The latest properties and leaders from the world of golf and hospitality have been welcomed into 59club’s ‘Eminent Collection’ at two exclusive events, hosted at Trump International Golf Club, Dubai; and at Wentworth Club. The ‘Eminent Collection’ was established in 2022 to honour long-serving standards of customer service excellence delivered over a minimum of five years; with 59club Flag Designations, along with individual and team accolades, all contributing towards the global Eminent benchmark of excellence.
One of the most widely respected figures in golf, David Rickman, is to retire from The R&A in 2024. After what will be 37 years of employment with the St Andrews-based governing body, Rickman will bring an end to a long and successful career in golf administration next October. As an expert Rules official, he will have refereed at almost 130 prestigious events in golf by the time he retires. In serving as Chief Referee at The Open next year at Royal Troon, Rickman will mark his 34th Open Championship as a Rules official and 28th as Chief Referee. His final R&A championship will be the AIG Women’s Open at St Andrews in August.
The era of the super-immersive golf simulator has moved closer, with the launch of the adjustable Zen Swing Stage hitting surface for golf. Bringing accurate real-world slopes to golf both indoors and at the driving range, the new Zen Swing Stage moving floor is now available for shipping worldwide to enhance golf practice, lessons and existing golf technology. Extensively tested by PGA Tour and Ryder Cup players, the Zen Swing Stage puts a realistic golf course at your feet enabling golfers and coaches to create thousands of gradients safely on a stable 6ft x 8ft hitting surface which also takes a long tee peg.
Gleneagles, the iconic Scottish hotel and global luxury destination, has commenced a state-of-the-art irrigation project on its Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, former host to both the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup. The significant five-month project will further enhance playing conditions across the 18-hole championship golf course and will see the installation of a new, highly-efficient Rainbird irrigation management system that will help reduce both water usage and power consumption.
GolfStar, Northern Europe’s largest Multi Course Owner and Operator which operates 19 golf courses across 13 facilities, has announced its first expansion project on the Iberian Peninsula; GolfStar Cambrils. The facility has a 9-hole Pitch & Putt course, 20 bay driving range, short game area and a golf clubhouse situated within the grounds of Hotel Mas Gallau. The 40 room hotel is locally well-known for its high quality Mediterranean restaurant, wedding venue and event space.
A company dedicated to providing golf mental performance coaching to elite amateur and professional golfers has launched in Scotland, after appointing a well-known figure from the golf, drinks and whisky industry to head it up. The Scottish arm of Underpin Sports, which is dedicated to equipping players with the psychological tools and mental strength needed to overcome the pressure of competing at the very top of the game, will be led by Edinburgh-based Scott Dickson.
Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup captain’s Club Car, signed by every player in Team Europe, is on its way to his home in Florida as a memento of the brilliant victory in Rome. Donald was presented with the buggy during the celebrations at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club on the Sunday evening, with Rory McIlroy saying a few words of thanks to his captain on behalf of the team. Club Car has been an official supplier to the Ryder Cup since 1997, and the tradition of the captain keeping his golf car began in 2002, when Sam Torrance led Europe at The Belfry.
The Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates has undergone a sustainable rejuvenation ahead of the DP World Tour Championship, the final event in this year’s Race to Dubai. With multiple course changes designed to improve the aesthetic and playing experience, one of the notable upgrades is the complete replacement of sand in all 100 bunkers on the Earth Course. In a commitment to environmental responsibility, the additional sand is both new and recycled, with a particularly vibrant white appearance that complements the desert backdrop.
A drone image showing the beautiful but harsh conditions faced by greenkeepers throughout winter has been revealed as the overall winner of the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) Annual Photographic Competition 2023 sponsored by Syngenta. Thetford first assistant greenkeeper and BIGGA member David Ball’s image was chosen by competition judges as the overall winner, with the selection committee also taking into account the results of a public vote, held across BIGGA’s social media accounts.
Club Car has supplied a fleet of 80 new golf cars to Al Zorah Golf Club, a unique luxury venue in the United Arab Emirates. The Troon Golf-managed club in Ajman, around 50km north of Dubai, lies in a protected area of large mangrove forests with rich biodiversity and changing tides, which alter the appearance of the Nicklaus Design course throughout the day. Al Zorah is deeply committed to sustainability, and has chosen Club Car’s highly-acclaimed electric Tempo model to enhance the golfing experience of its members and guests.
Golf Genius, a leading provider of cloud-based golf software solutions, has announced year-on-year growth of its integrated competition management and tee time solution in partnership with BRS Golf. In 2020, the two companies formed a strategic collaboration to provide golf facilities with a combined, best-in-class solution that offers more choice to every golf facility seeking greater efficiency and value. The reported figures in product adoption and usage across GB&I demonstrates fast-growing acceptance amongst golf facilities of this value offering, including 12,500 golf events and 500,000 rounds powered by the BRS Golf and Golf Genius product.
Work to transform Royal Ascot Golf Club’s 18-hole course into one of the UK’s leading playing facilities has begun. The move is part of a long-term investment strategy to enhance playing and social provisions at the club and build on its reputation as one of the best courses locally providing a year-round challenge to golfers of all standards. Each hole will be upgraded by enhancing drainage and irrigation provisions, bunkers will be renovated and new treelines created. The course will also look to establish signature holes and regenerate pathways on the 150-acre wooded crownland site to improve accessibility.
The R&A and the USGA today announced the first update to the World Handicap System (WHS) as part of an ongoing review of the Rules of Handicapping and Course Rating System with a continued emphasis on accuracy, consistency and equity. The latest revisions will go into effect from January 1, 2024. Many countries have seen significant increases in the number of scores being submitted for handicapping purposes since the WHS was introduced, reflecting golf’s broadening appeal. More than 100 million scores have been posted each year, unifying millions of golfers through a standard measure of playing ability.
Troon has been appointed to manage Al Houara Golf Club in Tangier City, Morocco. The highly ranked Graham Marsh and Vijay Singh designed championship golf course will benefit from Troon International’s management across agronomy, marketing and operations. Adding to their global portfolio, the Troon International division manage and provide services to resorts worldwide with courses across Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Troon International has vast experience in Morocco, having been engaged previously with multiple facilities including assisting with the development of Al Houara.