Dubai: Welsh rugby legend Mike Phillips has signed up to lead the European Sevens, one of eight teams competing in the groundbreaking Emirates Amateur Golf League (EAGL) Mini-Series which will be held on the back nine at the Fire Course, Jumeirah Golf Estates, on Sunday June 20.
Phillips, who was the most capped scrum-half in Wales’ history, said: “I’m excited to be part of what promises to be a fantastic event. The EAGL is going to provide a huge boost for amateur golf in the region.”
The EAGL, which is the brainchild of businessman Sudesh Aggarwal, a keen golfer himself, has been conceptualised as the first-of-its-kind franchisee-owned, multi-team golf league in the world.
“The vision is to raise the profile of corporate golf to the next level and to give the amateur players the experience of being a Tour Pro for the day in a Team format,” said Aggarwal at the formal launch on Tuesday in Dubai. Networking among golfers and senior players in the UAE golf industry and within the business community of the UAE is also one of the key objectives of the EAGL concept. The EAGL Mini-Series one-day summer event is a teaser for the EAGL Series proper, which is scheduled to take place throughout the UAE later in the year.”
Golf industry veteran, Nick Tarratt, who has been appointed as Tournament Director and Senior Auditor of Handicaps commented: “It’s great to be able to join the EAGL team,” said Tarratt, a long-time Dubai resident who helped set up the UAE Golf Association (now the Emirates Golf Federation). “Sudesh and the EAGL team have ambitious plans to raise the bar for corporate golf in Dubai and the UAE which should be applauded. There is huge potential for the EAGL vision long term and I’m sure it will be well received, by players, sponsors and the golf industry in this pilot project in just a month’s time.”
Sripriyaa Kumaria, League Administrator, said that the sky was the limit for the EAGL. “Once the inaugural event is delivered, we definitely plan to take the league to other countries and we have already received interests for the same as well,” she said.
The evening programme after play on June 20 will also feature a special UAE Golf Industry forum which will bring together some of the game’s leading decision makers to discuss the current state of the game in the UAE.
So far the panel confirmed for the forum are Chris May, CEO of Dubai Golf, Mark Chapleski, President Troon International, Simon Corkill, Executive Tournament Director Falcon & Associates, and Khalfan Al Kaabi, the owner of Abu Dhabi Golf Club, and Tarratt himself.
There will be 8 teams in the EAGL Mini-Series, each having 4 players in the team.
The format is individual matches against another team with players paired in handicap brackets.
The winner of each individual match receives 2 points.
If the match does not go to the 18th green, the loser has the opportunity to Press, and if the loser wins the Press match he earns 1 point.
If the winner of the original match wins the Press match he cannot win more than the original 2 points. This format ensures that the matches all finish on the 18th green creating a unique tournament buzz around the home green.
EAGL Mini-Series draw
Indian Lions (Khaleej Times) vs Emirati players (Emirates Golf Federation)
Dubai Tigers (Dubai Sports Channel) vs English Roses (Gulf News)
MENA Golfers (Worldwide Golf) vs Asian Jumbos (ARN)
European Seves (Dubai Sports TV) vs Abu Dhabi Roars (Abu Dhabi Golf Club)