With the eyes of the sporting world on Dubai and the UAE in recent weeks with Formula One and European Tour golf it is exciting to hear of the recent exciting news that the International Golf Federation (IGF) has awarded the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships hosting, to the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) and to the UAE.
The IGF comprises of the national governing bodies of golf in 146 countries.
This means both the Eisenhower Trophy (Men’s Championship) and the Espirito Santo Trophy (Ladies’ Championship) will be played her in the UAE in 2023.
These amateur golf events have a huge history, having first been played in 1958.
The players who have participated in the Eisenhower Trophy is a ‘Who’s Who’ of the history of modern golf and reflects the importance of these events on the world of golf stage.
From Jack Nicklaus in 1960, to more recently Collin Morikawa (2018) and Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau (2014), and Justin Thomas (2012).
In the middle generations of these, include the following players who have represented their countries in the Eisenhower Trophy: VJ Singh, Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal, Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Tiger Woods, Stephen Gallacher, Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Luke Donald, Matt Kuchar, Martin Kaymer, Alex Noren, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari, etc etc.
In the Women’s tournament the following stand-outs have participated in the Espirito Santo Trophy; Nancy Lopez, Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam, Seri Pak, Karrie Webb, Lorena Ochoa, Georgia Hall, etc etc.
The legendary names on the respective lists are literally endless and make interesting reading.
The format of the tournaments is that each national team has two or three players and plays 18-holes of stroke play for four days. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.
In addition to being the first World Amateur Team Championships held in the Middle East, it also will be the first to be held with a reduced scope of one golf course and a minimum of 36 teams to lessen the cost and complexity of hosting the event, as approved at the IGF’s 2018 biennial meeting. Further, it will be the first to be held on an odd year to avoid same-year conflict with future Summer Olympic Games, following a decision by the IGF Administrative Committee to hold every future World Amateur Team Championships beyond 2022 on odd years. Consequently, the World Amateur Team Championships will be held one time in consecutive years, with the 2022 Championships scheduled for two courses near Paris. Le Golf National, host of the 2018 Ryder Cup Match, and Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche, will host the men’s and women’s championships, respectively.
The countdown has already begun.
From today, Wednesday, December 16, 2020, it is just 1,033 days to go until the first round on October 15, 2023.
What an honour for the UAE, following the successful hosting of the 2015 Nomura Cup (Asia Pacific Amateur Golf Championship) at Yas Links, Abu Dhabi.
Congratulations again to Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of the EGF; Adel Zarouni, Vice-Chariman of the EGF; and all the supporting teams from within and outside the EGF in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE.
Once again a huge opportunity to showcase Dubai, the UAE to the world of golf to the next generation of players and all the Golf Federations of the IGF.
And never forget the importance of the host team representing the UAE, a huge boost to all those UAE Nationals, both young and old, with opportunities to play not just in a global event representing their country, but also in their home country, one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ things!
To be the success it so deserves to be and will be, TV support will be an essential along with all the media, print and on-line social media available in a targeted approach that has never ever been seen before in what will, in the writer’s view, be the best ever World Amateur Golf Championships in the history of one of the elite amateur events in the world of golf, here in the UAE!
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