Saudi Arabia’s commitment to golf growth reaffirmed at sport summit

The inaugural Golf Saudi Summit ended on Tuesday. (SPA)
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Updated 04 February 2020

Saudi Arabia’s commitment to golf growth reaffirmed at sport summit

  • It has been fantastic to have so many of the industry’s leading figureheads attend the inaugural Golf Saudi Summit

KING ABDULLAH ECONOMIC CITY: The inaugural Golf Saudi Summit ended on Tuesday with the final three sessions from leading industry executives on the development of golf.

The final day of the summit included separate debates on “Pioneering Environmental Practices,” “The Power of Partnerships” and “The Modern Era.”

Helmed by three of the world’s most renowned experts on the subject, Andy Johnston, general manager at Sentosa GC; Richard Walne, president of the Asian Golf Industry Federation; and Lee Penrose, executive director at STRI, the first panel debated how golf could become more environmentally conscious and adapt in the face of growing climate change concerns.

The penultimate session of this year’s event led by Golf Saudi COO Ed Edwards, “The Power of Partnerships” saw Darshan Singh, educator at the Club Managers Association of Europe; Mark Adams, executive director, Faldo Enterprises; and John Holmes, president, Atlas Turf Management, discuss how important it is to identify foundations which help Saudi Arabia develop its grassroots golf program, environmental sustainability as well as ensuring successful business partnerships are secured.

Then, to close, “The Modern Era” explored how innovative technologies can bring new interest to golf and that Saudi Arabia should look to leverage Top Golf to drive interest in the game. Speakers in the final panel included leading golf coach David Leadbetter; Chris May, CEO of Dubai Golf; Jun Hwan Kim, president of Golfzon; and Ian Randell, CEO at the Confederation of Professional Golf.

Speaking at the conclusion of the Golf Saudi Summit, Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said:

“It has been fantastic to have so many of the industry’s leading figureheads attend the inaugural Golf Saudi Summit and provide insights that could provide the basis to help further expand the development of golf in Saudi Arabia. 

“Holding an event like this will allow Golf Saudi to create new ideas that can be used to attract more people within the Kingdom to play golf and give them the access and infrastructure they need to learn the game.”

Other headline names that spoke at the summit included: Major winners Gary Player and Greg Norman as well as award-winning golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Tim Schantz, CEO of Troon. Saudi stakeholders who attended included Mike Reininger, CEO of Qiddiya, and John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Company.


Pakistan must be ready from word 'go' against England, says coach Misbah

Updated 03 August 2020

Pakistan must be ready from word 'go' against England, says coach Misbah

  • England return to Old Trafford for first Test in another three-match series against Pakistan starting Wednesday
  • England are notoriously sluggish starters and have lost the opener in eight of their past 10 Test series

LONDON: Pakistan coach Misbah-ul-Haq has urged his side to get off to a flying start in their Test series with England, saying they must be at their best “right from the word ‘go’.”
England are notoriously sluggish starters and have lost the opener in eight of their past 10 Test series, including a recent 2-1 home success against the West Indies that marked international cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown.
They now return to Old Trafford, the scene of their two victories over Jason Holder’s men, for the first Test in another three-match series, against Pakistan, starting on Wednesday.
Misbah, suggesting England would have the advantage of momentum, told reporters on Monday: “We should be ready for an England team that have already had three matches of experience and they won their last two Test matches.
“We have to really come in this Test series right from the word ‘go’ at our best if we want to win a Test series or a Test match here.
“We are aware that England have a slight advantage but if we are alert and go 100 percent in the first Test match, that is the only way we can beat England, otherwise we will find ourselves in difficulty.”
Both England and Pakistan, who have played two intra-squad warm-up matches, boast talented pace attacks but Misbah, Pakistan’s captain when they drew a four-match series in England four years ago, believes his side also have the batsmen to give their bowlers enough runs to defend.
“It’s always tough with the Duke ball in England where the ball moves around off the seam and also in the air,” Misbah said.
“But this is where you can really fight and our batting looked in great shape in the last two series. We played in Pakistan but even in Australia we managed to score good runs in almost every innings.
“Shan Masood, Abid Ali scored centuries in previous series (at home to Bangladesh in February and at home to Sri Lanka in December). Conditions are different but still confidence plays a huge role in your mind when you’re coming from a series where you scored runs.
“Azhar (Ali) got a hundred (too, against Sri Lanka).
“In 2016 Asad Shafiq scored runs here, Babar Azam last time performed here in 2018 (when Pakistan drew a two-match series in England 1-1) and the way he’s batting at the moment, he’s confident and playing well.”
England’s attack, however, is set to feature James Anderson, closing in on 600 Test wickets, and Stuart Broad, who took his 500th in the third Test against the West Indies.
“It’s a challenge for us against an experienced and very good seam attack of England but I think we’ve got potential,” said Misbah.
“Mentally at the moment the guys are in good shape because they are coming from good performances.
“When you are confident mentally and in good shape, then you always can deliver on the field.”