(photo credit: Courtesy)
For the first time ever, a professional golf tournament will be staged in Israel, with the final event of the Alps Tour scheduled to be held at the Caesarea Golf Club from October 20-26 of this year.
Established in 2001 by Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland, the Alps Tour gives young golf professionals the opportunity to gain valuable experience in preparation for participation at higher levels such as the Challenge and European Tours. Today, more than 600 players representing 22 nationalities compete in 18 competitions for the Alps Tour championship.
The tour’s top 50 players will compete for the Israel Masters Champion prize of 70,000 euros, funded by the Edmond de Rothschild Bank.
“The Israel Golf Federation and the Caesarea Golf Club, together with the Israeli Ministry of Sports and Culture as well as the Tourism Office, are fully committed to making this world premiere a success, and to ensuring its re-occurrence on a yearly basis,” exclaimed IGF President Avi Dagan.
Interest in golf is growing worldwide as the sport has been included in the 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Brazil.
Inevitably, the Israel Masters Golf Tournament will boost Israel’s golf industry. The process hopes be similar to the inspiration that began 30 years ago and has made tennis one of the most popular sports in Israel.
The tournament, to be held over six days, will include a variety of pro-am and Alliance competitions.
The highlight will be the last day, when the professionals compete for the championship prize.
Developing the local golf industry is imperative if Israel wishes to remain an attractive Middle East travel destination.
This event has gained the support of the French Foreign Ministry as well as Israel’s Ambassador to France, Yossi Gal. It will offer a stiff challenge to the professionals and a unique opportunity for amateurs during the pro-am rounds.
In other Israeli golf news, for the second time, Yehuda Levy and Yoav Shenhav won the right to represent the Ga’ash Golf Club at the upcoming international pairs tournament in Scotland as the 2014 Israeli Pair champions.
Levy and Shenhav qualified for the honor by winning the play-in tournament organized by the Israel Golf Federation, which saw the finalists play one day in Ga’ash and once at Caesarea.
The format of the tournament was a better-ball stableford 75% handicap in which 12 teams From Ga’ash and 12 teams from Caesarea played in the finals after playing in qualifying rounds in their respective clubs.
Levy and Shenhav played the first day at Caesarea with 37 stableford points and came back on the second day at Ga’ash with an impressive 45 points to capture the title with a total of 82 stableford points.
In second place, on 78 points, was the pair of Noam Schultz and Gidi Golan, who earned a balanced 39 points on each day.