Outgoing Emirates Golf Club Captain Boyd Edmondson has hailed the past year as ‘a highlight of my life’ after he, alongside Ladies Captain Naema Maya, officially welcomed Abdulfattah Sharaf and Amarjeet Radia as the new Captains of the iconic club last month.
Edmondson is one of the most recognisable and respected faces within the UAE golfing community, helping out at many European Tour and Challenge Tour events across the region, which included taking the role of Chief Marshal at the 2020 Dubai Desert Classic.
During his tenure as Captain, Edmondson has dealt with the pandemic and the renovation of the Majlis, which underwent a major upgrade with all 18 greens fully renovated to USGA specification. The work has brought the greens back as close as possible to the original shape and size, which saw them increase by an average of 40 per cent.
Edmondson and Maya were given the honour of getting a first taste of the course when they hit the opening tee shot at the official reopening to members on September 30.
“It was a wonderful honour and privilege to share the ceremonial opening tee shots with my Lady Captain Naima Maya,” said Edmondson. “It has been a long six months waiting for its grand opening and the delivery of the Majlis back to its members. “To be asked to hit the first ceremonial opening tee shot was incredibly humbling. Whilst it is always a little nerve-racking standing on the first tee in full view of all on such a significant occasion, both Naima and I joyfully found the fairway.
“Seeing the greens back to their original size and slope is nothing short of spectacular. The bunkers were also re-laid and the greens have been upgraded from the original ‘push up’ greens to the very latest USGA specification greens. A magnificent experience and sight awaits all golfers who have the privilege to play the magnificent Majlis.”
The South African first played the Majlis, which was the region’s first grass course when it was built in 1988, in 2002 and quickly fell in love with Karl Litten-designed masterpiece, making it a home away from home over the last 19 years.
“With the Emirates Golf Club being the pinnacle of golf within this region and so widely recognised the world over I do remember a sense of absolute awe when I first entered the gates,” he said. “It has and will always be that special place for me — and as my wife and children always say — it’s our second home within the UAE.”
Almost two decades after stepping foot on the hallowed turf of the Majlis for the first time, Edmondson was named Captain of the club that holds such a special place in his heart.
“Unequivocally a highlight of my life,” he said. “To lead such a prestigious club was such a spectacular period of my life — It will be an honour that I will never forget. Being captain is very much a role of service rather than privilege and to be able to serve all our wonderful members is something that I will always cherish.
“As I have been very much involved in European golf events within the region for many years now, to see the Dubai Desert Classic and Dubai Moonlight Classic taking place during the current pandemic was a very special moment of my captaincy. We had a great field for both events and credit to Falcon Associates for pulling off both tournaments under such difficult circumstances.”
Despite the plethora of top-class courses that have opened in the region since Emirates Golf Club was first built, the club has remained the pinnacle with Edmondson praising the progressiveness of the club’s management in keeping it at the forefront of country clubs across the globe.
“The ongoing development of the Faldo and Majlis courses, the ongoing development of the F&B offerings, the ongoing development of practice facilities and recently the opening of Topgolf has constantly moved the club forward and has kept it at the very pinnacle of country club worldwide,” he said. “The club offers a bit of everything to everyone.”