Designed by golfing great, Gary Player, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is often heralded as one of the world’s most captivating golfing projects. On Monday, Saadiyat Beach will join the golfing icon in welcoming stars of the sport and widely-recognised lovers of the game to its shores.
The oceanfront championship course that was awarded Best Golf Course in the Middle East in 2016’s illustrious World Golf Awards, will host the UAE’s second annual Gary Player Invitational. Held in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the prestigious event will raise funds for the Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs.
Among the male pros confirmed to join Player are Darren Clarke, Chris Wood, Joost Luiten, Victor Dubuisson, Jason Scrivener, David Howell, as well as fellow South Africans and long-time supporters of the Gary Player Invitational series, Thomas Aiken and Trevor Immelman. Representing the female pros are last year’s winner of the inaugural Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, Beth Allen; up-and-coming professional and course record holder, Georgia Hall; Caroline Martens; Emma Cabrera-Bello, and Victoria Lovelady.
Celebrities and sporting icons also set to join the golf professionals are cricket greats, Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting; Springbok rugby legend Victor Matfield; model, racing car driver and television personality, Jodie Kidd; popstars of BoyzLife, Keith Duffy and Brian McFadden; and the UAE’s very own funny man, Emirati comedian, Ali Al Sayed.
Ed Edwards, general manager, Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, said: “We have long admired our course designer, Gary Player. His devotion to the Gary Player Invitational series, which continues to play such a significant role in the UAE series and supports this inspiring cause, is extremely admirable.
“We look forward to providing Player’s guests with the spectacular hospitality service and award-winning course conditions we have long prided ourselves on.”
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club was The Arabian Gulf’s first beach-front course, offering a unique setting of beauty and tranquillity against the stunning backdrop of the Abu Dhabi skyline. The unique setting provides a distinctive golf experience, surrounded by local wildlife, including mountain gazelles, dolphins and the protected hawksbill turtles, which nest on the beaches of Saadiyat Island.
As well as holding a host of glowing accolades and homing exquisite wildlife, the Gary Player-designed course recently made history when it welcomed the Ladies European Tour to Abu Dhabi for the first time ever for the inaugural Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open.
Tournament host and course designer Player said: “Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is one of the most engaging courses in the world and the ideal location to host the mix of professional golfers, sporting greats and special guests during this year’s event in Abu Dhabi. It is especially significant to host this event during the UAE’s Year of Giving and, thanks to the support of the Abu Dhabi Sport Council, facility owner, TDIC and the wider UAE community, we are able to build upon the work of the inaugural event in 2016 and move even closer to reaching our goal of raising $100 million for children by 2025. I know that all participants will have great fun in support of an even greater cause.”
SOURCE: Khaleej Times Feb 5, 2017 – http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/local/golfing-stars-cricket-legends-and-pop-stars-set-for-gary-player-invitational-in-abu-dhabi