress in Red Day returns, offering free entry for those wearing anything red.
The Championship is renowned for delivering true up-close viewing with enhanced spectator platforms and hospitality chalets.
This year's superstar line-up includes world number one Jordan Spieth in his Arabian debut, four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, American hot-shot Rickie Fowler, super Swede Henrik Stenson and three-time Abu Dhabi champion, Martin Kaymer.
Tickets and tailored packages are available via the event’s official website at AED50 for a daily pass and AED150 for a four-day pass. Guests staying at any Abu Dhabi hotel over the Championship period enter free.
© Copyright 2019 Emirates News Agency (WAM)