Dubai: Tom Phillips, who was instrumental in setting up the Faldo Series Asia and subsequently served as Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA), has been appointed the European Tour’s new Head of Middle East.
Phillips will be responsible for the development of the European Tour’s tournament programme throughout the Middle East region, including the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.
He will join the European Tour on July 1 and will lead the Tour’s Middle East Office, based at Jumeirah Golf Estates, a European Tour Destination.
Phillips has 25 years’ experience in the golf and leisure industries, including 14 years in Asia, working with some of sport’s leading brands and organisations.
With a BA Honours degree in media and communications, he spent nearly 15 years working for Sir Nick Faldo as Chief Executive Officer of the Faldo Series. During that period, the six-time Major winner’s non-profit programme grew from seven annual events in the United Kingdom to 40 tournaments across 30 countries worldwide for more than 7,000 competitors annually.
As the Faldo Series expanded into Asia, Phillips relocated to Hong Kong in 2005 where he also took up the role of Director of Faldo Design.
Phillips, 45, joined the HKGA as CEO in 2013, working closely with the European Tour and Asian Tour on the Hong Kong Open, as well as overseeing a new commercial direction for Hong Kong golf’s governing body.
Since 2016 he has been consulting for Mission Hills in China – the world’s largest golf facility with 22 courses – helping shape the organisation’s international ‘golf and more’ strategy which includes recently-announced partnerships with FC Barcelona, the NBA and the PGA of America.
Phillips said: “Having worked closely with the European Tour since 1999, I am excited to join the team and continue the excellent progress that has been made by the Tour and its key stakeholders in the Middle East for more than three decades.
“The European Tour group has seven events in the Middle East in 2019, as well as the biggest first prize in tournament golf for the winner of this year’s DP World Tour Championship and some of the Tour’s most committed partners, all of which reflects the Middle East’s importance to world golf and the future of our sport.”
Keith Waters, the European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “The Middle East is a very important region for the European Tour and Tom will add a wealth of experience in international golf strategy and business development to our operation.
“We look forward to working with Tom to build on the strong relationships we have formed in the Middle East over the past 30 years.”
In 2019, there are six tournaments in the Middle East on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, along with the innovative Jordan Mixed Open, held in April, which combined players from the Challenge Tour, Staysure Tour and the Ladies European Tour.