Home Sport Golf 1 Big Thing: Golf Has Found А Home In The Desert

1 Big Thing: Golf Has Found А Home In The Desert

369

The European Tour returned from its winter break this week, with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship currently underway on this spectacular-looking course.

  • The tournament is part of the Rolex Series, a collection of 8 premier events designed to attract the biggest names in golf by offering significant prize money (upwards of $7 million per tournament).
  • That seems to be working, as Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and 13 other top-50 players are participants this week.

The big picture: Abu Dhabi is the first of 6 events that will take place in the Middle East this year — a whopping 12.5% of the European Tour’s schedule (48 events total).

  • The other 5 locations: Dubai, UAE (twice) — King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia — Doha, Qatar — Muscat, Oman.

How we got here: 30 years ago, Dubai was “just starting to introduce itself as a tourist destination, and golf offered a natural fit with its winter sunshine and miles of undeveloped acreage,” writes The New York Times.

  • The European Tour happened to be looking to expand at this time, so they decided to take a chance on the “oasis in the desert” — and it worked.
  • 3 decades later, Dubai and its Middle East neighbors have hosted 64 Tour events — many of them drawing some of the world’s top players on an annual basis.