The eagerly anticipated Emirates Amateur Golf League (EAGL) took another significant step forward today (Tuesday) when the Team Captains were unveiled for a one-day ‘EAGL Mini-Series’ showcase event set to take place on the Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates on Sunday, June 20th with Welsh rugby legend Mike Phillips among them.
The Emirates Amateur Golf League promises to be a game-changer for amateur golf in the region, giving participants a taste of the ‘Tour pro experience’ with live media broadcast coverage and a host of other enhanced features set to elevate the series far beyond the standard blueprint of a corporate golf day event.
The series proper, which is officially sanctioned by the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF), and backed by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) and the Dubai Sports Council, as well as boasting European Tour pro Shiv Kapur as its ambassador, will get underway in November this year. However, organisers are hosting the 9-hole EAGL Mini-Series to provide a taster of what is to come with eight four-man teams going head-to-head followed by a Gala Dinner and prize presentation against the backdrop of the final round of the US Open.
While introducing the EAGL Management Team, Priyaa Kumria, League Administrator, gave a glimpse of what to expect from the Mini-Series.
“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 with bespoke team shirts, names on lockers, branded golf carts, valet parking, media coverage, on-course branding and more,” said Kumria. “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.”
Nick Tarratt, Tournament Director, EAGL, added: “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 to 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.”
Phillips, who was the most capped scrum half in Wales’ history, said: “I’m 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 evening programme after play will also feature a special UAE Golf Industry forum which will bring together some of the game’s 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.
The teams and captains for the EAGL Mini-Series are as follows:
Teams Sponsors Captains
|1||Abu Dhabi Roars||Abu Dhabi Golf Club||Khalfan Al Kaabi|
|2||Dubai Tigers||Dubai Sports Council||Chris May|
|3||English Roses||Gulf News||Mark Rix|
|4||Mena Golfers||Worldwide Golf||Non-Playing -Captain Rick Bevan|
|5||Indian Lions||Khaleej Times||Non-Playing Captain Rajeev Khanna|
|6||Emirates Players||Emirates Golf Federation||Non-Playing Captain – Ismail Sharif
Playing Captain Khalid Yousuf
|7||Asian Jumbos||ARN||Robbie Greenfield|
|8||European Seves||Dubai Sports TV||Mike Phillips|
The draw for the EAGL Mini-Series on June 20th is as follows:
Indian Lions vs Emirati players
Dubai Tigers vs English Roses
MENA Golfers vs Asian Jumbos
European Seves vs Abu Dhabi Roars