RIYADH, February, 1, 2021: Jack Nicklaus, the globally renowned golf course designer and the greatest champion in the game’s history with a record 18 professional major championships to his name, has confirmed that he is designing his first ever course in Saudi Arabia, a championship golf course for Qiddiya—Saudi Arabia’s capital of Entertainments, Sports and the Arts. The course, located 40 minutes from the Saudi capital of Riyadh, is under design and is awaiting commencement of construction.
Jack and Nicklaus Design are creating the championship course for a private golf and country club, set within an exclusive residential community in the heart of the Qiddiya development, just outside Riyadh, with ground expected to be broken later this year. The golf course will be framed by the majestic Tuwaiq mountain range.
Commenting on Jack Nicklaus’ involvement, His Excellency Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, Chairman of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation said: “To have the greatest-ever golfer commit to making his mark upon our developing golf landscape in Saudi Arabia and at a project as significant as Qiddiya gives us great pride. To be part of the Nicklaus legacy will be something that we will always cherish, especially knowing the positive impact it will have on growing awareness of the sport at a domestic level, whilst increasing our national visibility as a vibrant new golf destination. We are looking forward to welcoming Mr. Nicklaus for his first visit to Saudi Arabia in the coming months.”
Nicklaus, the most decorated player in the game’s history, commented: “I am excited by this project and my first golf course design in the Middle East. To be selected as one of the first international designers to work in the Kingdom is a great honor. I’ve already spent time looking at the topography of the land, images of the backdrop and terrain, and discussing with our design team a strategy for the course. The design will fully integrate the natural environment and the beautiful Qiddiya landscape, bringing together green spaces and mountainous terrain to form a picturesque canvas for both a beautiful and challenging golf course.”
Construction began on the Qiddiya project in 2019 and the golf development will include a high-end resort hotel and spa, as well as exclusive residences, that once finished will position the development as both the premier Golf and Country Club and number one course in the Kingdom. It will be constructed to the highest standards, with a view to hosting the most prestigious international championships in future years, challenging elite golfers while providing casual players with an opportunity to enjoy the sport and develop their skills.
“By being involved in this project, we hope to promote the development and enjoyment of the game in the Kingdom,” Nicklaus said. “We not only want to entice Saudi residents to take up the great game of golf, but we also hope this presents employment opportunities for citizens of the Kingdom that are within or related to the golf industry. This mirrors the vision of Qiddiya.”
The planning of the course has been undertaken by Qiddiya in consultation with Golf Saudi. The Nicklaus-designed course is the centrepiece of what has been positioned as the most exclusive golf residential community in the Kingdom.
Further expanding the sport of golf in the Kingdom, Qiddiya will be seeking designers for a second course. Together, the two courses will provide top-notch golfing facilities for residents and day visitors to Qiddiya, from elite players to those just learning the sport.
CEO of QIC, Philippe Gas commented; “The underlying philosophy behind this entire development is to introduce a new, active lifestyle to the people of Saudi Arabia. This project has been carefully planned to ensure an unmatched resort experience for both golfers and regular guests. We expect the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and residential offering to provide the most entertaining challenge for golfers and the most appealing homesteads for residents seeking an extraordinary lifestyle.”
About Qiddiya Investment Company:
Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) is driving the development of Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s Capital of Entertainment, Sports and the Arts. As a core tenet of Vision 2030, Qiddiya has a dual economic and social purpose: to advance economic diversification and unlock new professional pathways, while enriching lives of the youth in the Kingdom.
His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs and of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced the project on April 7, 2017. Ground-breaking took place on April 28, 2018, and the company, Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC), was incorporated as a closed joint-stock company, wholly owned by PIF, on May 10, 2018.
In 2020, Qiddiya progressed from the planning to the construction phase as the mass grading and site preparation began on site, supported by security fencing around the entire premises of Qiddiya. A strategic partnership with DETASAD was also announced, building on the milestones of 2019, which included the approval of the Master Plan, the release of the design of Six Flags Qiddiya and the opening of the Welcome Center and first site office.
Qiddiya is located south-west of Riyadh on a site that spans 366 sq.km.
Visitors will enjoy activities across five cornerstones: Sports & Wellness; Nature & Environment; Parks & Attractions; Motion & Mobility; and Arts & Culture. Development of these areas will give rise to family-friendly theme parks; sports arenas suitable for international competitions; academies for sports and the arts; concert and entertainment venues; racetracks for motorsport enthusiasts; outdoor and adventure activities alongside nature and environment experiences; and historical, cultural and educational activities. Qiddiya will also include a variety of real estate options and community services.
Director of Corporate Communications, Qiddiya Investment Company
Tel: +966 55 513 7495
PR & Communications Director, Performance54
T: +44 (0) 7825 886 447
About Golf Saudi
Golf Saudi facilitates uptake and participation in golf through the delivery of world-class facilities, operational excellence and the implementation of industry best practice to position the Kingdom as an exceptional golfing nation. Combined with grass roots training and education programmes that introduce people to the game at the earliest opportunity and with the greatest ease, Golf Saudi is committed to delivering a dynamic national development programme that transforms the golfing landscape.
About the Saudi Golf Federation
The Saudi Golf Federation is the governing body for golf in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, responsible for handicapping, the development of golf as a sport and for delivering national tournaments. Based in Riyadh, the Federation is a full member of the Council of National Golf Unions and is committed to fully developing the game for all its citizens and residents.
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