Golf aficionados in Bahrain are in for a double-treat this month with two major tournaments scheduled to take place within a week of each other.
First up is the American Mission Hospital’s (AMH) Annual Island Classic charity golf tournament – Bahrain’s most prestigious charity event – which tees off on November 16. The 24th edition of the famous, three-day high-profile event, which raises funds for the hospital’s community outreach programme, will be held under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad at his private golf course in Safriya.
“It is a pleasure and honour to host the 24th Island Classic charity Golf tournament at His Majesty’s golf course at Safriya Palace,” AMH corporate CEO and chief medical officer Dr George Cheriyan told the GDN.
“The generosity of His Majesty and the sponsors have helped us in our community outreach mission over these 24 years. Health is the greatest blessing we have and our mission is to preserve health and to keep people healthy through our outreach programs to increase awareness in staying healthy.”
Forty teams, of four players each, will compete in the tournament, which is designed as a handicapped team event. The competition will follow the Florida format with all the players in a foursome getting an equal opportunity to contribute to the overall outcome and score of their team.
The participating teams will be divided into two flights – Championship and Premier – and the prize distribution ceremony will be held at the conclusion of three days of competition.
Several side contests – including Closest to the Pin, Longest Putt and Most Accurate Drive – will add to the fun and excitement of the event.
First organised in 1997, the tournament raises thousands of dinars for AMH’s community outreach initiatives each year through corporate sponsorships from some of Bahrain’s leading companies.
The funds raised are channelled into the AMH community outreach programmes which conduct free health checks and run awareness campaigns about varied illnesses and diseases.
The American Mission Hospital was the first modern hospital to start functioning in Bahrain when it became operational in 1903.
The funds generated through the hosting of the Island Classic go towards AMH initiatives providing free medical help and surgical assistance to people affected by Down’s Syndrome, blindness, deaf and mute complications, geriatric illnesses and other problems.
GDN Media is among the press sponsors of the tournament and will be represented by its own team, featuring managing editor Stanley Szecowka, businessman David Axtell and competition-winning couple, teachers Barry and Sarah Hobday, in the competition.
Barely five days after the Island Classic concludes, the prestigious 2023 King Hamad Trophy will tee off at the Royal Golf Club on November 23.
The three-day tournament’s 15th edition will see nearly 100 golfers from around the world testing out their skills against each other with the opportunity of a lifetime beckoning to the winner of the championship as well as the leading Bahraini – both will land slots in the Bahrain Championship, part of the DP World Tour which returns to the kingdom after 13 years, that will also take place at the Royal Golf Club on February 1-4, 2024.
This is thanks to an initiative undertaken by the Bahrain Olympic Committee (BOC) and the DP World Tour which will see the winner of the King Hamad Trophy – as well as the champion of last month’s 5th Bahrain Amateur Open – heading to the Bahrain Championship along with the leading Bahraini golfer from each competition.
“As always, the King Hamad Trophy attracts top golfers from around the world, especially from the UK and the Arab region,” Bahrain Golf Association (BGA) vice president Daij Khalifa told the GDN.
“In this year’s championship, top players will have an added incentive to win: they could land a great opportunity to win a spot in the Bahrain Championship, a DP World Tour event, and tee off with some of the best golfers in the world.
“Interest in this year’s King Hamad Trophy has been high and 100 players registered before the cut-off date for entries.
Unfortunately, due to daylight limitations, we don’t think we’ll be able to accommodate more than 96. But we’ll see what can be done. We do not want to disappoint anyone!”
The number of players registered for this year’s edition is more than double compared to last year which saw 40 professional and amateur players from 20 countries taking part.