I am flying back to England and Rotherham after a week’s family holiday at JA Resort, Jebel Ali in Dubai.
I try to get away from my tournament routine for a few days with my wife Fran and the family, but it never easy — especially after my Ryder Cup duties in America. As long as the family have a good time, all is well. We were well looked after by Stuart McMurdo and the JA Team, a big thank you as usual.
During the week, I finalised my Dubai Golden Visa and had a few media duties which I always enjoy, as well as visiting all three of my Dubai Golf Academies to check on and say hello to all my pros at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Over the last few days I have also received video clips of players’ swings on my phone for analysis and feedback from Sean Crocker (chipping) and Henrik Stenson, which I always turn around quickly.
I still found some time to be with the family!
Rory McIlroy will be playing on the PGA Tour in this week’s The CJ Summit in Las Vegas where the prize fund is an impressive $9.75 million. Also in the field are Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland and Ian Poulter as well as a few other leading European Tour players.
I will go to the US on Sunday after The CJ Cup to see my US based players as mentioned above, plus Henrik and Graeme McDowell and I will stay for about eight days. Matt Fitzpatrick is an alternate in the field.
Players are now looking at their end-of-season schedules and the start of the 2022 year on what they can and can’t, what they want to and not want to play in, as playing privileges, status and invites are all finalised. I also have to try to commit enough time for all my players and keep them happy, whether I visit them or they visit me, whether in Rotherham or in Dubai.
On the topic of JA Resort, it was great to see Rafa Cabrera Bello, sponsored by JA win the 2021 Open de Espana in Madrid, beating fellow Dubai resident and Spaniard, as well as friend of JA, Adri Arnaus, on the first hole of the play-off. It is great to see Rafa back to the form we all know he is capable of.
I will be back in Dubai early in the tournament week for the AVIV Dubai Championship on the Fire Course, November 11-14, as well as the season-ending event on the Race to Dubai at the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course the following week — both at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Dubai has always been such a great supporter of the players and European Tour golf, ever since 1989 and the first Dubai Desert Classic at Emirates Golf Club, that even I played in.
The weather is now perfect for golf in Dubai. Enjoy your golf.