Encouraging mass participation is a key strategy for Golf Saudi.
By Kent Gray
Golf Saudi has headlined a plethora of Middle East winners announced at the World Golf Awards’ COVID-modified ceremony in Dubai.
The Kingdom’s was awarded the event’s coveted “Vision Award”, a nod to the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi’s “outstanding strategic contribution to the game” including a world first national golf sustainability initiative.
Golf Saudi is a Global Event Partner of the World Golf Awards which have celebrated excellence in golf tourism, world-class courses and golf destinations since 2014. The awards, held “virtually” on Thursday due to the ongoing coronavirus conundrum, are voted for by professionals working within the golf travel and tourism industry.
“To be recognised by the World Golf Awards is a great honour and provides a valuable boost to the progress of the game in Saudi Arabia,” said His Excellency Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi.
“Thanks to the support of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and in line with Vision 2030, we have made great efforts to ensure our strategy for developing the sport is as progressive as it is inclusive. Whilst we are still in the formative stages of our national golf plans, progress has been considerable, giving us great confidence that our direction and commitment to sustainability will stand us in the best stead for the years to come.”
World Golf Awards Managing Director Chris Frost said the Vision Award was recognition of Golf Saudi’s efforts in facilitating uptake and participation in golf through the delivery of world-class events, facilities and industry best practice.
Golf Saudi proudly point out this has been achieved with “consideration to environmental and ecological innovation” throughout all of its ongoing pioneering initiatives.
“I have closely watched over the past few years the accelerated development of golf tourism in Saudi Arabia and Golf Saudi’s vision is truly breath taking and quickly coming to fruition,” said Frost. “The next decade is incredibly exciting for golf tourism in the Kingdom and I believe in the near future the industry will be looking to the region as a market leader in golf development and sustainability.”
Gongs were also presented to clubs and tourism operators in geographic categories in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman, the wider UAE and wider still Middle East.
Dubai was recognised as the Middle East’s leading golf destination with Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and the Track, Meydan Golf anointed the region’s best 18 and 9-hole courses. The Creek also won Dubai’s best course award.
Yas Links Abu Dhabi won the Abu Dhabi and UAE equivalent while The Royal Golf Club (Montgomerie course), Al Mouj Golf Club, Royal Greens Golf & Country Club won best course in Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia respectively.
Dubai will host the next World Golf Awards from Oct. 27-29 next year at the Park Hyatt Dubai, coincidently an award winner as Dubai and the Middle East’s “Best Golf Hotel”. Nofa Resorts (Saudi), The Chedi (Oman), The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa, the Address Montgomerie and the St. Regis Saadiyat Island were other regional winners in that category.
Best Golf Tour Operator gongs went to Etihad Holidays (Middle East, out-bound UAE) and Desert Gate (Inbound UAE).
The ceremony’s top awards were presented thus:
World’s Best Golf Destination 2020
World’s Best Golf Course 2020
Augusta National Golf Club (Georgia)
World’s Best New Golf Course 2020
Hoiana Shores Golf Club (Vietnam)
World’s Best 9 Hole Golf Course 2020
Glade One Golf Resort
World’s Best Par 3 Golf Course 2020
The Turtle Hill Golf Club (Bermuda)
World’s Best Golf Clubhouse 2020
The Carriage House at Adare Manor (Ireland)
World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility 2020
Sentosa Golf Club (Singapore)
World’s Best Golf Hotel 2020
The Belfry (England)
World’s Best Golf Tour Operator 2020
World’s Best Golf Club Brand 2020
World’s Best Golf Shoe Brand 2020
World’s Best Golf Travel Magazine 2020
Destination Golf Guide
World’s Best Golf TV Channel 2020
NBC Golf Channel
World’s Best Halfway House 2020
The Lighthouse @ Trump Turnberry Resort, (Scotland)
World’s Best New Golf Development 2020
Navarino Hills, Costa Navarino (Greece)
Golf Business of the Year 2020
Golf Course Designer of the Year 2020
José María Olazábal
Lifetime Achievement Award 2020
The Golf Vision Award 2020