IMG vice president Greg Sproule has underlined his company’s total support for GolfEx Dubai saying the 2006 global golf summit and exhibition “makes perfect sense”.
The managing director of IMG Middle East, Sproule believes the showcase – the first of its kind dedicated to the unification of the sport – can only be good for the game and for Dubai’s position as a global golf player.
“Dubai has been good to IMG over the years,” said Sproule. “Bringing the PGA European Tour to Dubai in 1989 was down to the combined brilliant vision of His Highness, General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Ken Schofield so we are delighted that he (Ken) is fully behind GolfEx Dubai. The fact the Desert Classic was also the first Middle East event to attract Tiger Woods further underlines the strength of Dubai in the golfing world.”
Woods, who is managed by IMG, will make his third appearance in the region when he lines up for the 17th Dubai Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club from February 2-5, 2006.
But just days before the Classic tees off, GolfEx Dubai – organised and promoted by the Dubai-based Driving Force – will see industry heavyweights from management companies such as IMG come together with other golfing business representatives at the Jumeirah Conference Centre on January 29-30.
“GolfEx Dubai is a fabulous idea,” added Sproule. “There are very few chances for golf’s business heads to come together and share ideas that will make the sport of golf and the business of golf very successful. In that way, GolfEx Dubai makes perfect sense and we are totally committed to this.”
Among the IMG representatives speaking at the convention will be IMG’s director of golf course design Brit Stenson. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Stenson is a 30-year veteran of the industry, a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and the holder of a degree in city planning. Prior to joining IMG in the early 1990s, Stenson was the lead designer for the PGA Tour designing a number of the Tour’s TPC courses that host PGA Tour events. He is also a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects.
His courses include the The Rock (together with Nick Faldo – ranked Best New Course in Canada in 2004); Lakeview Golf Club in Kunming, China (with Faldo), One&Only Le Touessrok Golf Course in Mauritius (with Bernhard Langer), Meishi Mayflower in Haikou, China (with Colin Montgomerie), and in Dubai – the redesign of Emirates Golf Club’s Wadi Course (together with Faldo) and Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Water Course (with Vijay Singh)
“Brit Stenson is just one of several key IMG personnel who will be active at GolfEx Dubai,” said Sproule. “In the next few weeks, we will also be announcing other senior figures who will be adding their support and commitment to the event.”
GolfEx Dubai www.golf-ex.com