Want to learn how to promote a golf tournament? Take a lesson from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which will hold a Challenge Match on its par-3 course Tuesday. Three two-man teams will compete in a modified alternate-shot format, alternating play after selecting the best tee shot. It’s a compelling way to attract spectators on a Tuesday.
The teams may surprise you. Tom Watson, fresh off a senior win in Hawaii, is in Dubai. He’ll pair with Lee Westwood against the other teams, Rory McIlroy-Mark O’Meara and Henrik Stenson-Miguel Angel Jimenez. They’ll play the nine-hole par-3 course starting at 6 p.m., presumably finishing under the lights. The Gulf News reports
“In a slight break from our tradition of holding the Challenge Match
in the afternoon every year, this time we will have a 6 p.m. start,
followed by a dinner reception. I am sure the Challenge Match under
lights will add to the festive atmosphere,” said Mohammad Juma Bu Amim, vice
chairman and chief executive officer of Golf in Dubai.
The spirit of P.T. Barnum is alive and well and living in Dubai. I wish we could have some of it here.