Saadiyat Beach Golf Club shone as host of the highly anticipated Abu Dhabi Amateur Championship last week, which attracted an international field of golfers representing 30 different countries.
The event, played under the Saadiyat Island sunshine, was won by Scotland’s Sam Mukherjee, who fired a final round of 66 to hold off his closest challengers, Thomas Schmidt and Keith Egan. In doing so, earning himself a spot in the European Challenge Tour’s UAE Challenge next year.
The tournament, recognised by the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), delivered exciting competition with valuable WAGR points at stake for participants, along with points in the EGF Order of Merit for UAE residents.
Daniel Richards, Golf Services Manager at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, highlighted the meticulous preparations undertaken by the club in the lead-up to the event: “Preparation for the event started months in advance, with the agronomy team planning their cultural practice schedules to peak right as we reach the tournament week.
“The team look at weather forecasts and growing conditions which may require slight amendments to the schedules. Performance standards are set for the playing surfaces and the team adapts to achieve these. In the weeks leading up to the event, the frequency of cutting and rolling is increased on all playing surfaces making them firmer and faster.”
The greens were set to achieve a stimpmeter reading increase from 9.5ft to 11.5ft during tournament week for the event, which has grown in stature since its inception in 2018, and this year attracted a field of 86 players.
“Each year the tournament has gone from strength to strength,” added Richards. “The Abu Dhabi Amateur is always one of the highlights of Saadiyat Beach GC’s calendar and we’re proud to have welcomed elite amateur golfers from across the world to Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
As part of the tournament prizes, the winner of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Amateur Championship has secured a coveted spot at the 2024 UAE Challenge on the European Challenge Tour, courtesy of the Emirates Golf Federation (EGF). Day three of the event delivered a particularly thrilling showcase of golf, especially on the challenging final stretch, where members and spectators were on hand to witness the finale of the event.
In a recent milestone, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club has been recognised as the first club in the Middle East to achieve international accreditation as an Audubon Certified Cooperative Sanctuary, acknowledging its commitment to sustainability efforts over the past year. Viya Golf, the club’s management, announced plans to extend this sustainable initiative to the other golf clubs it manages in Abu Dhabi – Yas Links and Yas Acres.
Viya Golf, a key stakeholder in golf in Abu Dhabi, along with Dubai Golf, oversees operations at several premier golf clubs in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, including Emirates Golf Club, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Topgolf Dubai, Yas Links, Yas Acres, and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.