Golf Digest Middle East reader Haiyan Mujarkech played in the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic Pro-Am last year.
By Kent Gray
For most amateur golfers a spot in a Pro-Am is but a dream, especially in a prelude as prestigious as those held on the eve of the European Tour’s annual Desert Swing events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and before the Dubai Ladies Classic.
But the dream of teeing it up with a superstar the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm or Shanshan Feng is real for UAE amateurs with the launch of the 2018 Golf Digest Middle East Amateur Golf Series presented by King’s College Hospital London and AutoRoute.
The three tournament series, culminating in the 11th Golf Digest Middle East Classic, opens in Abu Dhabi next month.
The winners of Thursday qualifying tournaments at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club on September 27 and The Els Club, Dubai on October 4 will automatically qualify for the 11th Golf Digest Middle East Classic to be hosted by Emirates Golf Club on Tuesday, October 16 (all three are 1pm shotguns and Stableford events).
At the final on the fabled Majlis, the winners will walk away with Pro-Am spots to the Omega Desert Classic Pro-Am spot (Div A men, 0-10 handicap), Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (Div B men, 11-24 max) and the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic (women).
Entry to Saadiyat Beach and The Els is AED 445 and includes entry fee, green fee and prize-giving buffet.
Those unsuccessful in reaching the GDME Classic on golfing merit can still play in the Majlis decider on October 16 although spots – at AED 555 per player including gala dinner – are limited, with preference given to those who have played in one or both of the qualifying events.
The entry fees are top value as higher winter green fees kick in around the UAE, not to mention the once-in-a-lifetime Pro-Am prizes on offer. There are also some great prizes for the minor placings at all three venues, with goodies from support sponsors Callaway and ECCO shoes, as well as season passes to the two European Tour Desert Swing events and the Dubai Rugby 7s.
Players must be able to prove an official club or Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) handicap to enter.