Get into the swing by showcasing your golfing skills, and you could be walking home with some fantastic prizes at Yas Links Mixed Open.
Entries for the October 10 event has been encouraging for the Betterball Stableford format but there’s still time to join them before the Tuesday, October 6 deadline.
Open to pairs – one male and female – each competitors must hold a valid handicap. The handicap index limit for women is 36, and 28 for men.
The event is just one of many successful tournaments Yas Links host throughout the year with the Summer Mens and Ladies Opens hugely popular. And the Mixed Open is no different.
“What makes this tournament so special is because of the Betterball Stableford format which comprises of two-person teams,” said Carly Tjader, sales and marketing manager at Yas Links.
“It’s a great chance for the pair to work together on a great golf course and battle it out for the top title.
"Generally the event is fully subscribed which reassures us that our competitors are here to stay. Typically, competitors enjoy playing with their spouses to battleit out with other husband and wife duos. Though it’s not a problem to pair a male and female together if one doesn’t have a partner as we do get a few single entries and it is not uncommon to register without a partner.”
Entry fees vary accordingly, with Yas Links members able to enter for Dh100 and can also get a guest to play for Dh450. Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) members will be charged Dh525, while guests will have to pay Dh650.
Included in the fee is fruit juice and lunch buffet, pre-course warm up on the driving range and a golf cart with GPS system.
Even if you’re not the most well-rounded players for the top prize, the Men’s Longest Drive and Nearest to the Pin, as well as the Ladies Longest Drive and Nearest to the Pin challenges provide more opportunities to win prizes.
Tjader insists there are plenty of positives from just taking part in the competition.
“The value in itself is not to be beaten but the best part usually is that it is a fun and social event,” she said.“It is a perfect opportunity to meet others, or, use the day to solely practice and to compete for some great prizes. If one is considering membership with us, it is also a great way to meet current members and learn about the various offerings that we have here at Yas Links.”
What: Yas Links Mixed Open
When: October 10 at 07:30
Where: Yas Links, Abu Dhabi
Contact: To register or for more information, email [email protected] or phone 02810 7710.
Calling the MENA Golf Tour a game-changer in fast-tracking the growth of the Royal & Ancient sport in the Arab world, celebrated amateur Othman Almulla insisted that the time is ripe for the region’s talent to step up to the plate and show what they can bring to the party.
“The tour is just awesome, the best thing that can happen to the region’s golf. The experience that you gain from playing alongside an international field is something unique for the region’s players, especially the amateurs,” said Othman, who, at 21, became the youngest Arab amateur golfer to qualify and play in the 2007 Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Popularly known as the ‘Saudi Tiger’, Almulla is also the youngest to win the Pan Arab Championship and the Saudi Aramco Invitational, both at age 21.
“When I was growing up as a golfer and winning all the domestic events at 20 something, we only had the Arab or GCC championships once in a while and we ended up playing with same guys over and over again,” he added.
“The end result is anybody’s guess. We made little or no improvement,” said Almulla ahead of the American Express Dirab Championship starting Monday.
“The scenario has changed since then with the (MENA Golf ) Tour providing a perfect platform for the region’s players to hone their skills in a competitive environment.”
Almulla, who had taken a sabbatical from golf to concentrate of education, added: “I am done with studies and look forward to playing on the tour on a regular basis. Fresh after posting a top-seven finish at the Hong Kong Amateur Open, Almulla featured in the Dubai Open last week, finishing third in the MENA Division.
“My ball striking was pretty good, but just couldn’t read the greens. The event has given me a lot of confidence. I have this self-belief that I can win at Dirab and, hopefully, become the first amateur to do so on the MENA Golf Tour. That’s the goal,” said the 29-year-old.
For that to happen, Almulla will need to summon his ‘A’ game as the field comprises 20 amateurs, including 10 from Saudi Arabia, highlighted by the presence of Prince Khaled Saud Al Faisal.
Spearheading the challenge in the professional division will be the English duo of Lee Corfield and Luke Joy, who between them share five titles on the MENA tour, and Pakistan’s Shafiq Masih, the winner of the inauguration edition of the American Express Dirab Championship in 2012.
“I am pretty familiar with the course, where I have been a teaching professional for many years,” said Masih. “Accuracy off the tee is a must to find the tree-lined narrow fairways. Also, the greens are quite small, which means you need to be on top of your game to pass the test.”
An initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the MENA Tour was created in 2011 with the aim of developing golf in the region.
Scotland’s Paul Doherty has moved to the top of the MENA Golf Tour’s Order of Merit standings after posting a creditable second, highlighted by a course record-equalling 64 in the opening round of the Sheikh Maktoum Dubai Open at Al Badia Golf Club on Wednesday.
The talented 30-year-old Scot, who broke through on the tour with his maiden win at the Royal D’Anfa Open in Morocco earlier this season, has taken his earnings from the first five events to $16,020, ahead of English duo Gary King ($15,899) and Jake Shepherd ($14,445).
Also making inroads into the top five on the Order of Merit was Sweden’s Per Barth, who produced a dramatic charge coming home to win the Sheikh Maktoum Dubai Open, a good two shots ahead of Doherty.
England’s James Allan continues to lead the Order of Merit in the amateur division, accumulating 185 points, well ahead of India’s Rayhan Thomas as Alex Wills made strides on the standings with a top-place finish in the division at Al Badia Golf Club.
The MENA Division for the Sheikh Maktoum Golf Foundation Award that recognises the performance of the top three region’s pros and amateurs sees Moroccan pro Faycal Serghini maintaining his position at the top.
With his compatriots Ahmed Marjan and Amine Joudar putting more heat on him along with Mehdi Sassi, the order may change when the tour reaches its business end later this month.