With some of the biggest names in world golf vying for glory in this week's Dubai Desert Classic, the UAE's next generation of golfing talent today experienced a special Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) clinic in partnership with the Peter Cowen Academy.
After being elevated to a Rolex Series event in this year's DP World Tour calendar, the Dubai Desert Classic demonstrated its commitment to the grassroots game as more than 15 local youngsters aged 11 - 18 took part in the workshop, where they received tips and advice from the legendary Peter Cowen, coach of some of the world's best golf players.
Attended by General Abdulla Al Hashemi, EGF, the special clinic took place only yards away from the lush greens and fairways of Emirates Golf Club's Majlis Course, where three of the of the world's top 10 players, Collin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland, were enthralling bumper weekend crowds.
"Legacy events like the Dubai Desert Classic play a key role in the growth of the game of golf in the UAE," said General Al Hashemi. "While major international sporting events continue to play a key role in promoting Dubai and the UAE on the global stage, our goals as a national federation are focused on the development of the game at all levels, including grassroots, where we are working to identify and nurture young UAE national and expat players."
The participation of local amateurs Josh Hill and Ahmad Skaik in this week's Dubai Desert Classic further underlines the potential of the grassroots game, with 17-year-old Hill making the most of a sponsor invite to make the halfway cut at Emirates Golf Club – the second time in two weeks the Dubai-born youngster has progressed to the final two days of a DP World Tour event.
Simon Corkill, Dubai Desert Classic Tournament Director, said: "The Dubai Desert Classic has a commitment to the development of the game in Dubai, the UAE, and wider region. The performance of Josh and Ahmad on the Majlis Course - where they've teed it up alongside the game's biggest stars – can only encourage the next generation of youngsters to pick up a club and get involved in the game."