Global Edition

Earth Course gets European Tour Vote of Confidence

3.15am 12th September 2011 - Course Development - This story was updated on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

David Garland, Director of Tour Operations, European Tour, assesses conditions at the Earth course with Graeme MacNiven – Deputy Director of Tour Agronomy – during a recent visit to Jumeirah Golf Estates

With three months to go until the third Race to Dubai reaches a grand finale at the 2011 Dubai World Championship presented by DP World, European Tour officials are already confident of providing a venue in prime condition to welcome the finest players in the world.

David Garland, the Tour’s Director of Tour Operations, gave a resounding vote of confidence to the demanding Earth course during a recent visit to the Jumeirah Golf Estates, which will once again stage the final tournament of The Race toDubaifrom December 8-11.

Garland and Graeme MacNiven, the Tour’s Deputy Director of Agronomy, conducted a full course inspection over a couple of days and revealed the course might be about to bite back and give the field of 60 professionals their toughest test since the event was first staged in 2009.

“The Earth course has matured in all aspects since its official opening and the inaugural Dubai World Championship,” said Garland. “The greens are now truer as the levels are more consistent, the fairways are a little denser in grass cover and the trees, shrubs and other flora are all much bigger, thus penalising errant shots more.

“Although there have been no major other changes to the course, the agronomy team is overseeding this year due to the later staging date, which will provide a tougher and more consistent rough than the last two years.”

Last year saw around 50,000 spectators flock to the Greg Norman-designed course for the second staging of an event won by  2008 European Number One Robert Karlsson of Swedenafter a play-off with Ian Poulter of England.

With 13 counting tournaments remaining before the end of season climax , England’s Luke Donald leads The Race to Dubai from Northern Ireland’s US Open Champion Rory McIlroy with Charl Schwartzel – the 2011 Masters Champion – from South Africa in third place.

The top 60 players in the standings will battle for the $7.5 million prize fund and $7.5 million Bonus Pool, which will be shared by the players in the top 15  places after the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.

Garland commented: “The tournament has quickly found its own identity and personality and become a very popular experience for the public thanks to the undoubted quality of the field as well as the fantastic attractions off the course.”

Complimentary tickets for the 2011 Dubai World Championship presented by DP World and held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, are available from the website

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