Jumeirah Golf Estates, the outstanding host venue for The European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, has been named as the ninth European Tour Destination, marking an expansion into the Middle East for the growing network of venues under the European Tour Properties banner.
The historic announcement, which comes less than a month before the climax to the fifth Race to Dubai played over the superb Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates from 14-17 November, also coincides with the launch of the second state-of-the-art European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI) located at the spectacular venue.
European Tour Properties is The European Tour’s portfolio of world class venues that benefit from focused, year-long sales, marketing and operational support. As a European Tour Destination, Jumeirah Golf Estates joins PGA Catalunya Resort in Spain; London Golf Club in England; Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort in Provence, France, and its sister venue Golf Club St. Leon-Rot near Frankfurt, Germany; Le Golf National in Paris, France where The 2018 Ryder Cup will be played; The Dutch in Holland; Diamond Country Club in Austria; and Golf & Country Club Fleesensee, near Berlin in Germany, in an expanding collection.
Meanwhile, the Middle East’s first ETPI academy, boasting world-class training facilities for elite professional and amateur golfers alike, serves to enhance the status of Jumeirah Golf Estates as one of the region’s most exciting new all-round golf complexes. The latest ETPI follows in the footsteps of the inaugural facility at Terre Blanche, where the Albatros Golf Performance Center was officially launched as the first ETPI in March, 2012.
Since its launch in 2009, European Tour Properties has grown to encompass 13 member venues – nine Destinations and four Tour Courses spanning 11 different countries -the majority of which have staged top class tournament golf at European Tour, Senior Tour, Challenge Tour or European Tour Qualifying School level, either currently or in the recent past.
Along with hosting the Tour’s season-end finale, Jumeirah Golf Estates will benefit from the global recognition and exposure which comes with becoming a Tour Destination. Jumeirah Golf Estates, which currently boasts two Greg Norman-designed championship lay-outs in the Fire and Earth courses, also delivers a luxury residential golf community within the complex, adjacent to a state-of-the-art clubhouse currently under construction, which is planned to be part operational in time for the 2014 DP World Tour Championship.
Tournament golf in the region has expanded dramatically in 2013 with the traditional ‘Desert Swing’ in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai being augmented by Challenge Tour events in Oman and Dubai scheduled over the next month, with discussions at an advanced stage for a Senior Tour event in early 2014.
George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, welcomed the first all-purpose European Tour facility in the Gulf Region. He said: “Today’s historic announcement of the first Tour Destination and ETPI in the Middle East further endorses the status of Jumeirah Golf Estates as our season-ending tournament venue and as an internationally acclaimed destination, which has been widely praised by the players and public alike.
“We thank Yousuf Kazim and all the Board of Directors at Jumeirah Golf Estates for their cooperation and support, and we look forward to working closely in partnership to complete the development over the next 18 months, while the world class practice and training facilities available at the ETPI academy, along with the highest standards of biomechanical and nutritional advice, deliver all the necessary requirements for the elite European Tour professional.”
Yousuf Kazim, General Manager, Jumeirah Golf Estates, commented: “This is very exciting news for Dubai and the region in general. The new partnership with the Tour further enhances our already strong relationship as we prepare for the fifth season-ending tournament here on the Earth course and ensures that we can look forward in confidence to the next phase of the development, including the first stage of clubhouse development, due for opening in October 2014, and the continued hand over of properties.”
Neal Graham, General Manager – Club Operations, at Jumeirah Golf Estates, added: “The ETPI will be one of the finest instructional facilities in the world, designed specifically to enhance the performance of members, guests and visitors to the club, enabling them to fine tune and hone their game throughout the year, utilising the very latest in cutting-edge technology.
“European Tour players already benefit from Jumeirah Golf Estates’ prime location in the Middle East and warm climate, using Dubai as a staging post in journeys to and from Asia to sharpen their game in preparation for tournaments.”
Adel Zarouni, Vice-Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation and the Arab Golf Federation, added his endorsement of the Performance Institute, saying: “We are all delighted to see this exceptional facility open its doors here in Dubai.
“The ETPI will provide all the facilities necessary to help golfers at grass roots as well as elite level. More and more UAE Nationals are taking up the game and they are sure to benefit greatly from the full range of amenities on offer in addition to the instructional programmes. We believe this will create a valuable legacy for the UAE in years to come.”
European Tour champion and Ryder Cup player, David Howell, is an ardent admirer of Jumeirah Golf Estates. The Englishman, who recently captured his fifth Tour title in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, commented: “I’ve lived in Dubai during the past four winters and have always practised and played at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“It has world class facilities and is a fantastic place to train and work on my game when I’m not playing on Tour. It has everything you need as a professional golfer, but it is also a great place for amateurs of all levels. I’ve qualified to play in the DP World Tour Championship for the first time next month and I cannot wait!”
Jumeirah Golf Estates www.jumeirahgolfestates.com
European Tour www.europeantour.com