Els Club is the big winner in third edition of MEGAs

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Packed leaderboard: The region’s finest in the golf industry came together.

The Els Club scooped four awards at a star-studded third edition of Sport360’s Middle East Golf Awards (MEGAs) on Thursday night in Dubai.

The golfing industry in the Middle East once again gathered in one place for a special evening as many of the most iconic golf course facilities and tournaments in the region were put under the microscope by the public vote and a panel of experts working across the sport.

A full house of more than 300 gathered for an unforgettable evening hosted at the One & Only Royal Mirage Amphitheatre.

– VOTE: International Sportswoman of 2015
– VOTE: International Team of 2015

– VOTE: Regional Sportswoman of 2015

Prominent among those who were present was Peter Dawson, the former chief executive of the R&A who has been recently appointed by the Government of Dubai as consultant to explore opportunities that will continue to build on the city’s reputation as one of the world’s leading golf destinations.

And it was The Els Club, which is located in the heart of  Dubai Sports City and is affiliated with South African Ernie Els, that earned the most honours.

The Els Club claimed the Golf Maintenance Team of the Year, Golf CSR Initiative of the Year (for Els for Autism tournament), the Best F&B Outlet of the Year (The Big Easy Bar and Grill) and its Butch Harmon School of Golf took home the Academy of the Year prize.

Els Club General Manager Chris Brown said: “We are delighted and feel honoured to win four awards, it is great motivation for us going forward. I think it is testament to the staff and our desire to be the best in the region.

“The Big Easy has become a fantastic place to go for a meal with family and friends, it’s formal, it’s relaxed and embodies everything that the Els club is – high quality and family friendly.

“And to win the Butch Harm​o​n Award and take top spot there is a great feather in our cap given given the competition out there, and then to be awarded the maintenance prize is down to our team golf ethos which is second to none.”

Callum Nicoll, who worked with The Els Club before moving recently to another Troon Golf-managed facility, the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, said: “I think everybody’s absolutely delighted. There’s some very good categories and there’s lots of amazing golf courses so we’re obviously very happy to have come out on top in several areas.”

John Howells, Teaching Professional at the Dutch Harmon School of Golf, added: “Yes, it’s absolutely fantastic and great for the academy, it’s been a really good year for us with a lot of involvement in all sorts of golf tours around the world so it’s great for the whole team.”

Jumeirah Golf Estates picked up one of the most coveted prizes on offer – winning the Best Overall Club Experience of the Year award.

Managing Director Julian Small said: “This shows the commitment from us as we demand a great experience. There’s an awful lot of other great golf clubs in the region and I think we’re lucky that people feel this way about us, and it just makes us strive to get better and better.”

During the evening, Singha Corporation, the main sponsors of the MEGAs, also made a presentation on their amazing support of golf in Thailand.

It highlighted the vision of Santi Bhirombhakdi, the President and CEO of the company who is called the Father of Thai Golf, and the various long-term projects undertaken by the company to produce champions like Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

The MEGAs are owned and organised by Sport360 in association with the region’s golf bodies and sports councils, including Dubai Sports Council, Emirates Golf Federation, the European Tour, golf in DUBAi, MENA Golf Tour, Women’s Golf in Middle East, the UAE PGA and Oman Golf Committee. Troon Golf, Hydroturf, and Dubai Sports City all supported the 2016 edition of the awards.

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