David Spencer has stood down as Chief Executive Officer – Golf for Leisurecorp a Dubai World company. David is on medical leave and is understood to be receiving treatment in the UK. On completion of the treatment it is expected that David will return in a consulting role.
Leisurecorp was established by Dubai World in July 2006, to identify, acquire, develop and manage a portfolio of investments in the sports and leisure sectors in Dubai and across the world.
Its portfolio includes Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai’s premier residential golf community; Pearl Valley Golf Estates, South Africa’s leading residential golf community, which will host the South African Open for the next two years; Turnberry in Scotland, host venue to the 2009 Open Championship.
Leisurecorp insists that there is absolutely no connection between the announcement of Spencer’s sudden departure and the fact that Jumeirah Golf Estates is for the time being not proceeding with construction of two of its four planned courses. This postponement has been in the public domain for some time.
Nor is there any doubt about the completely-refurbished Turnberry Hotel being ready for The Open Championship in July, although a spokesman for Leisurecorp agreed that the time-table for completion is ‘aggressive’.
The suggestion that the long-term future of Leisurecorp’s wide-ranging partnership with The European Tour, which includes the ‘Race to Dubai’, has now been ‘thrown into question’ is dismissed absolutely by Leisurecorp, although the speculation will no doubt continue well into next week when the Tour stages the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.