In Conversation with… Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi

The Chairman of Bahrain International Golf Course Company and the Royal Golf Club, Captain Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi, reminisces about the year gone by and shares interesting developments at the Club.

What are your thoughts as you look back at 2023?
As Chairman of Bahrain International Golf Course Company and the Royal Golf Club (RGC), reflecting on 2023 fills me with immense pride and excitement. Our team has undertaken a major project of renovation of the golf course, aligning it with international standards and ensuring it is primed for the prestigious DP World Tour in February. This renovation not only enhances the playing experience but also positions RGC as a key player in Bahrain’s burgeoning tourism sector.

As you mentioned, the highly-anticipated DP World Tour is returning to the Kingdom after 13 years. How was this milestone achieved and how is RGC preparing to host this mega event?
The return of the DP World Tour to the Kingdom after 13 years is a historic moment for RGC and Bahrain as a whole. Achieving this milestone required meticulous planning, collaboration and a dedicated team. We have worked closely with BOC (Bahrain Olympic Committee), event organisers and local authorities to ensure a seamless experience for players and spectators alike.
Operationally, RGC has invested in state-of-the-art facilities and services to meet the demands of such a mega event, including major course enhancements.

Tell us more about the recent golf course renovation?
The RGC team has spent endless hours over the summer renovating the golf course. The biggest enhancement project got underway in July with a number of greens on the front and back nine being redesigned along with all the bunkers. The changes are aimed at creating larger, less undulating playing surfaces which will enable more pin positions to be available.
With less undulation there will also be an opportunity to increase the firmness of the greens, which will lead to tour-standard green speeds. The exciting journey that the renovations have brought to the club aims to challenge the best golfers in the world whilst also providing the highest quality experience for those that play the course throughout the year.
Golf enthusiasts from all over the region, along with members and visitors to the Royal Golf Club, will witness a showcase of golf at its finest.

Apart from the DP World Tour, are there any other events, developments or plans for RGC in the coming months?
Absolutely! To cater to the growing interest in golf, we are collaborating with local schools and universities in Bahrain to promote junior golf and nurture young talent. Creating pathways for future golf champions is a core belief.
Overall, we are dedicated to continuously improving the RGC, providing an unparalleled experience for all, from beginners to seasoned professionals. These exciting plans will strengthen our position as a premier golfing destination.

What is your long-term strategic vision for the RGC?
The long-term strategic vision focuses on establishing the club as a premier destination for golf enthusiasts around the world. It will undergo several positive changes to achieve this vision, starting with the course enhancement and redesign that took place this year.
The enhancement project focused on implementing advanced sustainability practices such as water conservation, organic maintenance techniques and other sustainability initiatives. To encourage player development, we will introduce comprehensive programmes tailored to different age groups and skill levels, including coaching clinics, junior golf camps and beginner-friendly initiatives.
Delivering exceptional family-friendly experiences will be our focus by offering personalised services, exclusive programmes and an array of social activities. We aspire to become a beacon of excellence, fostering a love for the sport and enriching the lives of our members and the wider community. ✤