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Oman Seniors Open Golf – Oman Golf

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Seniors-Winners2Back in 2003-4, a group of senior golf enthusiasts in Oman recognised a niche for a golf competion for the more mature player. The Oman Senior Open Championship was born and the first event was held that season at Wudam Naval Golf Club who kindly hosted the event each year up to the time of Ghala Valley grass course becoming available for the 2012 event.

From humble beginnings the event has grown to become a major feature in the Oman golf calendar and is eagerly awaited by the ever expanding numbers of senior golfers as well as returning visitors. None of this would have been possible without the stalwart support of Brian Ritchie, the CEO of Environmental Engineering Services, a founder sponsor who commitment continues through to this day. Thank you Brian.

As the national governing body, Oman Golf Committee is now proud to be administering the Seniors Open and looks forward to a successful continuation with once again our founding sponsors Environmental Engineering Services whose valuable support again this year is so much appreciated by everybody.

This years event, again held at Ghala Valley Golf Club promises continuity of growth and popularity and we thank GVGC and Golf World for their support.

With best regards from Oman Golf Committee we wish you all good luck and enjoyment.

Yours Sincerely.
Oman Golf Committee

EES Sponsors Seniors Golf Tournament

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Seniors-WinnersFor many years golf enthusiasts in Oman have had to rely on self initiative in order to pursue their love of their sport. With little or no resources at their disposal and in an arid, hot climate, golf courses were scoured out of the sand or rock utilising volunteer labour and equipments and several local courses were developed into popular sporting venues, despite the lack of more conventional facilities traditionally associated with golf courses.

Initially in Oman this was instigated by enthusiastic expatriates but with extreme rapidity many local Omanis took up the game and several of them quickly became experts to the extent that the top golfers in Oman today are Omani. Much of the encouragement to this end was provided by His Highness Sayyed Qais Bin Tarik, himself a very enthusiastic golf player and President of the Ghallah Wentworth Golf club in Bausher for many years. Other sand clubs in Muscat are the PDO Recreation Center, Al Maha Golf Club, Jabel Park Golf Club and the Hidden Valley Golf Club in Madinat Al Illam. Further afield are the clubs of Wudam Navy Base, Turtle beach in Masirah, Thumrait Golf Club and Pink Flamingo in Salalah.

For over thirty years, these sandy venues were the lifeblood and only source of golf in Oman wherein the players literally carry with them a small piece of Astroturf grass on which to place the ball before striking it to a putting surface made of compacted sand. Many of their competitions, generously sponsored by various Omani companies, have been featured in the Observer sports pages over the years and also friendly inter-club matches take place. The Oman golf team has bee overseas this last week playing an international tournament in Riyadh.

Many stalwarts of the game who have participated or supported golf in Oman throughout long years have now progressed to the senior category. Mr. Brian Ritchie, CEO of Environmental Engineering Services is a prime example. Brian was for many years a very keen golfer. Whilst no longer able to play, he nevertheless continues to support golf in Oman by virtue of being a Trustee of Ghallah Wentworth and joint sponsor of the Oman Seniors Open Golf Tournament having supported this event ever since its inception.

In discussions with many of the senior golfers, it is quite clear that they, and all golfers in Oman, eagerly await the opening of the various new venues wherein the many years of hardship will be quickly forgotten as they sample the international standards of the Oman golf paradise.

A key feature on the current Oman golf calendar is the Seniors Open Golf Championship which will once again be contested on sand, at the Wudam Naval Golf Club on Friday 25th January. The Championship which is open to all male or female golf players over the age of 50 has increased greatly in popularity each year and this year once again has set new record numbers to the extent that the entry list is now closed. The media regularly features the winners, stars and aspiring new young players coming up in the game in Oman but this event is for all those who although they may be a little past their prime, nevertheless have been the backbone and lifetime enthusiasts of the sport.

There will also be a special category for Super Seniors (age over 60) and believe it or not this category is also well represented. One particular golfer Mr. Len Biggins is a regular participant and he still travels in his retirement from UK at the tender age of 85 to enjoy his winter holiday, and golf, in Oman. The Observer will publish the event details and start times in its sports pages prior to the date. In the meantime we all look forward to the near future when prestigious golf will be a regular part of the activities available in Oman and their vistas will provide additional features to the scenic beauty of Oman’s Environment.