EAGL Chairman Sudesh Aggarwal
EAGL Chairman Sudesh Aggarwal Image Credit: Supplied

Gulf News met up with the Chairman of the Emirates Amateur Golf League (EAGL) to review what has been achieved to date and what is the future for EAGL.

Tell our readers what EAGL is all about and what it has achieved so far?

EAGL is a concept I have had in my head for so many years, the timing has only just been right recently to take it to market and the UAE. I always felt that corporate golf was important for business and a key part of the lifestyle for so many in the UAE, but perhaps corporates and businesses were not maximising their investment, both with time, effort and money. Golf, the golf course, golf clubs and the environment around golf has always been known to be the place where business is just nicer to do! We have not reinvented the wheel, we have enhanced the experience by adding features to make the experience for the amateur of being a ‘Pro for the Day.’

We held our first EAGL Mini-Series at Jumeirah Golf Estates in June and last weekend held the EAGL Corporate Challenge at The Track Meydan. Both were hugely successful and the amount of people connecting and inquiring on how they can be involved at both the individual and corporate level is very exciting. EAGL has undoubtedly raised the bar for Corporate Golf in the UAE and provided fresh and new ideas that were somewhat flattened by Covid. Our TV and YouTube Channel platform has been very important as well as our special media coverage from the likes of GULF NEWS. To get media coverage before, on the day and post event is arguably unique to EAGL and we are creating a buzz around Corporate Golf and becoming the talk of the town. Players and ultimately sponsors are looking for this environment to engage with customers, potential customers and friends through golf as well as have fun.

How has having Shiv Kapur as an EAGL Ambassador been for you?

Shiv has become a good friend over the last 12 months. Shiv is not just a golfer, he also has ideas for growing the game, both with Corporate Golf and at the grass roots and together it seems to be working. Shiv has been that unique sprinkling of ‘star dust’ for EAGL. I must congratulate Shiv on his EAGL Junior Championship he hosted on Friday. All juniors were invited through the participating golf clubs in the UAE, there was no entry fee, which was Shiv’s idea, and Shiv gave his time all day as well as in all the planning and media initiatives to meet all the juniors and present the prizes. Well done Shiv! Shiv lives in Dubai with his family and it is great to see him embracing his new home city and country and giving back to the game and helping us all through his personality and so much more.

What have you learnt from the EAGL events to date?

I have learnt it is not just good enough to have a great idea, hard work from a dedicated team behind the scenes is vital to be able to exceed expectations for all those involved, especially the stakeholders and investors. Live scoring for all the players hole by hole is never easy to manage, with everything else happening on the day, but we are getting better all the time. Not everything goes perfectly, as with any event or activity of this size, but the skill is for the guest and front of house experience to have a great time, and have no knowledge of what has perhaps gone wrong behind the scenes. I believe the front of house experience for our EAGL events from check in to the first tee and post golf has been of the highest order. The feedback from all has been tremendous.

Live TV broadcasting through Dubai Sports Channel has been one of our USP’s with EAGL. This is a huge exercise that we have already delivered twice so far and is at the core of the EAGL mantra to provide enhanced benefits for sponsors. Our live coverage has been successful, both operationally and delivery wise through our EAGL YouTube Channel. We are currently slicing and dicing all the 8 hours plus of coverage to provide content for individuals, sponsors and partners to use as they wish: commercially or via all their respective social media platforms.

What is next for EAGL?

We are currently completing our review and debrief meetings both internally and externally with our sponsors. Our plan is to enhance our sponsor experience with more opportunities that can be quantitively and qualitively measured. We thank all our sponsors to date and hope we can create long term partnerships with them. They have been loyal to us when we needed help at the start, it is now time for EAGL to over-deliver in return. Sponsor support and commercial partnerships is the next step for EAGL and thanks to the following for their support to date: Emirates NBD, WOW / Wealth of Wellness, Shapoorji Pallonji, Atari Chain, Three Comma–Capital Advisors Limited, Bentley, Satoshi FX, EAGL and GRP Industries. We are planning to announce a series of EAGL events in 2022 which will follow the same concept of our activities so far.