As the cream of The European Tour prepare for the season end finale of The Race to Dubai, these are busy times for the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) just days before the opening shots are played in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 22-25 November.
As the local sanctioning body, the EGF has a vital role at the heart of the organisation of the $8 million tournament – an indication of the major strides it has taken since its inception in 1996 to encourage and direct the growth of the amateur game in the UAE.
A Federal entity appointed by the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare in the UAE and supervised by the Minister of Sports, the EGF is a non-profit making organisation.
“As well as being committed to the role of increasing awareness of golf in the UAE, the EGF’s mandate also includes operating and expanding the Junior Development Programme and building and producing a National Team capable of competing at international level,” said Emirates Golf Federation National Golf Coach Chris Vallender. “Working in co-operation with the DP World Tour Championship allows us to keep that message moving forward at the biggest golf tournament in the region.”
Among its roles for the DP World Tour Championship – to be staged on the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates – the EGF helps to promote the tournament through its 6,000 members and 19 affiliated golf clubs.
The EGF also sanctioned the tournament’s Luckiest Ball on Earth initiative that featured some 1,500 amateur golfers from across the country who competed in 21 qualifying events throughout September.
The Luckiest Ball on Earth competition allows amateur golfers in the UAE the opportunity to win a chance to play alongside the biggest names on The European Tour in the pre-event Rolex Pro-Am and was won this year by Ornella Parigi from Saadiyat Beach.
“The EGF is very much a hands-on organisation and we welcome and appreciate its support for the DP World Tour Championship,” said Nick Tarratt, European Tour International Director, Dubai Office. “From co-ordinating the group visas for all the players, caddies, officials and their families through to assistance with the Tournament Volunteer Programme for 300 marshals and 20 TV scoring support staff, the EGF plays a vital role in the tournament.”
To help increase participation in golf in the UAE, the EGF will be offering free golf lessons throughout the week at the DP World Tour Championship, which will take place in the Titleist Net area.
Located in the Championship Village, free golf lessons will be available for the public courtesy of UAE PGA golf professionals, while the EGF will also assist with the Short Golf/Grassroots Golf programme which offers free 20 minute golf lessons between 9am and 5pm for children aged six and over. The free golf lessons initiative is also backed by the R&A.
“The support from the R&A is specifically targeted at Arab nationals and we thank them for what we hope will become year-round support and encouragement from the governing body of the game,” added Vallender. Free season tickets for the 2012 DP World Tour Championship are available online by registering at the official website www.dpwtc.com