The renowned European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI) at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai has once again proved to be the perfect warm-weather training base for the stars of The European Tour as they prepare for the upcoming ‘Desert Swing’ which gets under way with next Thursday’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Tommy Fleetwood, Joost Luiten, James Morrison and Thorbjørn Olesen were among the players making use of the ETPI’s state-of-the-art practice facilities as they honed their games ahead of what has become one of the most important stretches on The European Tour schedule, while the likes of Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Shane Lowry and Rafa Cabrera-Bello have all been using the cutting edge facility recently.
With the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic following the Abu Dhabi event, a good showing in the ‘Desert Swing’ can provide the perfect springboard to a successful season, as last year’s Desert Classic winner, and subsequent Race to Dubai Champion, Rory McIlroy, will testify. The ETPI at Jumeirah Golf Estates is one of only two such facilities in the world – the other being at Terre Blanche in France – and is equipped with everything a player needs to brush up their game and physical condition.
As well as the ultra-advanced swing and putting labs, specialised gyms and treatment rooms and extensive practice areas at the ETPI, Jumeirah Golf Estates also boasts two world-class courses - Earth, home to The Race to Dubai’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, and Fire.
“We’re extremely proud of our facilities and courses here at Jumeirah Golf Estates,” said Neal Graham, General Manager, Club Operations. “The European Tour Performance Institute is a world-leading facility and it’s testament to how highly it is regarded within the game that so many of The European Tour’s top players choose to come here to practise. We’ve been delighted to host these great players over the last couple of weeks and we wish them all the best for the season.”
Four-time European Tour winner Luiten of the Netherlands said: “It’s always great coming to the ETPI. It probably has the best facilities in the world, nice weather and Dubai is always a fun place to be. It’s the ideal way for me to prepare for the new season with the Desert Swing coming up. In addition, practising here allows me to drive to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, rather than fly.
“I love the short game area at the ETPI which allows you to play into different wind directions and situations. You can practise all different types of shots here because there are a lot of options, which makes this facility so much fun and beneficial.”
Morrison, winner of last year’s Open de Espana, said: “We’re very spoilt coming to the ETPI. There are two great golf courses, two brilliant gyms, and now the (Jumeirah Golf Estates) clubhouse is finished it’s amazing. Coming here at the beginning of the year puts me in great stead for the new season.“
Fellow Englishman Fleetwood, who won the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, added: “The facilities at the ETPI are about as good as it gets. When it’s cold and damp in the winter at home, it’s incredible coming out here to practise."
The Desert Swing commences on January 21 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, followed by the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters at Doha Golf Club on January 27and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club on February 4.