THUWAL, King Abdullah Economic City: Under the slogan “Power of the Game,” the inaugural Golf Saudi Summit kicked off on Monday at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
The gathering will cover modern development strategies in golf, including Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in the global scene.
The two-day summit gathers international and local leaders of the industry under KAEC’s Bay La Sun Hotel’s roof.
The invite-only event brings together industry stakeholders, guardians of the game, Saudi leadership and stakeholders, international rights holders, headline players, as well as government ministries and institutions to debate progressive opportunities in golf.
Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Saudi Golf and the Saudi Golf Federation, gave the opening keynote speech.
He said: “We are hoping that our conversations can play a significant role in shaping our collective vision for golf in Saudi Arabia. We want to debate how we drive true golfing success in Saudi Arabia and how we introduce the game at every level, to children and adults, to men and women, right across the Kingdom.”
Before the summit sessions began, two golf legends, Gary Player and Greg Norman, discussed the summit’s significance in the regional and international scene, particularly with regards to the game’s long-term benefits in economics, education, hospitality and tourism.
“There is a long journey ahead, however, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And that single step begins from here,” said Norman.
Player invited business leaders in the golf industry to raise awareness about the game: “I think one of the ideas that should be done is that since professional golf is making so much money now, can it not give one percent to allow ladies, juniors and families to play golf, I think that would be a nice thing.”
The summit is being held on the heels of the European Tour showpiece event, Saudi International, which was won by Graeme McDowell on Sunday at the Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in KAEC.
Other prominent speakers at the summit include the award-winning golf course architects Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Tim Schantz, CEO of Troon, as well as Mike Reininger, CEO Qiddiya, and John Pagano, CEO of the Red Sea Development Company.