When the first ball is struck at the Africa Open tomorrow, it will launch one of the most far-reaching and exciting world tours in sport as The 2012 Race to Dubai incorporates a minimum of 46 tournaments across five continents.
The European Tour’s return to Australia this year means that players will now travel to Africa, America, Asia, Australasia and Europe with the hopes of emulating Luke Donald by winning The Race to Dubai.
The first leg of the global odyssey begins in South Africa at this week’s Africa Open - followed by the Joburg Open and the Volvo Golf Champions.
The Race then journeys to the Middle East for the “Desert Swing”, beginning at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship before making its way to Qatar for the Commercialbank Qatar Masters and Dubai for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Next, The European Tour spreads its wing towards the up-and-coming golfing nation of India for the Avantha Masters before making its way towards the USA for two co-sanctioned WGC events, the Accenture Match Play Championship and the Cadillac Championship.
The Race to Dubai then lands on European soil for the first time in 2012 at the Open de Andalucia de Golf in Spain before a brief sojourn back on the African continent and Morocco for the Trophée Hassan II.
Sicily is the final stop prior to the first Major of the year at The Masters Tournament before another journey across the time-zones, via Malaysia, China and Korea, back to mainland Europe for a summer stint on the continent which begins in May on the Iberian Peninsula with the Open de España.
Three weeks later, Wentworth Club in Surrey, England, plays host to The European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, as the summer season gets underway, with the ISPS Handa Wales Open and the Nordea Masters before the season’s second Major of the US Open Championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Another spell in Europe, via such stunning courses as Le Golf National in France and Castle Stuart in Scotland, takes the Race to the year’s third and fourth Majors, first The 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club and, just three weeks later, the US PGA Championship in South Carolina.
As the summer comes to a close, the battle for places in The 2012 Ryder Cup heats up with tournaments in Scotland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain before golf’s greatest team competition at Medinah Country Club in the USA.
The Race to Dubai then travels the length and breadth of the world, starting in Scotland through Portugal and Spain via Western Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa, on the way home to the Jumeirah Estates in Dubai, which hosts December’s grand finale, the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where, after numerous journeys around the world and back, the deserving The Race to Dubai champion will be crowned.
And it all starts now.To view the 2012 Race to Dubai schedule, click here.