From the desert

In the heart of the arid Arabian desert, where endless sand dunes stretch as far as the eye can see, an unlikely oasis emerges. It is not one of water and greenery, but rather of lush golf courses that have become a playground for some of the world's finest golfers.

The desert has been the backdrop for some of golf's most prestigious events – the DP World Golf events. As the 2023-24 edition approaches, the excitement and anticipation are palpable as the desert is once again gearing up to host these spectacular tournaments. The 2024 season sees an extra event added, with the Dubai Invitational taking place at Dubai Creek in January, giving the UAE five top-class events.

The DP World Tour Championship has been a highlight on the professional golf calendar since its inception in 2009, and now with more tournaments being added to the UAE leg of the DP World Tour, attracting elite golfers from around the world to the region, the Desert Swing is growing annually. The tournaments are renowned for their stunning venues, high prize money and the opportunity to compete against the best in the business.

The courses that host the DP World Golf events are a marvel in themselves. The three that are located in Dubai are an oasis of green in the midst of the unforgiving desert terrain. The contrast between the vibrant fairways and the surrounding desert landscape is breathtaking. The Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates (above), in particular, has been the mainstay of the Tour and is considered one of the finest golfing venues globally, with its pristine greens and challenging layout. It is also home to the Tommy Fleetwood Academy.

The DP World Golf events consistently attract the global superstars of the professional game. The DP World Tour Championship serves as the culmination of the Tour's season-long Race to Dubai, where the top players from the season's standings gather to compete for the coveted title and a significant prize purse. Past champions include illustrious names like Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm, showcasing the event's prestige and the calibre of competitors it draws.

In addition to established stars, the tournament provides a platform for emerging talent to make their its on the golfing world, including a number of South Africans. The event's format and high stakes create an environment where even the most seasoned pros must bring their A game to contend for victory.

The DP World Golf events have firmly established themselves as a must-attend spectacle on the global golfing calendar. Against the dramatic desert backdrop of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, they bring together the best golfers, breathtaking courses and a wealth of experiences for fans. As the next edition approaches, the desert oasis is gearing up once again to welcome golf enthusiasts from around the world. Prepare for an unforgettable golfing extravaganza in the heart of the desert, where tradition, modernity and sporting excellence converge to create a truly unique experience.

About the pro

Grant Hepburn took the helm as CEO of GolfRSA in 2015, but his passion for coaching still burns strong. He cultivated a proven track record in amateur and professional golf circles after joining world-renowned coach Robert Baker as his assistant on the PGA Tour in the 1990s. Grant also coached several champions on the European Tour, Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour, as well as many of the country's top amateurs. He served as the national coach of the SA Golf Development Board for many years and has trained more than 100 coaches locally and internationally. He has lectured in Long Term Athlete Development and Advanced Golf Coaching for the PGA of South Africa and currently oversees the GolfRSA National High Performance Squad.