ASIA-PACIFIC GOLF CHIEF RATES NOMURA CUP VENUE THE “BEST LINKS COURSE IN THE WORLD”
October 20th, 2015
High praise for Yas Links Abu Dhabi ahead of the 27th Asia-Pacific Golf Team Championship.
ABU DHABI, UAE (October 20, 2015) – The chief of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) has added his respected voice to the chorus of global praise for Yas Links as the Abu Dhabi course prepares to host the 27th Nomura Cup amateur men’s team championship this week.
APGC Chairman Dr. David Cherry described the Kyle Phillips design, which fringes Abu Dhabi’s F1 motor-racing circuit and the western shores of Yas Island, as the “the best links course in the world” at today’s tournament opening media conference today.
Pressed further, Dr. Cherry conceded his comments “may disappoint my Scottish friends” but stood by his call on the 7414-yard, par 72 layout which has been presented in pristine condition by Yas Links’ New Zealand superintendent Michael Clark.
“I mean that and I would say that anywhere, even in Scotland,” the Australian administrator said. “It’s a magnificent layout…it’s just a pure links golf course. It’s challenging, it’s tough enough for a major event such as this…what else do you need?”
Dr. Cherry’s endorsement is a major fillip for Yas Links Abu Dhabi and the Emirates Golf Federation which is organising the Nomura Cup on behalf of the APGC.
Australia, which has won a record 10 Nomura Cups and seven of the last eight titles, will defend its title at Yas Links as 27 countries battle over 72 holes from Thursday to Sunday in an event that is second only to the Eisenhower Trophy world amateur men’s team championship in terms of size and stature.
The praise is nothing new for Yas Links Abu Dhabi with the club ranked the 24th best course in the world (outside of the U.S.) by Golf Digest. It has previously rated as high as 20th in the trusted magazine’s illustrious list.
Dr. Cherry’s bold call will raise eyebrows given the famed links courses ranked above Yas Links – Royal County Down is No.1 while Open Championship venues St Andrews (Old Course), Muirfield, Turnberry (Ailsa course), Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale are inside the top 20.
But it is still music to the ears of the likes of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) which promotes the emirate’s six courses worldwide through its ‘Golf in Abu Dhabi’ initiative.
“I mean you’ve already got Abu Dhabi Golf Club [host of the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship] and Saadiyat Beach is also a fantastic golf course, but this [Yas Links] is the pick of them,” Dr. Cherry said
Cherry said the APGC would consider bringing future events to Abu Dhabi and his comments on Yas Links won’t go unnoticed globally. EGF vice chairman and Nomura Cup organising committee chairman Adel Zarouni has been quoted previously, in his role as Arab Golf Federation (AGF) Secretary-General, that a bid for the Eisenhower Trophy would be the obvious next step if they were successful in hosting the Nomura Cup.
That appears guaranteed given Dr. Cherry’s early praise.“This is a very attractive place to come and particularly with the support of the Emirates Golf Federation. Adel Zarouni has been amazing the way he has supported this event ,” Dr. Cherry said.
“The infrastructure is fantastic here, all the hotels nearby, a major airport, that’s a huge plus, people can fly straight in. They’ll have more major events here, absolutely.”
Meanwhile, Cherry forecasts a bright future for women’s game in the region after female golf recently came under the umbrella of the APGC. An Asia-Pacific women’s championship is on the horizon.
“The Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship [men] has been a major success and we now owe it to the women, because they dominate professional golf, and women’s amateur golf in this region is also incredibly strong.
“I want women’s golf in this area of the world, the Gulf states, to do whatever they can to promote young Muslim women to play golf. I know there might be a bit of a barrier but I’m hoping we can overcome that and make them feel comfortable to be playing golf.”