Saudi Arabia to host two international golf tournaments

January 18, 2008

Saudi Arabia will host two international golf tournaments at the Dirab Golf Club near Riyadh, including its first-ever European PGA tournament, the Arab News reported yesterday.

The 28th Pan Arab Championship begins tomorrow. All member countries of the Arab Golf Federation expected to attend, with the exception of Morocco and Syria.

The Saudi Masters for seniors, a European PGA Tour golf tournament, will be held at Dirab March 19-21. The field of 72 professional golfers is expected to include eligible players such as Carl Mason, winner of the 2004, 2005 and 2007 European Seniors Tour Order of Merit, as well as Ian Woosnam and Sam Torrance, both multiple tournament winners on the European Tour and winning Ryder Cup captains.

The Dirab Golf Club, one of six all-grass championship courses in Saudi Arabia, is located around 25 miles southwest of Riyadh. It offers a 7,280 yard par-72 championship course, featuring lush tree-lined fairways.

American expatriates introduced golf to Saudi Arabia in the late 1940s when they created a course in the sand near Dhahran. They mixed oil with the sand to keep the course from blowing away, a method that is still used in the Kingdom today.