The Saadiyat Beach Golf Club was officially launched on 28th January 2010 in with a host of golfing stars and celebraties from the world of sport.
The launch was hosted by golfing legend Gary Player, one of the greatest golfers of all time who hit was the first to tee off on the stunning 1st hole.
The event was a hotly contested affair, with Northern Ireland’s young prodigy, Rory McIlroy, leading the charge with a combined team score of 27 under par to win the debut Classic.
And with a wealth of golf’s future stars playing the lush fairways and sweeping greens at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Gary Player was optimistic about the future of the sport. The 18-time Major winner tipped McIlroy as the next possible world number one. “He has a great team behind him, bags of talent and one of the best swings in golf. If he continues the way he is going, I have no doubt Rory has the potential to be the next number one,” said Player.
McIlroy, last years European Number 2 and the current world number 11, was full of praise for the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and its role in helping establish the emirate as a world-class golf destination.
McIlroy said “We start our season in Abu Dhabi and have a three week ‘swing’ in the Middle East. The UAE has become a great destination and with facilities like Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, I can only see more and more golfers coming to play here. It’s ideal for practising and the facilities are world-class”. McIlroy finished third in January’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship.
A wealth of up-and-coming talent on display — in the form of Melissa Reid, Maria Verchenova and Henrietta Zuel, the Ladies’ European Tour rising stars, and England’s Oliver Fisher — showed the watching crowds why they were widely-regarded as the future of the sport with an impressive on-course display. And the quartet was full of praise for Abu Dhabi’s newest golfing centre of excellence.
“It has been wonderful to come and meet up again with my friends from the Gary Player Group. Mr Player has designed many great courses but this surely has to be one of the most spectacular. I’m looking forward to spending a few more days here in Abu Dhabi,” said Verchenova.
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Paul has travelled extensively for both business and pleasure throughout Europe and more recently the Middle East. Paul runs a website promoting holiday rentals in Abu Dhabi and worldwide.