MEGAs place spotlight on Gulf golf heroes

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Multiple nominee: The Al Badia Golf Club in Dubai has been shortlisted for eight awards, including Best Overall Club Experience.

The nominees for the second Middle East Golf Awards (MEGAs) have been announced with the new categories placing the spotlight on the sport’s personalities in the region.

The 2014 MEGAs presented by Maserati and supported by Troon Golf, Victory Heights and National Bank of Oman aim to recognise the amazing achievements of the highly-successful golf industry in the region.

More information on the MEGA Awards HERE

Organised by Sport360° in association with the region’s golf bodies and sports councils, the MEGAs continue to build on the success of last year’s maiden event with a total of 136 entries, including 44 players nominated by the Middle East federations in the new player categories.

“The inaugural MEGAs saw the focus of the awards shine on the industry itself, the golf courses, events and the sponsors,” said Sport360° CEO Michael Chalhoub at a press conference at the Burj Al Arab hotel, where the finalists were announced.

“The 2014 edition has shifted that focus on the personalities in the game, with 15 new categories being introduced.

“These new categories recognise the achievements of the region’s top golfers, and the standout individuals and teams.”

Multiple nominee this year is the Al Badia Golf Club by Intercontinental which received a total of eight nods, including Best Overall Club Experience.

 Al Badia’s James Shippey, who is a finalist in the Club Manager of the Year category, said the new categories are a welcome addition and is looking forward to seeing if his team and club will end up bagging a few awards at the gala event on Thursday, December 11 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, where the winners will be revealed.

“Last year, the inaugural event was a huge success so we’re certainly looking forward to see how year two unfolds,” said Shippey.

“We’ve been nominated in quite a few categories which is great. The team worked very, very hard all through the year. To be nominated for awards is great and hopefully we’ll come away with one or two as well.

“I think it’ll be great (with the new individual categories). There’ll be a lot more interest locally from the UAE and the GCC. It’s great for some of the UAE nationals and the nationals from other categories to be nominated both on the professional and the amateur level.”

Rajeshree Lyer, the head of marketing at Dubai Sports City, added: “We are sponsoring from Victory Heights, which is our premium golf community and we found that it was a perfect fit, purely because Victory Heights and Dubai Sports City are exclusive, so we wanted to associate ourselves with the awards ceremony of all the golfing events in the country which have that standard.

“We’ve been following the MEGAs since last year and we liked the way the process is handled. It’s very good to encourage young talent also since it is more people-centric this year, recognising the talent and the people in the industry, so we definitely thought it’s a good fit.”

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