Published on : Tuesday, March 11, 2014
What do golfing superstar Rory McIlroy, Hollywood actor Will Smith, footballing legends Peter Schmeichel, Teddy Sheringham, Andriy Schevchenko, Dwight Yorke and Alan Shearer along with European Tour regulars Marcel Siem and Oliver Fisher all have in common?
The answer is a simple one – they have all been regular visitors to The Els Club at Dubai Sports City in the past couple of months.
The stars have all enjoyed the superb 18-hole championship course together with the outstanding off-course facilities such as the Members’ Lounge and the multiple dining options that include the 261 Restaurant and the Big Easy Bar & Grill.
Members, their guests and diners have interacted with them, and the stars have enjoyed the outstanding quality of the 7,538 yard, par 72 course.
Commenting on the appearance of so many big names from sport and entertainment at The Els Club in the recent past, General Manager Chris Brown said: “It has been a pleasure to host these people at The Els Club and the feedback we have had is that they have all had a great time whenever they have visited us.
“News is clearly travelling that what we offer at The Els Club is world-class in terms of quality and hospitality and for discerning people like these to choose us is an indication we are getting things right.
“We have superb facilities, both on and off-course with our outstanding championship golf course designed by multiple major winner Ernie Els, complimented by the 261 Restaurant and the Big Easy Bar and Grill, as well as our luxurious Members’ Lounge and extensive meeting and conference rooms.
“We aim to be the best and it is gratifying that more and more people are recognising our efforts and are doing so by coming to see what we have to offer for themselves.”
Lead among the stars to frequent The Els Club has been former world number one player McIlroy of Northern Ireland, who practiced there extensively for a month before the European Tour’s Desert Swing.
During his period in Dubai McIlroy played The Els Club course regularly, including with long-time friend and Director of Instruction at the neighbouring Butch Harmon School of Golf (BHSG) Justin Parsons. The result was a course record 62!
The spell at The Els Club proved a success in more ways than one for McIlroy as he went on to finish as runner-up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
And immediately after that finish, he hosted a coaching clinic at the BHSG at Dubai Sports City for staff and 30 pupils from GEMS Schools across Dubai.
Smith has been another big name to enjoy The Els Club, playing the course numerous times and enjoying extensive coaching from Parsons, last year named by Golf Digest as one of the 50 leading coaches outside the United States of America.
Smith, the star of a string of blockbuster films including the Men in Black franchise, Independence Day, I, Robot, I Am Legend and Seven Pounds, was in the UAE as a guest of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and attended The Els Club on a recommendation.
The 45 year-old was a regular in the Members’ Lounge after play and happily posed for photographs with members, and after a series of rounds at The Els Club, plus tuition at the BHSG, Parsons marked him as a solid 12-handicapper.
The footballers to have come through The Els Club reads like a who’s who of top players in Europe over the past 20 years with Peter Schmeichel, Teddy Sheringham and Dwight Yorke all enjoying outstanding success with Manchester United – with all three of them being part of the side that won the UEFA Champions League in 1999.
Andriy Shevchenko is another to have tasted UEFA Champions League success, with AC Milan in 2003, and he also won Serie A, Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italian and UEFA Super Cup honours with the Italian giants. He picked up the prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or before eventually moving to English Premier League side Chelsea.
Alan Shearer’s 260 goals in the English Premier League marks him down as the top-scorer in the history of the competition, netting those goals for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers – for whom he won the Premier League title in 1995 – and Newcastle United. Shearer also scored 30 goals in 63 appearances for England.
Seim, the 33 year-old German professional, three times a winner on the PGA European Tour, and Fisher, the 25 year-old from England who won the Czech Open in 2011 and was runner-up at this month’s Africa Open, have also been recent visitors to The Els Club.
The Els Club is managed by Troon Golf, which takes pride in providing the finest playing surfaces, incredible guest service, unmatched amenities and exquisite dining at some of the leading luxury golf course in the world.
Troon Golf manages course in more than 25 countries and 30 States in the United States of America. Further details are available at http://www.troongolf.com.
Dubai Sports City General Manager – Sports Business Mr Maqbul Dudhia added: “The fact The Els Club is attracting so many top names shows it is getting things right in terms of its offering and that is hugely gratifying for everyone at Dubai Sports City.
“In fact, Dubai Sports City has made a habit of attracting the best from all over the world in a whole range of sports – not just golf.
“We have hosted some of the world’s leading international and domestic cricket and football teams at the ICC Academy and the Dubai Sports City Football Academy.
“And in Michel Salgado, the former Real Madrid and Spain legend, and the ex-Pakistan all-rounder Mudassar Nazar, we have two individuals who carry with them huge reputations within their respective sports.
“With the imminent opening of our swimming academy and fitness suite, together with the expansion of our Rugby Park, things are moving forward at a rapid pace at Dubai Sports City – and that is all set to continue long into the future.”
The Els Club forms part of the exclusive golf course villa community of Victory Heights.
It is part of the extraordinary Dubai Sports City, the world’s only integrated sports city, featuring world-class sporting facilities and a variety of world-renowned sports academies.
Tags: Dubai Sports City