Lausanne, Switzerland: Greg Norman Golf Course Design’s (GNGCD) acclaimed Fire Course at Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates will make history when it stages the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships.
At this week’s biennial meeting of the International Golf Federation (IGF), which was held virtually, the Emirates Golf Federation was selected over the Singapore Golf Association after the two were identified as the finalists by the IGF Bid Panel from an initial group of eight national federation members that had expressed interest in hosting the biennial team event for men and women.
This marks the first time the event, which dates back to 1958, will be held in the Middle East.
“Both candidates provided exceptionally strong bid proposals, which was duly noted by both the IGF Administrative Committee and the IGF Bid Panel,” said Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of the IGF.
“We greatly appreciate the interest and strong case presented by the Singapore Golf Association. At the same time, the Emirates Golf Federation made a compelling case that resonated with our member organisations and we’re very excited to be holding our first World Amateur Team Championships in the Middle East region. We look forward to working with the Emirates Golf Federation to deliver a memorable event and experience for the athletes in 2023.”
As the host venue, the Emirates Golf Federation presented the Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, sculpted by GNGCD, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Designed by Norman to exist in harmony with the natural desert landscape, the Fire Course is described as ‘a tough and, needless to say, a fiery challenge’.
While the adjoining Earth Course uses bold colours to provide its contrasts, Fire’s are more refined. The native grasses display a golden glint in the sunlight, and away from the immaculate playing surfaces, large terracotta bunkers punctuate the rolling terrain.
Framed by a wide variety of captivating flora, carefully selected to reflect the overall theme and to enhance its natural setting, Fire is in complete harmony with its surroundings.
“It is an honour for the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and the Emirates Golf Federation to win the election for the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships,” said His Excellency Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation.
“We would like to thank the International Golf Federation and their team for working tirelessly with us on the bid application. We would also like to thank all of the IGF members for their votes and giving us this opportunity. We look forward to welcoming all of the delegates and athletes into the UAE.
“Golf in the UAE and region is continuing to grow and this event will further push our vision in golf development. We are excited to work with the IGF and our partners in making this championship a successful reality.”
Dubai will represent the 31st women’s championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy and the 32nd men’s championship for the Eisenhower Trophy, in light of the cancellation of the 2020 World Amateur Team Championships due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In May, the IGF announced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled for this month. That decision followed the IGF’s announcement in February that the event, originally to be held in Hong Kong, was moving to Singapore due to on-going social unrest in Hong Kong.
First held in 1958, the World Amateur Team Championships include up to 72 countries competing in 72 holes of stroke play competition. Each country fields two or three players with the two lowest scores counting per round.