By Mudassir Rja
GENERAL MANAGER: Michael Braidwood. (Right) SUPERINTENDENT: Darren Smith.
GREEN: The Education City Golf Club.
Qatar Natural History Group holds talk on Education City Golf Club and its eco-friendly focus
Qatar Natural History Group (QNHG) on Wednesday evening held an informative and refreshing talk on the topic of “Education City Golf Club: Our Sustainability Mission” at Doha English Speaking School. A good number QNHG members and others attended the event.
The QNHG had invited two experts associated with the project of the new golf course at Education City as speakers. The speakers, through presentations and lecture, shared with the audience how they turned the urban desert into a green and nature-friendly space. They said that the new green and multi-lake golf course has attracted a multitude of animals and birds. The group will arrange a field visit to the golf field for the public on January 19 when the visitors will have a chance to see the birds and natural beauty of the course.
The speakers were Michael Braidwood, general manager of Education City Golf Club, and Darren Smith, superintendent of the new golf club.
Darren and Michael provided a detailed presentation on the practices the club employed during the construction to ensure that it was on track for the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) sustainability award. They also highlighted the practices they would continue to apply to ensure that they stayed at the forefront of sustainable golf courses in the region. They also touched upon initiatives surrounding the club’s other core values such as research and development, community and education.
Sharing vision of the golf club, Michael Braidwood said, “Our vision is to create an internationally recognised golf destination that services existing demand whilst becoming the vehicle that grows the game of golf with in Qatar placing education, innovation, research and development sustainability and culture at the forefront.”
He further shared, “The club has a 1238 hectare site in Education City bordering Al Rayyan Road and Dukhan Highway. It is adjacent to Health and Wellness and Al Shaqab and provides beautiful practice facilities. It also has driving range with state of the art facilities. It is a trackman centre of excellence. It is designed by major champion Jose M Olazabal and is built to GEO sustainable standards.”
Talking to Community, Michael said that the golf club is the second golfing facility in Qatar. He said that the facility will be open this year for professional golfers and for community players.
Earlier, sharing the profiles of the two speakers, Thierry Lesales, representing the QNHG, noted, “Michael has spent his entire career in the golf club business starting as a golf professional and then moved into club management in 1998. He has worked at a number of prestigious venues such as The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, Royal Golf Club in Bahrain and Skolkovo Golf Club, Moscow, Russia. Prior to joining Education City Golf Club, Michael was the Director of Education for the Club Managers Association of Europe.”
About Darren Smith he shared, “He is an Australian citizen originally from New Zealand. He moved to Australia in late 1980s where he gained his qualification in golf course management and from there has honed his skills on both pre and post opening of golf courses in Australia. Having moved to the Middle East in 2001 his experience now spans nearly 15 years in the region. In the Middle East, he spent 11 years with Emaar Properties PJSC, Arabian Ranches Golf & Polo Club Dubai. He joined Education City Golf Club in 2013 during the early stages of the project.”
About the QNHG, Thiery said, “The group was founded in 1978, with the aim of bringing together people with an interest in the natural history of Qatar and the Arabian Gulf. Initially the group was called Qatar Natural History Society. Soon after its establishment, the society started organising monthly meetings and field trips.”
“During the meetings, guest speakers help members better understand many subjects such as ornithology, marine biology, geology, geography, desert plants, ecology, wildlife, history and archaeology of the Qatari peninsula or the region as a whole,” he noted.
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