In a world-first initiative, women will be able to play golf for free across Saudi Arabia. The First Ladies Club has been unveiled by Golf Saudi in a move to introduce women to the sport and get more Saudis regularly active. The scheme that will see women being welcomed into clubs will launch next month during the build-up week to the $1 million Aramco Saudi Ladies International. The tournament is one of the Kingdom’s first all-women golf events, along with the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International.
Golf Saudi’s innovative Ladies First Club will offer a complimentary membership inclusive of golf lessons, driving range access and full 18-hole rounds on three different courses. The programme will be open to all Saudi women, with initial membership capped at 1,000 registrants. All players who sign up to the exciting scheme will be designated as a Ladies First Member at either the Riyadh Golf Club, Dirab Golf Club or King Abdullah Economic City’s Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, depending on where they live.
The membership will include a digital Introduction to Golf education pack, which will provide monthly seminars outlining the key aspects of golf for beginners. Each of the three golf courses will also host a Ladies First golf clinic once a month, led by a professional, which will conclude with an on-course induction for all participants and a chance to play an 18-hole round.
Full range access will then remain available to all members of the club, with the programme’s top 12 performers being offered a full, year-round membership at their course of choice.
“The Ladies First Club will be a club like no other,” Majed Al Sorour, CEO of Golf Saudi, said. “It is our most exciting initiative yet aimed at developing the great game of golf across Saudi Arabia and is the ideal way to celebrate the historic nature of the Kingdom’s first ever women’s golf tournament, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund.”
Other than golf, the Ladies First Club will give Saudi women the opportunity to take part in a range of other going-ons, including invites to social mornings with the likes of Pilates, yoga, bridge and other social and wellbeing activities. Additionally, all registrants will receive member discounts across all three golf clubs’ restaurants and shops and access to discounted full membership options on completion of the programme.
“Any way of making it easier to get women out playing golf has my backing – and the scheme that Golf Saudi have created with the Ladies First Club is a fantastic idea,” Maha Haddioui, the first and only Arab woman golfer to play on the Ladies European Tour to date, said. “From my experience, there is no better way of opening the sport up to new golfers than making it fun, inclusive and social. This initiative is each of those things,” Haddioui, who is competing in both of next month’s Saudi events, added.
Amateur golfer Sara Salhab, who regularly plays golf with friends at Dirab Golf Club, also thinks the Ladies First Club is a good idea as it will build a platform that can take women’s golf to a higher level. She also said the professional help and community feeling will allow players to thrive.
Saudi Arabia's first-ever women’s golf tournament is right around the corner!https://t.co/f6wjb4LGbg— About Her (@AboutHerOFCL) October 4, 2020
“Golf is a very nice sport that works both your mind and your body, and you’re outdoors in greenery, which is great, especially here. I really enjoy it,” the 27-year-old added. “More women should play because it is very healthy, you get to be outdoors and it’s a social activity that – with the Ladies First Club – is more accessible than ever.”
Women looking to register will be able to do so via the Golf Saudi website from the week the historic events get underway. For more information about the Ladies First Club, Golf Saudi, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International and the Saudi Ladies Team International, please visit: www.golfsaudi.com/en-us/ladies-international.