Saudi Arabia is to host a world first $1.5million prize-fund Ladies European Tour golf week in what promises to be a landmark moment for women’s sport in the Kingdom.
To be held at Royal Greens Golf Club on the Red Sea Coast near Jeddah, seven days of elite-level women’s golf will see the hosting of two world-class debut tournaments: the $1million Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF taking place from November 12 to 15, and the $500,000 Saudi Ladies Team International, running from November 17 to 19.
According to a report in The Telegraph, the ladies competing in both tournaments will be allowed to wear mid-calf or three-quarter length 'cut away' trousers and short-sleeved polo shirts.
Initially it had been expected that all players would need to wear full-length trousers as a result of the kingdom's strict dress code regulations.
The Telegraph also understands that both events in Saudi Arabia will be televised on Sky Sports Golf later this year.
Held within a safe bio-secure environment, both tournaments will attract many of the world’s best golfers to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), and will be the first time in women’s golf history that professional players – themselves competing in the Kingdom for the first time – will partner with amateurs in the all-new team and individual format promised for the Saudi Ladies Team International.
The events will be Saudi Arabia’s third and fourth professional golf tournaments in less than two years. The country held the debut Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers in 2019, with Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell winning 2020’s hosting in January.
November’s consecutive tournaments take women’s golf into another new territory and will see players compete for what will be the LET season’s biggest purse after only the British and Scottish Open.
Alexandra Armas, Ladies European Tour, CEO, said: “We are extremely excited to be part of history in bringing the first-ever professional women’s golf event to Saudi Arabia and we are thankful to their commitment to deliver not one but two tournaments, in what has been a difficult year for golf.
“We are always looking to grow the game in new markets and add to our schedule and we are confident that the Saudi Ladies International and the Saudi Ladies Team International will be a fantastic experience for our players.”
Originally planned for March, the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF will be the Ladies European Tour’s debut event in Saudi Arabia. It will attract more than 100 of the world’s best golfers, and with a $1million prize fund will be the 2020 Tour’s third highest paying event.
The format of the Saudi Ladies Team International will be revealed in upcoming weeks, with the three-day event set to feature professional players teaming-up with amateur golfers, together competing for a share of a $500,000 prize-fund.
Amy Boulden of Wales will be taking part in both of events, fresh from her maiden LET win at this month’s Swiss Open.
"This type of commitment to women’s golf is really amazing to see at this time," said Boulden.
"It’s given players another massive week to look forward to competing in and allows us to take the game we love to a new country where we can play on what is a truly incredible golf course with one of the most picturesque views you’ll see on Tour.
"To throw their weight behind two events in one week is a really significant gesture from a country I know is passionate about growing golf, and I can’t wait to get out there playing."