Saudi ladies club sees over 1,000 women sign-up to learn golf

Saudi ladies club sees over 1,000 women sign-up to learn golf
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The club opened for membership on the first the tournament on Thursday, where it saw more than 500 women sign up. (Supplied)
Saudi ladies club sees over 1,000 women sign-up to learn golf
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The club opened for membership on the first the tournament on Thursday, where it saw more than 500 women sign up. (Supplied)
Saudi ladies club sees over 1,000 women sign-up to learn golf
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The club opened for membership on the first the tournament on Thursday, where it saw more than 500 women sign up. (Supplied)
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Updated 19 November 2020

Saudi ladies club sees over 1,000 women sign-up to learn golf

Saudi ladies club sees over 1,000 women sign-up to learn golf
  • The newly launched “Ladies First Club,” will be giving free golf lessons
  • Women will be coached through the basics of the game

JEDDAH: A golf initiative launched by Saudi Arabia to get women into the sport saw more than 1,000 new golfers sign-up in just four days.

Inspired by the weekend’s debut Aramco Saudi Ladies International – the Kingdom’s first ever professional women’s golf tournament – hundreds of women across the country registered to learn golf for the first time.

The newly launched “Ladies First Club,” will be giving free golf lessons, driving range access and full rounds of golf at courses across the country.

Women will be coached through the basics of the game at either Riyadh Golf Club, Dirab Golf Club or King Abdullah Economic City’s (KAEC) Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, host course of this week’s tournaments.

The membership will also include a digital “Introduction to Golf” education pack, which will provide monthly seminars outlining the key aspects of golf for beginners. Each course will host a Ladies First golf clinic once a month, led by a professional, which will conclude with an on-course induction for all participants and an 18-hole round.

The club opened for membership on the first the tournament on Thursday, where it saw more than 500 women sign up.

There were less than 20 female members across the Kingdom’s golf clubs ahead of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International.

It was launched as a way of bringing more Saudi women into golf, as part pf Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 which aims to get more Saudis regularly active.

“We have been absolutely blown away by the phenomenal response to the Ladies First Club. One thousand new golfers is extraordinary for golf in Saudi Arabia and will change the entire landscape of the game across the Kingdom,” Golf Saudi CEO Majed Al-Sorour said.

“To have a thousand of our women and girls commit to learning golf on the weekend of our debut Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF is an unbelievable legacy, and goes beyond even our most ambitious expectations,” he added.

Arabic golfer Maha Haddioui - was one of the 108 professionals competing in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International – said she knew the event was making waves when she came off the course to Instagram requests from Saudi women desperate to know how they could get into golf.

“I got direct messages from Saudi women saying: ‘I want to play golf, how do I do it?’, which was great with the Ladies First Club launching this same weekend. So I sent them the link and they signed-up, which is so exciting! I can’t wait to follow-up with them a year or so down the line,” Haddioui said.

“They’ve just been awesome, messaging me and asking questions all about golf. It shows the impact this event – and the Ladies First Club – are having here. Something like this I’d never have been able to even imagine two years ago when I first came here to play,” she added.

Ladies European Tour CEO Alexandra Armas spoke of her delight at the instant impact of the Tour’s first event in the Kingdom, and paid testament to Golf Saudi for ensuring women inspired by the tournament had a simple and accessible way to carry that momentum forward.

“As soon as I started conversations with Golf Saudi about bringing the Tour here I was very keen to understand what their vision was for the game in the Kingdom, and how they wanted to develop golf here,” said Armas.

“The Ladies First Club is a superb concept and with a thousand members joining in just its first four days shows that what’s happening on the golf course here is already translating into women and girls picking up golf clubs, which is just fantastic,” she added.

Off the course, and the Ladies First Club will also provide a range of social opportunities, including invites to social mornings, plus the likes of Pilates, yoga, bridge and other wellbeing activities.


FIA launches probe into fiery Grosjean crash at Bahrain Grand Prix

Updated 03 December 2020

FIA launches probe into fiery Grosjean crash at Bahrain Grand Prix

FIA launches probe into fiery Grosjean crash at Bahrain Grand Prix
  • The Halo device is widely considered to have helped save Romain Grosjean’s life

SAKHIR, Bahrain: Motor racing chiefs announced on Thursday the launch of an investigation into Romain Grosjean’s fiery Bahrain crash, saying the forensic probe would take “around six to eight” weeks to complete.
The French Formula One driver somehow wrenched himself free from his blazing Haas car with just burns to his hands and a broken left foot after a collision with Daniil Kvyat on the first lap of Sunday’s Grand Prix. He left hospital on Wednesday.
In the immediate aftermath of the shocking smash there was widespread praise for modern safety measures in the sport, but also concern over what F1’s motor sport managing director Ross Brawn described as “unpredictable” failures.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said it had “initiated a detailed analysis of Romain Grosjean’s accident at the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix.”
The FIA’s safety director, Adam Baker, said: “With so much data available in Formula 1, it allows us to accurately determine every element of what occurred and this work has already begun.
“We take this research very seriously and will follow a rigorous process to find out exactly what happened before proposing potential improvements.”
The FIA probe will look at a range of factors including Grosjean’s helmet, safety harness, headrest, in-car extinguisher and the Halo cockpit protection.
The Halo device is widely considered to have helped save Grosjean’s life as his car was sliced in two after careering into a barrier.
“The ‘halo’ saved the day and it saved Romain,” Brawn said on Sunday.
“There was controversy in developing it initially, but there can’t be any doubt now, so hats off to those who pushed for the introduction.”
But he added: “The fire is worrying. The split in the barrier is worrying and the barrier coming apart, but we can be happy with the safety of the car – that got us through today, but things failed in an unpredictable way.
“We haven’t seen anything like that for a very long time, but the barrier splitting normally results in a fatality.”
At the circuit new safety measures have been introduced to reduce the risk of a repeat crash at this Sunday’s Sakhir Grand Prix.
Two rows of tires wrapped in a conveyor belt have been installed in front of a reconstructed guardrail at the exit of Turn Three.
Several drivers expressed serious concerns at the failure of the barrier and the manner in which it was punctured.
In other changes to the circuit, where this weekend’s Grand Prix will be using the shorter “outer loop’, a kerb has been removed at Turn Nine – which was used as Turn 13 last Sunday – and a tire barrier in the approach to that corner has been extended and enlarged to four rows in depth.
Grosjean left hospital on Wednesday and in an Instagram post he highlighted the professionalism of a marshal with an extinguisher and the FIA doctor in the following Safety Car, who was on the scene very quickly.
“I told him he was a hero,” said Grosjean.
“He went into the fire as much as he could to save me. I felt Ian’s hands pulling me over the barrier and I knew I was safe... life will never be the same again.”
Grosjean is resting and healing from burns at a hotel in Abu Dhabi where he hopes he will be fit enough to race in the season-closing race next weekend.