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Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic the first professional golf tournament to be played under lights

Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic the first professional golf tournament to be played under lights
May 4, 2019

The Emirates Golf Club’s Faldo Course has this week been the location for a piece of sporting history with the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic becoming the first professional golf tournament to be played under lights.

On Wednesday evening (1st May), the course’s new LED floodlights were switched on – illuminating the course for the strong field of 56 professionals taking part in the 54-hole tournament.

Staged over three days from 1st to 3rd May, each professional played at least nine holes under Faldo’s powerful new eco-friendly LED floodlights from Abacus Lighting.

With the Ladies European Tour’s Dubai event moved from December to May and renamed the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic the LED floodlights enabled the competitors to play during the cooler temperatures of the Dubai spring evening while also allowing the event to be broadcast at a more viewer friendly time for European broadcast audiences.

Golf first met grass in the Middle East at Emirates Golf Club’s legendary Majlis layout in 1988 and now, 31 years later, the club’s sister course has seen an extension of the Emirate’s golf season.

Installation of the technology saw the Etihad Energy Service Company (Etihad ESCO) partner with UK-based Abacus Lighting to fully retrofit the 18-hole championship course with the LED lighting. Over three months, the LED lights were installed to replace former metal halide bulbs, generating enhanced lighting suitable for professional sport, improving the overall quality of light across the golf course, while also enhancing energy savings by 60% and reducing 499.375 tons of CO2.

The installation of the new LED lights on the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club is a continuation of Dubai Golf’s push towards sustainability in an environment, given the climatic conditions, often at odds with green practices.

Last year Emirates Golf Club partnered with National Geographic in the pursuit of the complete elimination of single-use plastic water bottles at the club. The initiative was showcased when the club held the first ever ‘National Geographic Planet’ or Plastic Golf Tournament’ on 15th December 2018. The tournament set the precedent for the movement, as all players received a refillable water flask instead of the plastic bottles usually provided. The reduction of single-use plastic will continue on in 2019, with a drastic drop in use of plastic cups, straws and bags at the club to soon follow suit.

Speaking about the initiative, Barney Coleman, Club Manager at Emirates Golf Club, stated “sustainability has always been one of the cornerstones of Dubai Golf’s ethical principles and we strive to be pioneers in this movement.

“Golf clubs have a huge geographical footprint in a city and it’s our role to not only provide the community and our members with the very best experience, but to do so in a way that lessens our environmental footprint; whether that be the use of commodities from local suppliers, or eliminating single-use plastics, something we hope to achieve fully by the end of this year.

“Changing to a more ecological lighting system was a natural move for us and we’re thrilled to be the first golf club in the region to do so.”

Etihad ESCO Chief Executive, Ali Al Jassim added “our strategic agreement with Dubai Golf further supports the country’s efforts to achieve 30% reduction in energy consumption by 2030 and brings us another step closer towards meeting our sustainability goals.”

With golf in Australia facing a range of participation and membership challenges, managers are understood to have taken note of the Dubai Ladies Moonlight Classic, seeing that retrofitting LED lights at course could expand playing hours and encourage enhanced participation.

The 54-hole Dubai Ladies Moonlight Classic ran from 1st to 3rd May.

Abacus Lighting technology is distributed in Australia by smartlux. For more information click here to contact smartlux through their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.

Images of LED lighting at Emirates Golf Club’s Faldo Course courtesy of Abacus Lighting.

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