The President of the Algerian Golf Federation, Noureddine Djoudi, was in St Andrews recently to discuss how The R&A can help develop the game there. The North African nation currently has only one course, an 18-hole grass-covered layout in Algiers, despite having a population of 38 million. There is, however, an enthusiasm to make golf more accessible to members of the public who wish to try the game.
“Algeria is the second-largest country in Africa and yet has only one course. However, we hope that our support of golf there may help to change this situation,” said Duncan Weir, The R&A’s Director of Golf Development, who met with Djoudi during his visit. “We have now agreed a range of initiatives with this objective in mind.”
Proposed initiatives include the provision of junior equipment, possible visits by experts in golf course architecture, and coaching courses run by professional golfers. In return, the Algerian Golf Federation hopes to support the Junior Open Championships at Lundin Golf Club, near St Andrews, this July by sending a boy and a girl to compete.
Algeria, along with Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, competes against Middle-Eastern countries at the Pan Arab Golf Championship, an event to which The R&A contributed £20,000 in 2009.
The fact that 16 nations now regularly contest this annual tournament is testament to the continuing growth of the game in North Africa and the Middle-East. And such is the growing profile of golf in North Africa that Morocco will stage a full PGA European Tour event in March of 2010.