Lights, camera… action! It might not be the normal way to get a golf tournament under way but seems appropriate in this instance.
The Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic, after all, is the world’s first professional day-night tournament, and tees off today at the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club.
Each of the 56 professionals in the field for the 54-hole LET event – Carly Booth and Kylie Henry are flying the Saltire – will play at least nine holes of one of their opening two rounds under new eco-friendly LED floodlights.
“It will be a very new challenge but I’m excited,” said Cheyenne Woods, Tiger’s niece. “I think it’s a great event for golf. I think these formats keep the fans interested.”
The event comes hot on the heels of the new Jordan Mixed Open, which involved LET, Challenge Tour and Staysure Tour players. Meghan MacLaren almost won that and is now looking forward to something a bit different again.
“Any time that golf tries to innovate it creates a bit of a buzz, which I think is exactly what the game needs,” said the English player. “Hopefully this event means a few more people will be paying attention just to see something different happening.
“The playing level is and always will be there, so it’s about forcing people to sit up and take notice. The idea of playing under floodlights is pretty cool. I’ve always enjoyed going to watch evening football matches so, hopefully, golf will be the same.”
•David Law, a winner on the European Tour this season, is enjoying some home comfort this week as he tees up in the inaugural Aberdeen Golf Links Pro Am.
The event, which is on the Tartan Tour schedule, is taking place over the next three days at Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay and Trump International Golf Links.
Law, who claimed the Vic Open title earlier in the year, gets his campaign under way at Cruden Bay before heading to Trump International then ending up at Royal Aberdeen.
“I’m really looking forward to this event,” he said. “I think the concept is fantastic. We are playing over three great courses and the forecast looks like it should be decent.
“It’s a pity there’s not more teams entered, but hopefully this can be the start of a great event for many years to come.
“For me, it’s also great prep for the British Masters next week, so that’s an added bonus.”
Sam Locke, last year’s Open Championship Silver Medal winner at Carnoustie, is also in the field, as are Ladies European Tour duo Michele Thomson and Kelsey Macdonald.
Spaniard Miguel Angel Martin, a three-time European Tour winner, and former PGA champion Andrew Oldcorn are in the line-up as well along with Tartan Tour No 1 Paul O’Hara.
While Paul Lawrie is in the US to make his Champions Tour debut in the Insperity Invitational in Texas, oldest son Craig and nephew Sean are also among the contenders in the north-east.
•Golf’s new World Handicap System (WHS), which is designed to bring golf under a single set of Rules for handicapping and provide a more consistent measure of players’ ability between different regions of the world, remains on track for implementation starting in 2020.
“There are many ways in which it is important for golf to modernise and become more appealing for people thinking of taking up the sport and handicapping is clearly one of them,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers.
“The World Handicap System is a major new initiative for the sport which will establish a clearer and more consistent handicapping process for golfers throughout the world.
“We are working closely with national associations, as we do across all our core activities, to ensure they are fully prepared for the introduction of the new system as soon as possible after it becomes available for implementation.”
•Carnoustie Golf Links has re-opened its re-designed fourth course, The Nestie.
The course’s grand re-opening took place as part of the Carnoustie Craws Junior Golf Academy’s new season launch night.
Despite wet and windy conditions, the evening was attended by more than 100 junior golfers and their families from the local area.
The Nestie is free to play and is open to everyone including kids, families and golf beginners.