UAE team
Khalid Yousuf, left, and Ahmad Skaik during enhanced training at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, preparing to represent the UAE and Emirates Golf Federation in next month's Eisenhower Trophy in France. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE National Team members, Khalid Yousuf and Ahmad Skaik, are gearing up at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club for the 32nd World Amateur Team Championship, Eisenhower Trophy, to be held in Paris from August 31-September 3.

The three-man team, representing UAE and Emirates Golf Federation, will consist of Khalid Yousuf, Ahmad Skaik, Abdullah Al Musharrekh with travelling first reserve Mohamed Al Hajiri. All four players recently flew to Paris for practice rounds at Le Golf National course.

Khalid commented: “We all went to familiarise ourselves with the golf course and plan our golf course strategy and tournament management, as well as see all the facilities and the whole experience we can expect in Paris. The International Golf Federation Rules do not permit any play or practice by participating players or teams in the one month prior to the event, so this was our last opportunity to visit and have a look.

Difficult golf course

“We all played three rounds of 18 holes at Le Golf National on the trip. We will play a practice round over both Le Golf National and the other tournament golf course, Golf de Saint-Nom-La- Brèteche, during the tournament week.

“It is a tight and difficult golf course with lots of water in play. We all highlighted holes 1, 2, 7, 15 and 18 as the tough ones. We have all watched on TV the challenges of the course.”

Ahmed, currently No 62 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (Men), has recently recovered from surgery on an in-growing toe on his right toe.

“It has been bothering me for a while, so I took 25 straight days off from golf for recovery from my surgery. The first surgery last year was not successful, but now I feel a lot better and am looking forward to playing in France. It was a good practice session and in our build-up in Dubai we can now practice and visualise all the shots needed to play in the course in France. You need to be precise off the tee to be able to make a score.”

10-day golf camp

Once a week National Team coaching by Joe Marshall will resume next week, with Ahmad also having one to one coaching from Jamie McConnell and fitness training from Allister Parlane, all at the CH3 Performance Golf Academy at The Els Club, Dubai.

Ahmad and Abdullah will now have a 10-day golf camp in Morocco in mid-August alongside the Moroccan National Team prior to all travelling to Paris to meet up with the full UAE delegation attending the Eisenhower Trophy.

The Eisenhower Trophy is organised by the International Golf Federation (formerly the World Amateur Golf Council), which comprises the national governing bodies of golf in 146 countries.

In the Eisenhower Trophy, the format is each team plays 18-holes of stroke play for four days. In each round, the total of the two lowest scores from each team constitutes the team score for the round. The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship.

Le Golf National (Albatros course) and Golf de Saint-Nom-La- Brèteche (Red Course) near Paris, will be the courses used for this year’s championship. Le Golf National was the site of the 2018 Ryder Cup and will also play host to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 while Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Brèteche hosted the prestigious Trophee Lancome for 34 years.