We always thought that sports in general are a reflection of warfare arts. Since the time of the Greek games of Olympia, it was all about strength and dexterity. Unlike any other sport, golf added a new concept that is depending on mental concentration and metric calculations.
The Gulf and Arab federations have succeeded in spreading the golf game in schools and different cities among the Arab region, and its practice has become available to everyone. The presence of such tournaments with media coverage will contribute to introducing it and developing its level. While speaking in the scope of professional level, the Arab championship history began in the 80s of the last century.
The President of the Arab Federation, Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi of the United Arab Emirates announced earlier this month a few facts about the sport in official audio. Al Qasimi said: "The second phase of the return of sports activity, in Abu Dhabi in particular and The Arab region in general, confirms the acceleration of the steps taken throughout the country. We pave the way for the effective return of golf players in all the Arab world, and the national teams in particular, to restore their full activity. We work in a balanced manner to restore the physical aspects and skill, especially since golf always requires practice on the ground and on club tracks, in a way that ensures the player retains the main part of the skills in terms of long or short strikes needed to successfully hit the holes with the least number of strikes, which is the basis for calculating the results, and making achievements in this game.”
“The Golf Game Association, since last month, and in coordination with the sports councils all over the Arab countries, has formed a special committee for the Arab Golf federation that closely monitors the extent to which golf clubs adhere to all precautionary measures and social distancing that guarantee safety for all, whether for members or workers in those clubs or their affiliates, in accordance with the applicable world standards.”
Taymour Abu El Kheir
We spoke with Mr. Taymour Abu El Kheir, the vice president of the Egyptian Golf Federation (EGF) and a member of the Arab Golf Federation (AGF) executive board in a chance to get closer to the history of the Arab championship.
Mr. Taymour stressed the fact that “the Golf Federation has been focusing on the file of revitalizing sports tourism for a while to invest in the potentials enjoyed by Egypt, especially that the country itself opened this file wide, as evidenced by the number of international and continental tournaments that Egypt is hosting this year.”
“The Arab Championship started in the middle of the 70s. Since the beginning, both Egypt and Lebanon along with the Arab Golf Federation were considered the pioneers. They collaborated together to settle the cornerstone for such an Arab gathering,” Mr. Taymour said. “There will be between 12 to 14 national teams to participate in the 40th event of the championship: Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Emirates.
“If you expect me to nominate a certain competitor to our Egyptian national team, then it would be the Moroccan team, according to the results and statistics of the last 5 to 6 past years which are in their favor,” he commented. “But I also have a great confidence in our team and I have great expectations for our player, Dean Naiem, the recent Arab Champion.”
He continued, “the championship will last for 6 days; 2 days of training and 4 days of competition; all are held under the auspicious of the International Golf Federation and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
“The location will be in the Golf Arena of Dreamland City. The Dreamland Golf Course is a world-class facility located just a few minutes away from the Great Pyramid.”
In another interview with captain Ghassan Kabbany, Egyptian Golf Federation Coach, he stated that the championship will be held in the period between 16th to 27th of December 2021. “Each participating country will have the right to involve only 4 of their top golfers to take part in the championship.”
Coach Ghassan declared that “the final selection of our players is not been set yet, it will be announced within the next week by the end of November.
“We already have two professional players currently in the United States; they are central in our selection. While the final selection of the rest is happening right now, we will refine the team accordingly to prepare our national team’s list by the first of December.”
“Our national players are now under a concentrated daily training program, showing great discipline and commitment,” he said. “AGF will be responsible for sending the international referees who will evaluate the entire championship and all the players. The championship has two category teams and single tournaments, and there will be three winners in each, divided into gold, silver, and bronze trophies.
“We always aim for gold in such championships, especially if it is taking place on our ground. Last year in Morocco, we achieved second place in the team category and first place in single ones. But we hope to change that and be first in all positions.”
The promising Egyptian champion, Dean Naime, spoke to Sports & Fitness as we dug deeper to know all about him and his relationship with the sport.
How do you feel when you play golf?
“I feel like an artist trying to paint the picture with the tools he has been given.”
When was the first time you tried to play golf?
“I began very young, but I became serious about golf when I was 12; this was when my interest in playing football has stopped and started to draw all my attention to golf.”
What is your favorite golf course?
“My favorite course is most likely Katameya Dunes. Although it is not well maintained like other spectacular golf courses across Egypt, it set an incredible challenge. It is the type of course that if you come over its difficulties, then you will definitely earn it.”
Do you practice any other sport besides golf?
“I love football. It is the one sport I can always play and feel like I’m back in Egypt (Dean is currently studying in the USA). I’m always following my favorite team as well, which is Manchester United.”
Can you explain golf for novice readers?
“In golf, you get to play tournaments. For example, when I play for the national team, the tournament is divided into two tournaments; one is the individual tournament, where everybody is judged against everybody, while the second one is a team event where the individuals contribute to the team score.”