Two-time amateur Order of Merit winner James Allan, Dubai-based 15-year-old amateur Josh Hill and Journey to Jordan leader MG Keyser Image Credit: Mena Tour

Dubai: The Mena Tour has announced a new-look schedule for 2020, condensing the calendar to first four months of the year and unveiling a number of exciting new events.

The season will kick-off with the two stages of Qualifying School (starting January 20-23 and January 26-29) at Ayla Golf Club in Aqaba, Jordan, which remains the Destination Partner of the Tour and hosts a further three full-field events. This includes the season-ending Arena Championship (April 19-23), which will become the first tournament on the Tour to be played over 72 holes since the 2017 Mena Championship.

The first full-field event, Journey To Jordan #1 (February 2-5), tees off at Ayla Golf Club immediately after the Qualifying Schools, which will see a minimum of 30 players from each stage securing their cards for the season. Entries for the Qualifying School will open on November 1, 2019.

David Spencer, Strategic Advisor to the Mena Tour by Arena, said: “There are two very good reasons why we decided to have the Tour schedule packed in one continuous stretch rather than have two legs in spring and autumn.

“Most development Tours do not start until the end of April, mostly because of the playing conditions in Europe. We are fortunate to have perfect weather in the Middle East during that period. This gives our players a solid run of tournaments, which is great preparation for them going into the summer.

“Also, it just simplifies things logistically for our players and makes the cost of ‘life’ on the Tour more affordable. With the multitude of playing opportunities we provide on European, Asian and the Challenge Tours, the new-look schedule dovetails perfectly with the other Tours.”

An interesting part of the schedule is the introduction of two new multicourse tournaments — the Northern Emirates Open, to be held at Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Al Khaimah and the Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman, and The Triple Crown in Abu Dhabi, which will be played at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Beach and Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Mena Tour 2020 schedule

January 20-23: Qualifying School A Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan $6,000

January 26-29: Qualifying School B Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan $6,000

February 2-5: Journey to Jordan #1 Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan $75,000

February 10-13: The Muscat Open Muscat Hills GC, Muscat, Oman $75,000

February 16-19: The Ghala Open Ghala GC, Muscat, Oman $75,000

February 23-26: The Bahrain Open Royal GC, Bahrain $75,000

March 1-4: Journey to Jordan #2 Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan $75,000

March 15-18: The Triple Crown Yas Links, Saadiyat Beach, Abu Dhabi GC $75,000

March 22-25: Mena Tour by Arena Invitational ProAm TBA, UAE TBA

March 29-April 1: Ras Al Khaimah Open Tower Links GC, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE $75,000

April 5-8: Northern Emirates Open Al Hamra GC, Ras Al Khaimah, Al Zorah Golf Club, Ajman $75,000

April 12-15: The Saudi Classic Royal Greens GC, KAEC, Saudi Arabia $75,000

April 19-23: The Arena Championship Ayla GC, Aqaba, Jordan $125,000