The inaugural Sharjah Senior Golf Masters takes place at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club from March 16-18, and local players are being offered the chance to tee it up alongside the European Senior Tour stars.
There are eight different ways in which local golfers can qualify to rub shoulders with the big names during the Pro-Am events ahead of the three-day tournament.
Clubs across the UAE will be hosting qualifiers with the winner and the runner-up, along with the club captain from each, qualifying to the National Final held at the Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club on February 12. The National Final's top three will qualify to play in the first of two Sharjah Senior Golf Masters Pro-Ams which is set to take place on March 14.
Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club are hosting three qualifying events of their own. The club's monthly medal (for members only), the Senior Open and the Ladies Open will give players another shot at bagging a spot in the second pro-am on March 15, with the winners of each event securing a spot.
Local golfers are also being given the chance to win a spot in the main Sharjah Senior Golf Masters event, which will run from March 16-18, with two places being awarded at a gross qualifier which, again, takes place at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club on February 12.
In order to compete in the gross qualifier, players must be male and aged 50 years or older on March 16, 2017. The applicants must be UAE nationals, local residents, GCC nationals or members of the UAE PGA and professional golfers or amateurs with a 2.4 handicap index or lower.
Martin Duff, Director of Golf at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club, said: "It is great to have so many opportunities for people to play and participate and to get involved whether they are juniors, women, seniors, amateurs or professionals. In theory everyone has a chance to qualify, be it from the three spots from the National Final, the three spots directly through our events in February and the gross qualifying event."
The Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq, which promises to see some of golf’s most enduring talents grace the United Arab Emirates, will mark the fourth time the European Senior Tour has visited the Middle East following events in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
H.E Marwan Jassim Al Sarkal, Chief Executive Officer, Shurooq, believes that the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters will provide the perfect platform to showcase the Emirate’s merits as an investment, tourism, sport and business destination.
“Shurooq’s partnership with the European Senior Tour to present the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters is in line with our strategy and vision to promote Sharjah as one of the most diverse investment cities in the world," he said. "Our objective through this grand event is to continue in promoting Sharjah’s facilities, services and tourism as a key destination for hosting some of the world’s most luxurious and bespoke sporting events of their kind.
"The Sharjah Senior Golf Masters serves as a key opportunity for international players, sponsors and international companies involved in the tournament to visit and explore Sharjah’s magnificent tourism destinations, culture, heritage and unique architecture.”
A Pro-Am hosted last year to mark the announcement of the event featured three former Ryder Cup stars in the form of Des Smyth, Ronan Rafferty and Paul Broadhurst, all of whom are expected to compete in the Sharjah Senior Golf Masters presented by Shurooq.