Meet Royal Greens Golf & Country Club as Director of Golf, Ben Stimson

Meet Royal Greens Golf & Country Club as Director of Golf, Ben Stimson

Posted on August 06, 2019
Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in Saudi Arabia is arguably one of the most impressive facilities in golf, both on and off the course. Home to a state-of-the-art Golf Academy and extensive long and short-game practice areas, Royal Greens also cemented its status as a pillar of the sports development in the Saudi Arabia with the signing of an MOU with the Saudi Arabian Golf Federation.

With a new addition to the facility team, we thought it a great time to learn a little more from the people who call it their office. Meet Ben Stimson; he recently joined Royal Greens Golf & Country Club as Director of Golf and has a strong history with Troon in previous years. Keep reading to find out his first impressions of the facility, his favourite spot on the course and why he got into golf in the first place.

1. Give us your background/bio in a couple of sentences.
Having worked with the UK Largest golf course operator Crown Golf for over 8 years, I moved to Foxhills Surrey before starting my international career with Troon Golf at Royal Golf Club, Bahrain. Following a very enjoyable 2 years in Bahrain I then moved to Al Zorah Golf Club, UAE for 18 months working with Philip Henderson.

2. With your experience at various Troon facilities around the Middle East, what's your favorite Troon course and why?
For me, it's a tough decision between Abu Dhabi Golf Club and The Els Club, Dubai. The test of Championship conditions at Abu Dhabi is always thrilling to play however, the overall experience of The Els Club, Dubai and the Troon Golf service is second to none in the region. The Els Club, Dubai comes out slightly on top for me.

3. What were your first impressions of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club?
I visited Royal Greens with Troon Golf for a pre-opening event back in 2016 when the clubhouse was just a core and the golf course was still in its construction phase. It's been an enlightening experience returning to see what the team have created here at Royal Greens; the facility is simply stunning.

4. What makes the facility special?
The design of the clubhouse offers a welcoming member and guest journey from arrival to departure, whether you are a golfer or non-golfer. The amenities of the clubhouse include a state-of-the-art gymnasium, an outstanding spa, exceptional dining experiences and a VIP Oryx private member lounge and billiards room. The Golf Academy offers Flightscope, V1 and SAM-Putt technology along with a European Tour Championship golf course. The conditioning of the golf course is great with wall to wall pure Dynasty Paspalum grass. There is nothing left untouched here at Royal Greens.

5. What's your favorite spot on the course?
Along with many other I am sure; it must be the 16th hole. A spectacular par 3 measuring 180 yards form the Purple tee and 159 yards from the blue tee, the hole is situated adjacent to the Red Sea with Aqua turquoise views down the entire left side of the hole. It genuinely feels like you are in the Caribbean.

6. How did you get into golf?
I started golf quite late, having spent my youth dedicated to football and playing for Southampton Academy during my teenage years. At 18, I focused my efforts on golf and golf operations and later undertook the PGA Foundation degree passing in 2014.

7. What's the most memorable course you have ever played (memorable for good or for bad)?
Teeth of the Dogs, Dominican Republic. A coastal golf course that has staged PGA Tour events. It's a phenomenal design and layout and the views of the Caribbean Sea are amazing.

8. What's your best advice for a successful game at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club?
Dave Sampson at European Golf Design has done a wonderful job with the design of the golf course. Whilst the course is not overly long, the shots into greens are challenging with severe undulation, clever run off areas and water encroaching on 6 holes. It is difficult to find certain areas of the greens from the rough, so my best advice is to find the fairway to have a chance of attacking tucked away pins.

9. Finally, sum up Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in 3 words.
Exquisite, stunning, memorable
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