Mini-Series to set the ball rolling for Emirates Amateur Golf League - GulfToday

Mini-Series to set the ball rolling for Emirates Amateur Golf League


From left: Nick Tarratt, Sudesh Aggarwal and Priyaa Kumria pose for a picture after the draw ceremony for the Emirates Amateur Golf League’s Mini-Series on Tuesday.

Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor

The Emirates Amateur Golf League’s Mini-Series will give the glimpse of what the first-of-its-kind franchise-owned league tournament offers to the world.

The 9-hole EAGL Mini-Series will take place on the Fire course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai on Sunday, June 20.

The main tournament, which is officially sanctioned by the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF), and backed by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) and the Dubai Sports Council, will be played later this year in November at the five golf courses of the UAE, starting with the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club.

The draw for the Mini-Series took place at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai on Tuesday. Eight teams including Indian Lions, Emirati players, Dubai Tigers, English Roses, Mena Golfers, Asian Jumbos, European Seves and Abu Dhabi Roars will battle for the top honours in the Mini-Series as well as the Emirates Amateur Golf League series.

The team captains were unveiled for a one-day EAGL Mini-Series with Welsh rugby legend Mike Phillips hogging the limelight after being named skipper of European Seves.

Phillips, who was the most capped scrum half in Wales’ history, said: “I am excited to be part of what promises to be a fantastic event. The EAGL is going provide a huge boost for amateur golf in the region.”

“The EAGL promises to be a game-changer for amateur golf in the region, giving participants a taste of the ‘Tour pro experience’ with a host of enhanced features set to elevate the series far beyond the standard blueprint of a corporate golf day event,” said Priyaa Kumria, League Administrator.

“EAGL will raise the bar and set distinctive high standards for amateur golf in a pro-style setting where the competitors will be treated like Tour professionals for the day.

“The league has been envisioned to take corporate golf to a new level and give those who take part a sense of what it feels like to play in a professional team event. This Mini-Series event will showcase many of the unique highlights the full series will feature later in the year,” she added.

Nick Tarratt, Tournament Director, said: “It’s great to join the EAGL team. Sudesh (Aggarwal) and the EAGL team have ambitious plans to raise the standard for corporate golf in Dubai.”

Highlighting the format of the Mini-Series, Tarratt said: “The EAGL Mini-Series has eight four-player teams whereas the EAGL tournament proper will have eight 12-player teams, so it’s a more condensed version!

“The unique match play format is player versus player with matches within each four-ball over nine holes and the winner earning two points. If the match is won prior to the ninth green, there will be a ‘Press match’ and if the loser wins the Press, one point is claimed back with a net one point to the original winner. If the winner also wins the Press they can win no more than two points and a halved match over nine holes sees one point awarded to each team. This will encourage all matches to go to the final green and encourage a tournament buzz around the last hole.”

The Emirates Amateur Golf League, which is the brainchild of Dubai-based businessman Sudesh Aggarwal, will offer businesses and individuals the opportunity to own a team franchise with a model similar to that of the Indian Premier League in cricket.

Aggarwal believes the potential for exposure and business development for team owners and stakeholders is enormous.

“Our vision is to give a new dimension to amateur golf in the UAE and create a tour that is at a different level to those in other countries,” said Aggarwal.

“The franchise model has not been seen before in golf and we are excited to be able to showcase this new approach. The series will create a business proposition that benefits corporates, investors and team owners in enhancing their marketing efforts through multiple event channels and on and off-course branding opportunities as well as providing a platform for a truly world-class networking experience.”

The evening programme after the play on June 20 will also feature a special UAE Golf Industry forum which will bring together some of the games’ leading decision makers to discuss the current state of the UAE golf industry. Invited to attend will be representatives from Dubai Golf, Troon Golf, Falcon & Associates and other golfing heavyweights.

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