With 282 guests congregating at the Amphitheatre of One & Only Royal Mirage, it was as much a rare occasion for the industry to get together, as it was to recognise the amazing efforts of all involved.
Among the big winners last night were Dubai Golf, who won the prize for ‘Best Golf Course Under Dh500’ for the Greg Norman-designed Almouj Golf in Oman, as well as the ‘Best Golf Course Over Dh500’ for Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club.
Troon Golf also had a great night, winning the ‘Golf Course Maintenance Team of the Year’ for Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, ‘Best F&B Team’ for The Els Club Dubai, ‘Best Teaching Professional’ for Danny Jakubowski of Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the ‘Best Overall Club Experience’ for Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
A delighted Chris May, CEO of Dubai Golf, said: “This is a fantastic night for the industry. We are thankful to Sport360° for not only providing us great reporting on golf throughout the year, but also for an event like the MEGAs.
“We are very happy with the awards. Both were decided by public vote, so that makes it even better. They pay money to play on our courses and our aim is for them to go back with a great experience. These awards show we have managed to do that.”
Mark Chapleski, Area Managing Director and Senior Vice-President, Troon Golf Middle East, said he was proud of the team effort.
“Abu Dhabi Golf Club has been without a General Manager for nearly six months now, and for these men to take things in their own hands and work so hard in these difficult times, I am so proud of them,” said Chapleski.
Welcoming the guests, Didier Brun, Publisher and Deputy CEO, Sport360°, said: “The MEGAs, now in its fourth edition, offers a unique platform to showcase and reward the ambitions and achievements of the golfing industry across the entire region.
“Our objective each year is not only to keep the awards credible but also to continue being innovative to keep pace with the evolution of the industry.”
Several new awards were introduced this year, including ‘Arab Golf initiative of the Year, ‘Golf Digital Platform of the Year’ and the ‘Serviceman of the Year’.
The Arab Golf Initiative of the Year was awarded to MENA Golf Tour, which has established itself as the premier tour of the region.
Rayhan Thomas, who has become the poster boy of MENA Tour after becoming the first amateur and youngest player to win a tournament earlier this year, said: “I think the MENA Tour deserves all the accolades. I must give credit of my achievements to them because they have given us a very strong tour to compete in and get better.”
Living up to its reputation of honouring and recognising the men behind the scenes, the MEGAs
instituted the Serviceman of the Year. Eravathra Parappurath Ummer, who has served Emirates Golf Club for 26 years now, walked away with the inaugural honour.
In spite of the challenging business conditions this year, an impressive 156 submissions were received in the various categories, which was an increase of eight per cent over last year.
The MEGAs was sponsored by Singha Corporation, Dubai Sports City, Hydroturf and One & Only Royal Mirage.