The trophy is unveiled by (L to R) Chris White, Director of Operations at the Ayla Oasis Development Company; Dr Abed Al-Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of Jordan Tourism Board; Jamie Hodges, Senior Project Manager, European Challenge Tour; David MacLaren, Head of the Staysure Tour; Mark Lichtenhein, Chairman of the Ladies European Tour; Bethan Cutler, Media Manager, Ladies European Tour.
By Kent Gray
Players from the Ladies European Tour and men’s Challenge and Staysure (seniors) Tours will chase a place in golf history at the ground-breaking Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla next year, an event first revealed by Golf Digest Middle East in April.
By virtue of its inaugural status, they’ll also be playing for a brand new trophy at Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba from April 4-6 next year.
The 15kg, cut crystal “Triquetra Trophy” was unveiled at the World Travel Market in London on Friday by representatives of the three tours and Dr Abed Al-Razzaq Arabiyat, managing director of Jordan Tourism Board.
Designed using an ancient ‘triquetra’ shape, the trophy features a circle passing through three interconnected loops. It fulfils its complicated design brief with clever simplicity, and a nod to ancient history as the PR blurb accompanying the unveiling announcement suggests.
“Each loop is representative of the event’s co-sanctioning tours, while the golf ball further emphasises the cohesion between three forces of the sport,” the release trumpeted with the help of a little history lesson.
“The word ‘triquetra’ is Latin for ‘three-cornered’ and although the exact origins are unknown, examples of its use date back over 5,000 years. “
“This shape is commonly used to represent equality and, using the brand colours of each tour, perfectly encapsulates the underlying principles of the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla.”
Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder but you’ll get no arguments here.
What is guaranteed is a world first in April when 40 professionals from each of the the men’s, ladies’ and senior’s tours compete over the same golf course for the same prize purse. They will be joined by a leading amateur from the men’s, ladies’ and over-50’s games.
They said it…
Dr Abed Al-Razzaq Arabiyat, Managing Director of Jordan Tourism Board
“Golf is central to the vision of Aqaba as a tourist destination and of Ayla as one of the world’s most forward-thinking residential and recreational communities.
“Accompanied by the Jordan Tourism Board’s dual commitment to the promotion of Jordan to travelling golfers and to creating new air travel routes in order to welcome more visitors than ever before, we believe the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla is set to be a landmark event which further endorses and showcases our offering, announcing Jordan onto the world golfing map.”
Mark Lichtenhein, Chairman of the Ladies European Tour
“The Jordan Mixed Open will be a unique spectacle with both male and female golfers competing for the same trophy and there is no doubt that all LET players will have a keen eye on the Triquetra. The design perfectly reflects the unity of three tours coming together to compete in a brand new format and we thank Ayla for their strong commitment to sporting equality.”
David MacLaren, Head of the Staysure Tour
“The Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla is an important event not just for the continued development of the Staysure Tour, the Challenge Tour and the Ladies European Tour, but for golf in general.
“We have seen huge levels of engagement when male and female professional golfers have had the opportunity to compete alongside each other, as they do at the Vic Open and in Morocco at the Trophée Hassan II and Lalla Meryem Cup, or against each other as we saw at GolfSixes and the European Golf Team Championships this year.
“The Jordan Mixed Open adds a new dimension to mixed tournament golf with men competing against women for the first time in a stroke play event and seeing the trophy first-hand has only increased our excitement for next April’s tournament.”
Jamie Hodges, Senior Project Manager, European Challenge Tour
“This tournament involving the Challenge Tour, Staysure Tour and the Ladies European Tour is a landmark moment for all three tours.
“Jordan will represent the 50th country that the Challenge Tour has visited, and we are excited to achieve this milestone in a way that will grow the sport globally while furthering our history as a Tour that takes golf to new markets.
“What makes the Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla truly ground-breaking is that everyone in the field is competing for one prize, so I am thrilled to see the way the Triquetra Trophy represents this key innovation, while also being just a beautiful standalone piece of artwork.”