Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge debuts in Oct

Ras Al Khaimah is gearing up to host next month’s penultimate event on the 2016 European Challenge Tour at the spectacular lagoon-wrapped, Par 72 Al Hamra Golf Club.

Sponsored by the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Challenge comes at the most crucial point of the season.

The emirate’s largest-ever international sporting event, the Challenge is the first professional tournament to be held at the 18-hole, all-grass championship Al Hamra course and is the run-up to the season-ending ‘Road to Oman’ in Muscat.

A relentless schedule will see a field of 105 players and would-be European Tour card holders from 16 nations battle for a share of the $350,000 prize purse.

The Challenge Tour is noted for its sprinkling of emerging golfing superstars where the likes of Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose, Thomas Bjorn and Henrik Stenson have cut their professional teeth.

In among the challengers will be 34-year-old UAE resident and multiple EGF Order of Merit winner Michael Harradine.

Dubai-based Michael, who earned his Challenge place by winning this year’s Emirates Amateur Open, will be looking to shine on a course designed by his father, Peter.

“This is the destination’s time to shine as an emerging international golf destination which is aligned to one of our strategy pillars of building Ras Al Khaimah’s activity tourism sector,” said Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

The tournament will offer four days of golfing drama as the game’s hottest young guns vie for honours which could set them on course for stardom.

The inaugural Ras Al Khaimah Golf Challenge runs from Wednesday, October 26 till Saturday, October 29.

“The Challenge is a strong foundation for our expanding events calendar which will encompass an increasing number of sporting and cultural activities set in the unique natural landscapes of Ras Al Khaimah,” said Mattar.

The 7,325 yard Al Hamra Golf Club is one of two 18-hole, all-grass courses in the emirate, the other being the 7,199 yards Tower Links course which meanders through a mangrove reserve.