Mena Golf Tour announce 2017 schedule as Project 300 aims to create pathway to 2020 Olympics

The Mena Golf Tour, the developmental tour that took root in the UAE, announced its 2017 schedule on Sunday, with a number of changes set in place.

Craig Hinton in action during the 2017 Omega Dubai Desert Classic, a reward for winning the 2016 Mena Golf Tour Order of Merit. David Cannon / Getty Images

The Mena Golf Tour, the developmental tour that took root in the UAE, announced its 2017 schedule on Sunday, with a number of changes set in place.

Developing the developmental tour

The new calendar tees off on March 5 with its Q-School at Morocco’s Royal Golf El Jadida, moving from its Spanish location last year, while the circuit’s Thailand Swing has increased by one event to three with the addition of the Pattana Golf Championship on May 15. It will be a 72-hole event — a tour first.

Continuing its reach

The 2017 Mena Tour will visit six countries: Morocco, UAE, Thailand, South Africa, Kuwait and Oman. The first half of the schedule has been confirmed, with the three co-sanctioned events with South Africa’s Sunshine Tour pencilled in for June. The season concludes at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club, a return to the venue after last year’s denouement in Oman.

Olympic objective

Mohamed Juma Buamaim, chairman of the Mena Tour, announced Project 300, an initiative that aims to create a pathway for a tour player, or a UAE national, to the 2020 Olympics. The tour is seeking assistance from the Arab Golf Federations — they presented to those in October — and the Olympic Committees throughout the Arab world. Help could come in the form of prize funds or new tournaments. At present, the Mena Tour is self-funded except for two events in Thailand.

Clarke’s commitment

Darren Clarke, the 2011 British Open champion, has extended his role as Mena Tour patron for another three years. The Northern Irishman, who also captained the 2016 European Ryder Cup team, said part of his agreement is to again participate in a tour event. In 2015, Clarke competed at the Ras Al Khaimah Classic.​​

Pre-summer Schedule

March 5-8, 2017

2017 Qualifying School

El Jadida Golf Club, Mazagan, Morocco

Prize money: TBA

March 11-15

PalmGolf Open

Palmeraie Country Club, Casablanca, Morocco

Prize Money: $50,000 (Dh183,650)

March 12-21

Royal Golf Mohammedia Open

Royal Golf D’Anfa, Mohammedia, Casablanca, Morocco

Prize Money: $50,000

April 23-26

Ras Al Khaimah Classic

Tower Links Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Prize Money: $50,000

April 30 — May 4

Mahasamutr Masters

Banyan Golf Club, Hua Hin, Thailand

Prize Money: $50,000

May 7-11

Mountain Creek Open

Mountain Creek Golf Resort & Residences, Amphur Sikhio, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

Prize Money: $50,000

May 15-19

Pattana Golf Championship

Pattana Golf Club & Resort, 99/89 Moo 9, Khaokhunsong District, Sriracha City, Chang Wat Chon Buri 20110, Thailand

Prize Money: $50,000

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at