SOTOGRANDE, Spain: Golf Saudi hosted leading female personalities from the Kingdom at the second Aramco Team Series tournament of the year in Sotogrande, Spain.
The occasion was part of Golf Saudi’s Mass Participation program that aims to grow the game of golf and boost participation in Saudi Arabia and internationally.
The guests took part in activities on the sideline of the tournament, organized with the Ladies European Tour (LET), which was won by Team Buhai.
The Mass Participation program was presented by senior professionals Grant Smith and Steven Troup, who introduced the guests to Saudi health coach and entrepreneur Nawal Al-Khalawi, founder of the first Saudi female football team Maram Al-Butairi, and social media influencer Hana Bassrawi.
Smith and Troup were on hand to provide the participating ladies with some beginner’s tips as well as challenges and the chance to try their hand on a golf simulator.
The clinic also saw the rollout of Golf Saudi’s newest event activation, a challenge course devised in partnership with The Stadium Concept, an educational program that introduces participants to the game in an accessible and easy way. At the end of the clinic, the participants were also treated to a tour of the golf course at La Reserva Club Sotogrande where the tournament had taken place.
Golf Saudi’s Mass Participation program has been designed to develop future home-grown golf players and follows the launch of The Ladies First Club in November last year for 1,000 Saudi women, offering complimentary membership inclusive of golf lessons, driving range access, and a nine-hole experience played with an instructor on three different courses.
The organization also hopes to use its latest program to meet its targets of creating 3,700 jobs by 2030, as well as training up to 24,000 new golfers within the next decade.
Al-Butairi, founder of the Eastern Flames football team, said the work that Golf Saudi was doing to promote the game was a good sign for the future of the women’s sports sector in the country.
“It was such an honor being in Sotogrande for the second Aramco Team Series tournament and to have the chance to meet in person with such an array of talented female golfers.
“As a director of Eastern Flames Football Club in Saudi Arabia, I know first-hand the positive impact that sport can play in the lives of young girls and women. It’s great that Golf Saudi is paving a way not only for Saudi female golfers but for other women internationally, giving them the opportunities to learn, develop, and compete in world-class tournaments,” she added.
Al-Khalawi said she could not wait to pick up a golf club on her return to Saudi Arabia following her stay in Spain.
“Golf is a game of patience. Practicing alone is a meditative act, whilst playing with friends and family cultivates deep connections and competing professionally requires a strong mind, character, and skills.
“These are all positives and so it is gratifying to see that Golf Saudi is investing both time and resources to bring this great game to the people of Saudi Arabia. From what I’ve seen here in Sotogrande, it won’t be too long until we see the first Saudi women compete in similar international tournaments,” she added.
The Aramco Team Series consists of four tournaments that include 36 teams made up of three professionals and one amateur, with scores from all four contributing to the final result.
Following the inaugural London event and the conclusion of the Sotogrande tournament, the series will now move onto New York from Oct. 14 to 16, and finally Jeddah from Nov. 10 to 12.