Chasing the sun is normally a hazard of the job for golfers and golf tournaments. Yet at next week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, fading light won’t necessarily prohibit golfers from finishing up their rounds.
According to the European Tour, promoters of the tournament have invested in state-of-the-art floodlights that will be in place around the ninth and 18th on the Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club to make sure the gloaming doesn’t force play to run over into the next day.
The lights became a preventative solution to a potential problem that came from the European Tour moving the tournament up one week on the calendar. Officials contemplated reducing the number of players competing from 132 to 126 to make certain each round could wrap up on its appropriate day. With their installations, the lights will allow the field size to remain the same.
“This is a wonderful idea, and fits perfectly with our desire to bring innovation to our sport” said European Tour commissioner Keith Pelley. “We thank the promoters of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic for their inventiveness and imagination which will allow six more players to compete in what is already a world-class field. No professional golfer ever wants to come back the following morning to complete a round due to lack of daylight and this intervention, should it be required, will rule out that necessity.”
In 2010, the Faldo course at Emirates Golf Club became one of the first fully-floodlit 18-hole courses.