ERNIE UNVEILS THE WORLD'S FIRST 'ELS CLUB' IN DUBAI SPORTS CITY

Posted on January 29, 2008
Scottsdale, Ariz. - Troon Golf®, the leader in upscale golf course management, development and marketing is pleased to announce the official opening of the Els Club at Dubai Sports City, the world's first integrated sports city located in the United Arab Emirates.

The Els Club, which officially opened yesterday, is the first sports facility to open in Dubai Sports City and is PGA Tour player Ernie Els' first step from golf into hospitality. The course is being positioned as a true world-class golf experience without parallel in the Middle East. Troon Golf's appointment at the Dubai Sports City project in late 2004 was a significant landmark in Troon Golf's growth in Europe, Middle East and Africa and Mark Chapleski, Area Managing Director of Troon Middle East, is excited about its potential.

"The Els Club is destined to become a must-play course for visitors to Dubai and the Middle East," Chapleski stated. "We at Troon Golf pride ourselves at creating extraordinary golf experiences. To be part of the first Els Club worldwide in Dubai Sports City is a great project for Troon Golf. We are looking forward to ensuring the delivery of Ernie's vision for superior food and beverage, outstanding service and unparalleled playing conditions."

Els, the former British and US Open Champion, played the inaugural round with a whole host of VIP guests and international media. Ernie was joined for a few holes by English cricketer Andrew Flintoff, South Africa's World Cup winning Rugby Captain John Smit and Manchester United goalkeeping legend, Peter Schmeichel. Ernie then hosted over 200 VIP guests to a traditional South African 'Braai' (BBQ) at the Madinat Jumeirah to celebrate the opening of Dubai's newest prestige golf destination.

Set on undulating slopes of native desert vegetation, the prestigious Els Club course stretches 7,538 yards from the back tees. The links style layout combines a traditional classic design with truly immaculate fairways and greens. The Els Club, which opens for both members and the public in March 2008, will set a new benchmark for golf in Dubai. There will be no expense spared on the 60,000 square-foot Mediterranean clubhouse due for completion in December 2008. Guests will have access to a private lounge, state-of-the art meeting and conference facilities and a choice of varied restaurants. Ernie is keen on creating a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere with world-class service.

Only a select number of developments worldwide will bear the Els Club name. They will all benefit from Ernie's direct input into both the golf and the hospitality. At Dubai Sports City, Els visited the development many times during the design process and he is understandably excited about his latest creation. "The Els Club will combine the best of all the great clubs that I have played worldwide. The golf challenge will be second to none. We'll have great food in our restaurants; and I particularly want the 19th to be special!"

Thomas Rubi, the General Manager of the Els Club, is equally confident of the quality of the golf proposition. "The Els Club will represent the best in golf. We're delighted to be working with a legend of Ernie's quality in creating this world first. Combined with the Butch Harmon School of Golf, Manchester United Soccer Schools, the David Lloyd Tennis Academy and the ICC Cricket Academy, the Els Club will make Dubai Sports City the destination in the Middle East for sport."

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, Troon Golf EMA is committed to developing Troon Golf's presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa. This rapidly expanding division now oversees operations at more than 34 courses in 13 countries including Dubai, Portugal, Spain and England with further expansion planned across all regions.

With global headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona, Troon Golf is the world's largest golf management company, overseeing operations at more than 190 courses located in 32 states and 32 countries. Additionally, 35 Troon Golf facilities enjoy a Top 100 ranking by national or international publications. Troon Golf properties include Castiglion del Bosco, Tuscany, Italy; The Westin Turnberry Resort, Ayrshire, Scotland; Classic Club, Palm Desert, Calif; Brookwater Golf Club, Queensland, Australia; Monte Rei Golf & Country Club, Algarve, Portugal; Palmilla Golf Club, Los Cabos, Mexico; and The Grove, London, England.
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