Saudi Arabia going all-in on golf by 2030
(Jedda, Saudi Arabia:) Speculation the Saudi Government is behind a breakaway Premier Golf League (PGL) has now led to confirmation the mega-rich Arab nation’s ambition to seek a second European Tour and first PGA Tour event and also the maiden hosting of an Asian Tour tournament plus the staging of the World Cup of Golf.
The day after Graeme McDowell holed the winning putt to capture the second Saudi International, the Saudi Golf Federation played host to the Golf Saudi Summit.
Greg Norman at the 2020 Golf Saudi Summit (Credit: Golf Saudi)
The summit, being staged in the King Abdullah Economic City located on the Red Sea shoreline, has attracted many of the ‘movers and shakers’ in world golf along with the Major-winning duo of Gary Player and Greg Norman, who will no doubt figure in designing their first golf courses in Saudi Arabia.
Under government-backed initiatives golf is set to sky-rocket with the country planning to grant approval for the construction of 28 courses as part of their ‘Vision 2030′.
“We’re in communication with the Asian Tour, we’d like to have one, we’re in communication with the [European] Tour, to have a second round but I cannot really announce it yet but I think we will have another one very soon announced,” said Majed Al Sorour, CEO of the Saudi Golf Federation.
“We have the Ladies European Tour and as you know they merged together with the LPGA so hopefully we get to the point where we have a LPGA.”
“And, of course, we’d love to have a PGA Tour event. One and a half years ago I sat with Ty (Votaw, Executive Vice-President, PGA Tour) and had a great conversation on having an idea of putting a PGA Tour event in Saudi Arabia.”
“One of the things that we also want to discuss with him is a World Cup and how we’re going to do that in Saudi Arabia if that’s possible.”
However, Al Sorour would not be drawn into conversation if the country is financially backing the proposed PGL (Premier Golf League) Tour.
“We should just listen to the people who are leading it, sit down with the PGA Tour if the time permits or doesn’t,” he said.
“We’re not here to do anything; we’re just here to listen. We love the game and our love for the game will do whatever it takes to make the game great.”
And when asked his reaction to both the PGA Tour and European Tour emailing every member of both tour’s regarding the proposed loss of Tour status should a player join the PGL, Al Sorour ended the interview.
“That’s news to me and besides I cannot really comment on the PGA Tour. I’m not part of it so I don’t know,” he said.