Emirates Golf Federation selected by IGF membership to host 2023 WATC
The International Golf Federation has announced that the Emirates Golf Federation will host the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships, as voted upon Tuesday during the IGF biennial meeting, which was held virtually. The 30th women’s championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy will be held from 18th to 21st October and the 33rd men’s championship for the Eisenhower Trophy from 25th to 28th October 2023.
This marks the first time the event, which dates back to 1958, will be held in the Middle East. The Emirates Golf Federation was selected over the Singapore Golf Association after the two were identified as the finalists by the IGF Bid Panel from an initial group of eight National Federation members that had expressed interest in hosting the biennial team event for men and women.
“Both candidates provided exceptionally strong bid proposals, which was duly noted by both the IGF Administrative Committee and the IGF Bid Panel,” said Antony Scanlon, Executive Director of the IGF. “We greatly appreciate the interest and strong case presented by the Singapore Golf Association. At the same time, the Emirates Golf Federation made a compelling case that resonated with our member organisations and we’re very excited to be holding our first World Amateur Team Championships in the Middle East region. We look forward to working with the Emirates Golf Federation to deliver a memorable event and experience for the athletes in 2023.”
The Emirates Golf Federation presented the Greg Norman-designed Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai as the host venue.
“It is an honor for the United Arab Emirates [UAE] and the Emirates Golf Federation to win the election for the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships,” said H.E. Shaikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation. “We would like to thank the International Golf Federation and their team for working tirelessly with us on the bid application. We would also like to thank all of the IGF members for their votes and giving us this opportunity. We look forward to welcoming all of the delegates and athletes into the UAE. Golf in the UAE and region is continuing to grow and this event will further push our vision in golf development. We are excited to work with the IGF and our partners in making this championship a successful reality.”
In addition to being the first World Amateur Team Championships held in the Middle East, it also will be the first to be held with a reduced scope of one golf course and a minimum of 36 teams to lessen the cost and complexity of hosting the event, as approved at the IGF’s 2018 biennial meeting. Further, it will be the first to be held on an odd year to avoid same-year conflict with future Summer Olympic Games, following a decision by the IGF Administrative Committee to hold every future World Amateur Team Championships beyond 2022 on odd years.
Consequently, the World Amateur Team Championships will be held one time in consecutive years, with the 2022 Championships scheduled for two courses near Paris. Le Golf National, host of the 2018 Ryder Cup Match, and Golf de Saint-Nom-La-Bretèche, will host the men’s and women’s championships, respectively.
Dubai will represent the 31st women’s championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy and the 32nd men’s championship for the Eisenhower Trophy, in light of the cancellation of the 2020 World Amateur Team Championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, the IGF announced the cancellation of the event, which was scheduled for this month. That decision followed the IGF’s announcement in February that the event, originally to be held in Hong Kong, was moving to Singapore due to ongoing social unrest in Hong Kong.
First held in 1958, the World Amateur Team Championships include up to 72 countries competing in 72 holes of stroke play competition. Each country fields two or three players with the two lowest scores counting per round.
Credit: International Golf Federation