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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - JEDDAH — Nine-time Major Champion, Gary Player, will join a host of golf’s most influential figures at the Golf Saudi Summit, taking place in King Abdullah Economic City here from Feb. 2-4.
One of the most decorated golfers of all time and a prolific golf course architect who has designed many award-winning golf courses around the world, Player will share his views on how health and wellbeing are integral to long-term success and sustainability of the game.
In addition to his nine Major victories on the regular tour, Gary Player has won 9 Senior Majors and has 165 international tour victories to his name.
“Saudi Arabia’s ambition in golf presents a significant opportunity for the game and all its stakeholders and future exponents,” commented Player, who won his first Major title at the 1959 Open Championship.
“I am excited to connect with many of the national stakeholders at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s transformation and to hear first-hand about Vision 2030 and, importantly, how they plan to capitalise on the socio-economic benefits the sport can provide for its youthful population.”
Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, chairman of the Saudi Golf Federation and Golf Saudi, said: “We are privileged to have Gary Player joining us for the first ever Golf Saudi Summit. He has kept a keen interest in our progress and been a good friend in the early stages our development. We are looking forward to his insights and developing a strong working partnership.”
The inaugural event will allow delegates the chance to learn more about golf’s rapid growth within the Kingdom while evolving key business relations. Attendees will see first-hand how the nation has taken major strides in golf development through Golf Saudi’s commitment to creating a new ecosystem, which has focussed on Golf Saudi’s five key development pillars: Access and Infrastructure, Events, National Team and Academies, Mass Participation and Tourism.
Businesses will be given a unique opportunity to tap into this progress, as the Kingdom showcases numerous lucrative opportunities and its ability to drive real estate, corporate, tourism and business-to-business benefits.
This is as well as offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy and experience the world’s best players going head-to-head, which it will do during the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers from Jan. 30 – Feb. 2.
Showcasing Saudi Arabia’s ambition and its connectivity to the national Vision 2030 social-economic development program, the summit is the brainchild of Al-Rumayyan and has been established to bring the leading business figures in global golf together to debate how Saudi can pioneer new benchmarks in mass participation, design and management.
At the heart of Golf Saudi’s strategy are innovation and best-practice, and therefore the utilization of new technologies is likely to be a hot topic for conversation, and one which could set the tone for the industry globally going forward. This pioneering spirit is a key requisite for the country’s cutting-edge strategy and will underpin the occasion.
Other headlines names already confirmed are Player’s fellow Major winners, Greg Norman; award-winning golf course architects, Robert Trent Jones Jnr. and David McLay Kidd; legendary swing coach, David Leadbetter; and Tim Shantz, CEO of Troon and one of the game’s most powerful figures.
Saudi stakeholders attending will notably include: Al-Rumayyan; Mike Reininger, CEO Qiddiya; John Pagano, CEO Red Sea Project; and Majed Al-Sorour CEO of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation. — SG
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