Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: History will be made on the Ladies European Tour (LET) when they play in Saudi Arabia’s first female professional golf tournament in November.
The Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF is scheduled to take place from November 12-15, while the Saudi Ladies Team International will run from November 17-19. Both events will be held at Royal Greens Golf Club on the Red Sea Coast.
Originally planned for March, the Saudi Ladies International has a US$1 million prize fund – the LET’s third richest event. The Saudi Ladies Team International, which will see Tour professionals partner with amateurs, has a prize fund of US$500,000.
Alexandra Armas, the LET’s CEO, said: “We are excited to be part of history in bringing the first professional women’s golf event to Saudi Arabia and we are thankful to their commitment to deliver not one, but two tournaments, in what has been a difficult year for golf.
“We are always looking to grow the game in new markets and add to our schedule and we are confident that the Saudi Ladies International and the Saudi Ladies Team International will be a fantastic experience for our players.”
His Excellency Yasir O Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and tournament organiser Golf Saudi, said: “The first half of this year has been extremely trying on businesses, organisations and nations worldwide, with sport affected greatly.
“However, we are thankful to both PIF and Aramco – who are equally determined to give elite level sport the platform to continue to flourish, both here in Saudi Arabia and abroad, and never more so than now – which makes us proud to be throwing our full weight behind both the Saudi Ladies International and the Saudi Ladies Team International.”
The hosting of the events fits with Golf Saudi’s vision to grow golf across the Kingdom, and make it both accessible and enjoyable to all men, women and children.
“One of our key initiatives for this is hosting tournaments capable of drawing the world’s best players as a means of inspiring the next generation of young Saudis and Saudi golfers,” said Majed Al-Sorour, CEO at Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
“It is a great honour to be taking our next step on that journey by welcoming the Ladies European Tour to the Kingdom for November’s debut Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF and the Saudi Ladies Team International,” he added.
Players at both events will be required to adhere to a stricter dress code than is required at other events on the Tour, with Tour officials advising players ‘to observe and respect local customs’ by wearing mid-calf or three-quarter length trousers rather than skirts, skorts or shorts, and short-sleeved polo shirts rather than sleeveless tops.
Armas said: “The recommendation is that the women are modestly dressed, with trousers half way up the leg and with polo shirts, they won’t have to cover more of their arms or their heads. We haven’t been told we have to do this. This is us advising our players what is appropriate to abide by the local customs.
“This is uncharted territory for the LET and Golf Saudi has been very generous to players. We want to be respectful of their customs and there will be on-going conversations. We will keep discussing from year to year as the event continues what is acceptable and what expectation is and we manage that expectation with our players.”