The top 60 players on The Race to Dubai will face a golf course in supreme condition when they take to the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates for the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai according to European Tour officials.
During a pre-tournament site inspection, David Garland, the Tour’s Director of Tour Operations, and Deputy Director of Tour Agronomy Graeme MacNiven received a detailed overview of the Greg Norman-designed course from Course Superintendent at Jumeirah Golf Estates, Mark Tupling.
And both Garland and MacNiven – who make regular visits to some of the world’s leading courses – believe the $8 million tournament will once again provide a fitting challenge for those who qualify for the final event on The Race to Dubai from 22-25 November.
“Mark and his team at Jumeirah Golf Estates do a magnificent job getting the Earth course into championship shape and having it peak at the right time,” said Garland, who will also act as Tournament Director when the Earth course hosts The Race to Dubai finale for the fourth consecutive year.
“Mark is in charge of the course and is a highly skilled superintendent with Ryder Cup experience at the highest level. We are here to help him and his team achieve the goals we set at the start of the year and perhaps bring ideas we have learned elsewhere on the Tour.
“After four years, we know the challenges and what works and what doesn’t. With an earlier start date this year, over-seeding has been a challenge with less of a timeframe to get ready but everything remains on course.
“With Jumeirah Golf Estates as our partners it is our job to provide a tough, fair test as well as a venue that can be showcased to television viewers around the world.”
For Tupling and his team of green keepers and agronomy staff, it is a year-long challenge to get the Earth course in championship condition, while members and guests enjoy an annual 25,000 rounds on its fairways and greens.
“Graeme and myself prepare the grass levels, ensure the greens are at the right speed and consistency across the entire course, the tees are firm and that the course plays exactly the same from the first tee to the 18th green,” said Tupling.
“When you work with a golf course you are dealing with a plant that grows and a climate that changes so there are always things we can improve on. Graeme sees courses all over the world and can bring different aspects to our planning, while he also learns aspects of our preparation that he can absorb and take on to other courses on The European Tour.”
While the Earth course will close its doors to the playing public on 14 October in preparation for the DP World Tour Championship, members will benefit from the tournament conditions once play is over and The Race to Dubai has reached its conclusion.
“Although the green speed will slow down naturally, the course will remain in championship presentation mode throughout the winter with members able to enjoy the benefits until May,” added Tupling.
Garland and McNiven will return to the venue in November when the top 60 players in The Race to Dubai come face to face with the Earth course in all its tournament glory. Free tickets for the tournament are available by registering online at the official website www.dpwtc.com.