RIYADH: Saudi school children will get a close look at the prestigious Saudi International trophy as part of a tour headed by Othman Al-Mulla, the Kingdom’s first professional golfer, ahead of the flagship tournament in February.
To celebrate the return of the 2022 Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers, along with golf’s growing status in the Kingdom, the national tour will involve school visits from stars of the game and a Golf Saudi initiative to attract newcomers to the sport.
The Starting New At Golf certification program includes all the basics of golf needed to teach beginners and build up their skills.
Al-Mulla launched the tour with a visit to Riyadh’s Tarbiyah Namouthajiyah School, showing off the trophy that was won earlier this year by American superstar and World No. 3 Dustin Johnson.
The 35-year-old, who has just returned from playing in Thailand on the Asian Tour and the recent Saudi Open, shared his experiences of the game and joined the coaching team to showcase the sport to 12–17-year-olds.
Al-Mulla will once again be part of 2022 Saudi International, which will present the strongest Asian Tour field ever when it takes place at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City from Feb. 3-6.
“I was very happy with Tarbiyah Namouthajiyah’s reception and welcome today, and I particularly enjoyed the students’ engagement,” said Al-Mulla.
“I hope to see a new generation of both male and female golfers representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia across the globe,” he said. “We had a great opportunity today to share insights about golf, particularly the important role that the Saudi International plays in promoting the sport in the Kingdom. This is just the first of many big steps in teaching the community about the sport I love.
“I think golf is unique because it gives you a chance to test yourself every day. It teaches you patience, perseverance in tough conditions and resilience. While most sports do that as well, the tests that you see on the golf course are very similar to the ones these students have to pass in life,” he added.
Ali bin Rajih Al-Rajih, CEO of Tarbiyah Namouthajiyah School’s Al-Qirawan branch, said: “Golf is considered one of the best individual sports out there. We are very proud to work with the great team at Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation as part of our partnership to promote the sport at our schools.
“We’ve witnessed massive interest from our students and their parents when we issued the invitation to start practicing following the signing of our partnership,” he said. “The students’ engagement today is a clear testament to that.”
Golf Saudi is spearheading one of the world’s most progressive golf development strategies, with its Mass Participation program forming the cornerstone of this strategy. The program remains a top priority for the organization as it seeks to attract and inspire the next generation of Saudis to take up the game and develop future homegrown champions. Ahead of 2025, Golf Saudi hopes to meet its targets of creating 2,200 jobs and developing approximately 29,000 new golfers by 2025.
“Our goal is always to bring golf to as many Saudis as possible,” Majed Al-Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi, said. “We want to give young people an opportunity to develop skills and highlight golf’s unique values that can aid their development — both in future careers and their everyday lives. Excitement is building toward our biggest-ever Saudi International, which will continue to impact the golfing landscape here and inspire more nationals than ever to engage in this amazing sport.”