Muscat: Almouj Golf, the Greg Norman signature course at The Wave, Muscat, this month celebrates its first anniversary, marking a full year of operations for the championship course.
The only signature course in Oman, Almouj Golf was officially opened at a ceremony in September this year, after a staged development which saw the soft launch of the full 18-hole course in late May 2012 and the opening of the Academy Par 3 course, the only floodlit golf course in the Sultanate, in August.
The first anniversary of operations at Almouj Golf also marks the impact that the course has made on both the golfing community in Oman and the wider Muscat community.
The draw of a PGA (Professional Golf Association) Standard championship course with the five star facilities that Almouj Golf offers has brought in around 250 members to the golf course, both residents in Oman and from overseas. This is a number that is set to grow in 2013 as the course settles in and the main clubhouse development is started, expanding the facilities open to members and the public. The course has also met a key target in spreading the word of golf in the community. In partnership with the Oman Golf Committee, Almouj Golf has introduced 30 Omani ladies and 120 children to the game through the Ladies and Junior Development Programmes.
Michael Lenarduzzi, CEO of The Wave, Muscat said: "Over the past 12 months, Almouj Golf has developed into a real sporting jewel; from members, to golfing tourists and Muscat residents, the course has developed into one of the key sports facilities in the country".
"A number of key milestones were met this year at The Wave, Muscat and the official opening of Almouj Golf was a significant one. In 2013, we look forward to building on these strong foundations, expanding our facilities and introducing more people to the game.
Next year we will also set the standard for international golfing in Oman when Almouj Golf hosts the inaugural European Challenge Tour event in Oman", Michael added. The anniversary celebrations also mark an expansion of the senior management team with the appointment of Simon Duffield as General Manager who brings with him 30 years of international golfing management experience. He held positions at courses in the UK, Spain, Ireland, St Lucia and Egypt. His experience is wide-ranging, encompassing general management, owner representative and project management in competition and planning roles.
Duffield started his career at Wentworth where he cut his golf, leisure and hospitality management training teeth, in the centre of the European Tour and World Match Play. From there he took up a position as Director of Golf for Costa Blanca Developments before moving to St Lucia to manage the development of a Hyatt Hotel and golf development.
After moving to Ireland, Duffield nurtured the development of the Kenmare Golf Club in Kerry before being headhunted for a management role at Ballybunion. Duffield's diverse experience lends itself to the role at Almouj Golf where a solid foundation has been set for the course in its first year of operations.
Duffield commented: "I am delighted to join the team at Almouj Golf: the potential for this world-class golf facility is enormous and to be a part of growing the game in Oman is really exciting."
Almouj Golf aims to introduce 150 Omani men and women and 200 Omani children to the game in 2013, supporting the work of the Oman Golf Committee and the Ministry of Sports Affairs in furthering the promotion of the sport in the Sultanate.